Total of four new large scale mining companies are expected to start operations in the country within the next 24 months, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor has announced.
According to him, the new mines will comprise three gold mining firms and one lithium mining company and would boost the country’s mining receipts as well as create new employment opportunities for the youth.
The four, Ahafo North, Azumah Resources, Ewoyaa and Cardinal Resources will be located in the Ahafo, Upper East and West and Central Regions
Mr Jinapor disclosed this in Accra yesterday when he took his turn at the weekly Minister’s briefing organised by the Ministry of Information.
He explained that Cardinal Resources which was a gold mining company in the Upper East would commence operations by the end of this year with other two coming on streaming in early part of 2024.
However, he said government had decided to jettison the old arrangements that guided mining in the country, stressing that “lithium is one of the green minerals and the approach by government is to jettison the old arrangements where resources are mined and the raw minerals are shipped out.”
Mr Jinapor said lithium like its other counterparts, cobalt and phosphate would not be treated like how we have treated gold and other resources but value would be added in order for the value to be increased.
Mr Jinapor said significant investments had been made in the redevelopment and expansion of existing mines.
“After reviving the Obuasi mine in 2019, the Bibiani mine, which had been dormant for seven years, has also been revived, and production started in October last year,” he said.
The Minister explained that these investments would result in a significant increase in the country’s mineral production and government revenue.
“To promote more investment in the sector, we are, currently, undertaking a general review of the Mining Policy adopted in 2014, and the Minerals and Mining Act which was passed in 2006, to align them with current developments in the mining industry,” he stressed.
Touching on the forest sector, he said timber and timber products export increased significantly from 302,183.046 cubic metres in 2021, to 343, 440.081 cubic metres in 2022.
This he noted represented an increase of 13.65 per cent and generated a total amount of €153,861,837.67.
He said as part of measures to protect the country’s forest resources, reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities in forest reserves continued to be suspended, except in exceptional circumstances and the harvesting.
However, salvaging, trading, exporting, and importing of Rosewood, as well as the issuance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits for the export of Rosewood continued to be banned.
“The Forestry Commission, with the support of the Ghana Armed Forces, has cordoned off all Forest Reserves and Wildlife Protected Areas, to rid them of illegal mining and illegal logging. Last year, 212 suspects were arrested by the Rapid Response Team of the Forestry Commission for various forest and wildlife offences,” he said.
He said the suspects were standing trial at various courts across the country while team, also, seized and decommissioned scores of equipment and forest products, including 44,522 assorted lumber, 54 vehicles and 17 excavators.
“While protecting the forest, we continued with our aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme, including our flagship Green Ghana Project,” he emphasised.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL