Ghana Miners Seek Termination of Future Global Resources’ Lease

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana Mine Workers Union is demanding the termination of the mining lease of Future Global Resources Ltd. because the company lacks the finances to invest and operate the Bogoso-Prestea gold mine it acquired more than three years ago.

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The 15,000-member union is planning demonstrations Thursday and Friday in the capital, Accra, to urge the government to withdraw the license of the unit of UK-based Blue International Holdings, Abdul-Moomin Gbana, general secretary of the union, said in a phone interview.

“Since FGR took over the business in 2020 it hasn’t invested anything in the business and clearly it has brought the business to its knees,” Gbana said. “Since December mining activity has been at standstill after the state energy producer cut supply to the mine for nonpayment of bills,” he said.

Acting General Manager of Future Global Resources Ltd. Ken Allen did not respond to phone calls and text message Wednesday seeking comment.

The company owes millions of dollars to mainly local suppliers and vendors, and workers have virtually been out of work in the past four months, he said. The mine, which was producing 150,000 ounces of gold a year prior to acquisition, now struggles to turn out 60% of that, he said.

Blue International Holdings formed FGR in 2020 as a wholly owned subsidiary to acquire high quality long-term mining assets in sub-Saharan Africa, according to its website. In October that year it took over the Bogoso-Prestea mine located in the Ashanti Region of Africa’s biggest gold producer for about $95 million.

“We take the view that the inability of FGR to invest into the business and thus the untold hardship that our members continue to go through, are what are accounting for our decision to embark on this demonstration,” Gbana said. “We want to bring to the attention of the government that FGR has not been able to comply with the dictates of the lease and for that matter the mining lease should be terminated so that the mine can be put on sale.”

Future Global Resources Ltd. owns 90% of the mine and the government of Ghana holds 10%. FGR bought the mine from Toronto-based Golden Star Resources Ltd., which was later acquired in 2022 by China’s Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co.

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