The renowned mining industry icon, Sir Dr. Sam Jonah, says Ghana and Africa stand a better chance to develop from their numerous mineral resources due to the current global green energy transition drive from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Sir Dr. Sam Jonah, who was speaking at the 15th Congregation ceremony of the University of Mines and Technology, UMaT, where he was honored with a Doctor of Science Degree for his outstanding role in the mining industry, said Africa must, therefore, develop a strategy in mining these resources to stimulate development, value addition, industrialization, as well as collaboration with academia.
“The global economy is transitioning away from the dependency on fossil fuels to green energy technologies like solar photovoltaic, wind farms, batteries, and electronic vehicles, all of which require a greater amount of metals and minerals. The minerals that are critical in the energy transition are copper, lithium, manganese, zinc, silicon, iron, and aluminium, among others.
Happy Africa, our continent, hosts many of these green minerals and thus has a key role to play in the unfolding industrial age of green energy transition. Africa has a unique opportunity, therefore, to develop a strategy for mining these critical minerals on the continent to stimulate the development of green industries and broader industrialization,” he advised.
On how Ghana, and Africa can benefit from the energy transition, Sir Dr. Sam Jonah called for strategic value addition and collaboration with academia.
“This will require close collaboration with industry and institutions such as UMaT in providing internships, mentoring, and development partnerships. Ghana has recently discovered lithium in commercial quantities. It is my fervent hope and prayer that this discovery will spur the active development of value-enhancing segments in our industry.
These would include processing of all concentrates and downstream processing for the EV battery industry. In this regard, I have noted with satisfaction the decision of Atlantic Lithium to engage UMAT to conduct a feasibility study on the viability of harnessing the first by-product of the mine in the country’s ceramic industry. This is a ringing endorsement of the excellent reputation this school has,” he noted.