GNA – AngloGold Ashanti will spend up to $500 million in initial capital expenditure to revive and mechanise its Obuasi mine.
This follows the signing of a regulatory and fiscal agreements with government, providing the framework for the development of the mine.
“The Government of Ghana and AngloGold Ashanti have put in place several agreements, including a development agreement, tax concession agreement, security agreement and a reclamation security agreement,” Mr Eric Asubonteng, the Managing Director and General Manager AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, told a press conference on Tuesday.
The tax concession agreement and the development agreement must now be ratified by Ghana’s Parliament.
Mr Asubonteng said the redevelopment will establish Obuasi as a mechanised underground mining operation, which is a fundamental departure from operations in the past.
He said the redevelopment would make use of automation and controls for improved operational efficiencies and consistency in performance.
Mr Asubonteng said the project Implementation would be undertaken in two phases with phase one comprising project establishment, mine rehabilitation and development, Plant and infrastructure refurbishment to enable production to reach 2,000 tonnes per day for the first operating year.
The second phase would involve refurbishment of the underground materials handling system, shafts, and ventilation and construction of the primary crusher, carbon regeneration, a gold room and tailings storage facility.
The first gold pour from the newly refitted operation is expected in the third quarter of 2019.
Production is expected to average 350,000 to 450,000 ounces a year, in its first 10 years of operations.
The new mechanised operation is expected to create between 2,000 to 2,500 jobs.
“It envisages a smaller but skilled workforce that can operate in a mechanized operation with a strong sense of accountability,” he said.
The mine’s life span is 21 years.
The Obuasi Mine has embarked on a fundamental restructuring programme since 2014. Underground production was suspended at the end of 2014 and the entire workforce was retrenched.