Newmont Ghana expects boost in annual production

Newmont Ghana Gold Limited expects a boost in annual gold production at its Ahafo mine if new explorations activities the company is undertaking yield positive results.

Currently, the yearly production at the mine is pegged at between 500,000 and 550,000 ounces of gold from four operational pits at Apensu, subika, Awonsu and Amoma.

Mr Kojo Bedu-Addo, External Affairs Manager, who told journalists on visit to the company’s operational site at Ahafo, said there was a degree of hope that the exploration activities in Ahafo North might come out positive and help in the expected shore up in production once it came on stream.

The visit took the journalists to the processing plant, tailings, water dam, and the Newmont Apprenticeship programme and to some community programmes in Kenyasi Health Centre and Kenyasi Police Transit Quarters.

Officials said Newmont is expected to spend about $20 million on drilling at Ahafo North to better appreciate the extent of the Ahafo deposit.

Besides, the company is also undertaking the Subika Expansion to extend the mine life at Ahafo South and there is the possibility of underground development below the ultimate pit and layback potential.

“The company is looking at and undertaken the option of an underground operation below the Subika pit. When this is successful subika will be Newmont’s first underground mine,” Agebko Azumah Communications Manager Newmont Ahafo said.

In preparation for and to respond to the increase ore from the field, Newmont plans to scale up the capacity of its processing plant.

Newmont generates nearly 10 per cent of Ghana’s total exports and 4.5 per cent of total Foreign Direct Investment and has created 48,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.

In the last two years, the company had spent $269 million about 49 per cent of gross revenue on goods and services in the country.

In 2009 alone, the company provided 99 local Ahafo companies with nearly US$6 million in contracts, supporting more than 400 jobs, Azumah said.

Mr Azumah said the company had so far paid $62 million in royalties since operations started in 2006.

He said the company had spent $17 million on resettlement of over 1,700 households and $16 million on crop compensations.

In addition, $22.3 million was spent on livelihood re-establishment in the areas of Agriculture Improvement and Land Access Programme, Vulnerable People’s programme and Skills Development programme, among others.

Mr Azumah said Newmont had put in place elaborate programmes to safeguard and protect the environment from the impact of its operations.

He said a total of $5.1 million had accrued to the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) as at March 2011 out of which $1.9 million was spent on projects and investment.

Under the programme 1,508 scholarships worth $800,000 have been allocated to students across the 10 communities.

The fund is a product of the Ahafo Social Responsibility Agreement between Newmont and the chiefs and people of host communities of the Ahafo Mine, signed in 2008, under which Newmont sets aside one dollar of every ounce of gold and one per cent (1%) of its annual net profit since the company started production in 2006.

Source: GNA

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