AngloGold Ashanti calls for help to end illegal mining

Sherilee Bridge

Sherilee Bridge

The scale of illegal mining at AngloGold Ashanti's Obuasi concessions in Ghana has forced the South African gold producer to appeal to the Ghanaian government and national security agencies to intervene.

AngloGold Ashanti's general manager of sustainable development Yiadom Boakye Amponsah said Obuasi alone has more than 10000 illegal miners who have been dangerously mining not only on the surface and the underground but also in the mine's tailing dams.

He said the tailings dam at Dokyiwa, near Obuasi, had been attracting between 400 to 500 illegal miners on a daily basis.

According to Ghana's Accra Mail, Amponsah said AngloGold Ashanti had appealed to the government and the national security agencies to intervene in order to prevent an environmental catastrophe, which might engulf the Obuasi municipality and its areas.

"They have virtually taken over the dams and the fear is that if the walls of these dams collapse, the communities and villages around the dams will be run over with slurry from the dams."

Obuasi is one of AngloGold Ashanti's two operations in Ghana.

The Ghanaian operations contributed R567million to AngloGold Ashanti's total gold income of R5,2billion in the three months to end June 2007.

Reporting its June quarter results, the company said gold production at Obuasi was 9percent down in the three months despite marginally higher tonnage. - I-Net Bridge