The company said discussions are still ongoing between government, the unions, regulators and other interest groups over the future of the mine, and this iscontrary to news making the rounds that the Obuasi Mine has been shut down.
According to the management, a number of options are on the table for consideration which include a shut, fix, and reopen option.
“The board, management and other partners are seriously considering a shut, fix and reopen option proposa,l but no decision has been reached yet,” a source close to the talks disclosed.
It is for this reason that the company has been in discussions with government, the workers union, and regulators to ensure the future viability of the operations of the Obuasi Mine and position it in the right place to guarantee its future.
The Obuasi Mine, which is about 115 years old, has been facing some operational challenges which have been worsened by the low price for gold.
The Obuasi Mine has been struggling with overage equipment, poor security, inadequate power supply and the activities of illegal miners.
The mine also needs massive capital injection to renew its antiquated infrastructure, improve underground transport and sharpen the skills of its employee.
Once the biggest gold mine in the country and the leading employer in the industry — with about 8,500 workers — Obuasi Mine has in recent years become a high-cost producer and not produced above 400,000 ounces since 2004. It has over 20 years of mine-life with 9 million ounces of gold reserves.
About 430 Obuasi employees have already been retrenched, and the signs are that more changes are being planned ahead due to some uncertainties over the future of the Obuasi mine.
The officials have assured that: “As a responsible world-class employer, the company will comply with all its employment obligations and ensure that the workers are well taken care of, and this includes counselling services and advice on how any pay-offs should be used.”