The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has made a strong case for investors to consider Ghana as their number one investment destination in the mining industry.
He said Ghana was ready to engage investors both in the traditional minerals and the green minerals, referred to as the minerals of the future, as the government was committed to translating the volumes of minerals mined into wealth to benefit all stakeholders equitably, including the larger populace, as optimally as possible.
Mr Jinapor made the call when he addressed investors at the African Down Under Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia.
The conference, which was instituted in 2003, is the largest African-focused mining event held outside the continent, with emphasis on Australian-African business and government relations in the mining industry.
It was first launched to raise awareness of Australia's interests in African mining and energy sectors, but has evolved to become the largest African-focused mining event.
Now it serves as a platform for countries to also showcase their investment potential to the world.
This year’s event attracted over 100 businesses, including representation from Ghana.
Mr Jinapor, who was the keynote speaker at the fifth plenary session of the conference, took the opportunity to market Ghana to the investor community.
He said the government was ready to partner investors for the exploitation of the Ghana’s green minerals to support the global energy transition.
Consequently, he said, it was implementing mining-friendly policies to sustain achievements, while ensuring environmental sustainability and protecting the interest of citizens and investors alike.
Justifying why investors had to consider Ghana, Mr Jinapor said the laws of the country were investor-friendly, with a fiscal regime that supported investment, while optimising the government’s share of revenue for the development of the country.
Also, Ghana had a stable democracy, spanning over 30 years, had held peaceful elections and successful change of government from one political party to another and respect for the rule of law.
“The strategic location of Ghana allows investors to use Ghana as a base for their operations in the West African region; and Accra, our capital city, as the host of the new and revolutionary African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will open the doors to investors to tap into the over 1.2 billion African market,” the Lands and Natural Resources Minister said.
At a panel discussion on the role of the environment, social and governance (ESG) regime for a ‘just energy transition’, Mr Jinapor emphasised that the government was committed to exploiting its green minerals in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.
“The government is committed to promoting and developing our green minerals, generating value-added benefits along the full value chain, creating linkages with the other sectors of the economy and contributing to halting climate change and its devastating consequences on the lives and livelihoods of our people,” he said.
Cassius Mining impasse
In another development, Mr Jinapor has indicated the government’s intention to seek an amicable resolution of an impasse with an Australian company, Cassius Mining, which was threatening legal action against the government in a case involving Shaanxi Mining.
Cassius Mining Limited is reportedly seeking a $395-million compensation in a London court, claiming that Ghana looked on unconcerned while Shaanxi Mining illegally trespassed on its concession in the Upper East Region, where both had mining concessions opposite each other.
The minister said Shaanxi had denied all the allegations levelled against it by Cassius, and so he had instructed the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to undertake full-scale investigation into the said allegations.
On the other hand, he maintained that there were certain regulatory breaches on the part of Cassius Mining, of which the Minerals Commission had notified the company.
He revealed that the matter was already pending before the Ghana Arbitration Centre.
While in Perth, Mr Jinapor took advantage to meet with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cassius, James Arkoudis, over the issue.
After the meeting, described as ‘cordial and productive’, the two parties issued a join statement, signed by the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin K. Ayisi, and Mr Arkoudis.
“At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to further engage on all matters in controversy, with the aim of finding an amicable solution,” the statement said.
The Lands Minister was expected to also engage officials of Shaanxi and other related parties in the coming days on the matter, it said.
“The meeting and its outcome, including this statement, are without prejudice to the respective rights of either party or any intended pending litigation,” it added.