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One of Africa’s mining powerhouses, Ghana, says its objectives to bring about more sustainable extraction of its mineral wealth is starting to deliver – but the country is determined to diversify into non-traditional mining areas.

Speaking on the second day of the three day Paydirt 2018 Africa Down Under mining conference in Perth, Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said that for the past two and a half decades, the country had attracted significant mining sector investment in the order of US$18 billion.

“This has contributed to a trajectory growth in our gold production in the opening half of this year, a provisional 2.4 million ounces compared as against 2.1 Moz in the first half of 2017,” Oteng-Gyasi said.

“Production of manganese in the same comparable periods rose to 1.9 Mt against 1.3 Mt previously,” she said.

“Such performances are indicative of the success of our strategy to ensure sustainable extraction of Ghana’s mineral resources through more intensive monitoring of mining activity to ensure environmental compliance, improved technical capacity of our small-scale miners, and decentralising government regulatory processes.

“Not surprisingly, our mining sector has contributed strongly to Ghana’s overall provisional growth in GDP with the mining-quarrying sub-sector recording the highest year-on-year quarterly GDP growth rate in the Q1 2018 this year.”

The Deputy Minister said however, the government was focused on better integrating the mining sector into Ghana’s economy and value-add opportunities, including mining related industrial processes, and wanted to reduce any over-dependence on traditional minerals.

Ghana has historically been a major African producer of gold, manganese, bauxite and diamonds. The current focus is to build an integrated aluminium industry from bauxite deposits in the country.

However, the move to wider opportunities would now include intensified exploitation of Ghana’s industrial minerals, including solar salt, granites, lithium, and base and clay metals.