Highly encouraged by the ongoing projects to transform the Obuasi operation into massive low-cost and profitable operation, Hon. Nii Osah Mills, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has commended the management of AngloGold Ashanti for walking its talk and implementing ?what they said they would do? to fix the mine.
?I am impressed with the amazing projects on both surface and underground being undertaken to renew the mine?s infrastructure and transform the operation for the future?, the Minister said.
Hon Osah Mills was speaking to the media on Thursday, when he visited the Obuasi mine with Hon Chris Yaluma, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development of Zambia. It was his second visit to the 118-year old operation and promised to visit regularly.
The two ministers, accompanied by their respective technical advisors and directors, toured the Pollution to Water Treatment Plant and the $200 – million Obuasi Deeps Project, which enabled them to see at first hand the ?picture? of what the Obuasi mine would look like when the operation, currently in limited operation mode, becomes fully operational in future.
Hon. Nii Osah Mills said the government would continue to support the Obuasi Mine in these challenging times to ensure the operation is given a new birth and called on other stakeholders within and outside Obuasi to support the efforts being made to build the mine anew.
In his earlier presentation, Mr Mark Morcombe, explained the challenges which had constrained the mine, resulting in continuous decline in gold production at Obuasi, saying despite several attempts to address the challenges; production dived to as low as 242,000 ounces in 2013, resulting in lower cash flow in all but two years since 2004.
Mr Morcombe, who is the Senior Vice President of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana also spoke about key projects being undertaken currently on the mine and said the company has significant resource and reserves to enable it continue operation for long time. He said feasibility study is ongoing and its completion this year would enable management to redesign and chart new path for the operation. The Senior Vice President commended the sector minister, government and other key stakeholders for their understanding and support.
On his part the Zambian Minister, Mr Yaluma observed that Ghana was ahead of Zambia in mining and said his visit has made it possible to learn about the Obuasi mine and projects being implemented to uplift it. He was happy with the mine?s engagement with stakeholders and the safety procedures on the mine and wished management success.
He said he was in the country to learn more about Ghana?s mining and mineral laws and regulations and his visit would not have been completed if he had not visited Obuasi, adding that ?AngloGold Ashanti management is on the right track to modernise the operation?.
?Whatever I have seen here is impressive and let us use the Africa Mining platform to collaborate, share and exchange ideas on how best practically we can use the industry to improve the lives of our people?, the Zambian Minister said.