President Nana Akufo-Addo has ignored several warnings against the decision by his government to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest, stating partners and investors for the controversial mining will be made public early next year.
Despite the potential environmental damage experts say the mining could have on the virgin rainforest and the environment in general, Nana Akufo-Addo maintains his government will mine the bauxite deposits.
Government intends to mine the Atewa Forest reserve, said to have about 165 million tonnes of bauxite, to finance its national infrastructure drive with a 2 billion-dollar barter deal it signed with China Sinohydro Corporation Limited.
Experts have warned the 90-square-mile tract of mountainous forestland, which is the source of three major rivers in the country, could pollute water for five million people, as well as see the end of the rare and endemic wildlife.
Addressing journalist last Friday in Accra during his Media Encounter for 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo said he would do everything possible to ensure that Ghana mines bauxite in the Atewa Forest as well as in Nyinahini and Awaso.
“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. Same with Nynahin, same with Awaso,” Nana Akufo-Ado vowed.
For him, mining Ghana’s bauxite, iron and manganese deposits, is the surest way for the country to create a steel industry for its development agenda, indicating that structures have been put in place for Ghana to exploit its bauxite resources.
He said Ghana, has “the capacity to establish here, the full value chain of the exploitation of our bauxite resources”.
On the back of that, he said, public development corporations have been established for mobilising the investments that will enable those developments to take place.
Developing Ghana’s iron ore and manganese deposits, he stated, “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 Nast region of our country and Oppong Manso in the Western Region”.