Plans to commence iron ore mining in the country has been disclosed by Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng.
According to the Trade Minister, plans by government to commence the mining of iron ore in the country is to support the country’s fast-growing local steel industry.
Making the disclosure at the commissioning of B5 Plus’ new steel factory which is said to be the biggest steel factory in West Africa, at Ningo Prampram in the Greater Accra Region, the Trade Minister averred Ghana’s steel imports totaled $4 billion each year.
To reduce steel imports and support the local steel industry, Mr Kyeremanteng stated that government will soon constitute the Ghana Iron and Steel Development Corporation which will oversee the activities of the country’s downstream steel industry.
“Government will soon constitute the Ghana Iron and Steel Development Corporation which will oversee the downstream industry, so that when we begin mining our iron ore reserves, everything will be in place to feed the downstream companies like B5 Plus [sic],” he stated.
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be extracted. It is, therefore, the predominant source of raw materials for the production of steel.
Ghana has three main iron deposits of potential industrial and commercial importance. They are: Shieni sedimentary iron ore (reserves: 1.270 × 10 6 metric tonnes), Pudo titaniferous-magnetiferous iron ore and the Opon-Mansi lateritic iron ore deposits.
The Opon-Mansi iron ore deposit occurs in the Western region of Ghana. The ore deposits are located on top of the range of 15 hills, which extend over a distance of 24 km from Opon-valley, south of the Western region to Dunkwa.
The area has an estimated 147 Mt of iron deposit, with iron content of 52.5 per cent.
Ghana’s total iron ore deposits is estimated to be around 3 billion tonnes.