Ghana is making strides in the process to develop a bauxite mine and a refinery solution at Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region.
The Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and its partner for Project 2, Rocksure International have successfully carried out a comprehensive Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) on the Nyinahin block B (Hills 4,5, and 6) of the Nyinahin hills [bauxite reserves] in the Ashanti Region.
The MRE has resulted in the discovery of some 375 million metric tonnes of bauxite in the three hills assigned to Rocksure.
This is about 50% increase over the originally estimated 250 million metric tonnes.
Report presented to President
Presenting a copy of the MRE report to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, the CEO of GIADEC, Michaël Ansah, said, “Historically, we estimated that we have in the region of 250 million metric tonnes of bauxite in the three hills we are talking about, that is, hills 4,5 and 6. Following the work that we have done now, we have been able to establish that we have a minimum of 375 million tonnes of bauxite in those three hills. That is a 50% appreciation.”
The CEO told the President that, the next stage of the journey will look at developing the Nyinahin site into a fully bankable project.
“We have developed all the project agreements relating to this, we are finalising all of that and we are going to establish a joint venture company that will be owned by the partners, as in, Rocksure and GIADEC that will be the entity to execute the development of the mine and the refinery solution,” he said.
Mr Ansah further stated: “The reason for this [ feasibility study] is as you know, in this era of very clear focus on environmental issues, it is important that we carry out this study which will guide how we will develop the mine, how we will ensure that flora, fauna and all the biodiversity issues are properly addressed as well as the hydrology issues”.
“That report has now been completed. It has been reviewed by the GIADEC board and forms part of what we will be presenting to the Minerals Commission, EPA, and other regulatory authorities that will approve the development of the project.
“We are looking at the processes that we have gone through, we have completed the signing, we have completed the mineral resource study, and we are closing on the other aspects to do with qualifying this whole project for a mining lease. That mining lease will then come before the Cabinet for approval before it is presented to Parliament for ratification.”
Mr Ansah said the partners are projecting to commence the development the mine with the refinery. In that respect, GIADEC and Rocksure are looking at opportunities with external partners to deal with the development of the refinery.
“That will be a significant one that could be looking at building a two million-tonne alumina refinery here in Ghana, so that is what we’re working on at the moment.
“We have completed the investor engagement processes and with the signing of project three, the international company next month, will have completed that process that will again lead to the work that we are going to do on the remaining four hills Nyinahin, that is, 7,8,9 and 10,” the CEO explained.
President commends partners
President Akufo-Addo commended the partners for the progress made, indicating that, the MRE is the first in the history of management of Ghana’s bauxite resources.
“This is an exceptionally good news today. I congratulate all of you involved in this very important step for the country that is being taken. I will continue to provide you with the maximum support that you need to make sure that this whole thing becomes a reality.”
He added:” I think that if we are able to do that, it will justify completely our thinking, the whole GIADEC concept of using a state vehicle that will bring together the bauxite resources in the country under one roof and therefore strengthen the hand of the entity to enter into such transactions.”
In September, 2021, President Akufo-Addo launched the four key projects under the GIADEC with the aim of ensuring the full utilisation of Ghana’s bauxite.
They include the expansion of existing mine at Awaso and building of a refinery and the development of a mine at Nyinahin-Mapasaaso and a refinery solution.
The others are the development of a mine at Kyebi, a second mine at Nyinahin- Mpassaaso and building of a refinery and the modernisation and expansion of Valco smelter to improve efficiency and increase capacity.
An agreement was, thus, signed between GIADEC and Rocksure International Limited, a wholly owned Ghanaian business to develop a mine at Nyinahin-Mapasaaso and a refinery solution.
The signing of the agreement was to enable GIADEC to begin mining operations within 24 months.
It also sought to the development of a refinery solution within the next four years.