Ghana is set to establish a lithium refinery in the Western Region, with plans to create thousands of jobs for its citizens.
It comes three years after the country’s Minerals Commission confirmed the discovery of the mineral at Ewoyaa near Saltpond in the Mfantsiman Municipality of the Central Region.
Lithium – one of the top 10 most expensive minerals in the world – can be used for the manufacture of batteries, heat-resistant glass, and ceramics, among other things.
To this end, Lithium Resources Ghana Limited, a joint venture company of UK-based CAA Mining Ltd and Empire Rare Earth and Metals Group Ltd, a local company are currently exploring suitable and strategic location for the establishment of the refinery.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) and Data Manager of Lithium Resources Ghana Limited, Justice Amekudi, announced this at Ekumfi Assaman in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region on Friday.
This was when the team from the company made a presentation of some assorted items and cash to the chiefs and people of Enyan Abaasa during the celebration of the Akwanbo festival.
The company also made a similar donation to the celebration of Akwanbo festival of three communities comprising Attakwaa, Ekumfi Ekrawful and Otabanadze at Attakwaa in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region.
He explained that, the strategy of the company was to pursue an integrated strategy of exploration, mining and refining to lithium chemicals within Ghana, a project which is clearly in line with Government of Ghana’s new policy and strategy for strategic minerals as lithium.
The company, he stated, was currently carrying out reconnaissance and exploration of lithium in the country as part of feasibility studies to uncover the lithium deposits in the area in terms of its commercial viability.
Mr Amekudi further explained that, the discovery of a lithium deposit was only the starting point of a complex supply chain with diverse opportunities that could aid the nation’s transformation process.
According to him, the agenda of the company was to work towards the production of a lithium mineral concentrate in-country.
He stated that, the critical downstream missing steps in the supply chain in Africa were the processing stage, which was essential in the battery supply chain.
Mr Amekudi indicated that, the company would work in changing the narrative of processing or refinery factory located outside Africa with the establishment of a lithium refinery within the country.
The Cape Coast District Manager of the Minerals Commission, Jonathan Boateng, commended the company for adhering to all protocol during the reconnaissance stage, saying, “We are determined to stop any company for not adhering to established protocol”.
The company, he said, was expected to start official mining of lithium in 2025 after meeting all regulations set out in the law.
He explained that exploration in mining was a process to assess the economic viability of the resource and said, companies involved in exploration was continuously looking for reserve to ensure the sustenance of their operations.