The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has commissioned a Weighbridge at Apemanim in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region to track and confirm actual volumes hauled from the mines to the Takoradi Port.
Also, it is to ensure accurate reporting of figures and monitoring of bulk hauling activities, to guarantee revenue for the state, as well as ensure accurate reportage of minerals transported and exported.
Minister of Land and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor, in his address, noted that the downward trend in Ghana Railways Company’s capacity to provide the required services have compelled companies such as Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) and Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC) to transport the minerals by road.
“Apart from the longer distances and the cost involved, transportation of these minerals by road has other consequences such as road traffic, safety challenges to communities along the haulage corridor, and rapid deterioration of the road network due to a mismatch between the road’s capacity and haulage vehicle axle loads.” he said.
According to him, an engagement with stakeholders in the sector revealed that the country lacked tracking mechanisms to track and audit actual volumes of bauxite and manganese produced and exported. This weak monitoring mechanism results in huge loss of revenue to the state.
And to get the actual volumes of these minerals transported and the amount due the state, he said faulty weighbridges have been repaired, with additional ones constructed and properly calibrated to provide accurate results.
“The ministry took the decision to construct two weighbridges; one here at Apemanim, and another in Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipality of the Western North Region,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor noted that in the absence of a functioning refinery to add value to these minerals, the tracking of exports is very crucial as it is the main source of revenue generated from production.
The ministry, he said, will collaborate with all relevant agencies, including the Ghana Highway Authority, to ensure accurate reportage of minerals transported and exported.
In the medium to long term, however, he said government is committed to ensuring that value is added to these minerals in order to reap their full benefits.
“To those who will be manning the facility, I implore you to exhibit the highest sense of professionalism and accountability to ensure accurate recording of data,” he said.
Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional, who was also present, said: “If we are able to measure it right here and properly, we are going to get more development from our mineral resources”.
Nana Hema Dekyi XIV, Chief of Upper Dixcove, commended the ministry for the weighbridge.