The Government is pursuing strategies to encourage investment in minerals other than the traditional gold, diamond, bauxite, and manganese.
Recent geological investigations in some parts of the country have indicated the potential for base metals, notably Copper, Nickel, Zinc, Chromium and Lithium.
Mr George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister of Land and Natural Resources in Charge of Mining, said this during the opening of a two-day West African Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum’s (WAIMM) fifth Annual West Africa Mining, Oil and Gas Conference (WAIC) in Accra.
It is on the theme: “Building A Resilient and Sustainable Natural Resources Industry Beyond Global Pandemic.”
The event is to ensure that industry professionals and communities gain in-depth knowledge about the latest trends in technology and research, share ideas and knowledge on the diverse fields in the industry.
It is also to provide a platform for all stakeholders to think through challenges and stay relevant in the resources industry.
The WAIC event gives investors and the investment community the perfect opportunity to meet key players in the mining and petroleum industry and become better informed about the happenings of the industry and areas targeted for investment.
The Deputy Minister said the use of minerals and metals have played a crucial role in the development and continuation of human civilization.
He said the minerals development comprised exploration for nature’s mineral resources, their extraction from the earth’s crust and subsequent processing and recovery of derivative-products for industrial and commercial purposes.
These have been important human and business activities over the ages in the countries endowed with these resources, to which Ghana was no exception.
He said Ghana sees mining as a pillar of development and as such the government implemented mining-friendly policies whilst strict compliance with Environmental, social and governance standards was enforced to ensure that the interest of citizens and the environmental responsibility were not supplanted by monetary considerations, but an appropriate balance was maintained.
Mr Duker said to optimize the benefits from these broad spectrums of resources, while planning their discovery and use, Ghana was also making a conscious effort to add value to minerals won in the country.
“Presently, given the level of knowledge of their potential, the country’s bauxite and iron ore resources are the focus for developing an integrated Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium project; and an integrated Iron and Steel project, respectively, in Ghana,” he said.
He said so far, the government had established corporate entities to promote and see to the development and implementation of these programmes and it welcomed private sector proposals for partnership in exploring and developing the mineral potential to create socio-economic value for all.
Mr Henry Antwi, Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics Advisory Services, Mining and Metals, Australia, said as a country there was the need to minimize political influence in the industry to encourage investors.
He said the industry had attracted a wide range of professionals, innovations and technologies, adding Ghana’s mining policies must be sufficiently competitive in the global context and benchmarked with mineral endowed countries to enhance competitiveness.
“More importantly, we need to minimise political influence in the minerals space,” he added.
“It is not just about building schools and they need to be part of the dividends or profits sharing to enable them also to enjoy,” he said.
Mr Antwi said in Canada, there were committees set up in the mining companies, local councils, and other stakeholders to manage the mineral funds so that it will be used for the quality of the community.
He said once they were made part owners, they would support the projects in the communities wholeheartedly.
Mr Lawrence Omari-Mensah, the Executive Secretary of WAIMM, said the conference was designed to address issues, including government policies, sustainable practices and processes, technological trends and innovations, framework and regulations and investment opportunities.
He said the two-day event would open a channel, where industry players could access current operational developments and innovations, meet new tools, and share the latest research.