AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine says its operations remain suspended as mine rescue team continue to search for a miner missing after a fall-of-ground incident a week ago.
“Our thoughts are with our missing colleague and his family, who are receiving support from us at this difficult time,” a statement from the company said.
Early indications are that the geotechnical incident was likely caused by the failure of a horizontal, or sill pillar, in one of the mine’s smaller mining stopes.
A thorough investigation into the event has been initiated, it said.
The Company will also undertake an in-depth area-by-area assessment of the mine design, mine schedule and ground management plans, before progressively releasing mining areas for a phased resumption in production.
All underground mining activities at the Obuasi Gold Mine were voluntarily suspended after the incident on 18 May 2021 and remain so at this time.
The Company said it would continue to work closely with local authorities throughout the process.
“Our top priorities right now are the search for our missing colleagueand to provide support to his family,” Interim Chief Executive Officer Christine Ramon said.
Meanwhile, the company said the current suspension, investigation and review of future mining fronts would result in a delay to the ramp-up of production at the Obuasi Gold Mine and reduced production in 2021 for the Obuasi Gold Mine and, consequently, the Company.
Obuasi mine produced 34,000 ounces between April and the suspension of underground mining activities on May 18.
It said infrastructure refurbishment and construction linked to Phase 2 of the redevelopment project are continuing, while underground development activities will recommence once they have been cleared as safe.
“As the investigation progresses and the assessment of working places advances, we will provide additional detail on the estimated impact on this year’s production and ramp-up of the Obuasi Gold Mine,” it said.
In the meantime, in light of the above operational interruption at the Obuasi Gold Mine, we are suspending our production and cost guidance for 2021 as it relates to Obuasi, it added.