By Godwill Arthur- Mensah,GNA
Nsuta (WR), July 20, GNA-The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu, has expressed displeasure over the Ghana Manganese Company (GMC)’s non-involvement of the Government in pricing manganese ore being sold to a firm in China for processing.
He said the GMC engaged in an affiliate transaction with a sister firm without the consent of government and believed the nation was being short-changed in terms of payment of taxes and royalties.
He, therefore, directed the management of GMC to furnish the Minerals Commission with details about the prices the ore was being sold since government had 10 percent stake in the firm.
Mr Amewu gave the directive when he led a delegation from the Ministry, Minerals Commission and Minerals Development Fund to Nsuta in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality of the Western Region, to familiarise himself about the operations of the GMC on Friday.
He urged the Company to establish a mining refinery in Ghana to process manganese ore locally to add value to the raw material.
The Minister was unhappy with the performance of the firm regarding compliance with the local content laws and Contract Agreement it signed with the government.
He warned that the government might not renew the firm’s mining lease licence if it continued flouting the Contract Agreement.
Mr Benjamin Ato Quarshie, the Chief Operations Officer for GMC, assured the government of complying with the directives and do the right thing as spelt out in Contract Agreement.
He also pledged to support the government to rehabilitate Tarkwa-Agona-Nkwanta road, which had deteriorated due to hauling of manganese to the Takoradi Port.
Mr Gilbert Ken Asmah, the Municipal Chief Executive for Tarkwa-Nsuaem, appealed to the GMC to rehabilitate the road from the Company’s site to Tarkwa Junction.
He also asked the firm its promise to employ indigenes in its operations since some disgruntled local folks were planning to demonstrate against the Company.
GMC owned 90 percent while government of Ghana has 10 percent share in the firm.
It produced about two million tonnes of manganese every year and intends to produce 4.8 million tonnes this year.
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