MIIF to support industrial salt production
The Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) has revealed plans to support the development of the salt industry in the country with the Ada Songhor Lagoon as its utmost priority.
In accordance with MIIF’s investment strategy, Electrochem Ghana Limited, which operates the Songhor Salt project, has agreed to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) as a condition of MIIF’s investment.
The plan was firmed up when the Board and Management of MIIF and officials of the GSE embarked on a working tour of the Ada Songhor Salt mine this week.
The Ada Salt pans on the Songhor Lagoon have the potential to be the largest salt-producing area in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, told reporters after the tour that MIIF was far advanced with plans to invest in the Ada Songhor salt project towards developing it to be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Ultimately, this investment seeks to ensure that Ghana benefits from the many uses of salt, especially as a core input to support the industrialisation agenda of the Government of Ghana,” he added.
The Ada Songhor Salt Project, which sits on some 41,000 acres straddling at least 33 Ada Communities, is larger in acreage than Walvis Bay of Namibia, which is about 16,700 acres and is the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to officials of Electrochem Ghana Limited, the Ghanaian company developing the salt pans, the Songhor, had the potential to produce more than five million tonnes at capacity with an estimated 650,000 tonnes of industrial salt in 2023 and around 1.5 million tonnes over the next five years with a 99.99 per cent purity.
MIIF has declared salt as a priority mineral in Ghana in line with its investment strategy of generating downstream to upstream value from every single mineral.
The CEO of MIIF, Mr Koranteng further stressed that “Salt is an infinite resource with over 14,000 uses.
At full potential and with such expansive usage, salt in Ghana has the potential to earn around $500 million a year in foreign exchange with Nigeria and the sub-region as priority markets.”
That, Mr Koranteng said, was the reason why MIIF was excited about this opportunity for Ghana and was currently working on a broad-based investment that would include a listing of the project on the GSE.
The scale of the Ada Songhor salt project also presents opportunities for two export jetties to facilitate export and other lake transport opportunities, create massive employment in the producing areas and substantially revitalise the local economies.
Listing of Electrochem on GSE
“Investing in salt is part of our mineral diversification strategy in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s charge to MIIF to ensure that we create Ghanaian business champions while at the same time creating opportunities along the value chain and on the capital markets for Ghanaians to directly have the chance to invest in such companies,” Mr Koranteng stated.
The Board Chairman of MIIF, Professor Douglas Boateng, indicated that “the Fund is targeting investments across the producing areas in the Greater Accra and Central regions of Ghana”.
The Managing Director of the GSE, Abena Amoah, who is also a member of the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) of MIIF, said: “What I have come to see here, really warms my heart. A great company is underpinned by the quality of the asset.”
“We can become Africa’s number one salt producer, the sea never dries, the technology exists to mine the salt, the market for salt is not in doubt and with some ringfencing and great risk management, the investment in Electrochem and its listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange will be a win-win for all Ghanaians,” she added.