AngloGold Ashanti Signs Obuasi Mining Contract

AngloGold Ashanti announced finalization of a five-year underground mining contract at the Obuasi redevelopment project with Underground Mining Alliance Ltd. (UMA), a joint venture between African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) and Accra- based Rocksure International, a wholly- owned Ghanaian mining contractor.

The agreement, valued at $375 million over five years, will help develop mechanized, underground mining expertise within Ghana’s local mining and engineering sector. Rocksure, which has a strong track record in open-pit mining, will work closely with Australia’s AUMS, which has significant experience in underground mining. Rocksure will have a 30% stake in the joint venture and AUMS the balance.

UMA will provide the full suite of underground mining services at Obuasi, with major capital equipment supplied by AngloGold Ashanti. Work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019. In encouraging the creation of the joint venture, AngloGold Ashanti is demonstrating its commitment to increasing meaningful local participation in the redevelopment of the Obuasi orebody, which has 5.8 million ounces (oz) of ore reserves and 34 million oz in mineral resource, and will have an initial mine life of roughly 20 years. Around 550 people, predominantly Ghanaians, will be employed and trained by the contractors for the duration of the contract term, allowing for knowledge and skills transfer.

Obuasi, which has been primarily an underground operation, was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 pending the commencement of the redevelopment project. In June, the Parliament of Ghana ratified the regulatory and fiscal agreements that cover the redevelopment of the Obuasi Gold mine and the Environmental Protection Agency issued environmental permits for the mine.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 12 -