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Prestea underground mine to start before 2012 ends

The Mine Manager of Golden Star Bogoso Prestea Limited (GSBPL), Mr. Samuel Agyeman, has given the assurance that the Prestea underground mine would commence full operation before the end of this year.

He said to prevent further delays in the project, which has ceased for more than 10 years now, GSBPL in collaboration with New Century Mine have planned to begin the scheme in two phases.

Mr. Agyeman said these in Prestea on Friday when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), organized a public consultative forum to solicit views of officials of the company and the chiefs and people of the area on the proposed Prestea underground project.

He said 285 people would be employed in the first phase, which has been structured for a period of three years.

Mr. Agyeman said the company has rehabilitated the central shaft, ore passes, replaced obsolete equipment and fixed new water pumps,  to ensure the safety of workers.

He said decision to send extracted material from the Prestea mine to Bogoso treatment plant for the final production did not go down well with the chiefs and people of Prestea.

Mr. Agyeman said, consequently, the Member of Parliament for Pestea Huni/Valley, Mr. Francis Adu Blay Koffie and a divisional chief of Himan, Nana Nteboaprah IV, on behalf of the people, requested the company to construct a processing treatment plant in Prestea as soon as possible.

Nana Nteboaprah IV appealed to the people, especially the youth, to seek for any clarification on the project from the traditional rulers to maintain peace as the company prepares to reactivate the underground mine.

Mr. Ali Sandow, the Deputy Director of EPA, told the Ghana News Agency that the Agency received a document on scooping concerning the GSBPL proposed project.

He said the EPA organised the event to discuss issues raised by the GSBPL and the community before final permit would be granted to the company.

Mr. Sandow said EPA would review the document and concerns raised by the chiefs and people.

He said government was committed to ensuring the reactivation of the Prestea underground mine and the EPA would take appropriate measures for the project to begin.

Mr. Sandow said the company has targeted 1,893.000 kilo ounces of gold within the phase one of the project.

Source: GNA

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