MinCom to present inaugural lithium agreement to parliament


By Kizito CUDJOE

The Minerals Commission (MinCom) is set to collaborate with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to bring inaugural lithium agreement with Barari DV Ghana Limited before Parliament for ratification, once it reconvenes after recess.

Despite earlier indications from the sector minister that the agreement would be ratified in the first quarter of 2024, the Minerals Commission is moving forward with plans to present Ghana’s inaugural lithium agreement with Barari DV Ghana Limited to Parliament after its recess.

Last year, amid intense public interest in the deal, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, hinted that the agreement would be submitted to Parliament by the first quarter of 2024. He emphasised the need for Cabinet approval before parliamentary submission, in response to calls by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and civil society actors to subject the deal to legislative scrutiny.

However, as the second quarter of 2024 begins, there are no signs that the scrutinised agreement has been delivered to Parliament. The Minerals Commission has reiterated that the deal is awaiting submission.

Additionally, Barari Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, is set to officially list on the Ghana Stock Exchange on May 13, 2024. This marks a significant milestone in Ghana’s lithium industry.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Martin Ayisi, announced at a Minerals and Mining Policy dialogue in Aburi that Barari DV Ghana Limited is expected to receive environmental permits and other key approvals by July 2024.

The pending parliamentary ratification and subsequent listing of Barari DV Ghana Limited on the GSE signal the growing importance of lithium in the country’s minerals and mining sector.

In response, Nafi Chinery, Africa Director of NRGI, noted the encouraging openness of the minister and MinCom CEO; but emphasised the need for caution. She highlighted past instances where government implementation of such agreements has been slow despite extensive engagement with civil society and the media.

“What remains for us, as civil society, is really to increase our oversight of the process and hold these high public figures accountable. So, for example, this is why at the end of this engagement that we are having, we agree on a formal memo that will be presented to the minister and the Minerals Commission as the regulators. And then we follow up and see how these are going to be included in the final version of the minerals policy and give ourselves timelines. If we do not see any action or traction on the finalisation of the minerals policy by those timelines, then we take our next step,” she stated.

The two-day residential dialogue between MinCom and civil society groups was organised by NRGI with the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The purpose was to gather inputs for the revised draft mining policy of Ghana.

This collaboration with the Minerals Commission of Ghana aimed to bring together various non-state actors from civil society and media to review and provide inputs into the draft of the new mining policy. The goal is to ensure that mining activities in Ghana are both beneficial and sustainable, balancing economic development with environmental and social concerns.

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