President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo unveiled Ghana’s Integrated Aluminum Industry initiatives on Tuesday, which would enable the country’s bauxite riches to be fully used commercially while remaining environmentally benign and this will be the cornerstone of the national industrialization strategy.
The project, which is expected to cost around $6 billion to complete, will be one of Ghana’s most ambitious since independence. Private investors, in collaboration with the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation, would be the driving force behind them (GIADEC).
It will be constructed in four phases, with the first phase involving the development of an existing mine at Awaso in the Western North Region’s Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal District and the construction of a bauxite refinery.
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The second phase will involve the construction of a mine and refinery at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso in the Ashanti Region’s Atwimaa Mponua District.
In the third phase, a mine will be built in Kyebi, in the Eastern Region’s East Akim Municipal District, as well as a second mine in Nyinahin-Mpasaaso.
A refinery will also be erected in the Ashanti Region’s Atwimaa Mponua District and Kyebi, respectively.
The VALCO smelter will be modernized and extended in the fourth phase of the project to boost efficiency and capacity.
President Akufo-Addo said the projects, which will be developed concurrently, were a key milestone in the country’s industrialization effort during a ceremony in Accra.
He described the development as proof that the government had maintained its word to the Ghanaian people about its resolve to fully use the country’s bauxite resources.
The integrated aluminum sector, according to the President, is at the heart of Ghana’s industrial transformation program and will have a substantial impact on the country’s economic development.
He claimed that by completing the four projects, Ghana would be able to reduce its reliance on imported aluminum goods and create commercial ventures that would provide employment and high-paying jobs for Ghanaians.
As a result, he has asked the Railway Development and Finance Ministries to collaborate in order to expedite the completion of the Western and Eastern railway networks.
The President stated that the government would provide the necessary assistance to make the aluminum industry globally competitive, as well as ensure that competitively priced power was available to satisfy the needs of investment partners. He also emphasized the government’s commitment to the rule of law.
As a result, investors and stakeholders would be required to ensure that the projects were delivered in a manner that was environmentally sustainable.
“We believe that mining can and should be carried out responsibly. “At all times, the government, through its regulatory bodies, will act to protect our environment,” he stated.
The President observed the signing of a deal between GIADEC and Rocksure International, a totally owned Ghanaian mining services firm, which will work with GIADEC to implement the project’s second phase.
Rocksure International is a mining and drilling company that works in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
The project’s second phase, also known as Project Two, will see the production of five million tonnes of bauxite per year, as well as the creation of over 1000 direct and indirect jobs.
The initiatives are timely, according to Mr Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, because the country’s car manufacturers’ interest has made the integrated Aluminum sector more important.
He stated that his Ministry would ensure that mineral resources were exploited responsibly, and that he would pay close attention to environmental and biodiversity conservation while implementing the projects.
Mr Jinapor stated that the Ministry had begun an aggressive afforestation effort to restore lost forest cover and was continuing its assault on unlawful mining.