Samuel A. Jinapor — Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
Samuel A. Jinapor — Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

Ghana won’t export green minerals in raw state — Lands Minister

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has reiterated the government’s commitment to add value to Ghana’s mineral resources, particularly the green minerals. 

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He said Ghana would not export its lithium and other green minerals in their raw state under any circumstances.  

The minister made this known at the Bloomberg New Economy Africa Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The event was held on June 13 and 14, 2023.

The conference brought together leaders from the private and public sectors to discuss the world’s most pressing issues and to evaluate potential solutions in the context of local and regional priorities.

This year’s conference put the spotlight on Africa’s green minerals.

Panel discussion

During a panel discussion on building value from the energy transition, the minister said the surest way to benefit from the green minerals in view of the green energy transition was to ensure value addition.

Mr Jinapor said one of the reasons Africa had not benefited from its several years of mining was the over-concentration on the export of raw minerals.

“To be able to benefit from the green minerals, therefore, we must make a conscious effort to move away from the export of raw materials to value addition,” he said.

Endowment

Ghana is endowed with several green minerals, including lithium, graphite, chrome, zinc, copper, cobalt and nickel.

Lithium, in particular, has been found in high grade in the Central Region.

According to experts, the global lithium industry at the mining stage is about $11 billion, while the value of the industry at the highest end, which is battery production, is estimated at $7 trillion.

But the processes from mining to battery production are heavily capital intensive.

Currently, China is the only country doing end-to-end retention of the full value from mining to battery production.  

Mr Jinapor said even though Ghana may not be able to retain the full value chain from mining to battery production in the country at this stage, the government was committed to ensuring that as much as possible, a significant proportion of the value chain was retained in Ghana.

“We intend to end the practice of not adding value to our mineral resources.

We are beginning by establishing the appropriate policy and legal framework for Ghana to significantly benefit from the new paradigm of green energy,” the minister said.

He disclosed that a policy for the exploitation, management and utilisation of the country’s green minerals was currently before Cabinet for its consideration.

He said the overall object of the policy was to ensure that the Ghanaian public benefited from those minerals through value addition, local content and local participation.

The minister expressed optimism that Cabinet would soon approve the policy to pave the way for the exploitation of our lithium resources.

Lithium is the main mineral used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, alongside bauxite, manganese and other green minerals.

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Ghana has been mining bauxite and manganese for several years but is yet to exploit its lithium resources.    

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