Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has announced that four new mines will commence operation fully in the next two and half years . He said the move is meant to enhance the effort at making the country a mining hub on the continent.
Ghana is currently Africa’s leading gold producer and sixth in the world, and is looking to add the Ahafo North Mine, to be operated by Newmont Africa; Cardinal Resources Mine at Talinsi in the Upper East Region; and Azumah Resources in the Nadowli-Kaleo district of the Upper West Region. All are gold mines.
The fourth company, which has not been disclosed, will operate a lithium mine at Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman municipality of the Central Region.
The minister had earlier disclosed that the country exported gold worth US$6.6billion in 2022 – up from US$5.08billion in 2021 but lower than the US$6.77billion recorded in the previous year.
The new mines, when operationalised, will further cement Ghana’s position as a leading producer of the precious yellow metal and boost state earnings from mining in the face of recent downturns in economic activity.
On the lithium mine, Mr. Jinapor said government is putting in place a different structure for exploitation of ‘green mineral’ to ensure the state makes the most out of it. He said the plan is drawn from lessons learned over decades of gold mining, and is meant to ensure that the same mistakes of raw material exports are not repeated.
These developments, which are a considerable boost to government’s vision of making the country the preferred mining destination in Africa, he explains, are happening on the back of significant investments in exploration.
“There are also significant investments in the redevelopment and expansion of existing mines. After reviving the Obuasi Mine in 2019, the Bibiani Mine – which had been dormant for seven years – has also been revived, and production started in October last year,” he said
The minister disclosed this during a press briefing in Accra, and said he expects the mines’ development to result in a significant increase of mineral production and government revenue.
Furthermore, to promote more investment in the sector, he said government is conducting a general review of the Mining Policy adopted in 2014, and the Minerals and Mining Act that was passed in 2006. This is intended to align them with current developments in the mining industry, he added.
He also announced that the Minerals Commission has increased the amount of items on the local procurement list of goods and services reserved for Ghanaians from 41 to 50, for 2023. This, he explained, is part of the measures to promote job creation in the mining industry through the use of local expertise, goods and services.
The new additions include provision of medical services at mine sites, construction and management of tailings storage facilities, assaying and motor rewinding.
“We have also increased the provision of financial, insurance and reinsurance services reserved for Ghanaians from 20 percent to a minimum of 60 percent. The provision of these goods and services by Ghanaians will ensure that we retain, here in our country, some US$3billion annually which would have otherwise been exported,” he said.