The Minister of Science, Technology, Environment and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has been accused, in some reports circulating, of unfairly holding on to some mining concessions in the country.
The report claims the minister still retains a 30% interest in a mining firm, Symphony Limited a company, which handles the 5 concessions.
Symphony Ltd. a company incorporated in 1990 which was authorized to carry on business as General merchants and manufacturer’s representatives, and not mining, has allegedly gone ahead to obtain five mining concessions.
The Minister is said to have in January 2014 sold GHC60,000 worth of shares of the company representing 30% stake to one Yaw Badu. His wife, Agnes Frimpong-Boateng, also on the same day allegedly transferred a total of GHC80,000 worth of shares representing 40% to the same Yaw Badu.
Documents suggest that the company was granted 5 prospecting licenses in the Gyapekrom area namely; Nwenem, Asiri, Gyapekrom, Baabiareneha and Adomesu.
On November 14, 2014, Prof Frimpong Boateng, in his capacity as Director of Symphony Limited reportedly wrote to notify the Minerals Commission that Symphony Limited was shedding three of its five concessions and intended to maintain only Baabiareneha and Adomesu.
On April 15, 2015 the Commission reportedly wrote to accept Symphony’s decision to drop the three prospecting licences. Under Ghana’s mining laws once a licence is shed it is free and allotted to any mining company that applies to acquire it on a first come first served basis. In this case however, the 3 Prospecting licences dropped by Symphony are reportedly still being reserved for the company.
Mining experts say the development may be costing the state around $250,000 in revenue as a conservative estimate of payment of annual mineral right fees for the three reserved PLs for the four years commencing 2015 to date.
The annual mineral right fee for the Adomesu and Baabiaraneha licenses are US$18,048 and US$23,968 respectively.
Symphony has also reportedly delayed in paying the mineral rights fee. Under the Minerals and Mining Licensing Regulations, Symphony is required to pay the annual fee not later than 90 days before the expiration of the mineral right, otherwise the PL could be suspended or terminated.
In October 2017 a letter emanating from the Commission signed on behalf of the CEO notified Symphony that both licences had expired on March 22, 2017. Under the law therefore the annual renewal fee was due in December 2016.
Reacting to the claims, Professor Frimpong Boateng told Starrfmonline.com Thursday that the allegations are being bundled by some individuals to tarnish his reputation.
“ I have done nothing wrong, it’s a long complicated issue and people don’t understand. I have seen such reports myself but I have not done anything wrong. When I revoked the license of some company working in one of those concessions, they thought I had an interest but later the minister of finance went there and saw things for himself and they noticed I was right with the decision”.