As one of the most significant investors in Ghana, we, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, call on the Government of Ghana to urgently resolve the situation at the Obuasi Gold Mine where illegal miners have been looting significant quantities of high-grade, gold bearing material every day for almost three months. As they pillage this precious resource, they are causing significant damage to critical infrastructure, which serves both the mine and the surrounding communities.
At each stage since the original invasion of the mine by illegal miners, we have kept all authorities informed of developments, including of the damage being caused to the mine, the Obuasi Community, and the long-term prospects for this important resource. And yet, there has been an inexplicable lack of action by the authorities. Despite the fact that His Excellency the President had directed the return of the highly-regarded security agencies to the Obuasi mine, law and order is yet to be restored at Obuasi. In fact, on 26 March, we understand the military received an instruction to pull back to guard only certain limited parts of the infrastructure which is ineffective and does nothing to restore law and order in the areas currently occupied by illegal miners. To this day, the illegal miners continue to operate with impunity and all the while this national treasure, which should be developed for the good of all Ghanaians, is being looted for the benefit of only a few.
We are at a loss to understand how a clear and important Presidential directive has been blatantly ignored. This failure of action by the authorities is compromising the viability of the Obuasi mine, the rights of foreign investors in Ghana and those of the community.
AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s primary aim, subject to, among others, the outcome of an ongoing feasibility study, remains to turn the Obuasi Mine into a long-life, modern, mining operation that will attract foreign investment, and provide high-quality direct and indirect employment, taxes and foreign exchange revenue to the people of Ghana. However, the continued presence of illegal miners on the Obuasi Mine, and the apathy and inaction of the authorities, is jeopardising this potential.
We note recent comments in the media by the Honourable Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. John Alexander Kobina Ackon, who has assured the good people of Obuasi he will do all what he can in his capacity as the Regional Minister and Chairperson of the Regional Security Council to protect the concessions of the Obuasi mine in order to prevent it from collapsing. We urgently call upon him to make good on that commitment without further delay.
It is crucial that the Government plays its role in resolving this fundamental threat to the viability of Obuasi, and its contribution to the Ghanaian economy.
AngloGold Ashanti Ghana