As the economic mood in the global mining industry improves, SRK Consulting’s Accra office, in Ghana, has been making inroads into new markets in Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, SRK Ghana country manager John Kwofie noted in a release last week.
He believes that there is potential for improved investor interest in Ghana as well, as the country’s new government takes a more proactive approach to attracting investment.
Kwofie commented that the new administration’s stated intention to make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa had seen focused efforts to reduce the cost of electricity, make tax rates more attractive and ease the process of registering a business.
“The plan is to create an environment in which businesses can flourish by reducing corporation tax and attracting new investors,” Kwofie said. “Household and corporate electricity tariffs have been decreasing, and the key economic indices are improving – so there is reason to be optimistic.”
As one of the leading members of the Economic Community of West African States, Ghana is positioning itself as a West African hub for sectors like aviation, but faces competition from the likes of Nigeria and Senegal.
Among government’s efforts to ignite economic activity is the One District, One Factory initiative launched in 2016, promising a factory in each of Ghana’s 216 districts. As SRK already services the industrial sector – especially in the areas of water management – the company will continue to explore this space.
The Ghana office is primarily focused on geotechnical work – assisting clients with openpit slope stability analysis and work on tailings dams, as well as foundation investigations.
However, the office also leverages the broad mining, environmental, infrastructure, oil and gas, water and energy expertise in the group’s other offices.
The Ghana office is a ‘springboard’ to other countries in the region where the group is active, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Kwofie said that SRK’s intention was to grow the Ghana office into a hub to take advantage of the company’s footprint and regional network.
“Our recent work in Côte d’Ivoire was an openpit slope stability study for a gold mining client, where our office conducted a prefeasibility study initially,” he said.
The Ghana office was then requested to progress the study to a detailed pit feasibility study, which it conducted in collaboration with its colleagues in SRK’s UK office, in Cardiff.
In Togo, the Ghana office, and its associates recently completed a mineral evaluation for a dimension stone project. The marble and granite operation required the team to use existing drilling data to model the resource and to provide estimates including inferred, indicated and proven resources, as well as net present value for the resource.
Looking ahead, Kwofie suggested that Liberia might be a country to watch in terms of mining potential. There were also new mines coming on stream in Senegal and Mali.
“All our involvement in West Africa has generally been in gold – except in Guinea (gold and bauxite) and Sierra Leone (iron-ore and diamonds),” said Kwofie.
He noted that the ongoing attention paid to the world-class bauxite deposit at Nyinahim – which has been explored and talked about for decades – still presented an exciting opportunity for Ghana.
“This is probably one of the largest bauxite deposits in the world, which could rival the Simandou find, in Guinea,” he said.
The office’s commodity involvement has been expanded through its collaboration with other SRK offices, which draws it into minerals such as copper and also into countries in other regions of Africa, such as Cameroon, Sudan, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.