The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has issued a press statement expressing its reservations about the Ghana-Barari DV Lithium Deal, citing concerns over the Mining Lease Agreement's terms.
The controversial deal between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited for the exploitation of lithium and associated minerals in the Ewoyaa community has sparked public debates.
After scrutinizing the agreement, the NDC emphasizes that the deal is not in Ghana's best interest.
Key points from the NDC's position include:
- The historical lack of substantial benefits from mining necessitates an urgent review of existing mining laws, especially regarding green minerals.
- The NDC promises a review of laws governing the extractive industry to maximize national share and local participation in resource exploitation.
- Green minerals should not be exploited under existing laws tailored for gold mining, and the NDC calls for new models like Joint Ventures and Service Agreements.
- The country needs a revamped mining regime to support the Ghana Geological Survey Authority and enhance the state's bargaining power in resource exploitation.
- The government should have engaged local communities and stakeholders extensively before executing the Barari-Lithium agreement.
- Specific concerns raised about the terms of the Ghana-Barari DV lease agreement include weak requirements for a local chemical plant, lack of emphasis on Ghana's control over the lithium value chain, tax-related ambiguities, and royalty rates.
- The NDC questions the celebration of a 10% royalty rate, highlighting the need for flexible rates and expressing scepticism about the benefits of listing Barari DV on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
- The party demands full disclosure of the identities of “previous landowners” with a 4.4% equity in the company's shareholding structure.
The NDC urges Parliament not to consider the ratification of the lease agreement until all these issues are satisfactorily addressed.
The party contends that the Ghana-Barari Lithium deal, in its current form, is not in the best interest of the country.