GHANA’S government has approved its first lithium mine run by a subsidiary of Australia-based Atlantic Lithium, said Reuters citing a statement by the West African country on Thursday. The mine is part of Ghana’s drive to benefit from a global move towards electric vehicles, the newswire added.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources granted Barari DV Ghana Limited a 15-year lease on the mine at Ewoyaa, on Ghana’s southern coast, where the company began exploring for lithium six years ago.
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.
Half of the lithium from Ewoyaa is earmarked for a refinery of North Carolina-based Piedmont Lithium Ltd., which is the Australian firm’s second-largest shareholder and has agreed to provide most of the funds for building the mine, said Bloomberg News.
Atlantic Lithium aims to produce an annual average of 300,000 tons of spodumene concentrate over 12 years from the site. That would make it the world’s 10th-biggest project, said Bloomberg citing the company.
The fiscal regime agreed between Africa’s biggest gold producer and Atlantic Lithium entails a 10% royalty rate and 13% free carried interest by the state, compared with the existing 5% and 10% respectively for other minerals. The company shall also pay 1% of its revenue into a community development fund.
Ghana’s sovereign wealth fund, the Minerals Income Investment Fund will invest to acquire 6% interest in the company’s Ghana portfolio and a 3.06% stake in Atlantic Lithium itself, Jinapor said. The company would also be required to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange, he said.
The race for lithium has lured mining heavyweights, automakers and even oil majors as the world transitions to electric vehicles from fossil fuels. A projected shortfall from 2025 is driving the search for new supplies, said Bloomberg News.
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