In a new twist to a never ending drama on bauxite exploration in Ghana, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu has declared as invalid and of no effect, a mining lease granted Exton Cubic Ltd.
He had early on approved of the exploration and urged his colleague minister in the Ashanti Region to release equipment owned by Exton Cubic, equipment which had been seized by Simon Osei-Mensah.
After consulting with the Attorney General, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister has made a u-turn, describing the mining contract issued to Exton Cubic as invalid.
At a press conference held in Accra Monday, John Peter Amewu, cited Exton Cubic’s failure to obtain an environmental permit, operational permit for exploration.
He also raised some statutory infractions he claimed the company may have violated for government’s decision.
Raymond Acquah who was present at the news conference reported the Minister as saying the company is yet to be notified of the decision taken by the government.
Citing the mining law, the minister said he has the right under the law to terminate a mining license of a company if there has been some infractions.
Peter Amewu confirmed the seized equipment owned by Exton Cubic is yet to be released.
He added after the licenses have been revoked, the company does have every right under the law to correct all anomalies and reapply.
The company affiliated with a brother of former President John Mahama has been in the news recently after it was stopped by government from prospecting for bauxite in the Tano Offin Forest Reserve.
The company whose license was granted on December 29, 2016 insists it followed due process in the acquisition of the mining license.
Even after the Minerals Commission and the EPA both issued statements about several breaches of the mining laws, the company was vehement in defence, stating they followed due process at every turn of the way.
It is not clear yet what the company will do in the light of the position taken by the Natural Resources Minister.