Apeatua Addo, GNA
Tarkwa (W/R), August 4, GNA - The Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Professor Jerry Kuma, has encouraged Minerals Commission to ensure that legislation and measures are put in place for the private sector to mine the large deposits of clay and limestone in the country.
These deposits, he noted, are used in producing the tiles that most Ghanaians liked to decorate their homes with it.
Delivering the welcome address at the 5th biennial international minerals and mining conference in Tarkwa, Prof. Kuma stressed that currently these tiles were imported in large quantities from China and other countries in the world.
He noted that if the country could exploit these resources it would create more jobs for the unemployed youth.
The four-day conference would be on the theme: "Expanding the Frontiers of Mining Technology".
The vision of this great University is to become a centre of excellence in Ghana and Africa for producing world-class professionals in the fields of mining, petroleum, technology and related disciplines, Prof. Kuma said.
He said the organisation of the conference, was therefore part of their strategy to actualise this vision and ensure that their research outputs are internationalised.
He emphasised that as a university, they have always encouraged the exploitation of their natural resources using the best methods, the right technology, and innovation.
The vice chancellor pointed out that the future of today's world belongs to economies that take technology and innovation seriously in their developmental efforts.
He added that the University's reputation, built many years of commitment to research in the extractive industry cannot therefore be over emphasised.
To this end, Prof. Kuma said UMaT had made a lot of progress in innovation and technology in the mineral sector.
According to him, countries that have been successful in developing their economies have done so by exploiting their mineral resources.
"We cannot be an exception as we work towards a country that wants to achieve an industrialised economy without aid" the vice chancellor indicated.
He said for the country to get to the level of development, they need to research into innovation technology that would assist the industry players to maximise the exploitation of the mineral resources.
He explained that faculty members led by Prof. J.R Dankwah are currently focusing their research activities on a bauxite upgrading technology using plastic waste.
"In Ghana, the alumina that is obtained from the bauxite ore, is between 40 to 45 per cent but with the development of this technology, it will be possible to upgrade the bauxite ore to 90 per cent alumina, which then will increase the price of the ore to about 10 times, adding significant value to the ore", he noted.
Prof. Kuma added that UMaT had also developed a polymer reduction technology that uses carbonaceous materials found in plastic waste as a reducing agent to produce iron.
"This technology has been successfully tested on the iron ores of Opon Manso, Sheini, Pudo, Akpafu Todzi in Ghana and also on ores from Nigerian, Liberia, China and Australia; the research team is also led by Prof. Dankwah".
He was hopeful that the development of these technologies by the University supports the President's declaration of an agenda for a Ghana beyond aid.
Prof. Kuma has, therefore, called on participants at the conference to adopt a mission to create value in their deliberations and also initiate professional partnership among themselves.
Topics to be treated at the conference include innovations in mining and petroleum engineering, geometric and geological developments, advances in minerals extraction, environmental and safety issues in mining and sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and small scale mining.