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More iron ore discovered in Oti – Dep. Minister

More iron deposits have been discovered at Nkwanta in the Oti Region, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, has said.

It adds up to the recent discovery of the mineral resource in that region around Gyamurume and Wawaso in commercial quantities.

Question

Mr Owusu-Bio, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Nwabiagya North in the Ashanti Region, was responding to a question asked by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Krachi East in the Oti Region, Wisdom Gidisu, on the floor of Parliament yesterday.

Mr Gidisu wanted to know the steps the ministry was taking to operationalise the mining of mineral deposits discovered in the Oti Region to create wealth and employment for the youth in the region.

Economic value

The minister said currently, the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), the statutory body responsible for the promotion and development of an integrated iron and steel industry in the country, was undertaking mineral resource estimation at one of the seven blocks in the Gyamurume and Wawaso areas.

He said a satellite scan had been completed, and mapping and geophysical surveys were underway.

This, according to him, is expected to be completed within a year-and-half.

“So far, 10 people from the local community have been employed. In addition to iron ore, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority (GGSA) is carrying out geological investigations into limestone deposits to define and quantify their economic potential for exploration,” he said.

Policy

Mr Owusu-Bio said government’s policy objective for the minerals, however, was not just to mine, but add value to them to feed the downstream industry.

“This is why government, in 2019, established GIISDEC to promote and develop an integrated iron and steel industry in our country,” he said.

According to him, it will create several employment and economic opportunities across the value chain, from mining, to refining, to downstream production.

“I want to assure my friend, the member for Krachi East, this august House, and indeed, the good people of Oti Region that the Government of President Akufo-Addo is fully committed to ensuring that these mineral deposits in the region are exploited and utilised for the benefit of the people of Oti, in particular, and Ghanaians, in general,” he added.

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