The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government’s quest to build an integrated aluminium industry in the country is on course and progressing steadily.
He said that was in line with the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation Act, 2018 (Act 976) which established 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 Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region yesterday.
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 an implementation plan for the downstream aluminium industry.
It follows 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, who is also the Member of Parliament for Damongo in the North East Region, emphasised the need to add value to the country’s mineral resources to ensure optimal benefit from them.
He said the government had, since 2017, been pursuing the path for all mineral resources, including gold, bauxite, iron ore, lithium and other green minerals.
On bauxite, the minister said while the raw ore sold for around $60 per tonne, the primary aluminium, produced from bauxite, was selling for over $2,000 per tonne.
He added that Ghana had an estimated bauxite resource base of over 900 million tonnes, capable of creating more than two million sustainable jobs and generating over $1 trillion in revenue if fully integrated.
“Unfortunately, we have, over the years, failed to make the needed investment in this area,” the minister lamented.
He expressed the government’s optimism of the contribution of a fully integrated aluminium industry to socio-economic development.
“It is for this reason that, in 2018, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took that bold decision to establish, by an Act of Parliament, GIADEC to promote and develop an integrated aluminium industry here in our country,” Mr Jinapor said.
According to the minister, GIADEC had, since its establishment, developed a masterplan for the upstream sector and was implementing its Four Project Agenda to expand the existing mine, build three additional mines, build refineries and modernise the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO).
He said all four projects were 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 added.
Mr Jinapor urged participants at the workshop to bring their expertise to bear and come up with policy options and plans that would help build a robust, functioning and vibrant downstream aluminium industry that contributed meaningfully to the national economy.
Other participants at the workshop were senior officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the ODI, the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and companies in the upstream and the downstream aluminium industry.