One of the main investors in the Ghana Bauxite Company Limited (GBCL) has pulled out of the mining operations at Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western North Region.
According to the state-owned newspaper, the Daily Graphic, the Chinese investor, Bosai Mineral Group China, has officially written to the Akufo Addo government that it wants to sell off 80 per cent of its stake in the company.
According to the report, the Chinese firm made its decision to exit Ghana as a result of the non-renewal of its mining lease with the GBCL which is expected to expire in January 2022.
The exit of the main investor at GBCL will directly affect some 700 jobs if no other investor takes up the vacant stakes and absorbs those workers.
The pull out of the Chinese bauxite investor adds to the tally of major mining and energy companies pulling out of Ghana, as critics opine that Ghana is increasingly becoming a death trap for multinational companies, hence the exodus.
Just this year alone, two energy giants, American Exxon Mobil and Norwegian Aker Energy pulled out of their exploration projects in Ghana’s rich offshore crude oil reserves.
Exxon and Aker’s exits have been marked with controversy, including reports that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is desperately sticking his hands into their pies.
Meanwhile, the exit of Bosai Group from GBCL means that GBCL will have to hunt again for a strategic investor and in the meantime, the community in the immediate vicinity of the mine would have to contend with a potential drop in commerce from the mines.
For instance, the community of Awasa are faced with the reality that the GBCL mine nearby will reach its lifespan in the next six months with the management of the company required to develop a nearby site, something that will take at least one year.
Workers of the company are therefore pleading with the Akufo Addo government to swiftly find a new strategic investor of the mine, while others are clamouring for their severance packages.
Before GBCl was taken over by Bosai Group, it was posting annual losses of around US$11 million. The Chinese investment consequently turned around the fortunes of the company as it increased its output from some 600,000 tonnes to around 1.4 million tonnes annually.