Ghana’s iron ore discovery: ‘We need to manage expectations’ – Henry Antwi

An Australian-based Mining and Mineral Economics Consultant, Henry Antwi, has cautioned the government to manage with measured optimism the news about the discovery of iron ore deposits in Akokrowa, a farming community in the Oti Region.

Speaking to AMN News on the good news at Akokrowa, Henry Antwi said the government must determine the economic viability of the newly found iron ore deposits before making promises to host communities.

“We should be careful not to raise the expectations of host communities too high with such preliminary finds and sketchy information. First of all, 56% is a low iron ore content by the standards of iron ore seaborne trade, but of significance is the high contaminant levels in Ghana’s iron ore (i.e the silica, phosphorus, alumina, etc).

What are the mining and processing parameters to determine if it is even economically viable (stripping ratio, recoveries, etc)? We have to be certain that the discovery is economically viable before making promises to the mineral host communities, so in the event, it is not economically viable, and exploitation delays, the communities will not conclude that it was only a political announcement to win their votes” he said.

Mr. Antwi who is also a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM) added, “Ghana’s potential is promising, but the possible route to assess after proper exploration and feasibility study is steelmaking, which will need appropriate quantum of energy supply at competitive price and infrastructure, coupled with the high Capex associated with steel making”.

The Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GSSA) announced that it has discovered large quantities of Iron ore deposits in Akokrowa, a farming community in the Oti Region of Ghana.

According to the GSSA, the iron ore is 55.22 weight percent (Fe) and of a higher grade.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor in a subsequent meeting with the Chiefs and people of Akokrowa on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 said the government will ensure that the commodity found in the area benefits the people.

He maintained that the exploration and the business of the Iron will create jobs and wealth for the people of Oti and the country in general.

The Ghana Geological Survey Authority is scheduled to continue the resource evaluation of the Iron Ore Deposit at Akokrowa when they acquire a drill rig for the assignment in 2022.

Ghana’s current total iron ore potential has been projected by Geogamut, an extractive industry to be worth $1.2 trillion.


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