President Nana Akufo-Addo, has disclosed that the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), will enter into joint venture partnership with investors for the mining of the country’s bauxite reserves, by end of the 2020. Hence Ghana government will soon announce key partner for bauxite mining.
“The process is underway for the selection this year, of joint venture partners for the development of the full value chain of these two multi-billion-dollar industries which will give a tremendous boost to Ghanaian industrialization,” He revealed.
President said this while delivering his State of the Nation Address in Parliament in Accra on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Additionally, he stated that the GIADEC and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Corporation were established by law as vehicles for the exploitation of mining of bauxite in the country.
Owing to this, he added that he expect the joint venture to expand bauxite production. Also to provide refining and smelting capacities for the manufacturing of alumina and aluminum
“We have decided at long last to explore our bauxite, manganese and iron ore deposits which allow us to establish an integrated bauxite and aluminum industry and iron and steel industry.
In 2017, Ghana signed an agreement with China for the development of a $10 billion bauxite venture which will include the construction of alumina refineries and railway infrastructure.
The two countries have since agreed to a memorandum of understanding in which China will provide funding for the project to exploit the country’s 960 million metric tons of bauxite deposits.
The agreement was engineered such that the country will use proceeds of refined bauxite sales, which will be mined by the Chinese firm, to finance the project.
Owing to this, the Government created the GIADEC, last year, to be used as a vehicle to implement this initiative.
Furthermore, the Chief Executive Officer Michael Ansah, said in an interview with Bloomberg, that the country wants to raise annual output through these round of deals to 5 million metric tons, from 1.4 million tons at the moment.
However, some Ghanaians, environmental advocates and civil society organisations have raised serious concern over the mining of the bauxite at the Atewa Forest.
For instance, Da Rocha Ghana, an environmental advocacy group, has expressed their disappointment with the government decision to allow mining in the Atewa Forest Reserve.
In addition to this, they have held demonstrations and presented petitions to state authorities, demanding that the forest should be left alone to protect it from depletion.
Again, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) in a research paper, in April last year, cast doubts about the country’s ability to honour its commitments regarding the barter agreement with China. Considering the expected revenue to be generated from the mining
Also, they said that the repayment plan may not play out as the government expects, considering current benchmark values and the proposed plan of activity for the bauxite mining process.