AngloGold: Our production target for this year will be affected by Obuasi mine disaster

Mining firm Anglogold Ashanti has said its production target for this year will be affected as result of recent developments at its Obuasi mines.

It follows the suspension of all activity by the mining firm at the Obuasi mine a week ago when a miner went missing after a fall-of-ground incident.

It says the search is still underway for the missing miner.  

A statement issued by Anglogold Ashanti said the incident may have been caused by  the failure of a horizontal, or sill pillar, in one of the mine’s smaller mining stopes.

“The Company will continue to work closely with local authorities throughout this process. Early indications are that this geotechnical incident was likely caused by the failure of a horizontal, or sill pillar, in one of the mine’s smaller mining stopes,” it said.

The statement added “The current suspension, investigation and review of future mining fronts will result in a delay to the ramp-up of production at the Obuasi Gold Mine and reduced production in 2021 for the Obuasi Gold Mine and, consequently, the Company.”

Below is the full statement

AngloGold Ashanti confirms that the search for a miner, missing after a fall-of-ground incident a week ago at the Obuasi Gold mine in Ghana, is ongoing as mine rescue teams continue to work carefully in difficult geotechnical conditions underground.

Our thoughts are with our missing colleague and his family, who are receiving support from us at this difficult time. All underground mining activities at the Obuasi Gold Mine were voluntarily suspended after the incident on 18 May 2021 and remain so at this time.

 The Company will continue to work closely with local authorities throughout this process. Early indications are that this geotechnical incident was likely caused by the failure of a horizontal, or sill pillar, in one of the mine’s smaller mining stopes.

A thorough investigation into the event has been initiated. The Company will also undertake an in-depth area-by-area assessment of the mine design, mine schedule and ground management plans, before progressively releasing mining areas for a phased resumption in production.

 “Our top priorities right now are the search for our missing colleague and to provide support to his family,” Interim Chief Executive Officer Christine Ramon said. Impact on 2021 Production At the beginning of 2021, Obuasi’s estimated contribution to 2021 guidance1 was production of 300,000oz to 350,000oz, at an estimated total cash cost of $660/oz to $710/oz, and an estimated all-in sustaining cost of $950/oz to $1,050/oz.

The mine produced 46,000oz in the first quarter of 2021 at a total cash cost of $968/oz and an all-in sustaining cost of $1,234/oz. Production thus far in the second quarter, from 1 April 2021 to the suspension of underground mining activities on 18 May 2021, was 34,000oz.

The current suspension, investigation and review of future mining fronts will result in a delay to the ramp-up of production at the Obuasi Gold Mine and reduced production in 2021 for the Obuasi Gold Mine and, consequently, the Company. Infrastructure refurbishment and construction linked to Phase 2 of the redevelopment project are continuing, while underground development activities will recommence once they have been cleared as safe. As the investigation progresses and the assessment of working places advances, we will provide additional detail on the estimated impact on this year’s production and ramp-up of the Obuasi Gold Mine.

 In the meantime, in light of the above operational interruption at the Obuasi Gold Mine, we are suspending our production and cost guidance for 2021 as it relates to Obuasi.

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