The Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) says it is ready to exploit the country’s iron and steel deposits judiciously to grow Ghana’s economy
Patrick Nyarko, the director of corporate affairs and International Relations of the Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), has emphasised the need to harness the vast potential of the country’s iron ore deposits to boost the government’s industrialisation drive.
He said the country is blessed with huge mineral deposits which when fully exploited, can impact positively on Ghana’s economic growth.
Nyarko underscored the importance of GIISDEC to exploit the country’s iron and steel deposits judiciously to the benefit of the citizenry.
He was speaking to Emmanuel Aboagye-Wiafe on the Energy 101 show on Monday (13 September).
“We’ve been mining gold and diamond in Ghana for a very long time but iron has least been exploited. If our industrialization drive is going to be successful, we cannot continue to ignore these important mineral resources we have in Ghana here. We have over 6 billion metric tonnes of the mineral currently with a potential to increase further.”
Nyarko said currently significant iron ore deposits are dotted across parts of the country in Pudu in the Sisalla East around the Tumu area in the Upper West region, Sheini near Zabzugu in the Tatale/Sanguli district of the Northern Region, Opong Mansi in the Amenfi East district and around Akpafu in the Oti region
Highlighting the importance of iron and steel resources, he said the metals are used in various spheres of life, ranging from construction, transport, to communication among others.
Nyarko said Ghana’s import bill for iron ore alone was about US$2 billion in 2016.
“I doubt if there is any house in Ghana that doesn’t have an element of steel or iron in it. Look at the console in this studio, for instance, the surface is made of steel which is coming from the raw iron ore.
“Look at the Circle and Pokuase interchanges, for instance, they are held together by a huge steel structure. And that should explain the importance of the raw material to us,” he said.
Nyarko said iron and steel are underexploited because they are mainly used for industrial purposes and noted that the country’s railway development will be heavily dependent on the availability of iron and steel.
He said GIISDEC is now undergoing validation on existing data on concessions at Sheni and Oppon Mansi as well as community engagements with some host communities.
GIISDEC was created by an Act of Parliament in 2019 to hold Ghana’s full interests across the value chain in the Integrated Iron and Steel Industry.
Australia is the largest exporter of iron ore in the world while Guinea is the biggest exporter in Africa.
When fully established the iron and steel industry will supply processed commodities to steel companies like B5 Plus Steel which is the biggest in West Africa as well as other establishments in the downstream sector.
At the swearing-in of the new board of GIISDEC, the board chairman Farouk Aliu Mahama assured that the board will spearhead the astronomical growth of the country’s iron and steel industry by harnessing the huge economic prospects of the sector.
He said the board will also lead the proper management of iron ore deposits in the country to ensure an increase in foreign direct investment.
Source : Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne | asaaseradio.com