McDan’s Electrochem granted an undue monopoly in salt mining lease – Ivor Greenstreet
Flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet has said a minerals agreement recently ratified by Parliament gives too much monopoly to an indigenous company.
Mining Lease Agreements for the Ada Songor Salt Project gives Electrochem Ghana Limited the mineral rights to dig for, mine and produce salt in the areas specified in the agreement for a term period of 15 years.
The national potential production capacity for salt is estimated at 2,330,000 metric tonnes out of which the area under consideration, accounts for about 1.4 million metric tonnes.
Speaking to journalists during a campaign tour on Thursday, November 12, 2020, Mr Greenstreet said the agreement gives too much monopoly to Electrochem in the salt-mining business.
In the 1970s, investors acquired lands in the Ada Songhor area from various clans to produce salt.
The investors subsequently acquired leases from Government in line with PNDCL 153 for their production operations.
However, due to conflict between the people of Ada and the investors, the Government had to intervene, and in 1992 cancelled the 30-year mining leases granted to two companies namely, Vacuum Salt Products Ltd. and Star Chemical Industries Ltd.
After the cancellation of the leases, the Government established an entity to utilise the facilities of the Vacuum Salt Products Ltd to continue to produce salt in the interim while a permanent solution was being sought for the establishment of more sustainable salt industry in the area.
Almost thirty years on, four of such entities known variously as Task Force, Interim Management Committee and Caretaker Committee respectively, have existed and the permanent solution has not yet been put in place.
Salt production has rather fallen to the lowest level due to both technical and managerial factors and about 10% of the original project area designated for salt production has been taken over by the community for artisanal salt production.
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