Ghana has been and will continue to be the preferred mining investment destination in Africa, said Ghana Lands and Natural Resources Minister Alhaji Inusah Fuseini at the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town from February 3 to 6.
Fuseini added that Ghana had the type of environment that serious investors required. “Ghana has abundant mineral resources with geoscientific data that is continuously updated; political and macroeconomic stability; an attractive investment framework; well-structured institutions to reduce bureaucracy and corruption, as well as to enforce the rule of law; and an improved mineral cadastre to increase transparency in the management of our mineral resources.”
The Investing in African Mining Indaba had become one of the key investment conferences, which Ghana would continue to participate in, as it provided a platform for mining industry players to engage with one another on how to improve the industry, said Fuseini. “There is no doubt that these interactions have led to billions in mining deals, resulting in significant foreign direct investment into Africa’s mining value chain.”
He added that he was pleased to participate in the indaba for the first time since he was appointed Lands and Natural Resources Minister in 2013, and described it as “a great mining event” for the industry.
Ghana’s stable multiparty democracy and prudent management of the economy have contributed to the country’s successes so far. Some of Ghana’s macroeconomic successes for 2013 included the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, which was estimated at 7.4%. The services sector, which is also the largest sector in Ghana, recorded the highest growth, 9.2%, followed by industry, at 9.1%.
Inflation, which was 18.1% in 2008, decreased to 11.9% in September 2013, owing to government’s prudent fiscal policy and continued monetary control, which helped anchor inflationary expectations.
The services sector remained the largest economic contributor, with a share of 50.6% of the country’s GDP. This was followed by industry, with a 28.1% share, and agriculture, with a 21.3% share.
In terms of growth, the petroleum and mining subsectors recorded 37.5% and 17.6% growth rates respectively, while the construction and electricity subsectors recorded growth rates of 13.3% and 8.4% respectively. Manufacturing grew by 2.5 % and water by 2.4 %.
“These improved performances are important for the growth of the minerals sector,” said Fuseini.
Mineral Resource Potential
Ghana is well endowed with substantial mineral resources, the major ones being gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite. Gold is the predominant mineral being explored and exploited in the country, accounting for more than 90% of the country’s mineral revenues each year.
Besides the four major minerals, there are significant deposits of other minerals such as iron-ore, columbite-tantalum, limestone, clay minerals, solar salt, silica sand and granite, among others. “Currently, some of these minerals are being exploited on a smaller and often artisanal scale, and potential exists for the development of these minerals on a larger scale,” said Fuseini.
Additionally, results of recent geoscientific investigations conducted in some parts of the country have indicated the presence of other minerals, apart from the traditional ones currently being exploited. This will give the Ghanaian government the opportunity to partner with the private sector to exploit mineral deposits.