AngloGold Ashanti says it is continuing underground development and important work related to the Obuasi Redevelopment Project (ODD), while a detailed review of the mine plan is conducted in the coming months.
“Work has resumed in the ODD Decline and in several development headings. Diamond drilling, service functions and underground construction, among other activities, have also resumed,” a statement issued by the company said.
Underground stoping activities, halted after a fall-of-ground incident on May 18, remain suspended pending the conclusion of the review and implementation of recommendations from an investigation into the incident.
AngloGold Ashanti estimates mining could restart by year-end, with a ramp-up to previously planned production levels through the course of 2022.
“We are focused on understanding and dealing with the current issues and resuming the ramp-up as soon as possible,” Eric Asubonteng, Managing Director of Obuasi Gold Mine said.
“Obuasi remains an excellent asset and an important one for us, as a company, for the community and for Ghana as a whole,” he said.
“AngloGold Ashanti remains firmly committed to the Obuasi Redevelopment Project, which will revive one of the world’s largest gold ore bodies and create a modern, mechanised mining operation over more than 20 years,” he said.
He said “employees and contractors will be engaged in the ongoing project development in the coming months, while AngloGold Ashanti will use the production stoppage to continue to train and develop skills of the workforce ahead of the restart.”
The managing director said, as the investigation progresses and the assessment of working places advances, the company would provide an update on the resumption of additional mining fronts.
“We remain committed as ever to responsibly operating this important ore body for the benefit of all stakeholders,” Mr Asubonteng said.
“Obuasi has a long future ahead of it. It is important that we proceed deliberately and carefully as we complete our programme of checks and balances in each mining section.”
Prior to the suspension of underground mining activities at Obuasi, the mine produced 85,000oz in the first half of 2021 at a total cash cost of $999/oz and an All-in Sustaining Cost of $1,316/oz.
Obuasi Gold Mine is one of the world’s largest gold ore bodies, with 29.5Moz of Mineral Resource, at an average grade of 7.64 grams per tonne and 8.7Moz of Ore Reserve at an average grade of 8.6 grams per tonne.
Obuasi, an underground operation, mining to a depth of 1,500m, is in the Ashanti Region, approximately 60km south of Kumasi.