AngloGold Ashanti has poured the first gold at its redeveloped Obuasil gold mine in Ghana. Mining was suspended at Obuasi five years ago. The redevelopment project is targeting access to the property’s 30-million-ounce (oz) orebody over the next two decades and beyond.
The first phase of construction for Obuasi redevelopment was completed on time and on budget over the past 18 months and included refurbishment of an existing plant, construction of new infrastructure, and underground development in line with a new mine plan. Following ramp-up, mining is planned at a rate of 2,000 metric tons per day (mt/d) during 2020, climbing to 4,000 mt/d by year-end.
Gold production is forecast to average 350,000 oz per year (oz/y) to 400,000 oz/y for the first 10 years and above 400,000 oz/y over the life of the mine at all-in sustaining costs of around $800/oz.
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said, “Producing first gold on budget and on a tight schedule is a significant achievement for the company, for the community at Obuasi, and for Ghana as a whole.”
Underground mine development is ongoing, with deepening of the Obuasi Deeps decline and access to the KRS shaft on schedule for mid-2020. Construction of new plant and infrastructure will continue throughout 2020. The initial project capital for Obuasi redevelopment remains in the range of $495 million to $545 million to be spent by the end of 2020.
AngloGold Ashanti is working closely with government and community stakeholders to ensure that the Obuasi mine is developed sustainably, fueling growth for Ghana and benefiting 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 be contributing $2/oz of gold produced to a Community Trust Fund over its mine life to facilitate development projects in the local area.
The redevelopment project has placed a premium on local content, with 80% of the capital thus far spent in-country. 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. Employment has also prioritized Ghanaians from the immediate area around the mine wherever possible.