The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has observed that the mining sector in Ghana remains very huge, adding that the sector is supported by strong structures of political stability anchored on a vibrant democratic culture.
According to him, these are the ingredients that make the country conducive for investment.
He said government aims to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa, where all mining and mining related activities, from exploration to downstream production, and from research to innovation, will be centred.
That position, he said, requires continuous engagement with the industry players and other resource-rich countries to build the right and strategic partnerships in making new discoveries. He noted that such effort can lead readily to innovations through research and development or sharing of ideas and policies in improving the sector and ensuring that the industry contributes meaningfully to sustainable development.
The Minister, who was speaking at the 20th edition of the African Down Under Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia, mentioned government’s continued efforts to strengthen the country’s ties with the Commonwealth of Australia, particularly in the mining sector.
“We do all these in an atmosphere of transparency and in accord with the highest standards of integrity,” he said.
Mr Jinapor assured the investor community of ease of access to geological information, good mining governance institutions and availability of highly skilled mining personnel in an environment in which Ghana is becoming a leader and mining hub.
“We will host a Ghana event to provide more insight on investing in Ghana’s mining industry, and answer any questions you may have …. through new and existing platforms, and to work together for a responsible and sustainable mining sector that benefits both investors and Ghana,” he said.
Robust mining industry
The Minister noted that the mining sector contributes hugely to Ghana’s economy, with gold providing approximately 40 percent of export earnings and accounting for more than 90 percent of gross mineral revenues.
“We mine bauxite, manganese and diamond; there are, also, deposits of other green minerals like lithium and iron ore; base metals, such as copper, zinc, nickel, chrome and lead, as well as vast deposits of industrial or development minerals, including sand, gravel, granites and salt,” he said.
He also touted Ghana’s legal and regulatory regime, which vests all minerals in their natural state, as well as ready concessions for the exploitation of its mineral resources as invaluable assets that should attract any investor.
“There are over 15 large scale mining operations in the country, with 13 of them producing gold, and the other two producing manganese and bauxite and the mines are operated by different companies, including Australian companies like Cardinal Namdini, Azumah Resources, Perseus Mining and Castle Minerals, while, Cardinal Namdini and Azumah Resources are at this Session,” he revealed.
On diamond, he said it is largely produced from small-scale mining, but has a huge potential for viable large-scale operations. He said industrial minerals that anchor the infrastructural development of the country are also being exploited, with Clay, Feldspar, Limestone, Salt, Granites, Sand and Kaolin being mined across the nation by over 110 licensed quarry operations.
He assured that government is committed to adding value to traditional minerals, and ensuring that they have adequate linkages to the other sectors of the economy.
“Through a Public Private Partnership, established a gold refinery, and we are in the process of securing a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Certification to ensure that we are able to trade our refined gold easily on the international market,” he said.
Mr Jinapor also stated that the goal is to refine a significant portion of gold domestically though that requires building robust and viable domestic refineries.
“The volume of Ghana’s gold production in recent years, along with its enabling environment for investment, as well as the emergence of major gold producers from neighbouring Mali, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire provide an attractive-feedstock environment for efficient gold refining in Ghana,” he added.