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AngloGold Ashanti applies to Ghana EPA for permit to re-open mine

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AngloGold Ashanti, one of the leading gold miners in Ghana says it has applied to the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a permit to re-open its mine at Iduapriem.

The miner announced the closure of the mine in February pending the establishment of a temporary tailings storage facility at the mine.

In a press statement copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, AngloGold Ashanti said the issuance of a permit from the EPA will allow the construction of the facility and gold production will be expected to start in April.

According to the statement, the company is accelerating the establishment of a water treatment plant and a new tailings storage facility which it aims to commission in the third quarter of 2010 and early 2011 respectively.

AngloGold Ashanti indicated in the statement that it is making efforts to recover some of the production lost as a result of the closure of the mine.

The company added that its Obuasi Mine also in Ghana suspended the operation of gold processing pending the implementation of a revised water management strategy to reduce contaminants contained in its discharge.

The essence of the revised plan is to utilise existing infrastructure for the containment and treatment of water on site. The consequence of this is that production from the mine will be around 20,000 to 25,000 ounces lower than anticipated for second quarter of 2010, during which time alternative mining strategies already identified will be refined and implemented to mitigate further shortfalls, the statement said.

In 2009, Iduapriem and Obuasi mines produced 190,000 ounces and 381,000 ounces of gold respectively and together accounted for some 12% of AngloGold Ashanti’s global production, the statement added.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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