AngloGold Ashanti, one of Africa’s largest gold producers, has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of 27 trucks, loaders and underground drills for its Obuasi mine in Ghana. Obuasi production is expected to average 350,000 to 400,000 oz annually for the next 10 years before ramping up to 400,000 to 450,000 oz a year for the following decade.
The contract includes five Sandvik DD421 development drills, five Toro™ LH517i loaders, four Toro™ LH410 loaders, four Toro™ TH663i trucks, three Toro™ LH621i loaders, two Toro™ TH430 trucks, two Sandvik DS421 cable bolters and two Sandvik DD321 development drills. Delivery is scheduled to begin in March 2023 and continue through 2024.
The Obuasi gold mine in Ghana’s Ashanti region operated from 1897 until AngloGold Ashanti suspended production in 2014 due to weak gold prices. A 2017 feasibility study indicated remaining gold resources that could sustain a 20-year underground mine, and AngloGold Ashanti began a redevelopment project in late 2018. The company is now developing the infrastructure needed to support a planned production ramp-up to a steady state by the end of 2023.
“This is a world-class orebody that continues to have huge potential after more than a century of mining,” said Eric Asubonteng, Managing Director of the Obuasi mine. “Our focus remains to turn this world-class orebody into a world-class mine. We were fairly manual in how we mined until 2014, but now we’re becoming fully mechanized and that is key in sustaining our productivity moving forward. By continuing with the introduction of a fleet of modern underground equipment equipped with the latest technologies, we have an even brighter future ahead of us.”
“Our partnership with AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine dates back to Sandvik’s early years in West Africa, with Sandvik embedded and operated from the mine until 2014 when we built our own site in Kumasi,” said Nuhu Salifu, Vice President for Sandvik Sales Area West Africa. “We are excited to continue our partnership and look forward to more collaboration in the future.”
As part of its pathway to net zero, AngloGold Ashanti has stated recently in its 2022 Sustainability Report that the viability of BEVs will be investigated at Geita in Tanzania and at Obuasi as it progresses a concept level study for completion in the first quarter of 2023. Its most important BEV project with Sandvik is the trial of underground mining’s largest-capacity BEV truck, the 65 t TH663B, at Sunrise Dam in Western Australia. It says this will commence in 2023. This will be in conjunction with contractor Barminco, part of Perenti.