Ghana 13th goldmine, Asanko, located at Manso-Nkran at Amansie West District of the Ashanti has been commissioned for full-scale production.
This is expected to boost the country’s economic growth by creating jobs for the local people and generating revenue for government by way of taxes and royalties.
Speaking at the commissioning, His Majesty the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, praised Asanko Gold for the substantial investment the company has made at a critical time in the Ghanaian and indeed the global mining industry.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osa Mills also commended Asanko Gold for its excellent project delivery and for the shared value approach it has employed in the process.
“It is our expectation that other investors will take a cue from Asanko Gold’s example given the limitless opportunities available in Ghana. Government on its part will continue to work with such investors by providing the needed support and assistance while facilitating strong linkages with local industries and the economy,” he said.
The mine is operated by Asanko Gold Ghana Limited (formerly known as Keegan Resources Ghana Limited) which is also owned by Asanko Gold Incorporated, an international company listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
Asanko Gold Ghana has transitioned from an exploration and development company into a gold producer. It poured its first gold in January 2016 after about US$300 million was invested in the first phase of the project that employed about 2,500 workers - 97 % of which were Ghanaians and 37% from the mine’s local communities.
According to the CEO and President of Asanko Gold Inc. Peter Breese “Successfully building the first phase of the Asanko Gold Mine demonstrates that Ghana has a highly skilled employee base that we have been able to attract to our company.
Ghana’s newest goldmine is currently producing 2500 ounces of gold every week. Officials are working to ramp this up to 3500 ounces from July 2016. This will put Asanko on a similar production scale as AngloGold Ashanti’s Iduapriem Mine.
The company is targeting to produce about 190,000 ounces of gold annually from 2017 over the mine’s 12-year life span - translating into about US$ 240million per the current price of gold on the world market.
Mr. Breese added preparations are far advanced to establish the second phase of the mine in 2017.
“We are still a young, growing organisation. We look to the future with the second phase of the mine already at the planning stage. Phase 2 will increase production by a further 100% in the two stages and see an additional US$300million invested in Ghana.
We continue to work with our host communities and the regulatory authorities on the finer details of permitting and technical specifications for this project which will further enhance our contribution to the Ghanaian economy as a whole” he said.
Dr Ben Adoo, Non-Executive Chairman of Asanko Gold Ghana also said “The development of the Asanko Gold Mine offers a golden opportunity to improve the quality of life and support the dreams and aspirations of many local Ghanaians through employment, wide-ranging socioeconomic benefits and skills development.
Even before the mine produced its first gold bar, we have implemented a number of empowerment initiatives in education, financial literacy, and vocational training to demonstrate our long-term commitment to our host communities”