Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said late last week that bauxite mining in the Atewa Forest will go forward despite objections from some quarters that such activity may threaten the flora and fauna of the wildlife preserve.
Speaking to journalists on Friday, Akufo-Addo said that investors and mining partners for the project will be revealed early next year. The undertaking is part of a US$2 billion agreement with China SinoHydro Corporation Limited to swap the site’s estimated 165 million metric tons of bauxite for a nationwide infrastructure upgrade project.
Though some object to the project on the basis of environmental grounds, Akufo-Addo assured the assembled reporters that all necessary precautions would be undertaken to protect the 90 square mile preserve.
“I’m hoping that by the end of the first quarter of next year we will be able to announce to the world the investors and the partnerships for the development of our deposits in Nyinahini and Awaso a reality.”
“You must know that the ones [bauxite deposits] in Kyebi are of a particular concern to me and whatever we can do to make sure that it happens, I’m gonna make sure that it happens,” he promised. “Same with Nynahin, same with Awaso.”
Akufo-Addo said that mining of the country’s rich mineral resources is the first step in creating an end-to-end metal value chain that will help boost the country’s economic fortunes.
Ghana has “the capacity to establish here, the full value chain of the exploitation of our bauxite resources” he opined.
In addition to establishing a robust aluminium trade, Akufo-Addo said that developing its iron ore and manganese deposits “can create steel industry for you. We have substantial deposits of manganese. We’re doing our best to make sure that what we have is preserved so that we can use it also for the exploitation of iron ore.”
“We have significant iron deposits in the North East Region of our country and Oppong Manso in the Western Region,” he noted.