Mining Firm Creates Opportunities For Ex-Workers

AshantiThe Ghana Stock Exchange listed gold miner, AngloGold Ashanti, in conjunction with its partners, is creating more economic and business options for its ex workers who have moved on, to plan and manage their lives better after working on the mine for years.

To achieve that objective, the company is working with the National Board for Small Scale Industries and Technoserve to explore small scale business in areas like tourism, oil and gas, mining, agriculture and food processing, education and others.

Mr. Fred Attakumah, Managing Director of the Obuasi Mine said this when the Ashanti  Regional Minister, accompanied by his directors, made his maiden  visit to the underground operation last week to acquaint himself with ongoing  projects on the mine;

Besides assisting the former and even current employees to plan and manage their lives better, Mr. Attakumah explained that the AGA organised a job and investment fair, which was meant to educate and create awareness on jobs, financial and investment opportunities.

“The idea is to enable the workers to put their money into good use for their own future and the future of their own families”, Mr Attakumah said.

Created in 1897, the Obuasi  underground operation is one of the oldest mines in the world and it is currently constrained  hugely by declining production and relatively high cost of production due to  complex challenges, such as  old technology, poor underground infrastructure, inadequate underground development to generate more stopes and ore, high cost of reliable power supply and over bloated labour, which has become an albatross on AGA’s neck.

More than 1200 miners have been retrenched and the expectation is that more and more will be retrenched, a painful but necessary decision already supported and endorsed by the unions and the employees themselves.. .

He commended the government for its “Operation Flush Out” exercise last year, against illegal miners in Obuasi and Amansie communities, and he  appealed to the minister for his intervention to expand and sustain the flush out exercise, especially during the care and maintenance period so that the ammended programme to fix the operation goes on without interruption.

On his part the Regional Minister, Dr. Samuel Sarpong,   commended not only the ‘locomotive’ role being played by AGA in business and economic development of Obuasi and the country, especially in job creation,but also in export earnings, taxation, royalties and the physical development of the  communities.

He also thanked the company for its “collaborative efforts with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly” and other business and social partners in the municipality in its  quest “to identify and provide alternative sources of income for workers who would be affected by the company’s Amended Programme of Mining”.

Looking beyond mining, Dr. Sarpong said “We must all know that apart from mining, other areas such as agriculture, tourism and services can be made to contribute meaningfully towards the economy of the region … this means that efforts to diversify the economy of Obuasi should be encouraged”; adding that “We should all throw our support behind AngloGold Ashanti to succeed in these tough and challenging times.”

 

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