The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, says the government’s quest to build an integrated aluminium industry in the country is on course, and progressing steadily. He said this is in line with the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation Act, 2018 (Act 976), which establishes the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) to promote and develop an integrated aluminium industry in the country.
The Minister said this when he opened a two-day Workshop on the downstream aluminium industry in Akosombo in the Eastern Region. The workshop, which was organised by GIADEC, in partnership with the Strategic Anchor Industries Unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), brought together stakeholders in the aluminium industry to deliberate on policy options and implementation plan for the downstream aluminium industry. This follows an extensive research, data collection and technical analysis of best practices across the world carried out by GIADEC and ODI.
Delivering the keynote address at the workshop, Mr. Jinapor emphasised the need to add value to our mineral resources to ensure optimal benefit from these resources. He said Government has since 2017 been pursuing this path for all our mineral resources including gold, bauxite, iron ore, lithium and other green minerals.
Speaking specifically on bauxite, Mr. Jinapor said while the raw ore sells for around Sixty US Dollars (US$60.00) per metric tonne, primary aluminium, produced from bauxite, sells for over Two Thousand US Dollars (US$2,000.00) per metric tonne. He said Ghana has an estimated bauxite resource base of over nine hundred million metric tonnes (900,000,000Mt), capable of creating some two million sustainable jobs, and generating over One Trillion US Dollars in revenue if fully integrated. Unfortunately, we have, over the years, failed to make the needed investment in this area.
He expressed Government’s optimism on the contribution of a fully-integrated aluminium industry to socio-economic development. “It is for this reason that in 2018, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took that bold decision to establish, by an Act of Parliament, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), to promote and develop an integrated aluminium industry, here in our country,” the Minster said.
According to Mr. Jinapor, GIADEC has, since its establishment, developed a Masterplan for the upstream sector, and is implementing its Four Project Agenda, to expand the existing mine, build three additional mines, build refineries, and modernise the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), with all four projects at various stages of implementation.
It is therefore necessary to prepare the downstream industry and make it ready to off-take products from the upstream industry. He urged participants at the workshop to bring their expertise to bear, and come out with policy options and plans that that will help build a robust, functioning and vibrant downstream aluminium industry that contributes, meaningfully, to our national economy.
Other participants at the workshop included senior officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Overseas Development Institute, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, and companies in the upstream and downstream aluminium industry.