Bright Simons
Bright Simons

Graphic Online TV: Bright Simons calls for review of lithium agreement

The Vice-President in charge of Research at IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, a civil society organisation (CSO), Bright Simons, has called for a review of the agreement between Ghana and Barari DV Limited on lithium mining to properly integrate value addition in the deal.


That, he said, was significant to enable the country to harness the full benefits of the mining lease granted to Barari DV Ltd, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium, for the exploitation of lithium at the Ewoyaa concessions in the Central Region.

He said IMANI Centre was concerned about the agreement in its current state because it only made provision for value addition to the lithium mining on a scoping study.

“The scoping studies means that we are just going to find out whether it might be possible for the value addition to be done or not, while we could have executed feasibility studies to assess the practicality for the project before the contract is drafted,” Mr Simons said in an interview on a social media programme dubbed "Your Ghana, My Ghana", which is aired on Graphic Online TV.

The show, hosted by Ruby Ofori, offered viewers a unique and insightful perspective on the new lithium agreement from the perspective of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education.


Last year, the government granted a mining lease to Barari DV Ltd, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium, for the exploitation of lithium at the Ewoyaa concessions in the Central Region.

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MoLNR) and the Minerals Commission have all given assurances that the deal, which had some of the best terms for the country, would be strictly enforced.

For this reason, the Sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the government had infused in the agreement a clause that would ensure the retention of a significant part of the mining value chain locally.

The minister further insisted that the lithium mining lease included provisions for the establishment of a refinery and the provision of lithium by-products to local industries and, therefore, described the decision to process lithium locally as being in the best interest of the state.

While the government has hailed the terms of the agreement as historic, some civil society actors and individuals have raised concerns.


Mr Simons said his outfit was optimistic that value addition would not only help boost the industry but also provide job opportunities in the value chain to improve the economy.

“We believe that value addition is critical and it is important for people to recognise that we have a very long history of mineral exploitation in the country of gold, manganese and bauxite, among others, but we have not been able to add significant quantum of value to these minerals.

“If you recall, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently spoke about a gold refinery that has not been operationalised,” he added.

The astute social innovator claimed that every time an arrangement was made, there were no value addition components to the contract.

“We rather wait for the system to be established and we try as an afterthought to implement a value addition strategy, but our argument is that that has been the bane of our developmental challenges,” Mr Simons said.

He further said that the country should have a clear game plan on value addition and not wait until an agreement has been signed.

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