William Nana Beeko || Chief Editor, AmaGhana Online
A newly appointed Management Board of the Ghana Bauxite Company, comprising wholly a Ghanaian consortium, has formally taken over the affairs of the company and replaces Bosai Minerals Group in China.
The mine currently produces approximately 1.5 million tonnes of bauxite a year, and is among the world’s best deposits of high alumina (52%) and low silica (1.5%) bauxite ore.
The handing over is historic because this is the first time a Ghanaian consortium has taken over the Ghana Bauxite Company and is poised to produce more than 2 million metric tonnes per year due to the measures rolled out by the new management.
The Awaso Bauxite mine in the Western North region has been in operation for over 80 years and is managed by the Ghana Bauxite Company which was jointly owned by Bosai Minerals Group (since Feb. 2010 till Feb. 2022) and the Government of Ghana.
The Government of Ghana’s interest in Ghana Bauxite Company is held by the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC).
The short ceremony was held last week at the Ghana Bauxite Company Guest House in Accra.
The new Board is awaiting an official swearing-in at a later date to be performed by the President of the Republic H.E. Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
With the coming of these new faces, the Ghanaian Board is poised to re-energise operations of the Bauxite Company and embark on a massive productivity drive.
The new Board members are currently being taken through induction to introduce them and take them through the company regulations in order for them to become abreast of what should be done particularly in their respective roles.
This, in the end, is expected to position the company right where it should and is supposed to be.
The new Board is still under the Chairmanship of Mr. Ofori Poku.
Expansions and Job Creation
Briefing the media on current happenings, the Board Chairman, Mr. Ofori Poku revealed that the company is set for massive expansion projects to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
He indicated that with the new board in place, they were trying to look at increasing productivity.
As a result of this, there are a number of expansions he mentioned, would be undertaken.
“We are bringing in new equipment, not just mere equipment but of course modern ones that can give us the higher mining productivity targets. Then we also look at areas like building new tailings dams; We are thinking of also trying to add more value to our washing plants that will enable us to wash more and produce more,” Mr. Poku noted.
He added “we are also looking at a lot of expansions at the Takoradi Port because government has built a new dry bulk jetty and a high efficient shipping loading structure is going to be completed somewhere in June or July this year. And what this means is that we can load on the vessel a lot of Bauxite.
Mr. Poku continued “currently we are doing about 60,000 tonnes within one week. But with the expansion that the government is undertaking at the port, we can load about 200,000 tonnes of Bauxite within about three days, which means we are going to cut down a lot of costs. When you cut down cost you are going to see a rise in your gain margins which brings a lot of profit.”
He said another important area of expansion will be the stockpiling section.
“It has become needful to a lot of expansion at where we do our stockpiling to equally match what the government has done. So these activities in the form of expansions and bringing modern sophisticated equipment, state-of-the-art kind of equipment, all show our readiness to up productivity at the Ghana Bauxite Company and get more inflows so that we can produce more and export more,”
He disclosed that the Board is also looking at getting the Bauxites refined since it is the vision of the government to add value to the Bauxite.
“That is the value chain of the Bauxite, mining, and refinery then VALCO takes it from there to smelt it so that we can feed our down streams activities so that more employment can be generated, more revenue can be generated. So, what we are seeking to do is to facelift the Bauxite mines in terms of adding new equipment, technology infrastructure, and the requisite expertise to be able to manage and handle it.”
Touching on the administrative management of the company Mr. Poku said “we will look at the administration as well because we need to get good management. People with the requisite expertise in terms of the management, the executive directors, and then the Board should also be sharp and smart to be overseeing the activities of these three directors and all that.”
Renovations and CSR Initiatives
Touching on renovation projects and CSR initiatives, he said the team will be looking at touching the staff bungalows, both senior and junior ones.
“We want to renovate them and do some phase uplifting. We are also looking at engaging in responsible mining taking into account the fact that it is the environment of the people, the local indigenes. We are also going to ensure that we get them the necessary social amenities to boost economic activities and livelihoods in the town.
We are also looking at reviving their recreational and entertainment centres like their Golf Park. We are looking at giving the Golf Park a major facelift. We also want to establish a gym centre for the community to enable the local people to get exercised and more energized.
He further indicated that the company has plans to refurbish and elevate Company Club House.
“We want to revive them and bring them back to normal standard Club House where employees can always go and refresh themselves,” Mr. Ofori Poku said.