The Minerals Commission will soon begin full implementation of its salt exploration master-plan, as members of the Ada Traditional Council have joined forces to abandon all differences and develop a peaceful ambiance in the enclave to push for exploration of salt deposits in the area to propel economic growth and support development of their communities.
Disagreements, dating back to independence, as to which chief is entitled to what benefit per boundaries of the salt rich Ada Songhor Lagoon led to some instability in the area; thus interrupting government’s salt exploration plans expected to be spearheaded by the Minerals Commission.
The area, which holds about 34,775 acres of lagoon basin, is estimated to have the greatest potential for large-scale salt production in the sub-region for export and industrial use.
Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Addae Antwi-Boasiako, has hailed the decision of chiefs in Ada to work with government to harness the salt deposits in the Ada enclave.
Mr. Antwi-Boasiako said this when a delegation from the Ada Traditional Council called on the Commission to affirm their assurance of working with government on the new proposals to develop the salt industry in the area, following the 21-day mandatory publication of Electrochem Ghana Limited’s mining lease applications.
Addressing the chiefs, the CEO noted that government has identified salt as one of the strategic minerals that will facilitate socio–economic development of the country, and specifically the development of allied industries such as the Caustic Soda and Chlor Alkaline Industries.
“Given the salt resources in the three areas stretching from Ada through Keta to Adina, this will open-up the area for socio-economic development that has been missing from the area for so long due to factionalism and mistrust among the people in ensuring sustainable exploitation of the resource,” Mr. Antwi-Boasiako reiterated.
The CEO assured the delegation that government and other mining regulatory agencies – in facilitating the necessary licences and permits for mining and processing, will ensure that all obligations required of the investors such as Environmental and Social Impact Assessments are carried out thoroughly to safeguard the people of Ada and adjourning communities.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Nene Agudey Obichere III noted that the Minerals Commission visit was to assure management that misunderstandings which ensued in some communities in the area after their visit to the Presidency have been resolved.
Therefore, the delegation’s mission is to impress upon government to fast-track processing licencing applications by the new investors who have expressed interest and already engaged the Traditional Council to mine and develop the salt industry at Ada.
“Members of the Traditional Council have agreed to support this new proposed project for which applications have been made to the Commission for grant of a lease, so that Ada and communities around will hence benefit from this resource endowment,” Nene Agudey Obichere III said.
The commodity has for centuries been a major item of trade for the peoples of West Africa in Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, while Nigeria imports most of its salt from Brazil and Australia