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Jinapor meets Australian miner over threat to sue Ghana for US$395m

Samuel Abu Jinapor Damongo MP.png Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources

Sat, 3 Sep 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, on Friday, September 2, 2022, held talks with officials of an Australian mining company, Cassius Mining Limited.

Reports emerged earlier this week that the company was in the process of hauling government before the International Trade Court in London for contract breaches relating to a mining license they were operating.

Cassius, according to the Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, was seeking damages to the tune of US$395 million, for the state's failure to act when their concession in Talensi was encroached upon and exploited by Chinese mining firm, Shaanxi.

Minister Jinapor who was in Perth, Australia for the African Down Under, ADU, mining conference, met with the Chief Executive Officer of Cassius and other officials.

A joint press statement by the company and the Minerals Commission of Ghana said: "The purpose of the Meeting was to engage officials of Cassius on the matters contained in the widely circulated media reports on a without prejudice basis. The meeting was very cordial and productive.

"At the end of the Meeting, the two parties have agreed to further engage on all matters in controversy with the aim of finding an amicable solution," it continued.

The signatories to the statement posted on the social media handles of the Ministry were: Martin K. Ayisi, CEO of Minerals Commission and James Arkoudis, CEO of Cassius Mining Ltd.

Background

Between 2017-18, Cassius according to The Syndey Morning Herald detected that Shaanxi ventilation shafts had begun popping up closer and closer to its concession while it thrived in the business and the former suffered.

The Australian company later confirmed that the Shaanxi Mining Company was mining from its concessions and was concealing it.

This was confirmed when the Ghana Minerals Commission ordered Shaanxi to allow Cassius, who are opposite each other in Talensi, to inspect their operation.

The Australian company consequently took the matter to court after it discovered that the Chinese mining company had stolen a lot of gold amounting to “tens of millions of dollars”.

However, while the case was been heard, officials of Shaanxi were caught meeting the judge, Justice Jacob Boon, in his home – a situation which compelled him to recuse himself from the case.

Following this, one of the authors of The Syndey Morning Herald story, Edward Adeti, was offered a bribe of a motorbike and an arrangement to pay him money if he will sweep the story under the carpet.

An aide to former Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari was said to be amongst persons who visited the author to bribe him.

Cassius has decided to escalate matters by taking the issue to the international court to seek redress over delays in settling the matter in the country.

Ahead of that as well, Shaanxi has been granted a much bigger concession to operate whereas Cassius struggles to renew its license to operate.

The Australian company wants to sue for both the stolen gold saga and the Gban incident, a village in the Northern part of the country where Shaanxi is accused of using explosions that create a toxic poison to kill small-scale miners who inhaled it in 2019.

SARA/PEN

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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