Heart stopping revelations around Ghana’s lithium find, first in the Volta Region and later at Cape-Coast and Saltpond, reveals that Ghana has almost freely gifted all the newly-found mineral resources worth some US$150billion to an Australian company.
This revelation is coming following the startling announcement in July by Australian company, IronRidge Resources, that it has entered an agreement with an American company, Piedmont Lithium, to accelerate the development of Ghana’s lithium resource find.
According to energy expert, Kwei Kumah has bitterly lamented that the country has sold itself short, because after awarding out the exploitation rights, the country is only asking to be paid 5% royalty and 10% carried interest over the resources worth US$ 150 billion.
This means Ghana will only get sme US$ 15 billion from the high-demand lithium in the new electric car and green industry, while the Australian company gets to take home over US$ 135 billion.
“how can the thing belong to us 100% and then we go back and say you should give us 10%. Then they are asking that if we want more we have to pay for it just like in the Jubilee oil fields,” Kumah lamented.
But this is not all, the foreign company has also been offered a 10 year tax holiday to develop the resource, meaning in the next decade they will not pay a pesewa in tax to the government as they mine to their hearts content Ghana’s lithium.
Additionally, IronRidge is to enjoy status as a free zones company, meaning they will not pay taxes on equipment imports. They have also been granted 30 years rights to exploit the resource subject to renewal. In all, IronRidge gets to exploit the lithium find potentially for 60 years.
“so I am telling the country that FixTheCountry, these are what we need, (our natural resources in our hands). But our leaders are gifting out the resources,” Mr. Kwei Kumah lamented
He said the way the government has been justifying the deal is that it claims that the mineral resources remain the property of Ghanaians so long as they remain in the soil, but as soon as an investor is able to get to the minerals, then they cease to belong to Ghanaians.
Ghana first discovered lithium in January 2017, first in the Volta Region and later at Saltpond and Cape Coast in the Volta Region.
In July 2021, IromRidge Resources suddenly announced it had forged partnership with American company, Piedmont Lithium to develop the resource.
It said the development was expected to make Ghana the first West African country to be a lithium producer. Lithium is the most important ingredient in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.
It added that the nature of the agreement between it and Piedmont lithium was a conditional binding one entailing the two companies fully funding the Ewoyaa Lithium Project to production according to reports.
IronRidge calls its project Ewoyaa lithium project or Cape Coast lithium project. Ewoyaa is believed to potentially hold world-class lithium grades and drill intersections.
The problem with IronRidge’s announcement was that no details of what Ghana’s end of the whole agreement was, was known to the public.
And now, according to revelation, the 1hole find is worth some US$150billion and it has been awarded to IronRidge for exploitation for next to nothing.