AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Obuasi Mine has inaugurated a Closure Consultative Committee to see to the implementation of requirements enshrined in the Reclamation Security Agreement, which forms part of Obuasi’s redevelopment.
The move is to ensure the sustainability of the Obuasi Community after the exit of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana (AGAG).
Inaugurating the Committee, Mr Eric Asubonteng, the Managing Director of AGAG, Obuasi Mine, said it was formed by the Mine and the first of its kind in Ghana, but not mandated by law.
“The initiative was motivated by AGAG’s fundamental values of being accountable for its actions, making our communities better off and respecting the environment,” he said.
“It’s the desire of the company that everything embedded in the Reclamation Plan is implemented, knowing the importance of its outcome to the general Obuasi Community.”
Mr Asubonteng said the appropriate regulators would monitor and evaluate works of the Committee whiles urging members to bring their expertise to bear for a constructive engagement to make the initiative a success.
The Committee comprises representatives of Adanse and Bekwai Traditional areas, the Ayease, Dompoase, Akrokeri and Edubiase Divisions, the Minerals Commission and Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Chief Executive of Obuasi and the District Chief Executive of Obausi East.
The rest are Physical Planning and Development officers of the respective municipal and district assemblies and management of Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
Mr Nixon Asante, the Obuasi Mine Senior Manager for Environment, said there would be regular visits to the various sites to engage communities and ensure they were involved in the various stages of the project.
He noted that local and traditional authorities were crucial in the process hence all activities would be put out for all stakeholders to be duly informed appropriately.
The Sub-committee is chaired by the Closure Manager, Mr Ernest Krakani.
Also present at the inauguration was the District Chief Executive of Obausi East, Madam Faustina Amissah.
Mr Elijah Adansi Bonah, the Municipal Chief Executive, expressed support towards the initiative and said a representative of AGAG would be invited to the Assembly community engagement session to explain the closure process to members for clarity to avoid speculations.
He further advised that the good initiative would succeed if there was clear and consistent communication to all stakeholders.
On her part, Madam Amissah said she was impressed that AGAG had taken the initiative to go beyond what was expected of it legally to meet communities at their point of need.
She, however, called on the regulators to expedite action on the process so that lands that were no longer in use and had been safely reclaimed were given back to the communities for development.
Giving details of the Reclamation Security Agreement, Mr Krakani said it spelt out the criteria to reclaim each of the areas identified for closure.
He cautioned that closure in this context did not mean closure of the Obuasi Mine but rather a reclamation process, which was to restore the land into useable forms for the communities.