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University of Mines and Technology, Zaacoal sign deal to produce activated carbon

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The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and Zaacoal Company Limited have signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to produce activated carbon for the mining industry.

The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard K. Amankwa signed on behalf of the university and the Chief Executive Officer of Zaacoal, Sulley Amin Abubakar, initialled on behalf of the company.

The Ghana Chamber of Mines initiated a series of engagement between the two parties, culminating in the signing of the deal.

The agreement would allow Zaacoal Limited to produce the first activated carbon in large quantities locally, using a technology designed and developed by UMaT.

Dr Sulemana Koney, the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Mines, said at the signing ceremony that the agreement would help the mining industry and could foster broad-based socio-economic development.

“There are various opportunities within the supply chain of the mining industry which we believe we have the capacity to do rather than importing,” he stated.

Dr Koney the chamber had been looking for opportunities in the mining industry and that enabled us to know Zaacoal a few years ago.

“Activated carbon is a major input in the gold production process and the preferred material used is coconut husk which is carbonized and subsequently activated. Zaacoal is in the business of producing carbonized coconut shells for various clients so we had a conversation to see how we can marry them to UMaT to produce activated carbon which is a two stage process,” he explained.

The Vice Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard K. Amankwa, for his part, said the university had conducted a lot of research into the country’s mining industry and was looking for commercialisation opportunities.

‘We have people in UMaT who are in the small sale mining space and bringing about improvement in technology. We have over the years been seeking commercial institutions to partner us to increase value addition in our space and today we are here to celebrate some kind of marriage which would lead to the commercialisation of research.

“In a university, we are supposed to create new knowledge and when we do this, it sometimes become very innovative and can be commercialised and that is what we are seeing today,” he stated.

The CEO of Zaacoal, Sulley Amin Abubakar said the agreement would be of immense benefit to the local mining industry.

He said Zaacoal Limited through the partnership was going to produce about 15 tonnes of activated carbon per hour to feed into the operations of the mining companies.

He praised the CEO of the Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney, for facilitating the partnership, indicating that his efforts in seeing the production of activated carbon in the country would go a long way to benefit other industries that use the product.

Source: GNA

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