Two ex-convicts busted by Minerals Commission for illegal mining in Ghana; CML where they’re directors denied PL extension
The Minerals Commission has rejected a request by Cassius Mining Limited (CML) to continue with its prospecting of gold at the Gbane mining project in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
The Commission declined to extend the Company’s prospecting license due to lack of Beneficial Ownership Disclosure in registering the company in accordance with Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulation, 2021, ( L.I 2176).
It has been revealed that two of the directors and shareholders of the company were once convicts in Australia.
Per the mining laws and regulations of Ghana, the rejection to extend or renew Cassius Mining Limited’s prospecting license means that, the ex-convict directors and Shareholders of the company can never engage in any business in Ghana including mining activities using the name of the company with the aforementioned directors and Shareholders in view of the mining laws and companies registration regulations.
In a letter dated to Cassius Mining Limited by the Minerals Commission of Ghana on January 23, 2020, the Commission regretted to inform Cassius Mining Limited that the Hon. Minister responsible for Mines has considered their ( Cassius Mining Limited) request but is unable to approve the extension of their prospecting license for the following reasons:
“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 [Prospecting License].
“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.
“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)”.
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″.
On September 16, 2019, Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) submitted a petition to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General to investigate the report on the Directors and Shareholders of Cassius Mining Limited for breaching Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals Commission.
NORPRA’s petition which accompanied with some documents revealed that, the Australians who are Shareholders and Directors of Cassius Mining Limited at the time of registration at the Registrar-General’s Department were ex-convicts and that is criminal according to the Companies Act.
The Directors and Shareholders who were found to be ex-convicts are Messrs Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan.
On December 5, 2019, the office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice wrote to the Registrar General of the Registrar’s General Department to strike out the names of Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan as Directors of Cassius Mining Limited for being convicted to criminal acts in Australia and that’ they cannot be directors of a businss in Ghana in view of section 172 of the companies Act 2019 ( Act 992).
The Executive Director of NORPRA, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, in an interview with this OnuaOnline, said NORPRA appreciates and commends the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for acting positively on the petition they (NORPRA) presented to them on the ex- convicts acting as Directors and Shareholders of a Mining Company in Ghana.
Bismark Adongo Ayorogo revealed that, they have conducted a study on 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, said, 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.
OnuaOnline will keep monitoring and tracking mining companies and their contributions towards their communities of operation and Ghana as a whole, especially in the Upper East Region.
By Mohammed Rabiu Tanko|UE/R|Onuaonline.com