AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem is set to increase gold production for 2018 to surpass a quarter of a million ounces (250,000 oz) per annum for the first time in the mine’s history. This compares favourably to the actual production of 214,000 oz and 228,000 oz for 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The mine has ambitious yet realistic plans to increase production to above 270,000 ounces for the 2019 financial year.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 4th Ghana Chamber of Mines Industry Awards held recently in Accra, Mr. Jasper Musadaidzwa-Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Limited, said the company two years ago set itself the goal of crossing the quarter-million ounces mark by 2018.
“This was our main goal. We were hopeful that the way we are inclusive in working with our people, the manner in which we plan our business, innovate and implement our strategies would eventually carry us across the line,” he said.
Mr. Musadaidzwa said the company is on the move because the management understands that to be successful all employees must contribute openly and freely. “Our strength is our diversity of background and thoughts, whether one is junior or senior, female or male,” he stressed.
“Indeed, it doesn’t matter where the ideas for improvement are coming from, whether top or bottom. We deliberately have both bottom-up and top-down approaches to business improvement. Once it is a good idea, we take it on board,” he said. He added that, “Through inclusive innovation the company has improved profit margins, thereby increasing its ability to fulfil its obligations to key stakeholders through tax payments to the state, community investments, salaries and benefits for employees, payments to contractors and other suppliers, as well as paying dividend to the investors.”
On business competitiveness in Ghana compared with other jurisdictions within Africa, Mr. Musadaidzwa said although the fiscal regime has been stable, a few areas need to be improved. He said the stakeholders have been working closely with government to address the challenges; especially the fuel cost, which makes production more expensive in Ghana compared to other gold mining jurisdictions in Africa.
On Community relations, Mr. Musadaidzwa said AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Limited is scaling-up its Community Trust Fund to empower the communities so that they are able to participate in the company’s spend in Ghana by manufacturing some inputs and supplying required goods and services.
“Initially, we focused on the alignment with government and SDGs, looking at the vulnerable in our communities. We targetted social areas like education, sanitation, health, water-supply, access roads so we could lift our people’s quality of life,” he said.
He further indicated: “The next phase now is to ensure that our supply chain is directed at the people in the communities; so that they can take part in our spend and create businesses over and above their direct employment in the communities”.
The Managing Director said the company plans to invest more than 6 million dollars per annum into the local communities through local spend. This would mean some people in the host communities “have to create businesses to supply us with the skills, services and goods whether it is building, painting or supply of soap.
“We have looked at the lands that we have compensated for, to create further shared value in the host communities ahead of mining operations; we are using such lands to develop agricultural skills among our communities. This is certainly a way for us to help create alternative livelihoods and income-generating opportunities.
In this direction, he said, the Mine has assisted the Teberebie community to undertake a vegetable demonstration farm, where selected farmers are trained on vegetable cultivation under irrigation. The farm produce finds a ready market in the company’s contractors and other buyers who purchase the produce on a daily basis.
Mrs. Joanna Osei Tutu Boakye, (Metallurgical Superintendent) of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Mine, was adjudged Best Female Miner of the Year. Also, Mr. Peter Sampson, a former Mining Manager of the Mine, took the Lifetime Achievement Award. And MAXMASS Ghana Limited, a mining contractor of the mine, was crowned Best Performer in Contract Mining.