A tribunal constituted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has dismissed a $200 million claim filed against Ghana by two foreign-owned mining companies.
The companies, Dunkwa Continental Goldfields Ltd (DCGL) and the Continental Construction and Mining Company Limited (CCML), filed the action against the government in 2011, but the tribunal last month threw out their claims for being without merit.
It then proceeded to award $3,164,137.51 against the applicants and a further order for a refund of $700,000 to Ghana.
Both companies had accused the government of unlawfully terminating their contracts, but the tribunal held a different view after taking the submissions of the parties into consideration.
According to the tribunal, the government of Ghana, acting through the then Minister for Land, Forestry and Mines did not breach or unlawfully terminate the project agreement relating to the Dunkwa gold mine.
Counter claim upheld
However, the tribunal upheld the state’s counter claim for $700,000 being a World Bank loan that was lent to the two companies by the government.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, said the ministry with its external solicitors put in a spirited fight which eventually paid off.
She discloses that the state would soon file the necessary documents at the High Court to retrieve the $3.8 million awarded it.
Mrs Appiah-Opong gave the assurance that the AG’s department would continue to forcefully fight spurious claims filed against the government.
“We will defend every action that is brought against the government to the end. No one should think the state can be taken advantage of,” Mrs Appiah-Opong said.
She was full of praise for Ghana’s legal and technical team for their diligence in fighting the case.
Legal and Technical Team
The international law firms that represented Ghana are Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, and Colt & Mosle LLP-led by Ben Previosi.
Ghana’s team comprised officials of the Attorney-General’s Office, the Minerals Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, led by the Deputy Attorney-General, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine.