The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, has delivered a compelling address at the thirtieth anniversary of the Investing in African Mining Indaba held at Cape Town on Monday, 5th February, 2024, with a resounding call to “Invest in the number one mining destination of Africa. The Minister showcased the country as the undisputed mining hub of Africa.
Ghana’s mining legacy, spanning over a century, was highlighted by the Minister as he emphasised the diverse mineral wealth the country possesses, including gold, diamond, bauxite, manganese, lithium, iron ore, copper, zinc, nickel, chrome, lead, and salt.
Underscoring Ghana’s gold production leadership on the continent, he reported an unprecedented four million ounces produced last year, with plans for expansion and the addition of three new gold mines in the country.
“We have three (3) new gold mines currently under construction, one by Newmont in the middle belt of the country, and two in Northern Ghana, by Cardinal Namdini and Azumah Resources, with Cardinal Namdini’s Project expected to pour its first gold this year. With these new mines and the expansion of existing ones, we expect to increase gold output to some four point five million ounces (4,500,000 oz), annually,” he explained.
Breaking away from the conventional notion that gold was exclusive to the southern part of Ghana, the Minister revealed new gold deposits identified in the Savannah Region, inviting investors to join in the exploration of this promising frontier, known in Ghana as the “Dollar Power”.
The Minister also detailed Ghana’s commitment to value addition in mineral resources, showcasing a new four hundred kilogramme (400kg) capacity gold refinery. Fruitful discussions with South Africa’s Rand Refinery were disclosed, indicating progress towards securing a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) certification.
“Beyond gold, Ghana is strategically leveraging over nine hundred million metric tonnes (900,000,000MMt) of bauxite resources to build an integrated aluminum industry.”
The Minister highlighted initiatives such as the construction of a Four Hundred and Fifty Million US Dollars (US$450,000,000.00) manganese refinery and the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) to harness iron ore resources for an integrated iron and steel industry.
Addressing the lithium market, the Minister affirmed Ghana’s commitment to value addition, echoing a firm stance against the raw export of lithium resources. This commitment aligns with Ghana’s Green Minerals Policy, aiming to contribute to the global green energy transition.
“And if we have not said it loud enough, permit me to repeat, Ladies and Gentlemen, under NO circumstance will we export our lithium resources in their raw state,” he stressed.
The Minister underscored Ghana’s dedication to using mining as a catalyst for sustainable development. Policy and legislative reforms since 2017 have prioritised efficient exploitation, environmental protection, value addition, local content, and local participation. The government aims to shift from the traditional “dig and ship” model to a new era of beneficiation, ensuring optimal returns and investment security.
Highlighting opportunities across the entire mining value chain, the Minister emphasised the potential for exploration, mining, refining, processing, and downstream industries. Ghana’s strategic location and the benefits of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) were presented as key advantages, enabling investors to use Ghana as a launchpad to reach the broader African market.
Hon. Jinapor, in his address, assured the global investor community of Ghana’s readiness for business, backed by a stable democracy and a progressive fiscal regime. Ghana, “the beacon of democracy in Africa,” offers an attractive investment destination with ease of access to geological information, transparent governance institutions, and highly skilled mining personnel.
In his final words, the call to action resounded. He wooed investors from Africa and on the global scale to invest in Ghana, showcasing the country’s rich mining potential and inviting them to join in the exciting journey towards sustainable and mutually beneficial mining ventures.