Ghana Should Benefit More From Bauxite Industry

16 September 2021

Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) reports that Ghana is set to establish its first bauxite refinery to process raw bauxite into aluminium products and that it has selected and signed an agreement with its first strategic partner, Rocksure International.

Rocksure is a wholly-owned Ghanaian company which operates across Ghana and the West African sub-region with expertise in mining services, drilling services, load and haulage, while GIADEC is established by the government to develop an integrated aluminium industry in Ghana by creating an aluminium refinery for the country's bauxite and streamline the whole value chain.

Therefore, as part of the agreement, Rocksure is expected to develop a new bauxite mine within the next 24 months at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso in the Ashanti Region and a refinery to process the raw bauxite into alumina within the same period under the Project Two of the four-phase development of an integrated aluminium industry in the country.

At the ceremony in Accra on Tuesday to sign the agreement, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GIADEC, Mr Michael Ansah, said the Rocksure contract was estimated to contain 390 million metric tonnes of bauxite and the government, through GIADEC, would own 30 per cent shares upon its development.

Mr Ansah said the Nyinahin-Mpasaaso project would see to the production of five million tonnes of bauxite per annum with the capacity to create more than 1,000 direct jobs.

What gives the Ghanaian Times more joy is that GIADEC is going to revamp and expand the existing mine at Awaso, and the smelter in Tema to ensure these are aligned with the new projects for national development.

Besides, new mines will be developed at Kyebi and Nyinahin and refineries built to ensure that bauxite mined in Ghana is refined in the country to produce alumina for use in smelter to produce aluminium for local market and for export.

These would surely increase job openings in the sector and increase income tax accruing to the state.

The paper wishes to commend GIADEC for putting out issues based on scientific evidence such as having qualifying historical data to verify and understand the quality and quantity of bauxite resources; developing a master plan establishing working groups focused on the areas critical to the success of the whole bauxite industry; and even giving an estimate of up to $6 billion needed for the four projects targeted.

If GIADEC would work according to its plan as it has presented to the public, then barring circumstances beyond human control, the country's bauxite would be exploited and processed in a responsible manner as the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, hopes to see.

In spite of this, it is not out of place for this paper or other sources to express a perspective or two about the matter.

We live in a country where politicians and corporate leadership talk smoothly about how they can achieve success in one enterprise or another but parry any blame for failure, often passing the buck to a vulnerable source when the day of accountability comes.

It's about time the country employed all the available legal means to check the running of state enterprises every step of the way to avoid problems such as those captured in the Auditor-General's annual reports, including corruption and misapplication of funds.

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