Due process was followed in granting licence to Electrochem – Minerals Commission CEO

Martin Kwaku Ayisi, CEO of Minerals Commission

Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, has said that due process was followed in the procedures which led to granting a mining licence for Electrochem Ghana Limited to operate the Ada Songor concession in the Greater Accra Region.

He said the application went to Parliament for ratification and was subsequently properly gazetted. He also noted that the landowners were accordingly given all necessary documents that the law required the Commission to provide.

“As a Commission, we wouldn’t have sent anything to Parliament without going through the due process,” Mr. Ayisi emphasised.

Heap of salt with the Electrochem administration block in the background

He made these assertions in a TV3 documentary titled ‘Salt City’ that was aired by the station on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 to shed light on the largely underutilised salt concession and the enormous potential it holds when properly developed from its current crude and artisanal status.

He advised stakeholders and the indigenes of Ada to look to the future, adding that “… the jobs alone that have been created and the infrastructure being put in place to improve the project’s viability speak volumes. We will only get to know how much we have really lost by looking at what comes out in a year or two in terms of proceeds,” he added.

Corroborating Mr. Ayisi’s statement, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (mines), George Mireku Duker, noted that Electrochem Ghana has the requisite mandate from the Minerals Commission covering the property it is working on, making its operations legal.

He said the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has duly signed all the needed licences for the company on the Commission’s recommendation. He urged all parties to come together and make good use of this vast natural resource to help the development of communities around the lagoon, the Ada state and country as a whole.

Taking his turn to speak in the documentary, Chairman of the McDan Group of Companies, Dr. Daniel McKorley said: “Electrochem Ghana’s work will tell the story by itself”.

“Aside from the ongoing effort to increase production and create more jobs, one thing we haven’t lost sight of is the integration of local miners into our operations through the communal mining concept,” he said.

“We are making the people of Ada a part of the project, re-engineering their improvised ‘galamsey’ pans into standard community-pans of modern design for more people to mine alongside our commercial mining. The good thing is that we will continue to scientifically look at the way they produce salt to ensure it meets the standards required on the international market, give them free access to brine (sea water) through our reservoirs, and provide them ready-market after mining.”

An aerial view of some of the pans and crystalisers

Electrochem is a subsidiary of the McDan Group of Companies. It is the largest salt and chlorine-alkali manufacturing firm in West Africa, with a concession spanning 41,000 acres at Ada Songor. The company was granted a 15-year mining lease to explore the salt resource in the Ada Songor area, and launched its operations in January 2022 with a target to produce 1 million metric tonnes of salt per annum for supply to both local and export markets.

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