Lithium Mining Lease Will Be Laid Before Parliament For Ratification – Lands Minister

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has revealed that the mining lease agreement between Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited for lithium extraction will be presented to Parliament for ratification.

This announcement was made during a press briefing on Thursday, November 12, where the minister addressed concerns over the lithium mining lease signed on October 20, 2023.

According to the Damongo legislator, the mining lease mandates ratification by Parliament, and failure to undergo this process would result in the annulment of the lease.

“There has been an issue of ratification of the lease. It has been raised by several people. This has never been lost on us as this is expressly provided for the mining lease granted to Barari DV Ghana Limited. Specifically, Clause 1E of the lease states ‘the mining lease is subject to ratification by Parliament in accordance with Article 2681 of the constitution and section 54 of Act 703’. ‘Upon execution of this mining lease, the Minister shall cause the mining lease to be laid in Parliament for ratification’.”

"By the very term of the lease, therefore, ratification by Parliament is a condition precedent, he said, “as an unratified mining lease confers no enforceable right, and the government has always been mindful of this decision.”
“The mining lease in question will be laid before Parliament for ratification,” he added.

For instance, a former Chief Justice of Ghana, Sophia Akuffo, has expressed the view that the recently signed lithium lease by the government lacks completeness without parliamentary ratification.

According to her legal analysis, this particular transaction should have undergone the process of submission to Parliament for approval.

“My legal view is that it is a transaction that requires ratification, it is not complete. This is a document, it is signed and sealed and delivered but it is a deal that has to be ratified by a named authority, that is the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,” she said while speaking as a Distinguished Scholar of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra on Tuesday, November 28.

Meanwhile, the Minerals Commission responded to criticism from certain individuals regarding the lithium deal between the government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited.

In a press statement issued on Monday, December 4, the Minerals Commission pointed out that the critical statements made by some individuals stem from a lack of thorough reading of the agreement.

The statement emphasized that many concerns are based on inaccurate assumptions and unsupported assertions.

The Minerals Commission reiterated that the lithium deal is in the best interest of the nation.

About the lease

The mining lease, granted for 15 years to Barari, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, an Australian company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, covers an area of 42.63 km² in and around Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region.

The $250-million project, located in Ewoyaa, Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region, is set to commence production by 2025.

The deal includes a 10% royalty and 13% free carried interest by the state, surpassing the existing 5% and 10%, respectively, for other mining agreements.

Barari DV Ghana Limited is also required to contribute 1% of its revenue to a community development fund for the upliftment of the mining area.