Anglogold Ashanti, Ghana is to shut down its mine at Obuasi with effect from November 14, 2014. Consequently, the company has decided to reduce its staff strength from 6,000 to 700.
The new workforce is made up of 600 from the main mining department and 100 from its hospital to pave the way for a partial shutdown of the mine from November 14, this year.
The company has spent a total of $220,000 on the redundancy exercise in a package which has been described as one of the best in the country.
Letters to affected workers, including top management members and seen by the Daily Graphic yesterday at Obuasi, thanked them for their contribution to the Obuasi mine that made it one of the best in the world.
The company, according to a communique, would now consign itself to care and maintenance, involving drilling, a feasibility study on the redundancy exercise and on the drills to know the exact quantum of gold that can be explored by the company on its return.
The process also includes tailing or rewashing of the ‘leftovers’, as well as reversing the underground decline.
The return to the temporary shutdown underground will be contingent on how early the feasibility is completed and on the advice of experts. But, tentatively, the return to the site has been fixed for the next two years.
Sources told the Daily Graphic that the management could contract up to 900 workers for a year, depending on its needs.
A source said as had been the practice among mining companies across the world, Anglogold would no longer employ workers over a long period as was the case in the past. Rather, in future, people would be engaged on ‘yearly performance-based renewable contract’ basis.
This means that only those who would be able to meet targets set by management would be re-engaged on the expiration of their first engagement.
Anglogold Ashanti, Ghana said early this year that it had been compelled to embark on the massive retrenchment exercise because of increase in its overhead cost, a drop in world gold price and other related factors, which made it uneconomic to keep a large workforce.
Also, the second phase of its new operation would be capital-intensive rather than labour-intensive.
Source: Daily Graphic