Central Regional House of Chiefs backs lithium project


The Central Regional House of Chiefs have voiced their support for the Ewoyaa Lithium project.

This comes in the face of initial opposition from a section of civil society actors and organisations, including the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and other stakeholders, which argued that the agreement is not in the best interest of the nation.

However, President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, Odeefo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, said given the critical importance of green minerals like lithium in the global shift toward cleaner energy, it is imperative to take advantage of the resource found in the region.

He said: “As a Regional House of Chiefs, we want to take advantage of this opportunity. We must make a decision and do so on time. So, we have decided to take advantage and mine it for the benefit of our people”.

While acknowledging that the lithium agreement with Barari DV Ghana Limited – a subsidiary of the Australian-based Atlantic Lithium Company may not be flawless, Odeefo Amoakwa Buadu VIII asserted that it represents an initial step in harnessing the resource. He noted that challenges identified in the agreement could be addressed.

The President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, who was speaking in an interview on the back of an engagement with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource at Cape Coast in the Central Region, added that those opposed to the deal may have valid reasons to resist it.

However, unlike those opposed to the deal, he noted that the Central Regional House of Chiefs believes that it will serve the best interest of its people; hence, the need to move forward with the agreement. “We want to take advantage of the opportunity now to ensure that we mine lithium as early as possible.”

According to the traditional leader, the extraction of lithium will have ripple economic benefits for host communities, indigenous businesses and the overall region.

The approval of the chiefs in the region serves as the green light for the commencement of the extraction of the country’s lithium deposits pending the ratification of the agreement by Parliament.

The development comes on the back of mounting opposition to the inaugural lithium lease, which covers 15 years.

The agreement with Barari DV, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Company Limited, among others, incorporates new and enhanced terms to ensure the country optimally benefits from this mineral, according to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

This includes increased royalty rate, state and local participation, and value addition to the mineral mined. The lease agreement follows the completion of prospecting and feasibility studies by the company, as well as a series of negotiations between the state and Barari DV.

The deal covers an area of approximately 42.63 square kilometres. It grants the company exclusive rights to work and produce lithium and associated minerals in the area under the country’s mining laws.

The Deputy Minister in charge of Mines, George Mireku Duker, who led officials of the ministry, including the Minerals Commission, to engage the traditional rulers, explained that the government was enjoined to grant a licence to the company, which had conducted reconnaissance and prospecting activities at the site.

In granting a mining licence, he said, the government ensured that the ultimate interest of indigenous people of Ewoyaa and Ghanaians reigned supreme in the agreement.

He also touted the integral role of lithium in the global fight against climate change, explaining that Ghana is well-placed to contribute significantly to the fight with the discovery.

Furthermore, he outlined the employment and socio-economic benefits the Central Region is set to enjoy with the exploitation of the commodity.

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, assured the chiefs of his outfit’s commitment to ensuring that mining activities inure to the benefit of host communities.

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