Ghana’s cabinet has approved a new policy for the exploitation, management and regulation of lithium and other green minerals in the country.
Often referred to as “minerals of the future” green minerals are metals and other mineral resources that are needed to support the transition to clean energy aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
A wide range of minerals that fall under the umbrella of green minerals include bauxite, cobalt, copper, lithium, granite manganese and nickel.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor told the Daily Graphic last Thursday that Cabinet policy would lead to legislative interventions by Parliament, including an amendment of the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006(Act 703), with relevant processes already begun.
For instance, he said, while Act 703 set the rate for mineral royalties at between three to five percent, the new policy would see a different royalty regime for green minerals.
“I wrote to the chief executive officer of the Minerals Commission last week and asked him to present me a strategy document within a week for the implementation of the tenets of this policy. We want to get on with this as quickly as possible,” Jinapor said.
“For some reasons, I will not give the rate for the green mineral royalties yet but suffice to say that it is going to be higher than what we have now relating to gold. The point is that we have a different royalty regime for green minerals as opposed to gold and others,” he said.
The Minister also said the new policy would would insist on a higher level of local participation in the green minerals value chain as opposed to the 10 percent vested interest the state had currently in mining entities.
“We will insist on a certain minimum Ghanaian participation that will obviously be more and better than the 10 percent. Iam reluctant to put specific figures out now on this. There is a Cabinet decision on a baseline, and we will not go below that in any negotiation for our lithium and other green minerals, “he said.
Jinapor added that the overarching goal of the new policy was anchored on the principle that the exploitation of the green minerals must benefit Ghanaians who were the true owners of the resource.
He said in view of that principle, building blocks for the green minerals exploitation would be different from what existed with gold in particular.
Exploration for lithium is currently ongoing in Ghana.
Globally, it is estimated that the lithium industry alone is valued at US$ 11 billion at the mining stage, with the value of the industry at the highest end estimated at US$ 7 trillion.