Asantehene commissions $295m Asanko Gold Mine
The $295 million gold project was commissioned under the distinguished patronage of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and Nii Osah Mills, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
The Mine, located at Manso Nkran in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, commenced its gold production on January 26.
The first phase would produce an average of 190,000 ounces of gold yearly over a 12-year period.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Peter Breese, the Chief Executive Officer of Asanko Gold Incorporated, noted that dewatering of more than six million cubic metres of water, managing the safety of more than 2,500 workers and relocating 88 households to a new settlement site were among the unique challenges and complexities it encountered during the construction period.
He said the official commissioning marked a new era for Asanko Gold, an era where the company would be judged on its operating performance quarter-on quarter and its ongoing commitment in sharing the benefits and opportunities created by the mine and its host communities and shareholders.
He said corporate social responsibility would inform every decision the Company takes.
He said as a demonstration of that commitment, even before the mine produces its first gold bar, they had implemented a number of empowerment initiatives in education, financial literacy and vocational training to show its long-term commitment to the host communities.
Mr Breese mentioned the resettlement project, where everyone employed on the project is a Ghanaian and more than 60 per cent of the contractors involved are from the project catchment area.
He announced that Asanko Gold this year, would partner CODE, a Canadian NGO, on a new initiative christened ‘Reading Ghana’.
He explained that the initiative would be rolled out in more than a six-year period across the Region including the mine’s catchment area.
“Reading Ghana is a comprehensive literacy programme whose ultimate goal is to improve literacy amongst primary and secondary school children through reading, writing and critical thinking skills.
Nii Osah Mills, commended Asanko Gold for its excellent project delivery and for the shared value approach the company has approached in ensuring that stakeholders benefit from the asset.
“It is our expectation that other investors will take a cue from Asanko’s example, given the limitless opportunities in Ghana,” he added.
The Minister said government would continue to work with such investors by providing the needed support and assistance while facilitating strong linkages with local industries and the economy.
In his remarks, Otumfuo Osei Tutu commended Asanko Gold for its commitment in supporting the host communities.
He cautioned chiefs within the area not to support the activities of illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.
He said: “If I hear of galamsey operations and it traces that a chief from this area involved, that chief would not be spared.”
He said the issue of illegal mining in the country had become a canker that needs an essential approach to curb, as such, all stakeholders including the Minerals Commission and the Ghana Chamber of Mines must ensure and implement measures needed to tackle the menace.