Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 31 March 2010 – AngloGold Ashanti Limited “’ Africa’s largest producer of the precious metal “’ has suspended processing operations at its Obuasi mine in Ghana in order to pursue work on reducing water contamination.
“Output at the mine will be 20 000 to 25 000 ounces lower than anticipated for the second quarter,” the company said here in a statement to the city’s stock exchange.
“Processing is suspended pending the implementation of a revised water management strategy to reduce contaminants,” the company added. “Details of the plan have been released to Ghana’s environmental agency.”
AngloGold’s Obuasi mine produced 381 000 ounces of gold last year. The company also owns the smaller Iduapriem mine in the country, which produced 190 000 ounces in 2009.
AngloGold has applied for temporary tailings storage for its Iduapriem mine, whose operations were suspended on 19 February because of concerns that its waste storage facility might be causing water pollution.
The statement explained that the company was accelerating the establishment of a water treatment plant and a new tailings storage facility which it aimed to commission in Q3 of 2010 and early 2011 respectively.
During the period of suspension, mining operations have continued at Iduapriem for most of the duration, and certain plant maintenance scheduled for later this year was brought forward and completed. The company continues to assess the rescheduling of production at the mine, with a view to recovering some of the lost production during the remainder of 2010.