Cabinet approval has been granted for a groundbreaking policy that outlines the framework for the extraction, management, and oversight of green minerals, including lithium, in the country.
These essential resources, often referred to as “minerals of the future,” play a crucial role in supporting the transition towards cleaner energy technologies aimed at mitigating carbon emissions.
Green minerals encompass a wide spectrum of metals and mineral resources, such as bauxite, cobalt, copper, lithium, granite, manganese, and nickel.
Samuel A Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, confirmed the development in an interview with the media on August 3rd, 2023. The policy received Cabinet approval on July 27th, 2023, following a rigorous evaluation process.
According to Minister Jinapor, the new policy marks a departure from the existing framework, as it will emphasise a more substantial level of local involvement in the entire green minerals value chain. This stands in contrast to the current state’s 10 percent vested interest in mining entities.
The policy’s overarching objective is firmly rooted in the principle that the exploitation of green minerals should primarily benefit the citizens of Ghana, who are the rightful owners of this valuable resource.
Minister Jinapor emphasised that the policy is also designed to introduce incentives and mechanisms that attract crucial investments. Stabilization clauses, development agreements, and other measures will be implemented to provide investors with the confidence necessary to commit their resources to the sector.
Notably, in addition to other green minerals, Ghana has identified significant deposits of lithium, particularly in the Ewoyaa region of the Central Region. While it was reported that some licenses had been issued for lithium mining, Minister Jinapor clarified that the government had not granted any licenses for exploitation. The licenses issued thus far were exclusively for exploration purposes, which differs from full-scale exploitation.
Although the next step involves moving towards actual mining operations, the government’s immediate focus is centered on establishing a comprehensive policy framework to guide these activities.
Globally, the lithium industry alone is valued at approximately $11 billion at the mining stage, with potential estimates at the highest levels reaching an astounding $7 trillion.