The commercial discovery of iron ore deposits in the Oti Region, by far the largest yet in the country and now the commencement of Mineral Resource Estimation (MRE) by ten local and foreign investors, are elating developments.
The Oti Region's iron ore discovery specifically, the Akpafu Range deposits, coupled with the Sheini Hills in the Northern Region and other occurrences elsewhere are estimated to be over 6 billion tonnes.
The vastness of iron ore occurrence is no longer an abstract subject confined to the pages of geography books but a reality as evidenced by the introduction to the locals, traditional rulers and political leadership in the Oti Region, investors who are taking the first steps on their allotted blocks.
The importance of iron and steel in industrialisation cannot be overlooked. It is for this reason that we salute President Akufo-Addo for floating the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC).
The creation of GIISDEC, with clearly defined terms of reference, sets the government of President Akufo Addo apart from previous ones which did not have the deposits in their sights.
During the Nkrumah regime, the country came close to doing something concrete about the Sheini Hills deposits but the efforts soon evaporated into thin air.
Today, without comets seen in the horizon, a giant step has been taken as US$10 million is being expended into the resource estimation of the natural endowments.
Being the first step to be taken towards the extraction of the resource, we must congratulate the chairman of GIISDEC and the board, management and staff for what they have achieved within a short period of the coming into being of the corporation.
The light at the end of the tunnel is so bright there is no doubt about Ghana joining the league of iron and steel producers soon.
We are excited about the technology transfer that awaits our young graduates from the many technical universities in the country as the iron ore extraction and processing gets underway.
Ghana's golden age of industrialisation is nigh. It is appropriate that the GIISEC board, with the chairman leading the charge commenced a community engagement ahead of the pitching of camp by the technical teams of the investors who have been allotted blocks already.
In matters of mineral extraction, engagement with the community is an important prerequisite to build trust and solicit support. It is our hope that sufficient education would be rendered the people of Oti Region about the resource occurrence so that they would be primed with the necessary information to ward off mischief makers who could seek to create a gulf between them and GIISDEC or investors.
Oti Region residents should count themselves lucky to be blessed with the largest quantity of iron ore in the country.
We urge the board and management of GIISDEC to be transparent in their dealings with the community and to heighten their Community Social Responsibility activities when operations of the corporation are in full flight.
In their operations, let the corporation adhere to best practices in environmental protection.
Source: Daily Guide