Cassius Mining Ltd Directors Busted!
Two directors of Cassius Mining Limited, a large-scale mining firm based in Talensi District in the Upper East Region, have been busted, after the company allegedly concealed their criminal records in the company’s incorporation documents.
The two directors, Anthony Upul Samantha and RadwinElhassan, were found out to be ex-convicts after a petition was filed against them by a civil society organization, Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), for investigation.
This led to the Minerals Commission rejecting a request by Cassius Mining to continue with its prospecting of gold with the Gbane Mining Project, after it was established that the company had concealed vital information.
The commission has since declined to extend the mining company’s prospecting licence due to lack of beneficial Ownership Disclosure in registering, in accordance with the Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulation, 2021, (L.I 2176).
The gesture means that the directors and shareholders of the company cannot engage in any mining activities in the country.
In a letter dated January 23, 2020 to Cassius Mining Limited, the commission regretted to inform Cassius Mining Limited that the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources had considered its request, but was unable to approve the extension of its prospecting licence for the following reason:
“You concealed and or suppressed the fact that Messrs. Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan, listed as directors and shareholders of Cassius Mining Limited, (the “Company”) in the company’s incorporation documents submitted in support of the application for the PL have been convicted for various offences in Australia and thus not qualified to have been named directors of the company under the companies legislation of Ghana at the time of applying for the PL.”
“The company would not have been legally established with the above officers being part of its promoters and subsequently part of its directors if they had fully disclosed their criminal past prior to applying for the PL.”
“The suppression of the foregoing vitiating material facts, clearly known to the Company, at the time of applying for the PL, meant the Company’s application for the PL and for extension of same, contained a statement which was misleading or false in relation to the legal capacity of the said directors and same is a breach of Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals and Mining (Licensing) Regulations, 2012, (L.I 2176).”
The letter partly stated that “in view of the conviction of Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan, they are barred from being directors in Cassius mining company by virtue of section 177 of act 992.”
On September 16, 2019, Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) submitted a petition to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to investigate the report on the directors and shareholders of Cassius Mining Limited for breaching Regulation 107 (1) (b) of the Minerals Commission.
NORPRA’s petition, which was accompanied with some documents, revealed that the Australians, who are shareholders and directors of Cassius Mining Limited at the time of registration at the Registrar-General’s Department, were ex-convicts and that is criminal according to Companies Act.
The directors and shareholders, who were found to be ex-convicts, are Messrs. Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan.
On December 5, 2019, the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice wrote to the Registrar General of the Registrar-General’s Department to strike out the names of Anthony Upul Samantha and Radwin Elhassan as Directors of Cassius Mining Limited for being convicted of criminal acts in Australia and that they cannot be directors of a business in Ghana in view of section 172 of the Companies Act 2019 (Act 992).
BismarkAdongoAyorogo, the executive director of NORPRA, in an interview with 3news.com, said: “NORPRA appreciates and commends the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General and the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources for acting positively on the petition we presented to them on ex-convicts acting as Directors and Shareholders of a Mining Company in Ghana.”
Mr.Ayorogo revealed that they conducted a study on Beneficial Ownership Disclosure and Integrity Screening of Mining Companies in Ghana, and found the reason Ghana gave her mineral resources to the Australian ex-convicts in Cassius Mining Limited.
NORPRA therefore said: “Ghana having signed onto the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) in 2014 needed to strengthen its Beneficial Ownership (BO) Disclosure regime and due Diligence system to be able to effectively identify and keep high-risk companies out of the country and ensuring that, only honest and responsible mining companies with a strong business integrity track record are granted Mineral rights.”