Parliament Approves New Mining Lease for Ghana Bauxite Company in Awaso

by Louisa Afful
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Parliament has unanimously approved the mining lease granted to Ghana Bauxite Company to mine bauxite at Awaso in the Western North Region. This follows the report presented by the joint Parliamentary Committee of Mines and Energy and Lands and Forestry on June 26.

The Awaso bauxite mine is crucial to the government’s plan to build an integrated aluminium industry in Ghana. The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) has identified this mine as a key part of its strategy to expand mining and build a refinery for bauxite.
Ghana Bauxite Company, the only bauxite producer in Ghana, has a long history, having operated for over eighty years. Initially owned by the British Aluminium Company Ltd, the government acquired a 55% stake in 1972. However, the company faced challenges, and production dropped significantly by 1982.

In 1997, the government sold 80% of its stake to Alcan, a Canadian company, with the remaining 20% retained. Rio Tinto later acquired Alcan’s stake before selling it to Bosai Minerals Group in 2010. In 2022, Ofori-Poku Company Limited (OPCL), a Ghanaian company, acquired the 80% stake, making it fully Ghanaian-owned for the first time.
Following the expiration of its mining lease, a new lease was granted on May 3, 2024, covering several areas in Awaso. The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, laid the lease before Parliament for ratification, which was referred to the Joint Committee of Mines and Energy and Lands and Forestry.

Presenting the committee’s report, Chairman Samuel Atta Akyea stated that the lease complies with the Constitution and relevant laws. He highlighted the lease’s benefits for government and local socio-economic development, confirming the company’s financial and technical capacity to meet its obligations.

Parliament members praised the Minister for ensuring the lease’s ratification, noting that previous governments had violated this constitutional requirement. They also commended the government for securing a Ghanaian investor and incorporating plans to build a refinery, adding value to the mined minerals.

Minister Jinapor thanked Parliament for their support, reaffirming the government’s commitment to involving Ghanaians in the mining industry. The ratified lease grants the company full rights to operate the mine, securing jobs and contributing to the community’s and country’s socio-economic development.

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