It has come to the attention of the Minerals Commission (the “Commission”) that FGR Bogoso Prestea Ltd the operators of the Prestea-Bogoso Mine made a verbal presentation to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (the “Ministry”) to put the Mine under Care and Maintenance. The Prestea-Bogoso Mine is currently under the control of FGR Bogoso Prestea Ltd (FGR) and its principal shareholder Blue International Holdings Limited which is based in the United Kingdom. The Mine was previously operated by Golden Star Resources Limited until the asset was transferred to FGR.For the avoidance of doubt, neither the Ministry nor the Commission has received a formal application or request from FGR to put the Mine under Care and Maintenance. An application to suspend production is clearly set out in section 51 of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) which requires the holder of the Mining Lease to serve a notice to that effect on the Minister. As indicated earlier, no such request or application has been submitted to the Minister. In the event that such an application is received, it shall be considered in accordance with applicable Regulations and the current state of the mine and a decision taken in the best interest of the Country.
The attention of the Minerals Commission has been drawn to publications on social media that some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country have vehemently kicked against the attempt by a mining firm to mine in the Kakum National Park in the Central Region.
According to the CSOs, the move follows an application by the High Street
Limited to the Minerals Commission for a license to mine in the Kakum National Park.
The Commission wishes to inform the CSOs and the public that the application by High Street Limited was rejected and therefore cannot be processed or considered whatsoever.
Consequently, the Commission has deleted the application from the online mining cadastre.
The Commission wishes to assure the public that no mineral right whether for prospecting or mining shall be considered or granted in the Kakum National Park.
Major Boost for Local Banks and Ghanaian-Owned Insurance Companies.
The Minerals Commission has commenced the implementation of the fifth edition of the new procurement list which now has 50 items for the provision of goods and services.
This replaces the fourth edition of the procurement list which was published by the Commission in early 2022.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission Mr. Martin Kwaku Ayisi, the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020(L.I. 2431) came into force on 22 December 2020. The purpose of the Regulations among others is to promote job creation using local expertise, goods and services in the mining industry and their retention in the country. The law is also to achieve the minimum in-country spend for goods and services and create mining and mineral related industries that will sustain economic development.
Pursuant to Regulation 7 of L.I. 2431, the Commission is required to publish a local procurement list which stipulates the goods and services with Ghanaian content which are to be procured in the country. Regulation 7(3) of L.I. 2431 further states that the Commission shall review the procurement list annually.
For instance, all mining companies are expected to ensure that at least sixty percent (60%) of financial services including revenue from the sale of minerals go to the local Banks. He indicated that the receipts from the sale of minerals is over US$ five (5) billion dollars a figure which is likely to go up significantly as new mines come on stream and the existing ones are expand their operations, the local banks such as CBG, National Investment Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank and Agricultural Development Bank are likely to benefit greatly. The same applies to insurance services which also require a minimum of 60% of all insurance and reinsurance placements be made with Insurance companies exclusively owned by Ghanaians.
Mr. Ayisi, in a statement said the increase in the items on the list comes at the time when receipts from mineral revenues and investments hovers around US$ 10 Billion. For instance, there are four huge new projects with investment of about US$ 1.7 billion. The new projects are the US$ 850 million Ahafo North gold mine project by Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, US$ 500 million gold project currently under construction by Cardinal Namdini Mining limited in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, the US$ 200 million gold mine to be constructed in the Upper West Region and the US$ 125 million lithium project at Ewoyaa in the Central Region.
Additionally, Mr. Ayisi stated that some mines are undertaking expansion and redevelopment. The undergoing expansion include the Ahafo South mine of Newmont which now covers the Subika underground. Golden Star Resources is spending about a billion dollars to expand the Wassa underground mine.
The mines being redevelop are the Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine where a billion dollars has been expended and the the Bibiani mine of Mensin Gold Ghana Limited which started production in the last quarter of 2022. The redevelopment of the Bibiani mine is over US$200 million dollars
It is the expectation of the Minerals Commission that these investments will support the growth of the economy and boost local participation under the new procurement list.