Agenda for natural resources: Support value addition drive – Jinapor to stakeholders ahead of Graphic dialogue tomorrow
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called on stakeholders in the natural resource sector to support the government’s agenda to build robust infrastructure for value addition in the sector.
He said the policies and programmes the government had put in place for value addition were revolutionary and would ensure effective utilisation of the country’s natural resources.
Mr Jinapor stressed that building strong infrastructure for value addition was crucial as it would ensure a paradigm shift in the exportation of gold and other green minerals in their raw form.
Again, he noted that the discovery of Lithium, iron ore and other green minerals in commercial quantities in some parts of the country made it important for the right structures to be laid to promote value addition along the value chain to rake in benefits to the state.
The minister stated this in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday ahead of the national dialogue on natural resource management tomorrow and Friday being organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra.
Often referred to as “minerals of the future”, green minerals are minerals and metals that are needed to support the transition to clean energy technologies aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
A wide range of minerals that fall under the umbrella of green minerals include bauxite, cobalt, copper, lithium, granite, manganese and nickel.
In the wake of growing global concerns about the need to shift from the use of fossil fuel to power vehicles, countries are increasingly moving towards the use of electric vehicles to help reduce vehicle emissions and their impact on the climate crisis.
Mr Jinapor said it was within that context that the government had prioritised value addition to support the move towards electric vehicles.
“Green minerals such as Lithium, cobalt and phosphate are the minerals of the future. These are the minerals to be used for electric vehicle batteries, and if we can add value to them in the country, that is the way to go,” he said.
In line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of adding value to the country’s natural resources, the government has, since 2017, implemented a number of policies aimed at retaining value in the natural resource sector.
For instance, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) was established in 2018 to develop and promote Ghana’s integrated aluminium industry.
The Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) was also established in 2019 with the overarching goal to leverage Ghana’s iron ore reserves and allied steel assets to drive the country’s industrialisation.
Royal Gold Ghana Limited (RGGL), a refinery in which the state has a 20 per cent stake, has also been established on the premises of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).
The RGGL, which is a partnership between the PMMC and Rosy Royal Limited, an Indian company, has the capacity to refine between 300 and 500 kg of gold daily.
Mr Jinapor said the establishment of those entities was part of the government’s policy of value addition to mineral resources.
He stressed that a shift towards value addition would not only ensure that the country benefited fully from the natural resource endowments, but also help in tackling the climate crisis.
The minister said it was unacceptable that after many years of mining in the country, minerals were still exported in their raw form.
He observed that such a development made it impossible for the country to attract the needed foreign exchange or create employment opportunities along the value chain.
He added that the discovery of other minerals such as lithium and iron ore in various parts of the country meant that the mineral base of the country was increasingly being diversified, and the move towards value addition was crucial to leverage the potential of those minerals.
The minister observed that the discovery of more minerals was not an end in itself but that the extent to which those resources were refined would determine the value the country would derive from it.
He urged all stakeholders in the GCGL-Lands Ministry dialogue on natural resource management to bring on board useful insight into how the government’s agenda to add value to natural resources could be sustained.