Prestea Underground Mine to start commercial production this year

The Prestea Underground Mine is currently undergoing infrastructure transformation to enable it to start commercial production within the next three months.

The once vibrant Underground Mine contributed to the more than nine million ounces mined in the Prestea Area since 1877, accounting for six million ounces.

Mr Gerard Boakye, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Golden Star Resources Limited, at a press soiree in Takoradi, said the company acquired the Underground Mine from the Government and Ghana Mineworkers Union in 2002 after its last mining expedition in 2001.

He said total cost of rehabilitation works was estimated at $63 million and that feasibility studies started in September 2015.

He said key areas under consideration included rehabilitation works on the shaft, which was constructed in 1935, the winder (to hoist people, equipment and ore up and down the shaft), ventilation, electrical services, leaky feeder-underground radio, rail haulage (to transport ore and people from the mining area to the shaft) and mine equipment.

Ms. Katharine Sutton, the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs, said the company had targeted to improve the annual production and extend the life of the Underground Mine to about six years of operations adding; “In 2017 GSR is expected to invest $2.5m on exploration at Prestea Underground Mine”.

She said the Tender processes had already been undertaken for training contractors including Manroc Developments, and Inc. Canadian Company with extensive experience in Africa.

She said contract had been awarded for equipment procurement and personnel training adding; “At the end of the three-year contract, mining will be undertaken solely by GSR employees.”

The GRS has 3,600 people employed by Gold Star which include 715 employees at Prestea and 1,197 contractors with a significant increase in the number of women in the workforce from 10 per cent in 2015 to 12 per cent in 2016.

Mr. Robert Gyamfi, the Community Relations and Social Responsibility Manager of the Golden Star Resources, said the company was a socially responsible one which had good relationship with the communities they operated and the nation in general.

He said, so far, the company had spent $5.7million in agriculture related businesses, 3.4 million dollars in development projects and $47 million in salaries.

Mr Gyamfi said the company also paid more than $36 million in honouring state obligations.

He said the company had trained midwives and nurses in their operating communities, provided CHPS compound and clinics, potable water, educational scholarships as well as free medical screening of more than 100 women.

Source: GNA

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