Ghana has made tremendous strides in the development of its mining sector since the inception of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) in 1984. Under this programme several macro economic policies were initiated which has resulted in an upsurge of investment attraction to the country. For example, major mining companies like Anglogold, Goldfields, Golden Star Resources, Newmont are investing significant amounts in the country. Other multinational companies such as BHP-Billiton, Alcan, Rio into and Alcoa have also expressed interest in the bauxite industry in Ghana.
Currently proceed from mining activities provide the largest foreign exchange earnings for the nation with gold accounting for approximately 90% of these earnings. Gold production from 282,229 ounces in 1984 to cover 2.3 million ounces in 2004. In addition to Gold, the country is endowed other mineral deposits such as Manganese, Bauxite and diamonds. There are also unexploixed economic deposits of iron oxe, limestone, kaolin, feldspar and silica sands.
The following investment opportunites are available to potential investors.
In addition to the 7 operating gold mines in the country, the end of 2004, over 200 gold reconnaissance and prospecting lincence have been issued by Governement to both Ghanaian and foreign entrepreneur. Some of this companies have advanced in the exploration work and have blocked out economic reserve but due to lack of funding are unable to carry the exploration through to exploitation.
Ghana is already production over 2million ounces of gold per annum. In spite of this level of production, there is no refinery in the country and the bullion is exported for final refining. Feasibility study have confirmed the viability of the refining gold in Ghana. Such a facility will serve other gold producing countries with the sub region. This is a project that investor with technical know-how would wish to consider.
Opportuity also exist of setting up downstream production facilities to manufacture key input for the mining industry.Examples, mill balls, drill bits, cyanide and activated carbon etc., commemorative coins, jewellery and electronic component.
Investors could take advantage of the industrial free zone facility to produce such items for the international market
There are opportunities to exploit the Bauxite deposits available. Some feasibility study carried out on two of these deposits located at Nyinahim and Kibi in the Ashanti and Eastern region respectively, indicate that the ore can be viably converted to alumina. The data is available and we invite colleagues interested to get in touch with us.
The bauxite ore currently being mined at Awaso meets the chemical requirement for the manufacture of Alum for water treatment. Markets studies conducted for the Ecowas market have identified potential annual demand of about 80,000 mt of alum.
There are two major limestone deposits in the country that are situated at Nauli and Buipe in the Western and Northern Regions of Ghana. Feasibility studies carried out on these deposits have established by grinding clinker imported from Europe. Demand for clinker is estimated at over one million metric tones per annum. The gold mines also consume about 60,000 MT of hydrated lime. Ghana needs investment in this area.
Ghana possesses one of the largest proven renewable solar salt production potential along the entire coastline stretching over a distance of over 500km. Effective exploitation would enable the country to supply the needs of the entire sub-region. Government is carrying out a study to identify and demarcate areas that will be suitable for salt winning. Such Salts Landbanks will be made available for investors.
Potential exist for the utilization of part of the salt to produce caustic soda which is raw material for the soap and detergent industry; and bauxite/alumina production. The chlorine co-product can also be used as water treatment chemical and also serve as raw materials for the production of various health and sanitation chemicals.
Ghana has other industrial mineral deposits, such as feldspar, kaolin, silica sand, granite. Realising that such minerals have not received the attention their potential warrants, it is the government’s policy to diversify the exploitation of its mineral resources base from the traditional minerals like gold diamonds, bauxite and manganese to include the exploitation of industrial minerals which could promote effective linkages in the economy, to reduce current over reliance on imported substitutes.
Ghana has numerous manganese occurrence and one producing Mine at Nsuta. This Mine exports the manganese carbonates to overseas markets. The company has carried out studies which has confirmed that the carbonates could be converted into nodules. Further processing of the ore into ferromanganese would add value and prolong the life of available resources.
There are three major deposits which have industrial importance in Ghana. These are located at Oppon Mansi, Shien and Pubo respectively. These deposits can be exploited as raw material to feed the iron and steel making industry.
There are several service companies in Ghana who are providing support service including contract drilling, assay laboratories contract, mining and geological consultancies to mining companies. Using Ghana as a base this company ventured and expanded their activities into the West Africa sub-region. Government has through incentives encouraged such companies. Investment opportunities exist for investors to set up manufacturing plants and machinery for the mining industry.
Activated carbon is employed extensively in the cynadiation process of gold production. The raw material for the manufacture of the commodity coconut husk – is readily available locally. Investors are invited to consider the establishment of a facility to produce the commodity.
Ghana is endowed with extensive deposit of granite of various types. These deposits could be exploited to produce high quality floor tiles. Opportunities exist to produce dimension stones for the country’s building industry.
Deposits of semi-precious stones that can be exploited economically are Jasper, fire-agate, rhodochrosite, aqua-marine, pink and green granite. These minerals could be mined, poloished and use ornamental objects.
Columbite Tantalite minerals occur in pegmatities, laterite gravels and as alluvial deposits in rivers. They could be exploited to manufacture capacitors and rectifiers in the electronics industry and hard alloys, particularly high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels
Besides investing in exploration and exploitation of minerals, other opportunities exist in the mining and allied industries.
GOLD REFINERY AND VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS
Ghana is already producing over 2 Moz/y of gold. In spite of this level of production, there is no refinery in the country and the bullion is exported for final
refining. Feasibility studies have confirmed the viability of refining gold in Ghana. Such a facility will serve other gold producing countries within the sub-region. This is a project that investors with the technical know-how might wish to consider.
Ghana possesses one of the largest proven renewable solar salt production potential along the entire coastline, stretching for a distance of over 500 km. Eff ective exploitation would enable the country to supply the needs of the entire sub-region. Government is carrying out a study to identify and demarcate areas that will be suitable for salt winning. Such salt landbanks will be made available for investors.
Potential exist for the utilisation of part of the salt to produce caustic soda which is a raw material for the soap and detergent industry; and bauxite/alumina production. The chlorine co-product can also be used as water treatment chemical and also serve as raw materials for the production of various health and sanitation chemicals.
SERVICE AND ENGINEERING SECTOR
There are several service companies in Ghana who are providing support services, including contract drilling, assay laboratories, contract mining and geological consultancies to mining companies. Using Ghana as a base, these companies have ventured and expanded their activities into the West African sub-region. Government has through incentives encouraged such companies. Investment opportunities exist for investors to set up manufacturing plants and machinery for the mining industry.
Since 1986 when the old minerals and mining law PNDC Law 153 was enacted, there has been a generally increasing trend in mineral production. From a figure of 287,124 oz in 1986, gold production increased to 2.14 Moz in 2005. Similarly, there have been signifi cant increases in the production of diamonds, bauxite and manganese over the same period.
The sector was consistently the highest gross foreign exchange earner from 1999 to date excepting 2004 as well as a provider of high quality employment to Ghanaians. Currently, the sector contributes about 7% of Ghana’s total corporate tax earnings, 37% of total exports, 12% of Government revenue and 5% GDP. The sector also employs 20,000 people in the large-scale mining industry whilst over 500,000 people are engaged in the small-scale gold, diamonds, sand winning and quarry industries. In 2005, export revenues from the mineral sector amounted to US$1 billion. Total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the minerals and mining sector from 1980 to 2005 amounted to US$6 billion.