Gold mining major AngloGold Ashanti has secured environmental permits from the Ghanaian Environmental Protection Agency for the redevelopment of the Obuasi Gold Mine in the Ashanti Region in Ghana.
The environmental permits follow last week’s approval from the Ghanaian parliament relating to the redevelopment of the Obuasi Gold Mine into a modern, productive mining operation.
The parliament had ratified the regulatory and fiscal agreements pertaining to the gold mining project, which is expected to see an investment of $450-500m.
AngloGold Ashanti said that the environmental permits cover the gold mine project and its associated tailings and water infrastructure.
AngloGold Ashanti CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said: “With the key permitting and regulatory process complete, we will continue to progress the redevelopment of the Obuasi mine as a modern, productive, operation that will benefit a range of key stakeholders for at least two decades.
“We’d like to thank the Government of Ghana and its agencies for their responsive and constructive approach to our negotiations and the regulatory process, showing the alignment of both parties in advancing this important investment into the country.”
Located in southern Ghana, about 80km south of Kumasi and around 320km north-west of Accra, the Obuasi gold mine is mainly an underground mine operating at depths of up to 1,500m.
The redevelopment of the historical Ghanaian gold mine is anticipated to help yield the first gold in the third quarter of next year. Operations at the redeveloped gold mine are likely to create 2000-2,500 jobs with more job opportunities to be opened up during its construction stage.
The mine redevelopment will involve two phases with the first one to see establishment of the project, rehabilitation and development of the mine along with plant and infrastructure refurbishment. This phase, which will last about 18 months, will result in a daily production of 2,000 tonnes for the first operating year.
The second phase will see refurbishment of the underground materials handling system, shafts and ventilation. Expected to last 12 months, this phase will also involve construction of the primary crusher, the SAG/Ball circuit, carbon regeneration, and a new gold room and tailings storage facility.
The second phase will help the Obuasi gold mine to have a ramped up production of 4,000 tonnes per day.