The United Kingdom (UK) is exploring various investment opportunities in the mining sector, especially in value addition to mineral resources and the reclamation of degraded mined areas in the country.
The move would enable the UK to strike partnerships with the Government and the Business Community, which would create jobs and engender economic growth.
Mr Adam Afriyie, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana and Guinea, announced this when he paid a courtesy call on Mr Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, in Accra on Thursday.
Mr Afriyie stated that Ghana had rich natural resources and the UK was uniquely positioned to support it to utilise them through investments and technological transfer to propel the country’s industrial transformation , which would inure to the benefit of Ghanaians.
The UK Trade Envoy emphasised: “If you work with the United Kingdom and UK-based businesses, your interest will be at the top of our agenda.
“We’re, particularly, focused on the environmental and social values of the projects we deliver, and we do mine that, we’re an international country, and can work in international consortium and have the best interest to trading with Ghana,” he added.
Mr Iain Walker, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, on his part, said the UK had spent about two billion pounds on health and education related initiatives in Ghana and would now like to move towards investments that would engender economic growth and the creation of jobs.
He said the UK shared common ambitions and values with Ghana; therefore, she would support the nation in areas of technology transfer and sharing of expertise to accelerate economic growth.
Mr Benjamin Aryee, a Minerals Advisor to the Lands and Natural Resource Ministry; and Mr James Dadson, a Technical Director of Lands at the Ministry, took turns to explain the various areas available for exploration for investments .
They said it was the Government’s ambition to add value to the bauxite ore, refine 30 per cent of gold ore locally, reclaim mined out areas, provide alternative livelihood programme for artisanal small-scale miners and automate land records.
It also wanted to continue with the land reforms that was started a decade ago to enhance land title registration and improve transparency.
Mr Dadson, for instance, cited the Government’s plans to develop the marine drive in Accra into a tourism enclave for hotels and places for leisure, and said the laudable project would require investments to make it a reality.
The Minister of Lands, for his part, emphasised the Government’s vision and commitment to embrace Foreign Direct Investments through partnerships with the local businesses.
Mr Cheremeh said the ban on illegal small-scale mining was done to ensure sanity in the mining industry and, thus, encouraged potential investors in the sector to come on board, saying that, the Government had instituted measures to vet licensed small-scale miners and regularise their activities.