The Vice President of Newmont, Russel Ball has been quoted by the international media as saying, “the current schedule shows us (getting) first production late 2013.”
The Akyem mine which is located in the Birim North District of the Eastern region of Ghana is said to have a measured and indicated reserve of 7.7-million ounces of gold.
Newmont Gold is one of the world’s largest mining companies, reputed for its very high industry practices and good corporate social responsibility.
The Akyem mine according to Ball has about 15 years mining life.
Last year some media in Ghana reported that Newmont Ghana was suspending the Akyem project.
In a response, Newmont Ghana had said on its website that the company remains eager to develop the Akyem project and is completing further analysis on economics to ensure sustainability.
“We are working with government and other key stakeholders to complete key options to bolster efficiency of the project in the face of current global economic dynamics,” Newmont had said.
“Given the current global financial crisis, the shortage of capital and reduced commodity prices, all Newmont projects are being reviewed and the Akyem project is also undergoing this evaluation process,” said Adiki Ofeibea Ayitevie, regional manager, communications. She added that Newmont had not suspended the project as reported in some media.
The Akyem project, Newmont says has for the past five years, been subject to a thorough environmental impact study, public consultation process and an independent review process.
It also says power and economic analysis have been made to ensure sustainability of the project.
According to Ball, gthe project is currently in the planning phase, with feasibility studies under way to assess development requirements.
Meanwhile recently, Newmont Ghana was slapped with a fine running into several million dollars by the government of Ghana for a cyanide spillage that occurred at its Ahafo mine in October 2009.
The company took full responsibility for the accident. In a statement Newmont said it is prepared to finalize compensation for the overflow and has already implemented a number of corrective measures to prevent any future process solution releases. It also reassured the government of Ghana and local communities that the safety of its neighbours, employees and the environment is its first priority and that the company is committed to operating with high standards.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi