Ghana has granted a lithium mining license to Sydney-based Atlantic Lithium Limited, as the West African nation positions itself to tap into the multibillion-dollar global industry.
The 15-year lease to Barari DV Ghana Ltd., a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium, enables it to start constructing a lithium mine at a 42.6-kilometre site at Ewoyaa in the country’s Central Region, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said in a statement on its website.
It comes after almost six years of exploration that has discovered high-grade lithium in commercial quantities in Ewoyaa.
Geological investigations, also show deposits in various parts of the country, from the south to the north, predominantly around Cape Coast, Kumasi and Sunyani.
As part of the deal, Ghana has increased the royalty rate to 10 per cent, from the standard 5 per cent and the state's interest in the project to 13 per cent from 10 per cent, the ministry said in a statement.
In addition to the state's stake, the government, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), will acquire additional 6 per cent in the mining operation, as well as a 3.06 per cent in Atlantic Lithium, which is listed on the Australian and London Stocks Exchange.
The company will also work on developing a lithium processing plant to maximise the economic benefit of a mineral it has often shipped to China for processing, the ministry added.
The prospect is highly valued by Ghana as it seeks to play a role in producing a key ingredient in electric vehicle batteries, demand for which is soaring as countries look to phase out fossil-fuel cars.
Lithium is one of the main minerals used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, which is being promoted as a substitute for fossil fuels, as the world continues to battle with climate change.
Ghana’s proven 180,000 tonnes of lithium reserves rank the country fourth place on the African continent behind DR Congo (3,000,000 tonnes), Mali (840,000 tonnes) and Zimbabwe (690,000 tonnes).
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