The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, says government’s quest to build an integrated aluminium industry in the country is on course, and progressing steadily.
He said that was in line with the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation Act, 2018 (Act 976), which established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) to promote and develop an integrated aluminium industry in the country.
The Minister said this when he opened a two-day workshop on the downstream aluminium industry atAkosombo in the Eastern Region.
The workshop, which was organised by GIADEC, in partnership with the Strategic Anchor Industries Unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), brought together stakeholders in the aluminium industry to deliberate on policy options and implementation plan for the downstream aluminium industry.
This follows an extensive research, data collection and technical analysis of best practices across the world carried out by GIADEC and ODI.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr Jinapor emphasised the need to add value to mineral resources to ensure optimal benefit from these resources.
He said government had since 2017 been pursuing the path for benefit from all mineral resources including gold, bauxite, iron ore, lithium and other green minerals.
Speaking specifically on bauxite, MrJinapor said while the raw ore sold at around $60.00 per metric tonne, primary aluminium, produced from bauxite, sold for over $2,000.00 per metric tonne.
Ghana, he said, had an estimated bauxite resource base of over 900,000,000 metric tonnes, capable of creating some two million sustainable jobs, and generating over one trillion dollars in revenue if fully integrated.
Unfortunately, he lamented that “we have, over the years, failed to make the needed investment in this area”.
He expressed the government’s optimism of fully-integrated aluminium industry contribution to socio-economic development.
“It is for this reason that in 2018, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took that bold decision to establish, by an Act of Parliament, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), to promote and develop an integrated aluminium industry, here in our country,” the Minster said.
According to M rJinapor, GIADEC had, since its establishment, developed a masterplan for the upstream sector, and was implementing its four project agenda, to expand the existing mine, build three additional mines, build refineries, and modernise the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), with all four projects at various stages of implementation.
It is, therefore, necessary to prepare the downstream industry and make it ready to off-take products from the upstream industry, he said and urged participants at the workshop to bring their expertise to bear, and come out with policy options and plans that would help build a robust, functioning and vibrant downstream aluminium industry that contributed, meaningfully, to the national economy.
Other participants at the workshop included senior officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Overseas Development Institute, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, and companies in the upstream and downstream aluminium industry.
By Times Reporter