AngloGold Ashanti’s wholly-owned subsidiary, AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana), has poured first gold from the Obuasi gold mine in Ghana.
This signals the successful redevelopment of the mine into a modern, mechanised mining operation since mining activities were suspended five years ago.
The Obuasi Redevelopment project, which seeks to access Obuasi’s 30 Moz ore body 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 past 18 months.
“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,” says AngloGold Ashanti CEO Kelvin Dushnisky. “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.”
Following a ramp-up period, AngloGold Ashanti estimates mining at a rate of 2 000 tpd from Obuasi during 2020, climbing to 4 000 tpd by year-end. The mine will be producing gold at an average run-rate of between 350 000 ozpa and 400 000 ozpa for the first ten years, and above 400 000 oz over the life of mine at all-in sustaining costs of around $800/oz.
“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,” says Graham Ehm, AngloGold Ashanti’s executive VP of group planning and technical, who is overseeing the project. “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 million to $545 million, spent between 2018 to the end of 2020.