GIADEC will ensure value-addition to bauxite to prevent raw exports – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), has strategically been established by government to add value to the country’s raw bauxite resources in order to phase out the raw export of the natural resource in the short to medium term.
He made the assertion when he addressed participants of a two-day natural resource stakeholders dialogue at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel on Thursday, May 11, 2023, under the theme: "Harnessing our Natural Resources Responsibly for our Sustainable Collective Good,".
The dialogue, which was organised by the Graphic Communications Group Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, was aimed at generating stakeholder discussions on policy suggestions that can be implemented to arrest the phenomenon of illegal mining and logging.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana over the years has not always done well in “negotiations with the country’s that exploit” her natural resources and that among other things such as “corruption, incompetence and political instability”, the nation has mostly been short sighted in these negotiations, thus, end up settling for less”.
Worse still, he observed that the country has “until recently, failed to put in place the requisite framework which will enable us to establish highest ends of the value chains of the extractive industry.
“Extensive tax and royalties’ exemptions, intolerable labour practices and lack of value addition in country has resulted in exceptional profits to mining companies at the expense of our communities, towns, cities and countries. we cannot repeat these mistakes.
“While it is fully understood that mining companies must make profit from their businesses, it is important that this is not done at the expense of lands and the peoples that provide these resources” President Akufo-Addo said.
“For several years, the extractive sector has been the largest tax base of our country apart from providing thousands of employments to several young men and women. The truth however, is that over the years, we have not benefited optimally from these resources’ duty to our over dependence of the export of raw products” he added.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo noted that “there is no gain saying the fact that the real value of natural resources lies in their value addition”. He emphasised that “the value of the global Aluminium industry for example from bauxite mining through Alumina sheltering and Alumina production is estimated to be in excess of one hundred and eighty billion United States dollars annually”.
“But raw bauxite accounts for only 7.6% of this market, while the remaining 92.3 % is generated from processed bauxite. This case is not different from those of Gold, iron ore, manganese, cobalt or lithium. Indeed, currently, African countries involved in the production of lithium are set to be making just about 10% of the entire value chain of the electric battery industry.
“This is why government has prioritised local content and local participation as well as value addition in the natural resources sector to ensure that we derive optimal benefits from this God given resources” President Akufo-Addo pointed out.
“Through the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), established in 2018, we are working to ensure value-addition in our bauxite resources through refining, sheltering, Aluminium production, as well as production of other downstream Aluminium products.
“The implementation of the 4-project agenda [of GIADEC] is expected to optimise production in the upstream industry and spare production and job creation in the downstream sector” Akufo-Addo further remarked.
Making further emphasis on his assertion about the potential of GIADEC, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “with an estimated bauxite resource base of over 900 million metric tonnes, this sector can serve as an anchor for the country’s industrialization if we continue to pursue value-added policies”.
“By section 28 of the GIADEC law, and section 30 of the GISDEC law, the Minister for lands and Natural resources is empowered to make regulations to ensure that no bauxite or iron ore in their raw state is exported out of the country after five years of the coming into force of these laws.
“With the policies and measures we are putting in place, we intend to invoke these provisions of our law and soon, bauxite and iron ore will no longer be exported be exported in their raw state from the country. We will ensure that the highest level of these minerals is maintained in our country” Akufo-Addo said.
The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), commenced operations in 2019, and the corporation is working to ensure value addition across the full value chain of aluminium production.
GIADEC is driving the development of mining, refining to produce alumina, and smelting to produce primary aluminium, and ultimately to develop a downstream aluminium industry, in Ghana.
GIADEC has made significant progress in the development of the four projects, which together, define Ghana’s Integrated Aluminium Development programme. The projects were officially launched in September, 2021 by President Akufo-Addo.