Iron ore and bauxite – key to potential income generation

Iron ore and bauxite – key to potential income generation

• Bauxite is important to Ghana’s economy

News about iron ore deposits in certain parts of the coun­try particularly the Oti Region is welcoming news that cannot be taken for granted because iron ore generates steel which can be used to support the building and construction industry.

Countries like Canada, Australia and Brazil together dominate the world’s iron ore exports. Each of these countries export substantial portions of iron ore to other coun­tries, deriving substantial revenue from these exports.

The seven largest of iron ore pro­ducing countries in the world account for about 3-quarters of total world production. Almost all portions of the iron ore, 98 per cent, is used in steel making. Such a vital product brings in millions of dollars to the export­ing countries. In all, countries that export iron ore number about 50.

Apart from iron ore, the country Ghana is also endowed with large amounts of bauxite which can also be used to support the country’s alumini­um industry. Thus, Ghana is fortunate to have iron ore and aluminium to develop its construction and building industry.

The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) is confident of attracting over US$6 billion private capital to actualise a harmonised aluminium industry.

The country envisioned an inte­grated industry soon after indepen­dence, but GIADEC is now stepping up efforts to develop a comprehen­sive aluminium industry in line with the country’s renewed commitment to use its bauxite endowments to become an automobile and industrial hub within the continent.

It is also banking on the integrat­ed aluminium development plan to unlock the potential of Ghana’s con­struction, pharmaceutical, electric cable manufacturing and packaging industries.

The Bauxite mineral is very important to the economy of the country since it can help to build up various sectors of the economy and generate more income to improve upon the welfare of all Ghanaians. The Pharmaceutical industry cannot thrive without the aluminium industry which is also dependent on Bauxite.

Thus, if the country is fortunate to have Bauxite for the development of its aluminium industry, then every effort will have to be made to ensure that the integrated aluminium system being built is made to succeed to the full. This will make the country less dependent on other countries as far as its pharmaceutical needs are concerned.

The integrated aluminium industry in the country can also go a long way to help in the development of the building and construction industry. The building sector cannot thrive without support from aluminium. If there’s no aluminium to support that industry, then the country will have to import to support its aluminium needs from other countries.

Needless to say, the Rus­sian-Ukraine conflict has taught us a lesson that we cannot always depend on imports from other countries. It is said that Russia and Ukraine are only two countries in the world yet they are able to use their resources to control the entire world. Ghana has learnt its lesson and cannot contin­ue to depend on imports from other countries.

The country will have to limit it­self to only essential goods that can­not be produced here but where it is possible to produce anything internal­ly, every effort will have to be made to ensure that this is done success­fully so that the country can depend on its own self and export some of its products for some income.

The production of iron rods and other items like steel and many oth­ers can all be produced here in Ghana to help strengthen the construction industry. Such a move will make the development of housing in the coun­try cheaper than can be envisaged so that with time, housing units will become generally affordable in the country.

This is what the country should work towards to make life better for its people. If this agenda is pursued vigorously, it will help to bring in much economic improvement to the country.

In the past, the Bauxite mined in this country was exported in its raw forms and we thought that we were making enough money but later we realised that this was not the case. The Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) was established to perform a certain role in this country through the use of the Bauxite but things did not move the way expected.

The country has a second chance, having learnt its mistakes in the past, to take corrective steps to amend its ways so as to export only value-added products to generate more income.

In addition, the aluminium prod­ucts in the country must be well de­veloped to serve the domestic needs of people in the country and make life better for everyone. The alumin­ium industry which is dependent on Bauxite should, therefore, be well defined,

properly organised and efficient­ly integrated in a manner that will serve the multipurpose agenda of all Ghanaians.

This is what the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) seeks to achieve and must be implemented to the letter and for ultimate growth and development of this wonderful country.

Email address/whatsApp number of author:

Pradmat201@gmail.com (0553318911)

By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

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