The Minerals Commission has reiterated that Ghana’s deal with Atlantic Lithium was signed in the best interest of the country.‎ The African-focused lithium exploration and development company targeting to deliver Ghana’s first lithium mine, on Thursday (19 October) secured a 15- year mining lease from the government of Ghana after meeting all the necessary requirements. But some critics including the Minority have raised concerns about the deal, adding that it needs parliamentary approval. The latest to express concern about the deal is the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo. According to her the lithium lease that the government recently signed is incomplete without ratification by parliament. In her legal view, this particular transaction ought to have been sent to Parliament for approval. “My legal view is that it is a transaction that requires ratification, it is not complete. This is a document, it is signed and sealed and delivered but it is a deal that has to be ratified by a named authority, that is the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,” she said while speaking as a Distinguished Scholar of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra on Tuesday, November 28. She further indicated that despite comments that this particular agreement is favourable to the country, the contract is not different from the previous ‘Guggisberg-type’ of agreements which have not yielded any benefit to Ghanaians. “The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the CEO of Minerals Commission have touted as favourable to Ghana, surpassing all those other Lithium leases around the world. “It is not different in principle in the substance from any of Ghana’s previous colonial times types of agreements, some call it the Guggisberg model, whatever description, all those agreements are colonial type of agreements, which over the years have yielded very little good to the overall benefit of the average Ghanaian,” she said. However, a statement issued by the Minerals Commission on Monday (4 December) said it appears critics of the deal have not read the agreement in its entirety, adding that the commission will hold a news conference on Thursday to further explain the nature of the contract and procedures. “The attention of the Minerals Commission (the “Commission”) has been drawn to comments and concerns by some members of the Ghanaian public regarding the mining lease between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited (the “company” or “Barari”). “This comes on the heels of the announcement by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor at a brief ceremony on 19 October 2023 when he signed the first mining lease for the exploitation of Lithium in Ghana and the publication of the lease on the website of the Commission. “The Commission notes in spite of the publication of the lease which is now widely available to the general public, it has become increasingly clear that the commentators have not read the agreement in its entirety and as result many of concerns are based on assumptions that are inaccurate and assertions that are not supported by facts or any data,” the statement said. Below is the full statement