Let’s collaborate to promote integrated iron and steel industry – Mireku Duker tells GIISDEC

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Mines, George Mireku Duker has on behalf of the sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor at the Master plan Review And Validation Workshop For The Ghana Integrated Iron And Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) called on the executive to deepen their local content policy in the favour of indigenes of the communities they operate in.

In his speech the Deputy Minister said, “Ghana is well-endowed with substantial mineral resources, which have been exploited over many decades for our development, the major ones being gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite. Besides these, the country also has potential for iron ore and base metals (i.e.copper, zinc, nickel, chrome and lead), while holding vast deposits of industrial or development minerals, including sand, gravel, granites and salt, among others.

The exploitation of these minerals hascontributed significantly to our developmental trajectory with gold alone providing approximately forty percent (40%) of our export earningswhile accounting for more than ninety percent (90%) of our gross mineral revenues.The mining sector became a buffer to the economy (particularly gold) when the global supply chain became disrupted due to the covid-19 pandemic.

As significant as these benefits have been, they have, however, been largely derived from the upstream side of our mining activities with little or no attention to the downstream which holds even more potential for our sustainable development. The challenge, therefore, has been how to harness the full potential of mining and maximize benefits along its entire value chain sustainably.

The priority of the government of H.E. Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo, going forward, has, however, been the translation of the volumes of minerals production into wealth to benefit all stakeholders equitably, through value addition and linkage development with the rest of the economy.

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It is in this context that the government, under the “Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda” and in response to key provisions of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) to move from raw exports of mineral resources to export of value added products, has been adopting strategies to promote and optimize value development along the entire value chain of our iron ore resources in order to diversify the economy through the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), by an Act of Parliament, Act 2019 (Act 988)to promote and develop an Integrated Iron and Steel Industry.”

he added, “GIISDEC, among others, is required to manage the abundant iron ore resources of Ghana and in accordance with the relevant law, enter into joint venture agreements, promote an efficient integrated iron and steel industry and facilitate the establishment of industrial parks.

Currently, the country has over 1.5 billion tonnes of iron ore with an average grade of 40% iron oxide.

With these resources, the Corporation is expected to strategically partner with private sector entities to develop operations along the entire iron ore value chain.”
“To support and anchor the implementation of government’s vision set out in the GIISDEC mandate will require the development of a Masterplan that has a clearly defined, stable and predictable trajectory for the industry to enable credible investors to make informed decisions.

I am told the draft you are about to review here today have been carefully prepared taking on board best practices vis-a-vis our own peculiar circumstances. I have no doubt that with the calibre of expertsassembled here to review the draft document they will bring their rich knowledge and experience in the industry to bear on the final outcome of the Masterplan, which can stand the test of time.

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Finally, I wish to admonish that time is of the essence and therefore urge GIISDEC and all itsstrategic partners involved in the development of the Integrated Masterplan to work assiduously and come up with a workable Masterplan to pave way for an aggressive investor roadshow in the shortest possible time.

As a Ministry we will continue to discharge our oversight responsibilities towards the realization of government’s vision for the establishment of an Integrated Iron and Steel Industry in Ghana.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of GIISDEC Farouk Mahama said, “the masterplan will provide technical guidance and practical direction on step to develop the entire iron and steel value chain to boost the Ghanaian economy.

The document defines the full scope of Ghana’s integrated iron and steel industry and provides the right steps to ensure the full utilisation of the iron ore reserves and its related value chain.

The masterplan also highlights the over-riding goal of value addition which is at the core of GIISDEC.

There are four major parts of the masterplan – mining, the refinery, smeltering and the downstream, which are critical to the achievement of a vibrant industry.

This Masterplan will enhance and enrich our collaboration With our stakeholders to develop an infrastructure critical to what we do”