The announcement by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the government will re-develop and expand the country’s oldest gold mine at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region must gladden the hearts of many.
The mine, formerly known as Ashanti Goldfields, has been shutdown since 2014 by its owner, AngloGold Ashanti, due to low production of gold.
The mine also faced many challenges such as invasion by illegal miners and a drop in prices of the commodity on the world market.
It was, therefore, not surprising that the Obuasi-based mining company laid off its workers and shutdown the mine.
The joblessness and the decommissioning are worrying not only to those who benefit directly from the operations of the mine, but to the entire nation due to its contributions to the country’s economic development.
The nation was obviously deprived of foreign exchange earnings and made poorer by the inactivity at the mine.
It is against this background that the Times welcomes the news that the mine will be revived by the government, to be one of the significant profit making entities in the country.
President Akufo-Addo emphasised that the Chief Executive Officer of Round Gold Resource, Mark Bristow, has expressed interest and had promised to support the re-development of the mine.
The Times is excited that government intends to embark on such a venture that has not only provided support for the country’s economy, but created jobs for many Ghanaians over the years.
We will recall that at the peak of its production, the mine, which was established in 1897, employed more than 5,700 people.
Unfortunately, that number has been reduced to few security men who are on site due to the closure.
The reviving of the mine, therefore, will ensure that the jobs are brought back and the mine returns to profitable operations, to continue to earn foreign exchange for the country.
Ghanaians will like to caution, however, that on its return, the mine should pay attention to environmental pollution, which is a major concern for many Ghanaians.
The fact is that there are modern ways of mining that will not necessarily end up degrading the environment and this is what we prescribe for the mine.
We again believe that the country has the capacity to partner other mining companies to revive the Obuasi-based mine for the benefit of the country.