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MIIF woos North American investors at PDAC in Canada

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) has told a meeting of global investors in Canada that MIIF is ready to co-invest with investors seeking opportunities in the minerals sub-sector in Ghana.

This he said, is in line with the strategic objective of MIIF to support the quest to make Ghana the mining hub in Africa and localise value as much as possible. Mr Koranteng was speaking at the 2024 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Trade show held in Toronto, Canada.

“We are seeking co-investment partners in our bid to invest in the entire minerals value chain in Ghana. We are ready to co-invest and thereby create a de-risking mechanism for investors. Our emphasis is the development of the entire value chain,” said Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng.

“We are building Africa’s biggest sovereign minerals fund,” said Koranteng who has grown the Assets Under Management (AUM) of MIIF from circa $185 Million in 2020 to a current $550 million as of Dec 2023.

“This is expected to exceed $1.2 Billion this first quarter of 2024 following the completion of a re-valuation of Ghana’s free carried interest in some large-scale mines which MIIF is mandated by law to manage. The validation of the revaluation of these assets is being undertaken by an independent international audit firm.”

“We have a robust pipeline of investments and have adopted an aggressive and revolutionary mechanism in expanding our royalty’s base. The opportunities in Ghana are enormous and goes beyond gold for which Ghana is known for.

“The opportunities for investors also cover the salt sector, lithium, bauxite, iron ore, graphite, feldspar, diamonds, kaolin, chemical plants and refineries across the value delivery chains of each mineral type. We are inviting investors to seize these opportunities in the mining sector.” Koranteng said.

Investments in the critical minerals sector

A re-classification of minerals such as Manganese, Graphite, Bauxite, Lithium and Salt as ‘Priority Minerals’ has refocused attention on their value chain development and value addition through deliberate investments by the Fund.

“We see vast opportunities in Manganese, Graphite, Lithium and Salt especially in this era of decarbonisation and the regionalisation of development and trade in Africa, Koranteng told investors.
“At present, we are working on investments in graphite which has been found in commercial quantities in northern Ghana and closed a $32.9 million dollar equity stake in Atlantic Lithium, an Australian and UK listed company which has discovered commercial quantities of Lithium in Ewoayaa near Mankessim, in the Central region of Ghana.

“We are also working on other potential significant lithium finds in Ghana. MIIF intends to invest in the processing plants for these transitive minerals in line with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Ghana a battery hub and a centre for Electronic Vehicles (EV) in Africa by leveraging the current Ghana automobile development plan. Ultimately, we want to become a centre for Electronic Vehicle (EV) assembling or manufacturing for the whole of Africa.” said Koranteng.

“MIIF is on the cusp of closing a $30 million investment in industrial salt from the Ada Songhor salt basin in Ghana which is managed by Electrochem Ghana. Salt is an industrial mineral which has over 14,000 uses covering textiles, food processing, oil refining, pharmaceuticals, and caustic soda among others. Salt is therefore essential to the industrial needs of Ghana and West Africa. As the only prime industrial salt enclave in West Africa, the Ada project would feed the over 800,000.mt demand per annum in Nigeria alone for example. The Ada Songhor Salt project sits on 41,000 acres and at just 50% development, will become sub-Saharan Africa’s largest salt producing company ahead of Walvis Bay in Namibia.”

On Gold, Mr. Koranteng said, “MIIF seeks to invest along the value chain with emphasis on Ghanaian mining support services”.

MIIF’s plan is to create a mining ecosystem of opportunities through its investments especially in the gold mining sector which employs more than six million people directly and indirectly. In this regard, MIIF has initiated a six-year US$60 Million dollars investment program to support the small-scale mining sector which is fully indigenised and contributes up to 40% of Ghana’s total gold output. However, the sector remains informal and fraught with illegal mining and environmental challenges. MIIF’s initiative dubbed the Small-Scale Mining Incubation Program (SSMIP) will contribute to the formalisation of the sector and lead to the creation of well-structured Ghanaian junior mines.

The SSMIP involves the rigorous selection of licenced small-scale mining companies with proven reserves. MIIF plans to invest equity in selected mines that meet well-thought-through criteria. The support includes corporate governance structures, the provision of machinery and other capital items, the provision of working capital, the provision of technical support for efficient mining and the provision of market access or offtake through the MIIF Gold Trade Desk. The long-term objective is to take these small-scale companies public through the alternative exchange of the Ghana Stock Exchange. This is the vision of President Nana Akuffo Addo for this important sector. The President charges us to support the small sector in a revolutionary manner which would lead to the creation of local Ghanaian mining champions.” Mr. Koranteng emphasized.

Developing the capital market

MIIF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ghana Stock Exchange which has over the past twenty years been one of the top-performing bourses in Africa. The arrangement with the GSE is essentially on two pivots; The First is to push mining entities in which MIIF has investments to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). An example of this is the Canadian-listed Asante Gold Corporation in which MIIF has a significant holding. MIIF championed the listing of Asante Gold Corporation on the GSE. Atlantic Lithium, the Ewoyaa basin mining company which has MIIF as the 4th largest shareholder will also be listed on the Ghanaian bourse by the third quarter of 2024.

Creation of MIIF gold-backed ETF

The second pivot of the agreement between MIIF and GSE is to list a Gold Backed Exchange Traded Fund by MIIF. This will be only the second gold-backed ETF on the stock exchange. “We are designing a gold-backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) which would be listed on the GSE. This will make it the second gold-backed ETF on the GSE after the ABSA SA-led GLD product which is performing well. Our plan is to have this listed by the end of the year. The ETFs and the listing of mining assets will deepen the Ghanaian capital markets and provide alternative investments or alternative asset classes to Pension Funds and investors as a whole. We believe this is an opportunity for Ghanaians in the diaspora and investors worldwide.” Mr. Koranteng concluded.

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