Ghana President Seeks To Barter Bauxite For Roads, Bridges

Ghana will finalize details of an infrastructure program before the end of the year and will pay for it with refined bauxite, said President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The West African nation is seeking to derive more value from its bauxite resources by expanding the country’s processing capacity. Last year, Ghana said it signed an agreement with China that may culminate in the development of a $10 billion bauxite venture that will include the construction of alumina refineries and railways.

“This will probably be the largest infrastructure program in Ghana’s history,” Akufo-Addo said Tuesday in an emailed copy of a speech that marked the 61st anniversary of the country’s independence from Britain. “It will involve the barter or exchange of refined bauxite for infrastructure” such as bridges, roads and hospitals. He didn’t elaborate on potential partners.

An expansion of bauxite mining will allow Ghana to further accelerate growth, which is forecast at 8.3 percent for 2018 as oil producers such as Eni SpA and Tullow Oil Plc increase output from new fields. Ghana, which also mines gold and manganese, produced 827,000 tons of bauxite and 40,000 tons of aluminum in 2013, U.S. Geological Survey data show.