AngloGold Ashanti has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Government of Ghana to provide the framework for the redevelopment of the Obuasi Gold Mine, turning it into a “modern productive mining operation.”
Under the agreement, which incorporates a development agreement, a tax concession agreement, a security agreement and a reclamation security agreement, AngloGold will invest $450 -$500m in bringing Obuasi back to producing and profitable mine operation.
The Obuasi Gold Mine has been in “limited operating phase” since 2014, where it was decided that the mine operations would be significantly reduced due to falling gold prices and a prolonged period of significant losses.
The agreement signifies the Government’s support in enabling it to restart as a modern, productive, long-life high margin operation.
“This will benefit the local, regional and national economies of Ghana through taxes, job creation, communal development expenditure and local procurement opportunities,” said the statement.
AngloGold Ashanti will develop Obuasi as a mechanised underground mining operation, a “fundamental departure from how the mine was operated in the past.”
The redevelopment makes use of automation and controls for improved operational efficiencies and consistency in performance.
The development will consist of two distinct phases, with stage one comprising project establishment, mine rehabilitation and development, plant and infrastructure refurbishment to enable production at a rate of 2,000t per day for the first operating year. First gold pour expected in the third quarter of 2019.
The second phase includes refurbishment of the underground materials handling system, shafts and ventilation; and construction of the primary crusher, the SAG/Ball circuit, carbon regeneration, a new gold room and tailings storage facility. This will enable the operation to climb to 4,000t per day and then expected to ramp up to 5,000t per day.
“Redevelopment of the Obuasi mine will establish Obuasi as a world class operation rejuvenating the proud gold mining history of the Ashanti region in Ghana,” AngloGold Ashanti Chief Executive Officer, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, said. “Obuasi now has the mine and labour plan, geological understanding and social model to match its world-class, high-grade ore body. The project metrics show a high-return, long-life project that not only brings ounces to account quickly and profitably, but also offers attractive returns on our investment.