Govt will not unnecessarily compromise Atewa forest – Lands Minister assures

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has assured that government will not needlessly compromise the integrity of Atewa Forest, but rather exploit it for the ultimate benefit of the Ghanaian people.

“Government and GIADEC continue to be fully committed to the preservation of the Atewa Forest and ensure that the exploitation of the bauxite in Atewa is in the ultimate interest of the Ghanaian people and is in the public interest. They are also working to ensure that the integrity of the forest is preserved,” he said.

Speaking to Aljazeera Media Network on Sunday, the Minister said Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) had Atewa Forest as one of the key projects being relentlessly pursued by the government together with Awaso, Nyinahin – Mpasaaso, Kyebi and Valco projects, all in efforts to build an integrated iron and Aluminium industry.

Mr Jinapor added that “government is therefore putting in place measures to ensure that particularly, bauxite and iron ore are built with the full value chain retained here in Ghana and we have created bureaucracies here like the GIADEC and GISDEC which are going to be responsible for building the full value chain of this bauxite and iron ore.”

The Minister explained that the thin line between mining the bauxite and preserving the environment was striking a delicate balance to ensure that the country’s industrialisation drive continued, because these minerals, he explained, were the starting point for industrial development and prosperity of the country.

“We cannot progress and unleash the prosperity our people so dearly need without industrialisation and we cannot industrialise without building these integrated bauxite and iron industries”.

The Minister maintained that the government was also ensuring that the bauxite in Atewa was exploited in a manner that would not unreasonably compromise the ecological integrity of the forest.

Touching on the production of gold, the Minister indicated that the government intended to keep Ghana’s position as the leading producer of Gold, and the 6th on the world scale and even do more.

He added that the President had plans of changing the equation of Ghana as a country rich in resources which only produced raw materials to a country that builds and retains the full value chain of its minerals. 

“The government is therefore making efforts to ensure that refineries in Ghana acquire the London Bullion Market Association Certification (LBMA) and become fit for purpose to participate in the global refinery industry.”

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