Officials of Exton Cubic Company Ltd have indicated they may go to court to challenge the government’s cancellation of three mining leases.
In a statement signed by its Managing Director Augustus Amegashie and addressed to the Lands and Natural Resources minister John Peter Amewu, the company described the cancellation as a “gross abuse of executive power.”
It vowed to do everything possible within the law to protect its legal interests in rich bauxite deposits in Kyekyewere, Mpasaso and Kyirayaso in the Ashanti region.
After obtaining three mining leases in the last days of the NDC government, the company owned by Ibrahim Mahama, brother of then President Mahama has had the leases revoked under the NPP government.
The Lands and Natural Resources minister John Peter Amewu cited Section 87 of Act 703 of the Minerals and Mining Act as justification for the cancellation. The law states;
87. The Minister may revoke a licence granted under section 82 (1) where (a)the minister is satisfied that the licensee has contravened or failed to comply with a term or condition of the licence or a requirement applicable to the licensee,
(b) the licensee is convicted of any offence relating to the smuggling or illegal sale or dealing in minerals, or
(c)the Minister is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so. The ministry added the company does not have nine documents, reports and permits as required by Environmental Assessment Regulations,199 of LI 1652 and the Minerals and Mining regulations 2012 of LI 2182 to obtain a lease.
But rejecting this justification, the company has also cited Section 69(2) of the Minerals and Mining Act , 2006 which states (2) The Minister shall before suspending or cancelling a mining lease give notice to the holder and shall in the notice, require the holder to remedy the breach within a reasonable period, being not less than one hundred and twenty days”,
“..and where the breach cannot be remedied, to show cause to the reasonable satisfaction of the Minister why the mining lease or restricted mining lease should not be suspended or cancelled”.
In the statement, Exton Cubic Group Ltd maintained it has complied with all legal requirements to push forward its vision of setting up a prosperous bauxite industry in the Ashanti region.
The wholly-owned Ghanaian company said the revocation undermines the President’s ‘I believe in Ghana’ mantra and commitment to grow indigenous businesses.