According to the company, it had secured only a prospecting license which gave the mining company access to 139.23 square km of the lithium-rich site awaiting a comprehensive environmental impact assessment before a commercial production license is issued by appropriate institutions.
Additionally, its operations were strictly monitored by various state agencies to ensure legal compliance and social impact mitigation measures were yielded.
Mr Kofi Antwi Boasiako, the Social Performance Manager, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency after a four-day community engagement in its operational areas on Friday.
“Contrary to reports that some licenses have been issued for mining lithium, the government has not given out any exploitation licenses yet.
“No person, or company has any permit or license to mine or exploit lithium. The licenses that were granted were for exploration, which is different from exploitation.
“It was through the exploration activities that lithium was discovered in commercial quantities at Ewoyaa, the epicenter of our activities,” he stressed.
It is projected that Ghana will generate about $4.8 billion over the life of the mine (LOM) based on a five percent carried interest in the Project.
Globally, it is estimated that the lithium industry alone is valued at $11 billion at the mining stage, with the value of the industry at the highest end estimated at $7 trillion.
He said Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including Heat-Resistant Glass and Ceramics, Lithium Grease Lubricants, Flux Additives for Iron, Steel and Aluminum Production, Lithium Metal Batteries, and Lithium-ion Batteries, among others.
The community engagements were arranged by the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, led by Mr. Ike Lord Ennu, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).
Others were officials from the Atlantic Lithium Company, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) Social Welfare, and Municipal Environmental Officers.
Together, they visited communities including Anokyi, Abonko, and Oboadzi near Mankessim.
Others are Ewoyaa where the project is located, Abonko, Ansaadze, Ekurabadze, Anomasa, Tayedo, Ndansiman, Pomadze, Krofu, and Krampakrom.
The purpose of the meeting was to sensitize stakeholders on the company’s operations and, most importantly, the benefits that will accrue to the people of the beneficiary communities and Ghana in general.
It formed part of the company’s strategic vision to develop a sustainable lithium supply with a positive social impact to support the global transition to a carbon-neutral future.
The development of lithium deposits in Ghana, he said, was built on a strong priority of fostering and maintaining strong communications with the local communities.
For the company, he said: “Being a good neighbour lies in regular, open dialogue with the communities in which we work, commencing at the grassroots level.”
With that, he gave a strong assurance of the company’s commitment to transparency and strong collaboration with stakeholders to deliver long-term benefits for the communities in which it operates.
As such, wherever possible, the company will endeavour to employ and engage local staff and service providers as well as drive social and environmental initiatives.
He said the company will set up a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) with key stakeholders to create harmonious working relationships, empower women, and strongly boost STEM education for mutual gain.
He said the company was conscious of the impact on the environment and has developed different practices that allowed them to work with a sustainable, environmentally minded approach.
Knowing that, he said the company recognized the importance of leading and promoting the highest principles and practices to ensure health and safety for the company workers onsite and in wider communities.
“Minimizing our environmental footprint is a key priority.
“We aim to undertake all activities in an environmentally responsible manner by integrating the protection of the environment into our everyday working practices,” Mr Antwi assured.
Acting by international frameworks and in line with modern practices, he said the company has a proven ability to make significant mineral resource discoveries and create value by advancing assets toward commercialization.
Mr Ennu asked the traditional authorities and the people to collaborate to bring development to the area.
He said the company has an excellent mining agreement that seeks sustainable jobs through local content participation.
In all the communities visited, various traditional authorities and the public took turns to ask questions about benefits to locals, resentments, compensations, and environmental impact, and we are accordingly addressed.
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