The Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) has revealed plans to support the development of the salt industry in Ghana with the Ada Songhor Lagoon as utmost priority.
This followed a working tour by the Board and Management of MIIF and officials of the Ghana Stock Exchange. The Ada Salt pans on the Songhor Lagoon have the potential to be the largest salt producing area in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CEO of MIIF revealed to reporters that, “MIIF is far advanced with plans to invest in the Ada Songhor salt project towards developing it to be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately this investment seeks to ensure that Ghana benefits from the many uses of salt, especially as a core input to support the industrialization agenda of the Government of Ghana”.
The Ada Songhor pans which sit on some 41,000 acres straddling at least thirty-three (33) Ada Communities is larger in acreage than Walvis Bay of Namibia which is about 16,700 acres and is the largest in sub-saharan Africa.
According to officials of Electrochem Ghana Limited which is the Ghanaian company developing the salt pans, the Songhor has the potential to produce more than 5 million MT at capacity with an estimated 650,000 metric tons (mt) of industrial salt in 2023 and circa 1.5 million MT over the next five years with a 99.99% purity.
MIIF’s Salt outlook and Investment
MIIF has declared salt as a priority mineral in Ghana in line with its investment strategy of generating downstream to upstream value from every single mineral. According to Professor Douglas Boateng, the Board Chairman of MIIF, “the Fund is targeting investments across the producing areas in the Greater Accra and Central regions of Ghana”.
The CEO of MIIF, Mr. Koranteng further stressed that “Salt is an infinite resource with over 14,000 uses. At full potential and with such expansive usage, salt in Ghana has the potential to earn circa $500 Million a year in foreign exchange with Nigeria and the sub-region as priority markets.
Salt as a raw material covers the pharmaceuticals, food processing, oil and gas, food preservation, production of caustic soda, the textiles industry, mining, road maintenance, hospitals and hospitality sectors which all require high grade salt to support the manufacturing of inputs or processing.
This is the reason why MIIF is excited about this opportunity for Ghana and is currently working on a broad-based investment which would include a listing of the project on the Ghana Stock Exchange”.
The scale of the Ada Songhor salt project also presents opportunities for two export jetties to facilitate export and other lake transport opportunities, create massive employment in the producing areas and substantially revitalize the local economies.
In accordance with MIIF’s investment strategy to ensure that all major investments are listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, the Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng confirmed that Electrochem has agreed to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange as a condition for MIIF’s investment.
Mr. Koranteng stated that, “Investing in salt is part of our mineral diversification strategy in line with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s charge to MIIF, to ensure that we create Ghanaian business champions while at the same time creating opportunities along the value chain and on the capital markets for Ghanaians to directly have the chance to invest in such companies”.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange Ms. Abena Amoah who is also a member of the Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) of MIIF said; “What I have come to see here, really warms my heart.
A great company is underpinned by the quality of the asset. We can become Africa’s number one salt producer, the sea never dries, the technology exists to mine the salt, the market for salt is not in doubt and with some ringfencing and great risk management, the investment in Electrochem and its listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange will be a win-win for all Ghanaians.”