Ghana Bauxite Company’s Future Thrown Into Doubt After Bosai Minerals Expected Pull Out

Ghana Bauxite Company’s Future Thrown Into Doubt After Bosai Minerals Expected Pull Out

China’s Bosai Minerals Group announced earlier this week its departure as an investor at Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC) Limited, throwing the entire operation in doubt and alarming workers at the mining operation who depend upon it for their livelihood

Bosai Minerals made the decision after the government’s decision not to renew GBC’s mining lease, which will now expire in early January of next year.

Bosai Minerals owns an 80-percent share in GBC, and it has notified the government of its intentions to sell its position. However, Bosai’s departure throws into doubt the livelihood of around 700 workers at the mine, as GBC operates the only currently operating bauxite ore mine in the entire country.

Chairman of the Outsourced Workers Union Emmanuel Seanehia told local media this week that his organization expects the government to step up and solve the issue.

“Severance means many workers, especially the outsourced workers, will lose their jobs and go home with nothing. The same problem happened at the Bibiani Gold Mines which was dormant for more than 10 years. We don’t want the same thing to happen here at Awaso.”

Unfortunately for all parties, the mine is expected to reach the end of its operational life within the next six months. More bauxite ore is located on nearby tracts, but that ore cannot be reached without significant investments of time and capital.

General Manager of the GBC J. K. Fang said the investment is too great at this time to pursue opening up the new bauxite play.

“The existing mining site known as Ichiniso will reach its lifespan in about six months and we need to quickly develop another site in order to switch smoothly so that there will be no break in production. This process will take about a year. Our mining lease application has been pending for more than a year and a half, this means a year and a half has been wasted. In view of this unfortunate situation, we have taken a firm decision to pack out.”

Fang said it has already had extensive discussions with the government, but to no avail. He noted the fact that his firm was able to turn around the significant losses GBC continued to incur before Bosai’s arrival.

“This is a company that was making a loss of around US$11 million annually before we took over. We have consistently reduced the losses over time, and through prudent management, the company made a profit of US$6 million last year.”

“The two months will end on August 30, this year. So we are waiting for the government,” he concluded.