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“Offer Ghanaian mining companies the right of refusal”: Lands Minister tells Cardinal Mining Licence

Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Lawyer Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has directed the management of Cardinal Namdini Mining Licence to offer Ghanaian mining companies first “the right of refusal” as management prospects for potential contract mining companies to engage on their concession.

The Chief Executive Officer Luis Santana disclosed this when the company hosted the sector Minister and the deputy Minister in charge of Mines Mr George Mireku Duker at the “Accra resettlement site” currently under construction in the Talensi District in the Upper East region. Mr Jinapor was on a one-day working tour to the Upper East region on Wednesday 6th October.

“We’re going into a major milestone of the project, which is the tendering and awarding of the main package for processing plant facility. We’re currently putting together the technical specifications on the contract documentation so that we can open an international bidding process for the construction of the mine. The pit is going to be a contract mining – is not going to be mined by the operation. And for that there is a second tendering process that is going to happen next year,” Mr Santana intimated.

But Mr Jinapor had concerns about the international bidding, adding “there are Ghanian companies who are involved in contract mining and we’re looking up to you to look at a Ghanian company.”

“We don’t want you to compromise on capabilities, competence – that we can’t compromise on that. We don’t want to have a say as to who becomes the contractor a contract But that said, it should be competitive, be open, transparent, but it should be Ghanian as much as possible,” he stressed.

The lawmaker revealed local content is essential as the country chart a new path in its mineral exploitation thus implored the management to prioritize local content in complementing the government’s efforts to integrate the mining value chain.

“Local content is key. And by local content – we mean indigenous local content as well. So as much as possible, the recruitment should pay attention to the workforce in Upper East and the whole of Ghana.”

Legislative Instrument 2431, (Regulations Content and Local Participation) Regulations 2020 of the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 – Act 706 stipulates “IN exercise of the power conferred on the Minister responsible for Mines under section 110 of the Minerals and Mining Act; promote job creation through the use of local expertise, goods and services, businesses and financing in the mining value chain and the retention of the jobs in the country.”

The sector Minister hinted the LI will be explored to the latter to ensure the directive by the government to investors isn’t one of the talk shops like many other directives.

“Permit my undiplomatic way of putting it- but the era where the gold is mined and exported in its raw form – expatriates brought to Ghana to do all the work is long gone. We’re not permitting them again. The minerals commission is going to update its LI (Legislative Instrument) and increase the number of products and services that are supposed to be procured locally,” Mr Jinapor re-echoed.

Read also: https://zamireports.com/the-era-of-exporting-raw-mineral-resources-is-over-lands-minister-declares-as-he-engages-emmaland-resources-limited/

“But having said all of this Mr Chief Executive Officer and officials of Cardinal, be rest assured that we are backing you full swing. Your investment will be secured, your returns will be guaranteed,” he concluded.

Reacting to these directives, Mr Santana revealed foreign nationals make up only “two per cent” of the entire workforce of Cardinal Namdini Mining Licence.

“We have 215 permanent and contract staff. Ghanaian nationals make up ninety-eight per cent. Indigenous people make up sixty-three per cent of that number.”

Fact Check.

In its March 2019 Quarterly Report, Cardinal Mining Licence revealed it contracted Lycopodium Limited, a leading Australian based engineering and project management consultancy in January same year to conduct its Feasibility Study and that the “same consultants” had completed the “Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on behalf of the Company lead by Lycopodium Ltd.”

It further stated; Golder Associates a Canadian firm “continued this quarter with the geochemical assessment of the Namdini Gold Project and will provide a management support programme for any potential Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD) associated with the development of the deposit into operation and eventual closure. This report will feed into the FS study.”

The report also mentions; Whittle Consulting Pty Ltd. and MPR Geological Consultants Pty Ltd. both Australian based firms.

Environmental Protection and Climate Change.

The Namdini Mining Licence is located approximately 50km southeast of Bolgatanga. It is approximately 60km south of the Burkina Faso-Ghana border and 12 km from Cardinal’s Ndongo East Prospect. Namdini lies within the Nangodi Greenstone Belt, one of a series of the southwest – northeast-trending granite-greenstone belts that host significant gold mineralization in Ghana and Burkina Faso. Mining activities around the Namdini licence attest to the gold-bearing potential of this whole area.

“This facility once is built, it’s gonna be a 9.5 million tonnes per annum, it’s gonna be one of the biggest one of the largest running in Ghana in the country,” Mr. Santana told the press.

Image: CARDINAL RESOURCE.

A 23rd June 2021 report by Forbes listed Ghana among the worlds top 10 gold producing countries. It placed Ghana 6th on the global rank and 1st in Africa with some 138.7 tonnes of gold produced in 2019 beating South Africa. The country is also endowed with immense economic mineral resources such as diamonds, manganese, bauxite, clays, kaolin, mica, columbite-tantalite, feldspar, chrome, silica sand, quartz, salt, and iron ore.

While the country with an estimated population of 31.8 million exploits its natural resources, concerns are being raised about protecting its forest cover and water bodies dotted around its forests.

The Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Mining Licence outlined the company’s environmental protection plans as required by their license, revealing their operations will conform with the country’s protocols on the environment as contained in its United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“We’re very busy working on an environmental management plan, we have key monitoring points already established across the site. We monitor for gas and gas components, groundwater and surface water quality and we monitor any for any situation that may come up,” the Chief Executive Officer Luis Santana told the Minister.

Corporate Social Responsibility.

Cardinal Mining Licence is sinking $10million into a resettlement plan for community dwellers factoring in the source of livelihood for the residents.

Ongoing resettlement project at the Accra site. Zubaida Mabuno Ismail

“We’re looking at health, education, water and sanitation, and also capacity building for our institutions. We’ve been able to invest over 600,000 since 2018. We’re building two communities, one where we have a fence and then the beam community,” Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Kofi Adusei said.

By: Zubaida Mabuno Ismail | www.zamireports.com | Ghana.

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