AngloGold Ashanti says it has surrendered 60% of the Obuasi mine concession to the government of Ghana.
The mining giant, in a statement said, the action “will provide an opportunity for the Government/ Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to use the land as it sees fit, including to encourage a range of socio-economic development activities in the Obuasi region.”
It also called on the authorities to check threats being posed by illegal miners.
Below is a full statement from the company
AngloGold Ashanti today confirmed that the voluntary process which AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited (AGAG) commenced in November 2013, to surrender some 60% of the Obuasi mine concession to the Government of Ghana, has been implemented by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
This will provide an opportunity for the Government/ Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to use the land as it sees fit, including to encourage a range of socio-economic development activities in the Obuasi region.
The area in question covers about 273 square kilometers and excludes the Obuasi Mine, which lies on land retained by AGAG.
AngloGold Ashanti’s primary aim, subject to the outcome of an ongoing feasibility study, remains to turn the Obuasi Mine into a long-life, modern, mining operation that will provide foreign investment, high-quality direct and indirect employment, taxes and foreign exchange revenue to Ghana.
However, the continued presence of illegal miners on the Obuasi Mine continues to jeopardize this potential. It is critical that the authorities act to resolve this threat to the viability of the Obuasi Mine, in a peaceful manner, and as quickly as possible.
Numerous meetings between AngloGold Ashanti executives and representatives at all levels of Ghana’s government – both national and local — have failed to yield the return of supplementary security to the site.
The illegal miners, meanwhile, continue to damage parts of the ore body and important infrastructure, raising the risk that the site will be irreparably damaged if they are allowed to go on unchecked. There is also a growing threat to AGAG’s ability to continue supplying critical services to the Obuasi Mine and to local communities.