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EPA holds Community Engagement on Lithium Mining Scoping Report at Ewoyaa

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has held a crucial public hearing on the scoping report and draft terms of reference for the proposed Ewoyaa lithium mining and processing project by Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited at Ewoyaa in the Mfantsiman Municipality and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District.

The hearing is a fundamental part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures, aiming to gather public opinions and insights on the potential environmental and social repercussions of lithium mining in the area.

Barari Ltd. commenced exploration for lithium in the country in 2017 and discovered high-grade lithium in commercial quantities in Ewoyaa.

The government on October 19, 2023, granted Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, a fifteen (15) year Mining Lease to commence the construction and mining of lithium

The Lease covers an area of approximately 42.63 square kilometres and grants the company the exclusive right to work and produce lithium and associated minerals in the area, under the mining laws of the country.

The proposed lithium mining project has attracted significant attention due to the increasing global demand for lithium, a critical component in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and various electronic devices.

As Ghana seeks to tap into the lucrative lithium market, concerns have been raised about the environmental and social impacts of mining operations.

The Deputy Executive Director of Operations at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Engineer Ransford Sekyi, speaking at the programme indicated that the benefits this project will bring if attention is paid to them.

To him, opportunities can be harnessed from the project.

“Lithium is a valuable resource with significant benefits, but its exploitation can lead to negative consequences such as environmental challenges, changes in land use, and impacts on communities. Acknowledging these challenges is crucial as they are unavoidable. The key question lies in transforming these threats into positive outcomes,” he said

Ing. Sekyi emphasized that the EPA cannot solely conduct all assessments hence the community’s participation is important to the processes.

He further called on nananom and stakeholders to turn the fortunes of the communities around by putting in efforts to the wheel and making sure that the lithium deposit found in the area becomes a positive asset to the community.

Aaron Maurer, Head of Operational Readiness at Atlantic Lithium emphasized the company’s intention to create development programmes to build the capacities of the members of the local communities to empower them economically.

Mr. Maurer emphasized that the company aims to tap into the goodwill and strategic alliances with both local and national stakeholders to maximize the Central Region’s economic opportunities fully.

He also mentioned that the Ewoyaa project is set to generate over 800 employment opportunities, alongside the establishment of a community development fund, which will allocate 1% of its generated revenue to support local initiatives.

Len Kolff, the head of Business Development and Chief Geologist at Atlantic Lithium said it is a great achievement that Ghana’s first lithium has been discovered.

He therefore advocated for the first lithium mine on an industrial scale to be built within the central region.

Len Kolff expressed that the company working with the community and fostering a healthy social license to operate based on honesty, integrity and trust has been integral to the way the whole team conduct their work.

We will continue to live those values as we move on to the next chapter of our journey. With all of the people here and the communities, myself and my team, we will continue to explore within the region and together we hope to make more discoveries for future generations.” 

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