President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the Obuasi Mine Redevelopment Project amid ecstatic scenes and the expression of joy by the people in the mining town.
The re-opening of the mine is expected to create employment for many and boost the local economy.
This was a key election campaign promise, the President made to the people in Obuasi.
Negotiations and discussions about the Obuasi mine started upon his assumption of office and the redevelopment project has been the direct outcome of that.
President Akufo-Addo said in order to help Anglogold Ashanti to secure the needed investment for the project, government provided a number of fiscal incentives.
Additionally, it guaranteed the stability of the project against changes in the legal environment, especially in the areas of the mine’s operations.
“It is expected that all the agreements reached including the vigorous implementation of the domestic content policy would be scrupulously honoured and performed.”
The initial investment of the redevelopment project is US$ 881 million with the total investment projected to come to US$1.6 billion during the 22 year life of the project.
The President said the government was expecting to rake in US$2.16 billion in revenue over the period in royalties, corporate and withholding taxes.
He assured management and the workers that sequence of events that led to the closure of the mine would not reoccur under the watch of his government.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, said for many decades before and after independence, the Obuasi mine was the single most important enterprise in the economy, adding that resources of the mine combined with timber and cocoa provided more than half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product at one point in time.
The redevelopment project was going to have a huge impact on the future of the nation.
It should send an important signal to the world that the climate for doing business in Ghana is good.
Mr. Graham Ehm, Executive Vice President in charge of the Obuasi Project, said the company had come a long way since the difficult but necessary decision to suspend underground production in 2014.
“Looking back, the challenges facing Obuasi Mine were considerable, but through dialogue, cooperation and steadfast commitment to resurrecting this important contributor to Ghana’s economy, we have prevailed.”
He said since the suspension of operations, they had worked hand-in-hand with relevant stakeholders to forge a new path for the Obuasi Mine – one that builds on its history and spectacular endowment.
He underlined the determination to ensure that the project was rewarding and inclusive, adding that, the future of Anglogold Ashanti and that of the Obuasi community were inextricably linked.
He said they were on track to produce their first gold by the end of the year, with mine production for the first 10 years projected to average between 350,000 to 450,000 ounces.
The Obuasi Mine since 2014 has been placed on limited operations and the company applied to the Government of Ghana for approval to amend its programme of mining operations.
Following this, all employees were retrenched and paid their full benefits and entitlements with the exception of 700, who were given contracts to oversee the limited operations.