The new strategic partner for Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC), OPCL, has been officially introduced to the chiefs and people of Sefwi-Anhwiaso-Bekwai in the Western North Region, by the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC).
OPCL, a wholly owned Ghanaian company acquired the majority share of 80 per cent in March this year, after the Chinese mining firm, Bosai Minerals Group Limited, offloaded its majority share in the company.
With OPCL acquiring the 80 per cent, the government's interest in GBC is 20 per cent, and is held by GIADEC.
At a courtesy call, first on the President of the Western-North Regional House of Chiefs and Sefwi Ahwiaso Traditional Council, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, at his Palace in Sefwi Ahwiaso, the traditional leader, who doubles as President of the National House of Chiefs, commended GIADEC for ensuring a seamless transition from the old to the new managers of GBC which had led to the continuity of work without any break.
He was particularly thankful to the CEO of GIADEC, Mr Michael Ansah, for playing an instrumental role in ensuring that there were no job losses during the transitional phase as that was a major concern, especially for the local workers.
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II commended OPCL for taking up the management of GBC and urged them to 'turn a new leaf' in the operations of the company.
According to him, the communities had not enjoyed any meaningful benefits, especially during the administration of Bosai Minerals Group Limited, and thus expected OPCL to do things differently.
He made a passionate appeal to OPCL and GIADEC to offer employment opportunities to the teeming youth in the area and keep the traditional council updated on major developments.
The delegation's next stop was at the Palace of the President of Sefwi Bekwai Traditional Council, Oyeadeyie Basape Kwadwo Armah II for a formal introduction of OPCL as the new majority shareholder in GBC.
The team was welcomed by the Acting President of the Traditional Council, Katakyie Kwasi Afful, who reiterated the need for OPCL not to neglect the community, but see it as one of its key stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer of GIADEC, Mr Michael Ansah expressed his gratitude to the traditional leaders for their continuous support to the Integrated Aluminium Industry (IAI) vision and assured them that he remained committed to the overriding goal of value addition.
The new outlook for GBC, in the short to medium term, according to Mr Ansah was to ramp up production from one million tonnes per annum to two million per annum.
Touching on the role of OPCL in executing Project 1, one of four projects under the IAI, Mr Ansah emphasised that GIADEC was currently assessing the capacity of OPCL to execute Project 1 which involved the expansion of the existing Awaso mine and building of a refinery.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of OPCL, Mr Ofori Poku, was grateful to the traditional leaders for their endorsement and show of support.
The delegation from GIADEC included its Deputy CEO, Akwasi Osei-Adjei; Executive Assistant to the CEO, KojoYankah; Communications Manager, Sheriff Appiah; External Affairs and Sustainability Manager, Ernest Appiah, and Joseph Chibae Adjaho, member of the communications team.
The delegation was also joined by Senior Executive Members of Ofori Poku Company Limited (OPCL).