The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has given an assurance to the nation that the government will not needlessly compromise the integrity of Atewa Forest, but rather exploit the available mineral for the ultimate benefit of the citizenry.
He added that the government and the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) would continue to be fully committed to the preservation of the Atewa Forest to “ensure that the exploitation of the bauxite in Atewa is in the public interest, as well as preserve the integrity of the forest”.
The Minister gave the assurance while speaking to Aljazeera Media Network over the weekend. He said GIADEC considers Atewa Forest as one of the key projects being relentlessly pursued by government, together with Awaso, Nyinahin-Mpasaaso, Kyebi and Valco projects, all in the effort to build an integrated iron and aluminum industry.
He reiterated that the government is putting in place measures to ensure that, particularly, bauxite and iron ore are built with the full value chain retained in the country.
“Government has created bureaucracies here like the GIADEC and GISDEC, which are going to be responsible for building the full value chain of this bauxite and iron ore,” he disclosed.
The Minister explained that the thin line between mining the bauxite and preserving the environment is striking a delicate balance to ensure that the country’s industrialisation drive continues, saying the presence of these minerals provides “the starting point for industrial development and prosperity of the country”.
“We cannot progress and unleash the prosperity our people so dearly need without industrialization, and we cannot industrialise without building these integrated bauxite and iron industries,” he maintained.
To this end, the Minister stated that the government is also ensuring that the bauxite in Atewa is exploited in a manner that does not unreasonably compromise the ecological integrity of the forest.
Touching on the production of gold, the Lands and Natural Resource Minister indicated that the government intends to keep Ghana’s position as a leading producer of gold and the sixth on the world scale, and even do more.
He added that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has plans of changing the equation of Ghana being a major resource rich country which only produces raw material to a country that builds and retains the full value chain of its minerals.
“Government is therefore making efforts to ensure that refineries in Ghana acquire the London Bullion Market Association Certification (LBMA), and become fit for purpose to participate in the global refinery industry,” he revealed.
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