In the course of the Ghanaian president’s state of the union address last week, Nana Akufo-Addo revealed that the decision by Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) on the subject of a joint venture to explore the country for additional bauxite resources would be made by year’s end.
Speaking to Ghana’s parliament on Thursday, Akufo-Addo said that the decision was one made in the government’s wider industrialization plans for the country.
“We have decided at long last to explore our bauxite, manganese and iron ore deposits which allow us to establish an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry and iron and steel industry. The Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Corporation and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Corporation were established by law as the vehicles for this exploitation.”
“The process is underway for the selection this year, of joint venture partners for the development of the full value chain of these two multi-billion-dollar industries which will give a tremendous boost to Ghanaian industrialization,” Akufo-Addo continued.
The joint venture Akufo-Addo’s government is considering would involve a partnership with a firm that will build alumina refineries in the country and connecting them with a railway system.
A joint partnership would augment an agreement made by the Ghanaian government in 2017 with the People’s Republic of China. The US$10-billion agreement has China building alumina refineries and railroad infrastructure as well as conducting other non-bauxite related infrastructure projects in exchange for Chinese miners’ access to Ghana’s bauxite reserves.
Overall, agreements to grant access to Ghanaian bauxite have come under fire from environmental interest groups, citing a risk of harm to Ghana’s forest areas and watershed. For his part, Akufo-Addo promised that all such projects would be carried out in an environmentally-responsible fashion with negligible risk to Ghana’s flora and fauna.