Let’s add value to our minerals
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Let’s add value to our minerals

Ghana is endowed with abundant natural resources, ranging from gold, bauxite, manganese to timber.


In spite of the economic potential of these resources, the nation derives minimal benefits from their exploitation as they are often exported in their crude state – without refining.

Apart from the low export earnings, the exportation of these mineral resources in their raw form deprives the state of the numerous jobs that could have been created along the value chain.

To help reverse this trend, the government has, since 2017, rolled out certain policy interventions to build a robust infrastructure for value addition.

In 2018, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) was set up to develop and promote Ghana's integrated aluminium industry.

This was followed by the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) in 2019 with the overarching goal to leverage Ghana's iron ore reserves and allied steel assets to drive the country’s industrialisation programme.

Aside from these, the Royal Gold Ghana Limited (RGGL), a refinery in which the state has a 20 per cent stake, has also been established at the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC).

To help consolidate the gains, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, yesterday on our front page called on stakeholders in the natural resource sector to support the government’s agenda to add value to the country’s resources.

He underscored the fact 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.

The minister noted that the discovery of Lithium, iron ore and other green minerals in commercial quantities in some parts of the country showed the promise of improving the fortunes of the country, with the right structures to be laid to promote value addition along the chain.

The Daily Graphic finds the path that government is charting to put in place the right systems and infrastructure as a step in the right direction.

It is pathetic that after many decades of mining, Ghana cannot add value to the gold and other minerals, and continue to receive a pittance for the abundant natural resources.

What we find even more worrying is the fact that the crude methods used in exploiting gold and other minerals have a devastating impact on forests, land and water bodies in the country.

Environmental crimes such as mining in forest reserves, illegal logging, the harvesting of Rosewood and felling of economic trees with impunity have resulted in the loss of the country’s vegetation cover.

The recent State of the Forest Report by the Forestry Commission revealed that 4,726 hectares of the country’s forest reserves have been wiped out by illegal mining activities.
Major rivers such as the Ankobra, Bia, Pra and Offin have been heavily polluted by illegal mining activities, making residents in mining communities to hunger and thirst for fresh water.

We cannot afford to lose our land and water resources to illegalities in the natural resource sector while getting paltry returns on those resources because of the lack of value addition.

The Daily Graphic is also of the view that while efforts are being made to add value to the natural resources, it is important for all stakeholders to collectively work towards restoring our degraded landscape. It is in that regard that we support initiatives being implemented by the government to restore forest reserves and lands that have been heavily impacted by illegal mining.

We believe that the planting of over 31 million trees in two years under the Green Ghana project sets the tone to restoring our degraded landscape.

The national land reclamation project rolled out under the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme, targeted at reclaiming lands destroyed by illegal miners along river bodies, is commendable.

In the interest of our future generation, we call on all stakeholders to collaborate and work together for better solutions to the challenges confronting the natural resources sector.


Together, we can put our natural resources to good use while protecting the interest of the future generation.

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