Newmont Ghana explores underground mining

Mining giant, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) says it has commenced investigations into the viability or otherwise of underground mining within its operations in the country.

The company which is mining gold in Akyem in the Eastern region and Ahafo in the Brong Ahafo region said it will continue to identify opportunities that will create value for its shareholders and the mining communities.

“We will continue to explore into new areas of creating value for our shareholders in order to remain in business and operate more sustainably,” Communications Manager for Newmont’s Ahafo mine, Mr Agbeko Kwame Azumah told journalists last week.

This was during a media tour of the mine and other installations.

Authorities at the Ahafo mine are however hoping that the price of the metal on the world market will see some highs.

Further, in its bid to avert the deteriorating effects of power outages on its operations, the mining firm has commenced the establishment of two major power plants at its Akyem and Ahafo mines.

The plants will provide a total of 40meggawatts of power to ensure that production at both mines continues unabated.

“We have already started work on the platforms and doing the earthworks; we are looking at 25 megawatts of generation at Ahafo and about 15 megawatts at Akyem,” the company disclosed.

Mr Azumah during disclosed that the mining company was putting in measures to generate more power for its operations.

The one-day tour organized by the Private Newspapers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) pooled about 20 journalists from Accra and Sunyani and involved visits to the Ahafo mine’s processing mill, tailings site and projects undertaken by its Corporate Social Responsibility arm, Nakdef.

“Going forward, what we have had to do is to begin the process of generating additional power both in Ahafo and in Akyem to augment what we receive from the national grid; Mr Agbeko disclosed.

It will be recalled that the deepening of the power crisis in Ghana led to a 33% reduction in electricity supply to mining and industrial concerns early this year.

The power deficit and resultant power rationing impacted severely on mining companies operating in the country, some of whom had to virtually shut down their operations every three days.

It is important to recall also that prior to the worsening of the power situation; mining companies were already licking their wounds over declining gold prices which have remained subdued over time.

While admitting that the power situation had relatively improved in the last few weeks, the communications manager reckoned that “these are challenging times that we are working in and so the company’s objective is to find as many opportunities as possible to be able to create value not just for our shareholders but also for government in terms of royalties and taxes, for our communities in terms of development projects and our employees.

Newmont which commenced mining at Ahafo in 2006 now operates four open pits. The mine in 2011 produced 566, 000 ounces of gold equivalent to 19.4 % of Ghana’s total production.

Source: The Finder

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