From Wrongdoing In Nyinahin Bauxite Deal
The Minerals Commission, has finally admitted to being in possession of every documents covering the processes leading to the award of a mining certificate to Ibrahim Mahama; younger brother to ex-President John Dramani Mahama, to prospect for bauxite at the Nyinahin Forest Reserve in the Ashanti Region.
The admission, clears the air on claims by government officials and New Patriotic Party (NPP) communicators, who have accused ex-President Mahama of dashing the country’s mineral resources to his family through Exton Cubic Group Limited, a company partly owned by businessman, Ibrahim Mahama.
The admission,was in reaction to The Herald’s recent exposés last week, revealing numerous letters and correspondents between Exton Cubic Group and the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and National Resources.
The documents, had clearly stated that the Exton Cubic, got the bauxite concession after participating in a process advertised by the Minerals Commission towards the development of “an Integrated Bauxite-Alumina Project” as far back as May 2013. The documents revealed that the processes were continued until December 2016, before Mr Mahama left office as President, having been defeated at the polls by Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP.
The Minerals Commission is fighting aspects of The Herald reports which said it has remained quiet over the matter and allowed politicians to play mischief and score political points with transaction, saying it remained quiet because the Commission, was not joined to the legal tussle over the concession between Exton Cubic Group and the government.
The Commission, in a rejoinder to this paper ostensibly to state it side of the issue, and perhaps absolve itself of any blame, also claimed it could not have played any role, because the company did not ask for the documents that were published last week by The Herald, adding the documents were already in the public domain.
“The Minerals Commission, as a statutory institution of the state, was not a party to the suit brought against the Republic by Exton Cubic Group.The Company neither requested nor served any court-sanctioned request for any documents from the Commission regarding the case it mounted against the Republic, because it had the documents, some of which the Company itself had referred to in its press statement cited above”.
The rejoinder was issued and signed by the Chief Executive of the Commission, Antwi Boasiako-Addae.
It went on to say that, the said documents, could not have been something that was being put in the public domain for the first time, because it has been a public documents and at a point Exton Cubic Group, relied on them to rebut Energy Minister, Peter Amewu’s claim in the heat of the tussle.
Mr Boasiako-Addae’s rejoinder to The Herald, said “It is instructive to state that the purportedly leaked documents which the newspaper claimed were hidden were in fact addressed to all concerned parties, including Exton Cubic Group. For instance, a casual glance at the letter published in the newspaper’s October 29-30, 2019 edition would reveal that the Company was one of the four companies that were written to by the Minerals Commission.
It is also worth recalling that the Company itself had earlier relied on the said documents in a Press Statement captioned: ‘Exton Cubic Group rejects Minister’s claim’. Reference: Ghana/myjoyonline.com on 22-08-2017”.
“In the circumstances, the Minerals Commission comes to no other conclusion than to say that the Herald newspaper articles in relation to the Minerals Commission were mischievous, deficient in truth, and designed to deliberately mislead.
Concluding, the Minerals Commission wishes to state that while its doors are wide open and welcoming to the media and the public at large, it behooves the media to be impartial and to desist from publishing stories without cross checking or without any credible basis”.
The Herald, had reported seeing leaked documents from the vaults of the Minerals Commission, showing that Exton Cubic Group Limited, indeed had obtained authorization to prospect for bauxite at the Nyinahin Forest Reserve.
The documents, followed an earlier one leaked from the same Commission, confirming that Exton Cubic Group, was rather involved in a competitive bidding process with three other companies, contrary to what the Akufo-Addo government and its communicators, had claimed since January 2017.
The documents mentioned the three other companies; BSC Company (Ghana)Limited, Coronation Trust Resources Limited and Rocksure International, all indigenous firms, as having taken part in the bid, putting Minerals Commission and its officials in a very awkward situation, looking as though they had either been gagged or deliberately hiding the truth on the Exton Cubic transaction for political mischief.
The January 13, 2014 document titled “Request for proposals for the development of the Kibi and Nyinahin Bauxite Ore deposits into an integrated aluminum industry in Ghana”, invited the four companies to tender for the next stage of the concession process, which later saw Exton Cubic winning.
Three more documents, with some dating as far back as 2013, confirmed correspondence between the company on one hand and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource and the Minerals Commission on another hand, bringing to the fore, the rigorous and transparent processes leading to the concession Exton Cubic Group had.
The transaction started under Inusah Fuseini as Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource in 2014 and continued under Nii Osah Mills, until the concession was handed over to Exton Cubic by a letter dated April 23, 2015 by an official of the Commission by name, Richard Kofi Afenu.
The first letter, was a reply to the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubyn from Exton Cubic Group dated July 29, 2014, acknowledging receipt of the Commission’s letter dated January 13, 2014.
The first paragraph read “Your letters dated 14th August, 2013 with reference MC 7/VOL 4 and January 13, 2014 with reference number MC. 7/SF.1/Vol.4 granting a Non Exclusive Permit to EXTON CUBIC GROUP LTD to conduct a six (6) months due diligence study of the Nyinahin and Kibi Bauxite Deposits and requesting Exton Cubic Group Ltd to submit Development Proposals for the Nyinahin and Kibi Bauxite deposits respectively refers”.
The company’s letter signed by its Managing Director (MD) Ahmed Amidu Suleimana, continued by boxing two issues together, saying “we submit herein attached, a package containing 10 (ten) hard and 2 (two) soft copies of the Exton Cubic Ltd’s development proposal for the Nyinahin Bauxite deposits”.
It went on to say “We also refer to your letter of May 29, 2014, reference number MC. 7/SF.1/Vol 4 granting Exton Cubic Group ltd 60 (sixty) days extension on the submission date of the Development proposal”.
Another letter from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, signed by the Chief Director, Prof. Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, dated April 1, 2015, asked the Commission to proceed to prepare a two-year prospecting licence-subject, to the fulfillment of all the requisite requirement by Exton Cubic Limited.
This was after the Ministry, had thoroughly studied the “evaluation report on proposal submitted by Exton Cubic Group for the development of the Nyinahin Bauxite Deport”. That proposal was handed over to the Minister by the Minerals Commission on February 17, 2015.
After studying the proposal, the Minister wrote, saying “The Commission is, therefore, requested to proceed to prepare the 2-year Prospecting Licence-subject to the fulfillment of all requisite requirement by Exton Cubic Limited” adding “the Commission should also incorporate the Technical Committee’s recommendation of Government’s zero policy of exporting raw bauxite in the Prospecting licence”.
Prof. Banoeng-Yakubo’s instructions to the Commission, were issued “upon a thorough study of the evaluation report on Exton Cubic Ltd in respect of the proposal submitted for the development of the Nyinahin bauxite deposit into an integrated bauxite, alumina and aluminum industry, the Hon. Minister has given his approval to the report”.
The final letter from the Minerals’ Commission was dated April 23, 2015 and signed by Acting Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Richard Kofi Afenu.
It is captioned “Re: Proposal for the development of the Nyinahin Bauxite Deposit” and addressed to Exton Cubic Ghana. The Minerals Commission in the letter, informed the company that the Minister had “approved valuation report for the grant of two-year prospecting licence to Exton Cubic Group Limited”.
“We have had subsequent discussions where you are to submit site plans and duly completed application forms for statutory publication to be carried out in the districts, where the deposit is statute. Furthermore, you are to submit work programmes for carrying out the prospecting in the area. We should be grateful if you could submit these documents as soon as possible”, the Commission’s four paragraph letter ended.