Ghana is set to launch its first lithium project featuring higher royalties, state involvement, and added value.

lithium - Rapid News GH

A 15-year mining lease has been given by the government to Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, allowing them to start building and mining lithium in Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman district of Ghana’s Central Region.

The Lease includes new and improved terms designed to guarantee that the nation receives the most benefit from this mineral.

This entails raising the royalty rate, including the State and Ghanaians, and adding value to the material that is extracted.

Following the conclusion of the business’s prospecting and feasibility studies and a series of discussions between the government and the company, the mining lease is granted. In compliance with national mining regulations, the company is granted the only right to work and produce lithium and related minerals inside the lease’s 42.63 square kilometer area.

Lithium is one of the main minerals used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, which is being promoted as a substitute for fossil fuels, as the world continues to battle with climate change. Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by internal combustion engines have been identified as one of the major contributors to the climate crisis. To deal with this, global leaders are promoting a green energy transition, to progressively limit, and ultimately, eliminate carbon emissions.

Already, some countries have passed laws to phase out vehicles that use fossil fuels. This has created an emerging market for the battery industry, and minerals required for the production of batteries referred to as green minerals or critical minerals.

Currently, African countries that are mining lithium export the mineral in its raw state.

Barari Ltd. commenced exploration for lithium in the country in 2017 and discovered high-grade lithium in commercial quantities in Ewoyaa. Geological investigations, also, show deposits in various parts of the country, from the south to the north, predominantly around Cape Coast, Kumasi, Sunyani, Bole, and Wa. However, the country has yet to commence the mining of this mineral.

Speaking at a short ceremony to sign a Mining Lease for Barari DV Ltd., the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, said the Government took a decision not to treat this mineral the same way the other minerals have been treated. It was, therefore, necessary to put in place a special policy for the exploitation and management of this mineral before granting any Mining Lease.

He said after a series of consultations, the Cabinet approved a policy for the exploitation and management of green minerals including lithium, and the Mining Lease granted to the company, incorporates the policy approved by Parliament. “The Lease we are signing today differs from our standard Mining Lease, in that, it incorporates the agreed terms we have concluded with the company, based on the Policy approved by Cabinet,” the Minister explained.

Mr. Jinapor said the agreed terms give the Government and the people of Ghana greater value in the mining of this mineral. Giving some highlights on the Lease, he said the royalty rate has been increased to ten percent (10%) from the standard five percent (5%), and the State’s free carried interest in the mining operation has been increased from ten percent (10%) to thirteen percent (13%).

In addition to the free carried interest, the Government, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), will acquire an additional six percent (6%) in the mining operation, as well as a 3.06% in the Company’s parent entity, which is listed on the Australian and London Stocks Exchange. The Minister said the Company would, also, be required to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange to ensure that Ghanaian entities, like pension funds, and individuals who want to invest in this business can participate in it.

According to Mr. Jinapor, the Company will, also, pay one percent (1%) of its revenue into a Community Development Fund, to be utilized for the development of communities impacted by their operations, and will work to establish a chemical plant for the processing of lithium. In the event that the Company is unable to establish a chemical plant, the Company will provide its lithium to any chemical plant established by third parties in the country. This will create more jobs and bring more development into the mining communities and the country at large.

He said the government recognizes the impact of mining on mining communities and is committed to ensuring that these communities, as well as Ghanaians who are, by law, the owners of these minerals, benefit from them. He called on the company to adhere strictly to the mining laws of the country and the agreement reached with the Government and to ensure that they engage in responsible, sustainable, and environmentally sound mining practices.

The Executive Chairman of Atlantic Lithium Limited, Mr. Niel Herbert, thanked the Minister and Government for their cooperation in reaching this milestone. He said the Ewoyaa project is very important to the company, and the company is willing to work with the Government to ensure the effective exploitation of this mineral for the benefit of Ghanaians. He pledged the commitment of the company to abide by the laws of Ghana and ensure a safe mining environment.

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