Tag Archives: Obuasi

Obuasi gold mine becomes ‘modern, mechanised mining operation’

The renowned Obuasi gold mine, in Ghana, is back in action with AngloGold Ashanti confirming the redeveloped asset has poured first gold, five years since mining activities were suspended.

This achievement signals the successful redevelopment of the mine into a “modern, mechanised mining operation”, the company said.

The Obuasi Redevelopment project, which seeks to access Obuasi’s 30 Moz orebody over the next two decades and beyond, has completed the first phase of construction on time and on budget. Refurbishment of an existing plant and construction of new infrastructure and underground development, in line with a new mine plan, has taken place over the last 18 months.

AngloGold Ashanti Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Dushnisky, said producing first gold on budget and on a tight schedule was a “significant achievement” for the company, the community of Obuasi and Ghana as a whole.

“Restarting this important mine is testament to the focused execution by our team on the ground, as well as the clear investment framework and supportive environment created by the President of Ghana and his government, and the King of Ashanti,” he said.

Following a ramp-up period, AngloGold Ashanti estimates mining at a rate of 2,000 t/d from Obuasi during 2020, climbing to 4,000 t/d by year-end. The mine will be producing gold at an average run-rate of 350,000-400,000 oz/y for the first 10 years, and above 400,000 oz over the life of mine at all-in sustaining costs of around $800/oz, according to the company.

Graham Ehm, AngloGold Ashanti’s Executive Vice President of Group Planning and Technical, who is overseeing the project, said: “The team has done an excellent job completing the first phase of this project and will be focused on ramping up production through next year.

“The difficult decision was made to suspend production in 2014 to rebuild the mine’s foundation for a sustainable long-term future that will bring benefit to the region over the coming decades. We are tremendously proud of what has been achieved since then.”

The underground mine development is ongoing, with deepening of the Obuasi Deeps Decline and access to the KRS shaft on schedule for mid-2020. The construction of new plant and infrastructure will continue in 2020. The initial project capital for Obuasi remains in the range of $495-$545 million, spent between 2018 to the end of 2020.

AngloGold Ashanti says it is working closely with government and community stakeholders to ensure that the Obuasi mine is developed sustainably, fuelling growth for Ghana and benefitting the communities around the mine. A committee, including local stakeholders and regulators, has been created to track execution of the reclamation of the mine site and the mine will also be contributing $2/oz of gold produced to a Community Trust Fund, over its life, to facilitate development projects in the local area.

Some 80% of the capital thus far has been spent in-country, according to the Managing Director of the Obuasi Mine, Eric Asubonteng. “Ghanaian companies have been given preference in the procurement of goods and services, from the large-value underground mining contract all the way to catering and security contracts,” the company said.

Employment has also prioritised Ghanaians from the immediate area around the mine wherever possible, with Ghanaians from elsewhere in the country next in line for recruitment in available roles.

AngloGold Ashanti blasts off at Obuasi Redevelopment project

AngloGold Ashanti says the first week of underground development blasting has been completed at its Obuasi Redevelopment project in Ghana, as work to pour first gold by the end of the year gathers momentum.

The first blast, at about 7 pm on February 1, advanced development by around 4.2 m on the 2,700 level, which is accessed through the Obuasi Deeps decline from surface and is just over 700 m vertically below the decline portal, the company said. Benching and a number of additional face blasts have taken place since, with more than 14 m of advance recorded.

AngloGold Ashanti announced early last year it would invest $495-$545 million to recapitalise the iconic mine in Ghana, to develop its 6 Moz of high-grade reserve. The project will see Obuasi transformed into a modern, mechanised mine that will produce, on average, 350,000-400,000 oz/y of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $725-825/oz during the mine’s first decade of operation, according to AngloGold. Higher grades in the second decade of operation will see production improve further, it added.

AngloGold Ashanti, Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Dushnisky, said: “The first blast was a significant milestone in transforming this important mine into a modern, productive operation. Our investment in Obuasi gold mine’s redevelopment will ultimately make this a key asset for Ghana, and for AngloGold Ashanti’s portfolio, for the long term.”

The project remains on track to produce its first gold by the end of this year, with ramp-up expected during 2020.

AngloGold Ashanti says it has committed to ensuring significant local content in the mine’s development and operation, through employment at all levels and procurement, notably through the creation of a joint venture between Australia’s AUMS and Ghana’s Rocksure, to undertake Ghana’s underground mining contract.

Development of the project is progressing as planned and it is expected that capacity will ramp up to around 1 km/mth of linear advancement in the second half of the year. Stoping operations are expected to start in the December quarter of this year as new production areas are accessed.

AUMS wins contract at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine in Ghana

African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) has been awarded a $375 million underground mining services contract at one of West Africa’s oldest mines, Obuasi, in Ghana.

The five-year contract at the AngloGold Ashanti operation will see AUMS team up with Rocksure International, a Ghana-based mining contractor, under a 70:30 joint venture.

AUMS, owned 50:50 by Ausdrill and Barminco Holdings, will provide a full suite of underground mining services at Obuasi, with major capital equipment supplied by AngloGold. Works are expected to commence in the March quarter, with some 550 people due to be employed during the project term.

Blair Sessions, AUMS Chief Operating Officer, said the company was pleased to extend its relationship with AngloGold, adding AUMS and Rocksure would “deliver on this project using modern and efficient mining methods, supporting local suppliers and providing employment and training opportunities to Ghanaians”.

Graham Ehm, AngloGold Executive Vice President – Group Planning and Technical – said the contract award was a major milestone towards recommencing production at Obuasi and delivering on outcomes that would benefit the national, regional and local economies.

Earlier this year, AngloGold said it would spend $450-500 million to redevelop Obuasi into a modern, productive mining operation. The mine had been in limited operating phase since 2014.

Since commencing operations in Ghana eight years ago, AUMS has trained over 1,200 Ghanaians through a range of mining, engineering and apprenticeship programmes, AUMS said. Ausdrill, meanwhile, has a 27-year history in the country through its African Mining Services (AMS) subsidiary.

AUMS and AMS, combined, employ more than 1,800 people in Ghana across five projects. The two businesses have generated around A$2.8 billion ($1.99 billion) of revenue in the country.

Ausdrill is currently in the middle of taking over AUMS JV partner Barminco in a deal that values the latter’s equity at A$271.5 million. Last week, Ausdrill shareholders approved the acquisition, paving the way for the deal to be completed by the end of the month.