Ghana seeks investors for Iron ore and bauxite mining – Official

A Principal Mining Officer at the Minerals Commission, Jerry Ahadzi has said that Ghana is in search for investors to exploit its vast iron ore and bauxite resources.

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These investors, according to him would also be expected to lead in the development of the entire value chain for these mineral resources.

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The official said this while throwing light on the potential for the mining industry in the country at the ongoing International training for journalists on the natural resources sector by the Natural Resources Governance Institute(NRGI) here.

Ahadzi said just as for the entire continent, only between 10 percent and 20 percent of Ghana’s entire mineral resources have been discovered and currently being exploited.

“These minerals (Iron ore and bauxite) have already been discovered and are in huge deposits which are commercially viable, so all we need is investors who are ready to mine and help develop the entire value chain,” Ahadzi disclosed.

At Sheini, near Tamale, 616 km north of the capital, in the Northern Region alone, the official confirmed that there is a proven reserve of 1.27 billion metric tones of iron ore, while at Oppon Manso, in the Western Region, 150 million metric tones, Pudo in the Upper West Region, five million metric tones

The Oppon Manso iron ore reserves were discovered by the Ghana Geological Survey in 1963 located on 15 hills over 24km strike . The Geological Survey reported a mineralized estimate to 10m depth, of approximately 150 million long tons with an iron content between 43-56 percent Fe.

Ahadzi said there are also reserves of iron ore in Akpafu, 234 km north-east of the capital which also needs more geological work to establish. According to him this particular ore deposit might be easier to find since the locals had used it in the past in making pots and farming tools.

He said the 200 million metric tones of iron ore deposits in Kibi, 92 km north of the capital can however not be developed at the moment since it occupies a forest reserve and the source of the Birim River which is the main source of treated water for the capital.

The official said the investors in the iron ore mining would be expected to provide the leadership in converting the iron ore into steel for use by local steel companies which now depend on scrap to manufacture their products and then export the rest.

“Beside the iron ore deposits, we also have 700 million metric tones of bauxite at Nyirahin, near Kumasi, 218 km north of the capital, beside the Prestea Mauxite mines,” Ahadzi disclosed.

The government’s new policy for the use of bauxite is to stop the export of raw bauxite and ensure that the ore is processed into alumina, for use by local aluminum companies .

He said due to the high energy consumption in the bauxite-aluminum industry, prospective bauxite miners in the country would be expected to provide their own means of electricity for the development of the entire value chain.

The Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO), is the largest aluminum company in Ghana, founded by Kaiser in 1961 but now wholly owned by the government of Ghana, with the smelter capacity of 200,000 metric tons per year of ingots’
After its shut-down in 2007 the company has since 2011 been producing 3000 tons per month, mostly for local consumption, with plans to activate a second pot-line to bring monthly production up to 6000 tons with the expectation that local bauxite development would inure to the benefit of such local smelters.

Head of External Relations and Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Ahmed Nantogmah urged government to showcase these industrial mineral reserves to industry players across the world, in order to attract investments.

Interacting with participants at the NRGI training for selected journalists, Natongma explained that the mining firms in the country are mostly in for gold mining, and so there was the need to seek mining firms which would be interested in the development of the industrial metals. Enditem.

Source: Xinhua

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