Where Is Kweku Baako? Captain Smart Sp!ts F!re On Senior Journalists Over New Agyapa ‘scǻm’ Deal

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  1. Kofi Asamoah, Sr- We Need a National Debt on Our Natural Resources:
    When will Africans and Ghanaians in particular wise up? Instead of renegotiating or legislating to get better Carry interests in our natural resources, our so-called leaders are thinking of mortgaging our meagre royalties. Besides, we have given away our lithium deposits , while Mexico has declared their lithium deposit as “Strategic national asset” and have “Nationalized” the lithium deposits.

    Ghana has discovered lithium deposits in the Central, Volta, and Western regions, dubbed the Ewoyaa Lithium Project / Cape Coast Lithium. My checks reveal that in one document from Atlantic Lithium Ltd, Ghana has “No Carry Interest or Ownership” in this strategic asset, besides a meagre 5% royalties, and a Joint Venture partner. In another document from the same company, Ghana has 10% carry interest and 5% royalty. it’s mindboggling that over the years Ghana governments have relinquished control of our God- given natural resources to foreign entities, for a paltry 3 to 5% royalties and 10% carry interest. Even the 10% carry interest is not a guaranteed percentage of the mining companies’ production or profits. It is if, and when the board of directors of the mining companies decide to declare dividends that the government receives something.
    When in opposition, the current President Nana Akufo Addo quipped that “Yete sika so nso ekomde yen.” To wit, “we are sitting on riches but we are hungry.” In 2018, the Vice President Dr Bawumia too lamented that Ghana’s 10% carry interest in the mining companies is, quote, “Useless,” because, for many years most of the mining companies have been declaring losses, thereby depriving the nation of its (paltry) 10% of their profits.
    One would think that the government of these two gentlemen, would do something to change the scenario above. I haven’t seen or heard anything about what they have done about it. Correct me if I’m wrong.
    It appears, the previous government and especially, the Minerals Commission know about this empty deal. Information gleaned from Atlantic Lithium Ltd’s literature indicates that the “company acquired its tenement in 2016.” Atlantic Lithium: West Africa’s first lithium production on the horizon: Mining Review Africa, February 2, 2022.
     Mexico has declared its Lithium deposits as a “National Strategic Asset” and has decided “Not to Allow Private Investment” in its exploitation. Quote: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City on Wednesday. “Unlike silver and gold, lithium is a strategic mineral like oil that belongs to the nation, lithium is too strategic for private investors…” Bloomberg News: February 2, 2022: Battery, Metals Intelligence-Latin America Lithium
     Why is Ghana’s Lithium not considered a National Strategic Asset and controlled by the nation, as Mexico has done?
     Granted that Ghana government does not have the funding to exploit the resources, why can’t the government find Ghanaians at home and abroad to form a consortium to exploit the resources?
     Atlantic Lithium claims that the project is fully funded with US$103 million.
     Is it not sad that Ghana couldn’t raise one half of the US$70million capital cost to have a meaningful stake in this project?
     We have over the years given away our natural resources to foreign entities, who extract and take them away, while we lament that “Ye te sika so nso ekomde yen.”
     Why can’t we change the way we do things in this country? Why do we always want foreigners to come and control our God -given natural resources, and we turn around to go cup- in- hand to beg for loans and grants?
     When are we going to control and exploit our own resources?
     Lithium has become one of the sort-after minerals, because of the growing Electric Vehicle market. Lithium is one of the most expensive minerals, used to make batteries, which is in high demand.
     Bolivian government cancelled a 3% royalties lithium deal with a German company, and demand 11% royalties. They have a 51% ownership and 49% to a Chinese company to mine their lithium. Reuters, February 6, 2019: Bolivia Picks Chinese Partner for $2.3B Lithium Project: “ China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd will hold a 49% stake in a joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YBL,” the Bolivian firm said.
    I want the government to answer these and the above questions for all Ghanaians to know the truth.
    Ghana’s Lithium Deposits.
    1. Who owns the deposits?
    2. What’s Ghana’s Carry Interest/ Equity? Why do our governments accept 10% carry interest in our OWN natural resources?
    3. According to Atlantic Lithium Ltd, formerly IronRidge Resources Ltd, the company that we have given control of our lithium deposits, the ROYALTIES to Ghana government is a meagre 5%, and 1.5% to Local JV Partners.
    4. Who are those Local JV Partners?
    5. What is Ghana’s CARRY INTEREST in our lithium deposits? Ghana’s shareholding/ ownership.
    6. Atlantic Lithium Ltd’s literature indicates that its US$70 million capital cost has” industry-leading Payback Period of <1”
    7. According to Atlantic Lithium, the Life of mines (LOM) is between 11.4 years and 15 years. However, our government has given this company 10 years tax break. Why? How do you give a company whose Payback period is less than 1 year, 10 years tax holiday?
    8. How is Ghana going to benefit from the lithium deposits?
    9. Ghanaians need answers to these questions now before it’s too late.
    Sources: http//:www.atlanticlithium.com.au:

    Bloomberg News: February 2, 2022: Battery Metals Intelligence; Latin America
    Reuters: February 6, 2019: battery Metals: China, Latin America: Rare Earth
    Mining Review Africa: Atlantic Lithium: West Africa’s first lithium production on the horizon

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