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Li Xiaohai, Chairman of Sunon Asogli Power Company Ltd., which is in a desperate search for alternative sources of fuel for power generation,
said that Africa has been left out of the coal revolution that was fundamental to Western industrialisation.

Coal can solve the energy crisis; has been always fundamental to thermal energy, bigger than any resources currently in use (oil or gas).

Bric countries, Japan & South Africa are still very much reliant on coal but we don’t talk about it, because we all know there are environmental issues.

The company is doing “preliminary investigations” into the possibility of starting coal-fired power plants in Ghana.
The findings will be presented to the Government tne next months.

Coal can be burned in a cleaner form and the ashes from the burning of coal are used as an additive in concrete for the construction industry.
Also, the quality of a particular coal depends on its carbon content: high-carbon coals burn hot and relatively cleanly; low-carbon coals do not.

To support his argument, he said, that even the beloved renewable fuels — solar, wind, biofuel –  have their own environmental issues.

The silicon is solar panels, he said, is mined in some parts of the world to generate clean energy in other parts.
And to produce bio-fuel, tracts of land meant for food production have to be used.

According to the International Energy Annual Report (2006), coal is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide .

Mr George Kwatia, PwC Ghana Tax Partner and Mining Leader for West Africa, (PwC Ghana provides Audit & Assurance, Advisory and Tax services to companies
across various sectors) said, that Government must tap into opportunities that the small scale mining sector offers to create employment.

He said the current challenges that the mining industry was facing with regard to Chinese nationals engaging in illegal mining,
calls for adequate regulation.

According to the mine report, “the mining industry faces a confidence crisis, that is confidence over whether cost could be controlled,
return on capital will improve and commodity prices will not collapse, among others”.

Although it was a turbulent year for commodity prices, PwC’s analysis of the largest 40 miners shows total market capitalisation was roughly the same
at the end of 2012 as the start – $1.2 trillion – but not for gold miners’’.

The report said the gold miners in the top 40 lost $29 billion in 2012, while in the first four months of 2013 they lost a further $58 billion in value.

Commenting on the local situation, George Kwatia said that the issues affecting the industry in Ghana were not materially different from the issues
facing the industry globally. He cited a decline in revenue of the mining companies because of falling commodity prices and increasing operating costs
of mining businesses.

A Mining Centre of Excellence is about to be established in Western Africa.
PwC in servicing clients in the Africa Region was seeking to establish three hubs within Africa to house and drive mining excellence.
Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania had been considered as most appropriate locations for these hubs.
Ghana was chosen as the location to drive mining excellence within the West Africa Region.