Big Boost For Mining Sector
Major investors attending the global conference and exhibition on mining currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa, are said to be finalizing discussions on their plans to invest massively in Ghana’s mining sector, after the industry has become the centre of attraction at the expo.
Prospective investors who thronged the Ghana Pavilion, expressed satisfaction with the country’s extractive industry due to the huge investment opportunities, after holding series of engagements with the Ghanaian delegation.
The four-day event, which started on Monday, May 9, is expected to come to an end today, May 12, 2022.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, led by Samuel Abu Jinapor and his Deputy Minister in-charge of Mines, George MirekuDuker, who are leading Ghana’s delegation are said to be leaving no stone unturned in making sure that the nation’s mining sector becomes the preferred destination in Africa for investment.
They reiterated government’s commitment to create the enabling environment for businesses for the mining sector to thrive.
Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of government agencies, mining firms, and others primarily under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources who were at the four-day global conference and exhibition, have taken their turn to extensively market the mining sector to the investors.
Some of the companies attending the conference include; Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), the Minerals Commission, Newmont Africa, Adamus Resources Limited, Rocksure International and Chirano Gold Mine, as well as, Ghana Oil Limited (GOIL).
The Minerals Commission led by its CEO, Martin Ayisi is also showcasing Ghana as the preferred mining investment destination in Africa.
GIADEC, on the other hand, is seeking to leverage the country’s existing bauxite company and the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) to drive the full commercial exploitation of the country’s bauxite reserves.
It also seeks to add value through refining bauxite into alumina and smelting alumina to produce aluminium while encouraging the development of downstream industries.
Newmont Africa, which has two gold mining operations in the country – Ahafo South Mine and the Akyem Mine – is hoping to expand its footprints in the country and provide significant upside potential for maintaining Newmont Africa’s strong performance.
For Rocksure, it is seeking to become a significant driver in the repositioning of mining as a crucial platform for the country’s economic development and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
Meanwhile, the Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, is pushing for a policy and legislative framework to regulate the mining industry in Africa for development.
He stated that, a statutory framework on natural resources, known to both investors and states, ensures that investors who come into Africa will be aware of the fiscal framework of countries.
According to him, if the regulatory framework is well-known, the rules do not get changed in the middle of an agreement leading to conflict.
Speaking on Tuesday, May 10, on the sideline of the Mining Conference in South Africa, on the theme, “Resource Nationalism Challenge: “How has the Global Pandemic Shaped Sovereign State Views on Resource Nationalism and Collaboration,” Mr. Jinapor argued that resource nationalism is at the heart of the mining industry, adding that, how this is dealt with is very significant.
He pointed out that resource nationalism has not yet been given a very definitive definition by academics and mining experts, even though, at the policy-making level it is considered in two ways.
According to him, the consideration of outright exploration, seizures and state control interventions has become quite unfashionable and given way to new reasoning.
“The sophisticated tools of local content, indigenisation, tweaking of already established contracts and agreements and breach of contracts, and so on, which is also another mechanism for resource nationalism, has become common.
“Being able to attract the needed capital investment and technology and how to exploit these resources for the benefit of the citizens of the state is the biggest issue we have to deal with,” he stated.
Citing the example of Ghana, the minister averred that the framework for the mining sector is certain and cast out clearly, and therefore if an investor wants to take a decision to invest in Ghana, they can be certain they are investing in a democratic state where the rule of law prevails and the sanctity of contract is the norm.
“And so, if we get into negotiations and we cast the terms of our negotiation in a contract, you can be rest assured that it will be respected,” he added.
He disclosed that President Akufo-Addo has rolled out a programme and a vision that will result in a major paradigm shift in how the Ghanaian mining industry is regulated and operated, which is the insistence on value addition.
This programme, he said, is determined to ensure that value is added to minerals mined in Ghana such as gold, from exploration, prospecting and mining to refinery, to the downstream industries.
“All of these are matters that we’re planning. So is it for iron, steel and bauxite. By an Act of Parliament, we are insisting that within five years after the promulgation of the law, no raw bauxite can be exported out of Ghana.
“Value addition will ensure that we retain a lot of the value in Ghana as well as put in place special institutional arrangements such as the Mineral Development Fund where we are dedicating 20% of our royalties for development in mining communities in Ghana, and the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) where we are seeking to collateralise and leverage royalties for national development, and in mining communities bring about capital to indigenise the mining community in our country,” he said.