AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi mine is undergoing a process which will see its operations resume soon, hopes to employ over 2000+ workers.
This report was released yesterday at a public hearing on the Proposed Obuasi Gold mine redevelopment and tailings & water infrastructure projects by AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Ltd. Obuasi. This programme was organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A).
The programme was fashioned as a scoping stage public hearing on the mine’s operations set to take off soon after all government permits and stakeholder engagements have successfully undergone acceptance.
Addressing the public masses present at the programme, A.G.A Obuasi M.D — Mr. Eric Asubonteng made a brief statement signifying that the mine is currently undergoing visible transitions to make resumption take effect.
“…you may ask reasons why operations haven’t been successful as intended since the company took off operations in 2004. One of the major causes include Poor production in mineral outputs as a result of a shoot up in the cost of gold production.” — He said.
He further elucidated that, effects of decline in output due to several factors included high cost of production. This called for the leaders to zero in on taking measures that will revamp a boost in output percentage.
“This situation called for the implementation of a strategy we refer to as ‘stop & fix’; whereby mining activities are stopped to make time for evaluations on feasible plans which will see to the sustainability of the mine.
The Over-Long ‘Stop&Fix’ Process
Mr. Eric Asubonteng exclaimed that some of the activities taken under the stop&fix strategy include halting mine workers’ operations which resulted into the massive job cuts.
“workers who were affected by the job cuts were sorted with pay-off packages from an estimated loan of over $240m to make sure workers are duly compensated.” — He said.
As a follow-up effect, underground production was also stopped.
He said, “the main reason why these decisions were taken was to hone an ample time to make feasibility studies, detecting problems and deciphering solutions to fix them.
He stated that, it is this Over-Long study that has reached the stage whereby plans are being made to process permits from the E.P.A to resume project operations. Two projects under planning are said to take off.
1. Redevelopment Project
The redevelopment project is the operation on the mining of the gold mineral, which will go directly into production.
2. Tailings & Water Infrastructure Project
This project has also been planned to manage the cyanide waste produced as a result of the mining activities. Briefing on this, Mr. Eric Asubonteng stipulated that ‘the already existing Tailings facilities will soon collapse its activities. This thus, called for a location transition, which has already taken effect.
Before all these projects can be undertaken, it is required that official permits be granted by government through the E.P.A
The public hearing organized, was part of the process.
New Innitiative: Mechanized Mining
The redevelopment of the mine will look forward to adopting new initiatives that can propel production. One typical example of these initiatives to be adopted is mechanized mining. This is the use of efficient modern machineries that can execute complex operations as fast as possible. This will replace the former slow-moving human labour activities such as manpower digging with an axe.
“we’re looking for machines that can produce at a top notch level”–he said.
Old Mine Assets refurbishment
“Existing assets belonging to the mine will undergo refurbishments. Worn-out machines which may not be effective will be replaced by newly purchased ones, Where-as assets which can undergo maintenance will be furnished for functioning.” – Mr. Asubonteng said.
It is obliged that some assets the company owns which may not necessarily be needed will be handed over to the government. Still some available ones especially the workers bungalows is under agreement processes with K.N.U.S.T to be used as a university college campus.
Period Set For The Mine To Resume Operations
In his speech, M.D–Mr. Eric Asubonteng declared that time for beginning mine’s operations have not be specifically estimated, as it hopes to still undergo a Process-driven Project.
Permits to be rendered by government and it’s subordinates as a requirement to cushion legal commencement is one of the first process it is undergoing. The public hearing programme organized yesterday is part of the permitting processes A.G.A is undergoing through the E.P.A .
Detailed design on the mining Plans will also take effect, as well as applications forwarding contracts with other supporting companies will also include in the process before operation commences. Refurbishment and construction of the mine’s operational assets is also inclusive.
Mr. Asubonteng postulated that these procedures need to take effect before the mine will officially resume. Thus, a specific date has not been estimated for resumption, meanwhile the redevelopment of the mine is presumed to run in existence for over 20yrs. Effective mining may propel it’s span to over 50 years.
He advised the public that the estimated 2000+ workers to be recruited must be competent enough to serve under productive measures. Workers will also be employed under the module that, a percentage will be employed from the skilled labour, as well as the unskilled labour group with qualifications as low as S.H.S certificate. The mine will also recruit most of the workers who live within its jurisdiction, unless a special labour which may be rare to find In the community will call for expatriates.
The public hearing was attended by the Clergy, Senior officers from E.P.A, Adansi local Chiefs, the A.G.A management board, and the general public.Take a sneak peek on some photos from the programme.
The clergy honored the programme
A.G.A management board were present.
Adansi traditional authorities graced the occasion with their entourage