The Board of Directors and the Management of the newly-established Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), have paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwiaso, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, and members of the Traditional Council, at his Palace in the Western North region.
The delegation was led by the Board Chairman, Dr Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Ansah.
They used the occasion to brief Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II on the operations of the Corporation since its inception, and how GIADEC was positioning itself to ensure the development of a vibrant integrated aluminium industry in Ghana, fully harnessing the nation's bauxite resources, and anchored on deep community engagement, and the tenets of responsible mining and environmental sustainability.
The Awaso Bauxite reserves in the Western North Region is an existing operational mine.
The delegation also used the occasion to seek advice and support from the Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwiaso, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II.
The Ogyeahoho, in his statement, welcomed the delegation to Anhwiaso Palace. He welcomed the focus the government has given to developing an integrated aluminium industry, anchored on utilising the nation's bauxite reserves, and assured the delegation of his support for the initiative.
He, however, urged the Corporation to hold regular engagements with the impacted communities and avoid practices that could pollute water bodies serving the inhabitants in these areas and beyond, or any actions that would degrade the environment.
He stressed the need for effective measures to be put in place to ensure that the dual goals of adding value to the bauxite reserves for economic benefit while, at the same time, ensuring sustainable mining practices that will ensure the full protection of the environment.
“Sefwi Anhwiaso community is known for bauxite mining for years; however, the community is yet to see major significant improvement, just look at our roads and schools among other infrastructural developments. We are, therefore, trusting this new board to impact our communities effectively to change the status quo’’ he said.
He again urged the Board, through the CEO, to ensure that the locals are given the first option of employment when operations scales.
The Board Chairman, Dr Oteng-Gyasi, in his response, assured Ogyeahohoo that mining in the area, in particular, and other locations in Ghana, will be carried out with very strict adherence to sustainable mining principles. He further re-assured Ogyeahohoo that his concerns will be addressed, and that the activities of GIADEC and its partners will be guided by such, and will result in economic benefits to the people of the area.
The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Ansah, commenting on the remarks made by the members of the Anhwiaso Council, also stressed the commitment of GIADEC to work in partnership with the communities and other stakeholders, including Civil-Society Organisations, guided by globally accepted best practices and standards to ensure sustainable development of mining operations at all times.
The Board later proceeded from the Palace to the Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC) mining operations for a working visit.
They used the opportunity to highlight the ruling government's vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid through value addition to its natural resources. The Board Chairman was emphatic when he said, the Corporation is focused on leveraging Ghana’s bauxite reserves and allied aluminium assets, to drive the full commercial exploitation of the country’s bauxite reserves, and adding value through refining bauxite into Alumina, and smelting Alumina to produce Aluminium, whilst encouraging the development of downstream industries.
Other members of the Board of GIADEC who were part of the delegation were, Dr Ben Addo, Mr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, Mr Kingsly Aboagye-Gyedu, Regional Minister, Western North and MCE Mr Alfred Amoah.
The delegation was joined by, Deputy CEO of GIADEC, and Mr Kojo Yankah from GIADEC.