President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has revealed that the return of AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine to production is as a result of a pledge he made to the people of Obuasi prior to the 2016 general elections and the actions he took after becoming president. He said this when the Mining Giant commemorated the first gold pour of the mine on Wednesday, 29th January, 2020 in Obuasi.
Speaking at the event, the President did not hesitate to credit himself for the revival of the Mine.
“In fulfillment of 2016 campaign pledge to the people of Obuasi, my assumption of office saw the holdings of a series of discussions and negotiations and the provision of a number of fiscal incentives which lead first to the establishment of the redevelopment project of the Obuasi Mine, and brought us, secondly, to this day when we effect the ceremonial celebration of the first gold pour of the mine” he said.
In 2018, $259 million tax waiver was approved for AngloGold Ashanti by Parliament.
The tax exemption which is expected to run for 10 years will help make the company more profitable and generate more than $5.3 billion dollars for the Ghanaian economy.
AngloGold as result of the tax waiver will be able to invest $881 million directly into mining operations in the country. Per the agreement, AngloGold will enjoy a $40 million tax waiver on royalties. A $2 million in income taxes were also relinquished.
AngloGold Ashanti is no longer required to pay $56 million in capital allowances this year and in 2021, while a customs import duty to the tune of $161 million was also waived. This move by the government angered the minority in parliament who said the agreement was deficient and gives the mining company more than it deserves.
But it seems the waiver succeeded in bringing back the mine into production and profitability.
The president went ahead to promise the Mine of its continuous support.
“Government will also work with AngloGold Ashanti Limited to ensure that all social and environmental concerns, with respect to the reclamation and restoration of the mine sites, are satisfactorily addressed, and these areas put back to good use for the benefit of the communities within the catchment areas,” he added.
In January, 2019, the President was in Obuasi together with the Asantehene to launch the Obuasi Mine Redevelopment Project, which signaled a return to operation of the Obuasi mine.
Reading the speech of the Asantehene, Osei Tutu II at the commemoration of the first gold pour, Nana Otuo Siribou, Omanhene of the Juabeng traditional area said Otumfuo was delighted that the Mine was back on its feet.
“This day marks one of my proudest moments of my 20 year rein on the golden stool”, he said.
AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, which is currently mining at the rate of two thousand (2,000) tons per day, and scaling-up to four thousand (4,000) tons per day by year-end, would be producing an average of three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) ounces of gold per annum for the first ten years, and over four hundred thousand (400,000) ounces per annum over the remainder of the life of the mine.