President Akufo-Addo does not want the mineral resources of the nation to be managed in a disappointing manner like was done to gold.
“Fortunately for us, we have discovered Lithium in commercial quantities and occurrences of cobalt, nickel, copper, lead, zinc and chromium in parts of our country. We cannot do with these minerals what we have done with our gold resources over the years,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking yesterday to open the two-day stakeholder dialogue on sustainable natural resource management, which was organised by the Graphic Communication Group.
The President announced that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources was finalising a policy document for the exploitation, utilisation and management of the newly found minerals. The document is expected to be placed before the Cabinet for consideration in the coming weeks.
“Let me assure you that we will do whatever it takes to ensure that the exploitation and utilisation of these green minerals are done in an environmentally-sound manner and in a way that ensures optimal benefit to the people of Ghana. This, we will never compromise on,” he assured the nation.
President Akufo-Addo told participants at the stakeholder dialogue that there were laws to ensure that no bauxite or iron ore was exported out of the country in its raw state.
He mentioned Section 28 of the GIADEC Law and Section 30 of the GIISDEC Law, which empowers the Minister to make regulations to that effect.
The government intends to leverage technology and invoke provisions of the law to add value to raw bauxite before exporting it to other countries, but says it will ensure that the highest value of these minerals is retained in Ghana.
According to President Akufo-Addo, government was aware of the importance of Lithium and the other green minerals, which have been described as the minerals of the future, due to their significance to the green energy transition.
REFINERY AND LICENSE
As part of the measures being undertaken, President Akufo-Addo said that, through public-private partnership, a 400-kilogram-per-day capacity refinery has been established. The facility would be used to refine the gold Ghana produces.
He added that work was also progressing steadily on securing a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) certification to be able to easily trade our refined gold on the international market.
The President noted that the Bank of Ghana’s Domestic Gold Purchase Programme, launched in June 2021, had yielded positive results in just 18 months.
He remarked that through the purchase of 20% of gold domestically, the country’s reserves have increased from 8 to 14 tonnes, as at the end of 2022. The national gold reverses between the 1980s and June 2021 were eight tonnes.
President Akufo-Addo wished the stakeholders at the dialogue a fruitful discussion and said he was looking forward to the outcome of the conference.
The two-day natural resources stakeholder dialogue is under the theme: “harnessing our natural resources for our sustainable collective good.”
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the Akufo-Addo-led government was systematically laying key building blocks to construct a sustainable natural resources sector.
This sector, he stated, would generate employment and contribute meaningfully to the development of the nation.
The minister did not shy away from the challenges that confront the sector but added that “our objective is yet to be fully accomplished. And that is one of the reasons we have gathered here today.”
It was the hope of the minister that, through the dialogue, the country could forge a common path to sustainably manage its natural resources, add value to them and retain the highest end while protecting the environment.
The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr. AtoAfful, welcoming participants, said the objective of the dialogue was to achieve broad consensus on how to progress from where the nation was in harnessing its natural resources for sustainable collective good.