Vice-President Bawumia Wants Chinese In Nynahini Concession
There is division within the Akufo-Addo cabinet, over the government’s cancellation of the bauxite mining lease awarded to Exton Cubic Group Limited to prospect for the mineral at Nynahini in the Ashanti Region.
The division took place days ahead of the Monday’s press conference by Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu’s announcement, cancelling the arrangement between Exton Cubic and the state.
While the hawks in the highest decision body of government, feel that the Chinese must be made to take over the concession, the moderates are of the opinion that, the indigenous Ghanaian company registered in 1999, must be supported to mine the mineral and keep the money here in Ghana.
The Herald is informed that, leading the hawks against Exton Cubic Group Limited is Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia, supported by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo ,Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, .
Those in favour of Exton Cubic, The Herald learnt are Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, Communication Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister, Anthony Akoto Osei, Justice Minister, Gloria Akuffo and Railway Minister, Joe Ghartey.
Apart from wanting that the concession stays in the hands of Ghanaians to create jobs and retain the cash in the economy, the Alan Kyerematen group, also mentioned legal technicalities involved in the cancellation of the contract and reckoned a legal action from Exton Cubic against the state sooner than later.
The Herald, also picked up intelligence that, many of those in favour of Exton Cubic, feared for businessmen linked to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the event of a change of government, and cautioned that things must be done in a more humane and reasonable manner.
But the Vice-President, the Senior Minister and the Finance Minister, at the last cabinet meeting championed the view that, the Akufo-Addo government must develop a relationship with China, by handing over the Bauxite concession to the Chinese to bargain for the US$15 billion Dr. Bawumia negotiated during his trip to that country recently.
Vice-President Dr. Bawumia upon his return from China, announced that Ghana wants to give “less than 5%” of its bauxite reserves in exchange for $15billion, adding a joint venture agreement was signed to that effect.
In a note made from the visit and published by myjoyonline, Dr. Bawumia stated “A major part of our conversation in China was the Integrated Aluminium Industry development. This involves development of the Nyinahin and Kyebi Bauxite Mines and an Aluminium Refinery”.
He outlined infrastructural projects the government intends to use $15billion cash expected from China.
At an Africa-China Joint Research and Exchange programme in Accra in July, Bawumia, mentioned 20 categories of investments the Akufo-Addo government has planned to use the money for using “less than 5%” of its bauxite reserves.
Ghana has 960 million metric tonnes of Bauxite reserves worth $460 billion.
Dr. Bawumia, said the government plans to build the first-ever interchange in the Northern region, while an integrated Aluminium industry envisaged by Ghana’s first president, will take off in earnest.
Ghana needs to spend at least $1.5 billion annually to close its infrastructure deficit. The money from China is therefore 10 years worth investment.
Interestingly, President Akufo-Addo, who is said to have read all documents on the Nynahini issue and the involvement of Exton Cubic was said to be noncommittal during the Cabinet meeting.
But The Herald’s other sources is informed that, he is expected to be in China soon pushing Dr. Bawumia’s angle.
Exton Cubic Group Limited, has said it would turn to the courts over government’s revocation of its exploration license for bauxite in the Tano Offin Forest reserve.
On Monday, Mr. Amewu, departed from his earlier public position that Exton Cubic had met every requirement, saying that the company’s three mining leases were invalid. He appeared pushed and incoherent in his new position.
Mr. Amewu, explained that the company’s failure to provide key documents covering its acceptance of the lease, notice of pendency, environmental impact assessment and other statutory requirements rendered the leases invalid.
In a letter to Exton Cubic, Mr. Amewu said “the absence of publications of the Gazette of notice of the pendency of the company’s applications and service of the notice on the various entities specified in the law is contrary to both section 13(2) of Act 703 and Regulation 177 of L.I. 2176 [Minerals and Mining Regulations.]”
Addressing the media on Monday, the Minister said the company’s failure to provide key documents covering its acceptance of the lease, notice of pendency, environmental impact assessment and other statutory requirements rendered the leases invalid.
The seizure of mining equipment belonging to Ibrahim Mahama’s Engineers and Planners (E&P), which was undertaking some preparatory work in the forest for Exton Cubic, led to the mining company’s troubles with the regulatory bodies.
The Minister noted that the failure of Exton Cubic to obtain an “environmental permit, operations permit as well as various statutory infractions leading to the purported grant of the three mining leases to the company render the purported leases invalid and of no effect.”
“Please be informed in the event that you have not already been so advised that the company has no valid mining rights in the designated areas. The company is further advised to deists from entering the land under reference to prevent any further breaches,” Mr. Amewu said.
The mining company’s license was granted on December 29, 2016, and the company insists it followed due process in the acquisition of the mining license despite both the EPA and Mineral’s commission maintaining that it was in breach of the law.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Exton Cubic, Sammy Gyamfi, has also indicated that, his outfit was currently “studying the letters received from government” before “seeking redress by taking the necessary legal steps.”
“We will take the appropriate legal steps to seek redress… These are technical and legal issues which our lawyers will go through,” he stated.
Mr. Gyamfi further indicated that, government’s claims in the letters issued to Exton Cubic were false, saying “in the coming days, we will delve into the details of the two letters and we will demonstrate to you that the facts and complaints contained in those government letters are totally false. The claims are totally untenable.”
Mr. Gyamfi insisted that Exton Cubic had not breached the law as far as the exploration of bauxite was concerned.
“We ask our supporters to remain calm. There is no cause for alarm. We have not done anything untoward. We are pursuing our objective of ensuring that Nyinahen Bauxite is exploited for the benefit of Ghanaians.
Below are Details of Bawumia’s notes from China indicating that he is behind the revocation of the Exton Cubic leases…
China Railway International Group Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide $10 billion to support the components of a massive infrastructure development programme spanning the mining, industrial and railway fields.
In addition, the Chinese government provided Ghana the following grants:
- A grant of about RMB100 million for infrastructure development- We will use this to acquire about 500 vehicles for the police
- About RMB 50 million for the Ghana Armed Forces
- 4 patrol boats for the Ghana Navy
- Fund construction of 90 bridges across the country
- Fund construction of Interchange at ‘Point 7’ in Tamale. This would be the first ever interchange in northern Ghana.
- Build a new Accra Psychiatric Hospital
A major part of our conversation in China was the Integrated Aluminium Industry development. This involves development of the Nyinahin and Kyebi Bauxite Mines and an Aluminium Refinery.
Construction of the Eastern, and Central Rail Lines including its extension to Paga in the north of the country, the Boankra, Buipe Inland Ports and Paga inland terminal, 910 km of road network.
Four Interchanges (Sofoline, Oforikrom, PTC Takoradi, Danquah Circle). Ten industrial parks in 10 regions.
25,000 houses for the security services, 100,000 social housing units, 25 district hospitals, Western Regional Hospital, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of 8,286 collapsing classrooms,
Upgrading 42 SHSs into model schools, Teaching and Learning Materials, 228 Buses and 198 Pickup trucks for schools Irrigation and water transmission systems in northern Ghana.
“We are undertaking all of these projects, not by borrowing but with less than 5% of our refined bauxite reserves,” he observed.