Anglo Ashanti has denied reports that the Obuasi mines will be shut down for its restructuring.
There have been reports that the mine will be shut down for 2 years to allow for restructuring that will see the mine bounce back at its optimum level.
However, Executive Vice President of Sustainability at Anglogold, David Noko tells Citi Business News the news of the closure is untrue.
“We are not planning to close the mine. There are no plans to close the mine and there should be no such illusion that the mine closing. We are only limiting the operation of the mine so that we will be able to do the feasibility studies”, he said.
Meanwhile Citi Business News gathers Anglogold has so far laid off about 3,100 of its staff in its phases of retrenchment.
According to Senior Vice President of Human Resource, Steve Rickman “we still have 1,300 employees at work. However the programme that we have embarked on, continues and we continue to work collaboratively with the Ghana Mine Workers Union. We will continue to act fairly and consistently when it comes to employees”
“We are not ‘re-recruiting’”, he insisted. “We are recruiting employees immediately as we enter the next phase of the Obuasi mine. It is a parallel process where we are providing benefits to employees that are exiting and we are providing benefits to employees that are coming in.”
According to him, “this is ensuring that all HR processes in recruitment and selection are followed to ensure that as we wind-down the labour force we wind-up. We are employing immediately, as we speak, 880 employees.”
A team is currently undertaking feasibility studies on the prospects of the new phase of Anglogold’s Mining concession in Obuasi.
Citi Business News gathers the report will be ready by the 1st quarter of 2015.
General Secretary of the Mine Workers Union, Prince William Ankrah tells Citi Business News, they will not accept low wages.
“Primarily, if you look at skills we have in the labour force, skills have been underpaid over the years. Hitherto, there was the historical thinking that if a worker gets well paid on the mines he or she will live a good life, create a job and all those series. Those were the times. Now we trying to make sure that people are getting good values by having dollar indexed salaries and all that”, he said.
According to Prince William Ankrah, “a senior officer could earn about $25,000 dollars a month, but it is still nothing by world standards. So the idea is, if we are moving into a new terrain, it is very important that we put the right value on skills and not colour. So trust us, we are serious”.
The Obuasi Mine is about 117-year old.
Anglogold Ashanti indicates it has over the past decade contributed about $577million in corporate taxes, royalties, dividends, custom duties and employee taxes to the Ghanaian economy.
By: Anim Kwaku Boadu/citifmonline.com/Ghana