The Golden Star Wassa Limited concession, now acquired by Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Company Limited, can potentially offer one million ounces of gold in six years, with the right investment, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has said.
The mine, which covers a total surface area of approximately 52.89 square kilometres, since its acquisition in 2002 to 2020, over 18 years, recorded an estimated 2.4 million ounces of production of gold.
“It has been in operation for many years, originally operated as a small-scale mining site, until Satellite Goldfields Limited acquired it in 1993, before transferring their interest to Golden Star Resources, in 2002,” the minister disclosed.
As at the end of the year 2020, Golden Star Resources had produced about 2.4 million ounces of gold, since its acquisition.
The transition from open-pit mining to underground mining in 2015, marked a major milestone in the life of the mine, with total production increasing from 104,000oz, in 2016, to 165,000oz in 2020,” he said.
It is against this background that Mr. Jinapor observed that with an additional eleven years of mine life, the mine has the potential to produce about 1 million ounces of gold over six years, all things being equal.
“I am informed that Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Company Limited, the company taking over the mine, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, has a good track record as a safe and sustainable mine operator, and I am confident that they will bring in the necessary investment to develop this mine, to optimise production and realise the mine’s full potential,” he stated.
The minister, who was speaking at the handing over ceremony of Golden Star Wassa Limited to Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Limited, assured that all the existing contracts will be followed through, as this is part of the conditions for taking over the facility.
The conditions include employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, entered into with employees of the mine.
He said government will work with the company to ensure that the rights of all employees are protected, and where necessary, appropriate severance packages are paid per the laws of the country, and the existing collective bargaining agreements.
The new operators of the mine, according to Mr. Jinapor, have been charged to list on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
Also, Chifeng has assured to implement the community development agreements entered into with the host communities, as well as support the development of the Community Mining Scheme, being implemented by the government.
The Scheme is meant to promote responsible, sustainable, viable and environmentally sound small-scale mining.
Chifeng is an international gold mining company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of approximately US$3.7 billion. It operates five mining assets, including the world-class Sepon gold mine in Laos. In 2018, Chifeng acquired Sepon before undertaking significant capital expenditures to redevelop the gold processing facility to double its future gold production.