AngloGold seeks arbitration over ‘galamsey’

AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGA), has filed a request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) based in Washington, D.C., to resolve the worsening illegal mining incursion on its Obuasi mine.

The company said in a statement last Thursday, that the relevant authorities in Ghana, including the Attorney-General, had been duly notified of the commencement of proceedings.

AngloGold Ashanti said it filed the request for arbitration with the ICSID on Friday, April 8, and the case was registered on Monday, May 2.

The ICSID is an international arbitration institution which facilitates legal dispute resolution and conciliation between international investors and host states. The ICSID is a member of the World Bank Group, from which it receives funding.

The company said it had been compelled to invoke its mining lease dispute resolution provisions at Obuasi, where the security situation continued to deteriorate due to the failure of the government to restore law and order at the mine

“To protect and enforce its contractual rights in the face of increasing lawlessness, trespass, damage to property and threats to the safety of its employees, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana has been forced to invoke the dispute resolution provisions in its Mining Lease,” the company said.

AGA hoped that the commencement of ICSID proceedings would expedite the reinstatement of law and order at the mine.

In early February, this year, following the incursion of hundreds of illegal miners inside the fenced area of the site, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana was forced to declare force majeure and, in the interests of safety, withdrew all employees performing non-essential functions from the Obuasi mine.

According to the statement, the remaining employees had been performing critical services related to the operation of underground water pumping, environmental and potable water treatment, provision of medical services, and maintenance of facilities that provide power and water to employees’ homes and surrounding communities.

“There has been no impact on AngloGold Ashanti’s production and All-In Sustaining Costs as the site was not forecast to be in production for at least this year,” it said.

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