Two Members of Parliament, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini and Ernest Henry Norgbey, have sued 35 mining companies, the Attorney-General and the Minerals Commission in the country’s Supreme Court for allegedly violating the constitution by their actions.
In the action brought by the two Members of Parliament, they argue that all the 35 companies violated article 268 of the Ghanaian constitution by carrying on mining operations at a time when Parliament had not ratified their mining leases in accordance with article 268 of the constitution.
The Plaintiffs argue that unless and until Parliament ratifies and gives approval to a mining agreement, the holder of the mining agreement cannot carry on any mining activity – hence the 35 mining companies acted illegally and in breach of the supreme law of the land when they carried out mining before parliament approved their licences.
Plaintiff also want the Court to order AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited, Newmont Gold Ghana Limited and the other mining companies to refund all monies or financial benefits that has accrued to them as a result of illegally mining Ghana’s natural resources.
Government, in 2017, seized some equipment of Exton Cubic Group Ltd., a mining company, on the basis that its mining lease had not been ratified by Parliament.
In a suit that was brought by Exton Cubic Group Ltd. against government at the time, it was argued among others that the industry practice permits mining companies to carry on operations before ratification.
It may seem from this present case in the Supreme Court that Exton Cubic may have been right after, all if Anglogold, Newmont and all these other mining companies are operating or were operating without ratification of their mining leases.