AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine has responded to the petition of the Obuasi Deserves Better Demonstrators, stating that it is only the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources who has the right to release any lands for mining by any group.
The response came two days after a section of Obuasi Youth took to the streets demanding for the Mine to release part of their active concessions to them for mining. They also asked the Mine to employ more Obuasi residents to ease the unemployment rate in the town.
Responding to the demonstrators in a press release, AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine said they had already released more than 70% of their concession and have only retained areas that are critical to their operations. They added that they have also prioritized the employment of Obuasi residents since the commencement of the Obuasi Redevelopment Project in 2019.
Read the full press release below:
AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG) is aware of the demonstration held in Obuasi town yesterday by the Obuasi Youth Community Mining Association, under the theme “Obuasi Deserves Better.”
The purpose of the demonstration was to petition AngloGold Ashanti to relinquish additional areas of its core concession to facilitate community mining. The group also raised Obuasi’s high unemployment rate and asked that AngloGold Ashanti employ more people from the area.
- AngloGold Ashanti has in recent times surrendered over 70% of its original mining lease to the Minerals Commission and has only retained areas critical to its current and future mining and infrastructural requirements.
- Further, only the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources can grant a mining lease.
AngloGold Ashanti does not have the power to release any portion of land which falls within the mining lease area to third parties.
AngloGold Ashanti appreciates that unemployment is one of the most prevalent socio-economic challenges in Ghana, and Obuasi is not any different. Since commencement of the Obuasi Redevelopment Project in 2019, the company has prioritized employment of residents from the Obuasi communities, specifically Adansi and Amansie, in varying capacities and in temporary and permanent roles. This priority status of local communities has been formalized through a Local Employment Procedure.
Through a three-year Social Management Plan, from 2019 to 2021, the company has also made significant investment in its host communities, including in the areas of education, skills development, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure support, and local content.
Also, through its 10-year Socio-economic Development Plan, from 2021, AngloGold Ashanti continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to the development of the Obuasi communities by fostering local economic growth and nurturing relationships with the host communities. AngloGold Ashanti also contributes $2 for each ounce of gold it produces to the Obuasi Community Trust Fund, which has the primary objective of funding projects in the communities based on the recommendations of the communities themselves.
Our principal focus is the safety of our employees and host communities and all the necessary precautions are in place to ensure the safety of our employees and host communities.