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25.07.2005 Business & Finance

$1.5 million Bauxite Locked Up

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TWO KEY COMPANIES PLAY BLAME GAME
About $1.5 million (¢13.7 billion) worth of bauxite has been locked up at the Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC) at Sefwi Awaso in the Western Region, sparking a dispute between the bauxite company and the Ghana Railways Corporation (GRC).
While the bauxite company attributes the problem to unreliable operations of the Ghana Railways, the GRC says it is because the company has refused to pay any increase in fee in the haulage of bauxite since 1990.
The stockpile of about 220,000 tonnes has been locked up for more than four months awaiting conveyance from Awaso to the Takoradi Port.
Speaking at a national executive council meeting of the Ghana Mine Workers Union at Awaso last Thursday, Mr James Lemaire, mines manager of GBC, said the situation was seriously affecting the finances of the GBC, compelling management to use trucks as stopgap measures to haul the ore to the Takoradi Port.
In reaction Mr Emmanuel Opoku, the acting managing director of the GRC, said for 15 years, the bauxite company had refused to pay any increase in fee in the haulage of the bauxite and that had affected the GRC's ability to maintain the rail tracks on a regular basis.
The GBC presently pays the GRC $9.35 per tonne of bauxite. But the GRC had proposed to the bauxite company to pay $10.12 per tonne.


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