Mining activities are expected to bounce back in Obuasi following AngloGold Ashanti’s (AGA) acquisition of a new concession at Sansu. A feasibility study conducted by the company showed that the new site was endowed with an estimated five million ounces of gold reserves and about 33 million resources.
According to the company, the site had the potential of producing more gold than the old site where it had operated for more than 120 years.
The Operations Manager of AGA, Mr Fred Nsarko, told the Daily Graphic in Obuasi that full-scale production was expected to take off this year.
He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a public hearing on the proposed Obuasi mines redevelopment and tailings, and water infrastructure projects.
The hearing was at the instance of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to solicit views from the residents of Obuasi.
This was to ensure that all concerns were addressed in the final document of the operations of the new mines to enhance cooperation.
Among the issues raised at the forum were the disposal of chemicals from the mines to avoid pollution of water bodies and improve local participation.
Operations at the AGA Obuasi old mine took a nosedive leading to the retrenchment of a number of employees about three years ago.
Mr Nsarko said some of the resources at the new mine site had the potential of being converted into reserves to increase output.
To avoid an acrimonious relationship with the community, he said, the mines, in consultation with the various chiefs and opinion leaders in its catchment areas, had selected and trained a number of artisans to position them for a possible recruitment into the new mine.
Prior to this, Mr Nsarko said, AGA had a dialogue with a range of stakeholders in Ghana with the view to addressing the long-running underperformance of the Obuasi mine in Ghana.
Last year, AngloGold Ashanti submitted its Amended Programme for Mining Operations (APMO) to the Government of Ghana and key regulators for review.
The APMO provided details of the technical, environmental, financial and social aspects of the envisaged transition of the mine.
The Managing Director of AGA, Mr Eric Asubonteng, announced that the mines was close to concluding talks with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to convert facilities at its old mining site into a technical university.
He was hopeful that the university would be the hub of the training of manpower in the mining sector to provide an unending qualified stock to feed the industry.
Mr Asubonteng said the idea was also to give back to the Obuasi communities by giving them their first-ever university and reduce the cost of travelling outside the towns to seek higher learning.