Plans are underway to establish Africa's inaugural lithium refinery in Takoradi, located in the Western Region of Ghana. The $500-million refinery project is spearheaded by a consortium comprising CAA Mining Ltd, Livista Energy, headquartered in Luxembourg, and its Ghanaian subsidiary, Livista Ghana Ltd. This initiative aligns with the government's Green Minerals Policy, which emphasizes value addition to lithium within the country rather than exporting it in its raw form.
According to Douglas D. Chikohora, CEO of CAA Mining Limited, the refinery is projected to be completed and operationalized by 2026, pending any unforeseen challenges. A 200-acre parcel of land within the Takoradi Port City has been designated to host the refinery. Preliminary discussions have already commenced with Ghana Gas Company Limited for power extension and the construction of a service pipeline from the existing pipeline grid to the refinery.
However, the commencement of refinery construction hinges upon the issuance of a prospecting license to Lithium Resources Ghana Ltd (LRGL), a joint venture of CAA Mining Ltd and local entity Empire Rare Earth and Metal Group Limited. LRGL has invested $2 million into lithium exploration on a 646-square-kilometer concession along the lithium corridor in the Central Region.
Mr. Chikohora highlighted the strategic significance of locating the refinery in Ghana, stating that it would not only process Ghanaian lithium but also lithium from other African countries such as the DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Mali, Namibia, and South Africa. Once operational, the refinery is expected to catalyze industrial growth in Ghana, fostering the establishment of battery manufacturing plants, vehicle assembly plants, and other related industries.
In terms of local content, LRGL is committed to promoting indigenous participation in the project. Discussions have been initiated with the Mining Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to involve local stakeholders as shareholders, thereby deepening the local content requirement. Additionally, LRGL plans to launch its social responsibility program by the end of September, focusing on supporting host communities and addressing their priority needs.