AngloGold Ashanti says it is on course to pouring first gold by end of this year, following resumed operations at the redeveloped Obuasi Mine, inaugurated six months ago.
The mining giant has since February been busy working on the underground tunnel, production plants and other key components under the intensive redevelopment process.
"The mine is currently developing. There is a lot of new tunnels being established underground and refurbishment of old tunnels and making them large; fixing high new mechanised high-productivity equipment and that work is progressing very well," says Brett Thompson, Head of Operations.
AngloGold Ashanti has been busy redeveloping Obuasi Mine
He told JoyNews the Mine targets to produce 2,000 tons of gold daily in the first phase of the redevelopment.
"We hope to pour the first bar of gold by the end of 2019. So that would be a very historic and exciting milestone for us. Thereafter, the mine would be operating around 2000 tons per day.
“And the ultimate plan by the end of 2020 is the next just which is Phase Two and the plan is to increase production capacity to in excess of 4000 tons a day. The first gold pour would be in December".
AngloGold Ashanti shut down its Obuasi Mine about five years ago due to operational challenges after over 100 years of gold mining in the Ashanti Region town.
The company was compelled to lay off thousands of workers in order to begin care and maintenance of existing ore at the time it could hardly break even.
Months of various restructuring activities culminated in re-opening of the mine last January.
President Akufo-Addo, supported by Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II inaugurated the redevelopment project of the mine on January 22.
Re-opened Obuasi Mine is expected to produce 4000 tons of gold by the end of 2020
On-going redevelopment is expected to extend the life span of the mine to about 20-years, with a daily production capacity of 4,000 tons by the end of 2020.
"The last two months, we've developed or advanced more than a kilometre on the ground. We expect to develop around 12 and a half kilometres of new underground development," Brett Thompson is Head of Operations said.
The revival of the Obuasi Mine means an improvement in the local economy of Obuasi.
Elijah Adansi-Bonah is MCE for Obuasi
The Municipal Assembly is optimistic of the future, though officials say it is too early to measure the impact so far.
Chief Executive of the Assembly, Elijah Adansi-Bonah, has been recounting the brutal effects of the shutdown on the local economy.
"All sub-contractors left Obuasi and there was no mining activity. The AGA was rather spending money on the skeletal workforce they left. And that was not significantly affecting the local economy," he recounted.
Re-opening of the Obuasi mine is a boost to local economy
According to him, the Obuasi economy is gradually picking up now with the redevelopment of the mine.
"Now that they are back, people receive monthly salaries; now they have a lot of sub-contractors. They are doing contract mining. We have UMA, a lot of them here. They have also employed some of our people" he said.
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