AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG) says it does not have the power to release any portion of land which falls within its mining lease to third parties.

This is in response to a demonstration held by the Obuasi Youth Community Mining Association under the theme: ‘Obuasi Deserves Better’ 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 says it has already relinquished 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.

It further stated that the only party capable of granting the group a mining lease is the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources as they (AGAG) doing so would be in contravention of the laws of Ghana.

On the matter of unemployment, it noted that since the 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,” it stated.

It also added that “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,” it further stated.