A resilient integrated aluminium industry is projected to contribute about $10 billion in economic output annually.
In addition, it is expected to attract foreign direct investments, support the economic case for the development of significant infrastructure in the country and develop the foundation for an industrialised economy.
The Chief of Staff Mrs. Frema Akosua Osei Opare disclosed this when she officially opened a stakeholder workshop organized by the Ghana Integrated aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC).
900 million tonnes estimated bauxite reserves:
"As a Country with an estimated bauxite reserve of about 900 million metric tonnes, large natural gas reserves to power our industries, an existing smelter, expanded ports as well as significant quantities of industrial salt, the stage is set for Ghana to position itself to develop a resilient integrated aluminum industry that will create thousands of jobs,” she stated.
Location of bauxite reserves:
The bauxite reserves currently being considered for mining is estimated to be in the region of 900 million metric tons (MT), across the three bauxite reserves in Ghana namely Nyinahin in Ashanti Region, Kibi in the Eastern Region and Awaso in the Western Region.
Strict adherence to globally accepted mining codes and principles
The Chief of Staff emphasized government's commitment to prioritize the GIADEC agenda and assured all stakeholders that mining in the selected bauxite reserves would be carried out with very strict adherence to internationally accepted mining codes and principles.
Mrs. Osei Opare indicated that government's agenda to develop an aluminium Industry is anticipated to contribute significantly to the Ghanaian economy, which would inure to the benefit of all Ghanaians.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIADEC Mr Michael Ansah stated that, the workshop forms part of a process intended to engage with representatives of the core set of government-related entities who may play respective roles throughout the strategic project.
Competitive Integrated aluminum Industry:
He emphasized that, the Corporation was on course to execute its mandate of promoting and developing a globally competitive Integrated aluminum Industry in Ghana.
Selection of a partner:
According to him, GIADEC was engaged in a process of selecting a partner through its investor engagement rounds and also developing strategies that would ensure the interest of all stakeholders, including key communities that would be impacted through mining and allied activities are taken care off.
Mr. Ansah reiterated that GIADEC would continue to collaborate and deepen its engagements with the bauxite mining communities and other stakeholders, including Civil-Society Organizations, guided by globally accepted best practice and standards to ensure a responsible and sustainable Integrated aluminium industry in Ghana.
Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio thanked participants for their engagement with GIADEC.
He also underscored the importance of the meeting, and how the output from the discussions would be important in defining the infrastructure as well as the environmental framework for developing Ghana's Integrated Aluminum industry.
Also present were members of GIADEC management team and other key industry players.
The Stakeholders' Workshop was organized to bring all government agencies and regulatory bodies that have a significant role to play in shaping key aspects – railways, ports, roads, competitive long-term power, and more - the vital components that will together underpin the outline master plan for Ghana's Integrated aluminium Industry.
The purpose of the three-day meeting was to discuss the varied environmental and community engagement issues that would need to be addressed to ensure successful execution of the programme in line with responsible mining principles.
The Agencies and Corporations represented included; Ghana Railway Development Authority, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Energy Commission, and Ghana Gas Company.
The Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) and Ghana Bauxite Company, which are now operating as part of GIADEC, were also represented at the workshop.
Others present were Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Commission and Forestry Commission, as well as representatives from the impacted mining communities, ensuring on-going engagement with the statutory agencies as well as the community representatives.