Chinese Company Sinohydro Group Limited has begun creating access route into the Atewa Forest reserve to undertake due diligence assessment into prospects of bauxite deposits in the Forest.
The move is to inform their plans to carry out full scale mining in the forest despite growing concerns and agitations by residents at the area.
Ghana has signed a Controversial MOU with Sinohydro Group Limited, to “provide US$2 billion of infrastructure including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite to be mined in the Atewa and Nyinahin Forest Reserves”.
The deal has been kicked against by Environmental Groups, the Minority in Parliament and some Financial analysts who have described the deal as bad .
Starr News Sources say the investors were expected to visit the forest on Thursday but the contractor clearing the vegetation to create path into the forest reserve could not complete the work on time.
Meanwhile, the Minority wants the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to decide whether the $2 billion Chinese deal agreed by the government in exchange for bauxite will add to the country’s debt burden
Under the deal, approved by Ghanaian lawmakers last month, China’s Sinohydro Corp Ltd [SINOH.UL] will provide $2 billion for government road projects in exchange for refined bauxite exports.
But minority leader in parliament Haruna Iddrisu told Reuters his side considers the deal to be a loan with implications for an already over-burdened taxpayer, and had written to seek the IMF’s verdict.
He said the decision to write to the IMF stemmed from past statements by the government that debt servicing costs were among the factors constraining Ghana’s development program.
“It is our strong belief that this Sinohydro deal is a loan which is coming to add to the debt stock and we are concerned about the burden of additional borrowing cost on the over-burdened taxpayer,” Iddrisu said.