The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation has said workers of the Ghana Bauxite Company are its priority after the decision of its strategic investor to pull out.
Its CEO, Michael Ansah, said the government via the Ministry of Finance, the Minerals Commission, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, among others, will be deliberating on the future of the company.
“The most important thing is the workers at Ghana Bauxite Company. We are focused on how we can put together a transition plan,” Mr. Ansah said on Eyewitness News.
“The key thing that the government is focused on is ensuring that the issues around the workers and everything is addressed, and we can build a consistent business going forward, and the transition process is smooth and seamless,” he explained.
The withdrawal of the investor, Bosai Minerals Group from China, which has an 80 percent stake in the company, is after the non-renewal of the mining lease of the Ghana Bauxite Company which will expire on January 9, 2022.
It had started the renewal process in January 2020, but the company had failed to meet some standards.
“The Minerals Commission recognised some issues, infractions, and areas that needed addressing. Things like ex-pat quota is an important part of the Ghanaian local content law and that requires mining companies after three years to reduce their ex-pat quota of management to 5 percent,” Mr. Ansah explained.
The Ghana Bauxite Company has been operating at Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western North Region since 2009.
This exit has caused some agitation among the 700 workers of the GBC, who are worried about their job security and the future of the only operational bauxite mine in the country.
Many people in Awaso and surrounding communities also depend on the mine and will be affected negatively by this development.
Another issue of concern is the existing site where the company mines bauxite, which will reach its lifespan in six months’ time.
This means the Ghana Bauxite Company has to develop a new nearby site for mining and will require heavy capital.