The Obuasi Gold Mine is an open-pit and underground gold mine situated near Obuasi, in the City-State Ashanti and Obuasi Gold Mine is one of the top-9 largest gold mines on Earth. The operation is owned by the Ashanti people ethnic group and Absolute Monarchy City-State Emperor Asantehene King Osei Tutu II. The mine is in Obuasi Municipal which lies south of Ashanti capital city Kumasi 39 miles (59.4 kilometers) away south-west of Kumasi or 1 hour 2 minutes road-drive from Obuasi to Kumasi.
Gold mining began at Obuasi Gold Mine more than 112 years ago, in 1897 when it was originally known as the Ashanti Mine.
In 2008, AngloGold Ashanti’s Ashantiland operations, consisting of Obuasi and the Iduapriem Gold Mine, contributed 11% to the company’s annual production. Both mines became part of AngloGold Ashanti when theAshanti people ethnic group and Absolute Monarchy City-State Emperor Asantehene King Osei Tutu II owned Ashanti Goldfields Corporation withSam E. Jonah as chairman of Ashanti Goldfields Corporation merged (under Ashanti New Patriotic Party premier John Kufuor) with AngloGold in 2004.
In 2009, the mine employed over 5,700 Ashanti people. The mine experienced two fatalities in 2008 and one in 2009.
Following heavy losses, mining was suspended in late 2014 when about 5,000 local miners were laid off. A large security force remained at the site, but, as of 2016, has been under heavy pressure from local illegal miners. AGA hopes to redevelop the mine and reopen it as a profitable operation at some point. Plans include reduction of the size of the mine, with a substantial portion (60%) returned to the government of Ghana; development of a ramp to access deep high grade ore bodies; and negotiation of mutually agreeable security and environmental agreements with the government of Ghana.
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