Ghana

Parliament Ratifies Mining Leases For Companies

Members of Parliament (MPs) have backed mining lease agreements between the government and 14 mining entities under the Asaase Royalties Limited special purpose vehicle associated with the Royalty Monetization provision of the Minerals Income Fund Act of 2018 (Act 978).

The leases are AGA Miradani granted to Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, Lima South granted to Abosso Goldfields Limited, Abirem granted to Asanko Gold (Gh) Limited, Julie granted to Phoenix Resources Limited, Kunche/Bepkong granted to Azumah Resources (Ghana) Limited, Datoko granted to Cardinal Namini Mining Limited and Mampon granted to Golden Star (Bogoso) Limited.

The rest are Akanko granted to Adamus Resources Limited, Opon granted to Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Limited, Akoti granted to Chirano Gold Mines Limited, Ajopa granted to AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited, Ajopa South granted to Ghanaian Australia Goldfields Limited, Adubea granted to Asanko Gold (Gh) Limited and Abore granted to Asanko Gold (Gh).

This has prolonged the leases of some of the companies by 15 years, in return for an opportunity to monetize the minerals income accruing to the country in a beneficial, responsible, transparent, accountable and sustainable manner.

Background

As part of the effort to raise more non-debt revenue to finance the development needs of the country, a proposal for the establishment of a fund to manage the equity interests of the country in mining companies for the purposes of maximizing the value of such incomes was submitted through a bill to Parliament for consideration.

Parliament subsequently established the fund under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978), which the President assented to on December 3, 2018.

The object of the fund is to maximize the value of the income due the Republic from mineral wealth of the country for the benefit of its citizens.

This is besides monetization of the minerals income accruing to Ghana and developing and implementing measures to reduce the budgetary exposure of the country to the minerals income fluctuations.

The Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, said in a report that in the pursuit of its objective, the fund had commenced the monetization of certain gold royalty payments within the framework of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978).

According to him, the fund has incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called “Asaase Royalties Limited” to receive a portion of the gold royalty payments from specific gold mines in Ghana.

“Asaase Royalties Limited is planning an Initial Public Offer (IPO) of shares in Ghana and the United Kingdom, and will be listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange,” he disclosed.

He indicated that through the transaction, Ghana has the opportunity to obtain the IPO proceeds from international and domestic investors in exchange for an entitlement to participate in Ghana’s future mineral royalty payments associated with the Asaase Leases.

Observations

He said the committee was informed that the government intended to raise the non-debt capital of approximately US$500 million through initial public offer (IPO) of shares between June and July of this year (2020) after missing the original January 2020 as well as that of the May 2020 IPO dates.

“The proceeds from the IPO are intended to fund infrastructural and new developmental needs of the country. The ratification of the leases is thus critical in raising investors’ confidence in the transaction and the overall success of the IPO and listing of Asaase Royalties Limited,” he said.

Safety and Environmental Issues

It was noted that adequate provisions had been made in all the leases to safeguard the health and safety of the workers and the people living in the affected mining areas as well as the protection of the environment as required by relevant laws, including Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical) Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2182) and Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652).

“The committee was also informed that all the companies have posted their reclamation bond pursuant to Regulation 23 of the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652) and have also acquired all the relevant permits required for mining operations in the country,” he added.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House

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