Adamus Resources, operator of the Nzema Mine at Teleku Bokazo, which exported $115m of gold in 2019, has been refused permission to sell gold and to export gold from Ghana pending the settlement of a royalty dispute between Adamus and African Champion Industries Limited (ACI) a Ghanaian-owned public company.
The Nzema Mine in the Western Region, has exported approximately $800m in gold since it began operations in 2013, and ACI, a Ghanaian-owned public company, has a royalty interest in the mine under a Joint Venture Agreement with Adamus.
This suspension of Adamus gold exports is the result of a ruling by the Ghana Arbitration Centre, under the Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, in response to a petition filed by ACI for an Interim Injunction and Preservation of Property.
A letter from the Bank of Ghana dated August 20, 2020 to the Head of Operations of Ghana Link sighted by this newspaper, directs that Adamus is not permitted to sell or export gold, and that all gold produced by the Nzema Mine be delivered to the custody of Bank of Ghana until the royalty dispute with ACI is settled.
The ACI had been receiving royalty payments from Adamus until February 2018, when BCM, a foreign contract mining firm owned by Paul and Angela List, acquired Adamus and became the operators of the Nzema Mine.
In May 2018, after the new operators of the Nzema Mine halted royalty payments to ACI, ACI requested the intervention of both Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and sought arbitration at Ghana Arbitration Centre as stipulated by the Joint Venture Agreement with Adamus.
The BCM, the new operators of the Nzema Mine, are additionally embroiled in a conflict with Nkroful Community which hosts the Nzema Mine, over their refusal to pay a previously agreed $2.5m to the community, which has led to community action and agitation threatening a shutdown of mining operations.
In an interview, the Ebusuapanyin of Teleku Bokazo, Opanyin Kwame Adu decried the attitude of BCM towards the traditional and district authorities, describing it as ‘most worrying’.
The development he maintains, ‘threatens the security and peace of the community’.