The Minerals Commission of Ghana has rejected the extension of the prospecting license of Cassius Mining Limited. This is after the criminal convictions of some of the directors of the company came to light.
Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan were convicted in Austria over some criminal acts including possession of drugs.
The Mineral and Mining Regulations, 2012, L.I 2176, Regulation 107 Act 1b states that an applicant for an extension of prospecting licence shall be rejected when the application contains a statement that the applicant knows or ought to know to be false or misleading in any material particular.
It could be recalled that in 2019, the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) petitioned the Commission including the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to the Registrar-General to investigate the mining company, subsequently, the request was granted and led to action taken against Cassius Mining Ltd.
The Executive Director, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo has expressed profound gratitude to the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for directing the Registrar-General Department to take action against some directors of Cassius Mining Ltd on the grounds of being convicted of various crimes.
Below are the details
LACK OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP DISCLOSURE AND INTEGRITY SCREENING OF MINING COMPANIES IN GHANA, A REASON GHANA GAVE HER MINERAL RESOURCES TO AUSTRALIAN EX-CONVICTS IN CASSIUS MINING LIMITED
The Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) has commended the government particularly the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for the actions taken against Cassius Mining Ltd.
NORPRA, a Civil Society Organization with a vision of a “Society without poverty, inequalities, injustice and insecurity” is into research, public policy advocacy in the areas of natural resource governance, agriculture, water and sanitation and empowerment of young people, women and persons with disability for poverty eradication and sustainable equitable development.
NORPRA in a statement signed by the Executive Director, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo expressed profound gratitude to the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for directing the Registrar-General Department to take actions against some directors of Cassius Mining Ltd on the grounds of being convicted for various crimes.
A letter from the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to the Registrar-General and copied to NORPRA following its petition for the state to investigate the mining company, requested that action be taken against Cassius Mining Ltd. The letter partly stated that “in view of the conviction of Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan they are barred from being directors in Cassius Mining Company by virtue of Section 177 of Act 992”.
NORPRA further disclosed that the petition was equally presented to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and Minister of Interior and was glad to see a letter from the Minerals Commission under the instruction of the Minister responsible for Mines addressed to Cassius Mining Ltd stating that. “we regret to inform you that the Hon. Minister responsible for Mines has considered your request but is unable to approve it because of the following reason(s);
1. You concealed and or suppressed the fact that Messrs Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan, listed as directors and shareholders of Cassius Mining Limited, (the “Company”) in the company’s incorporation documents submitted in support of the application for the PL have been convicted for various offences in Australia and thus not qualified to have been named directors of the company under the companies legislation of Ghana at the time of applying for the PL.
2. .The company would not have been legally established with the above officers being part of its promoters and subsequently part of its directors if they had fully disclosed their criminal past prior to applying for the PL.
3. The suppression of the foregoing vitiating material facts, clearly known to the Company, at the time of applying for the PL, meant the Company’s application for the PL and for extension of same, contained a statement which was misleading or false in relation to the legal capacity of the said directors and same is a breach of Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing ) Regulations, 2012, ( L.I 2176).”
NORPRA, therefore, considered it heart-warming and appropriate to recognize, appreciate and commend the ministries for their high level of responsiveness.
The Executive Director also explained that NORPRA had conducted a Study on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure and Integrity Screening of Mining Companies in Ghana under the Opening Extractives Program this year and found that lack of Beneficial Ownership Disclosure and Integrity Screening of Mining Companies in Ghana was a reason Ghana gave her mineral resources to Australian ex-convicts in Cassius Mining Limited.
NORPRA, therefore, stated that, Ghana, having signed onto the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) in 2014 needed to strengthen its Beneficial Ownership (BO) Disclosure regime and Due Diligence system to be able to effectively identify and keep high-risk companies out of the country and ensuring that only honest and responsible mining companies with a strong business integrity track record are granted mineral rights.
Bismark Adongo Ayorogo
Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA)
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1 MHz|Moses Apiah|Ghana