A total of 10 iron ore blocks in the Oti Region have been allocated to selected investors by the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) to undertake geo-scientific studies, commonly known as Mineral Resource Estimation (MRE).
MRE encompasses assessing the tonnage, grade, and value of iron ore deposits, which underpins the basis of engagement between GIISDEC and the investors. It is a crucial step in mine development as it bridges the gap between mineral exploration and commodity production.
The 10 selected investors are Africa Exploration and Mining Ghana Limited; Gem Global Ventures; Cloudline Ghana Limited; Q3 Company Limited; Star Steels Limited; Shokram Limited; B5 Plus Limited; Fabrimetal Limited; Planet One Group and MagyaMining and Contract Services Limited.
The Chief Executive of GIISDEC, KwabenaBonsuFordwor, speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people of at Dambai yesterday, said the allocation and demarcation was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Minerals Commission.
The allocated blocks, according to him, wereold mines which stretch from the Akpafu range to Akpafu-Todzi towards the hill east of Santrokofi-Benua.
He said that all the blocks were or near the crest of the Santrokofi-Akuapem-Togo Range with the rest being small, with the exception of the largest and most developed mine, Akpafu-Todzi.
He explained that the objective for the initial allocation was to encourage selected investors to invest in geo-scientific studies.
MrFordwor said the iron ore deposits in the country, especially the Sheini Hills deposits, when harnessed properly could change the country’s economic fortunes over years.
As the task of extracting the mineral from the ground and adding value to it get closer, he noted that GIISDEC would count on the support of the traditional rulers and community members to ensure a smooth process.
“This support is necessary, if we must make the speedy headway of joining the league of steel producers in the world. We look forward to the period when iron rods would be produced locally and many more of our compatriots from our Geological Engineering Faculties join us as engineers,” the CEO added.
He said GIISDEC would work to promote cordial and mutual relationship with all stakeholders and fully undertake their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) towards the community when full production commences.
Board Chairman of GIISDEC, Farouk AliuMahama, said the country was in a position to save foreign exchange and strengthen the local currency through the production of iron rods, steel, and related products for consumption and export.
Together with the other deposits in Sheini and OponManso, he said the country was on course to build an industrialised economy which would no longer import iron rods and other related products, but rely on its locally produced ones.
Mr Joshua Makubu, Oti Regional Minister, stated that iron and steel had been the backbone of industrialisation worldwide, adding that discovery was a great boost to the life of the region.
He assured all prospective investors that his outfit would provide them the necessary impetus that they would require to do their work in peace.
He said the government established the GIISDEC to propel the sustainable exploitation of the iron ore deposits across the country and to facilitate the grounds for a one-stop shop development of this natural resource, adding that the iron ore deposits in the region holds the key to the rapid industrialisation of the country.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS