United Nations Peace Ambassador criticizes Ghana’s lithium mining agreement

United Nations Peace Ambassador criticizes Ghana's lithium mining agreement : Ghana News

The Peace Ambassador, Bishop Sam Owusu, has expressed dissatisfaction with Ghana's recent lithium mining agreement, stating that it cannot be considered a beneficial deal for the country.

In a press briefing, Bishop Sam Owusu emphasized his disappointment, highlighting concerns about the government's failure to learn from past extractive sector contracts that, in his view, did not yield favorable outcomes for Ghana.

He questioned the wisdom behind the drafted lithium agreement, asserting that it would not bring significant benefits to the nation.

“Lithium is the new order, that is what is going to determine most economies in the world. How on earth can our government draft such a contract which obviously will not benefit us? Our leaders have not learned from past mining contracts which have not benefited us,” Bishop Sam Owusu remarked.

The background to this criticism stems from the recent grant of Ghana's first lithium mining lease to Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, to commence operations in the .

The 15-year lease, according to the Minister of , Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, incorporates enhanced terms to maximize Ghana's earnings from its lithium resources.

The government has implemented a special policy for lithium, deviating from the treatment of other minerals. This includes a 10% royalty rate, increased state participation, and requirements for domestic value addition.

The state's free carried interest has been raised from 10% to 13%, with further acquisition of 6% of the mining operation and 3.06% of the parent company listed in Australia and .

The agreement mandates the company to list on the for local investment participation, along with a stipulated 1% revenue payment into community development funds for impacted areas.

Furthermore, the company is obligated to construct a domestic chemical plant for lithium processing or supply any lithium mined to third-party processing plants in Ghana, fostering job creation and local value addition.

Despite these measures aimed at optimizing state revenue and local development benefits, Bishop Sam Owusu remains critical, urging leaders to reconsider and prioritize deals that genuinely benefit Ghana.

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