ACCRA, GHANA–(Marketwired – Sep 16, 2015) – Randgold Resources Limited (“Randgold”) (LSE: RRS) (NASDAQ: GOLD) and AngloGold Ashanti Limited (“AngloGold Ashanti”) have concluded an investment agreement (the “Agreement”) aimed at the formation of a joint venture to redevelop and operate AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi gold mine in Ghana. In terms of the Agreement, Randgold will lead and fund a development plan designed to rebuild Obuasi as a viable long-life mining business with an attractive cost structure and returns.
Obuasi, located in the Ashanti region of Ghana 320 kilometres northwest of the capital Accra, is a large, high-grade deposit with proven and probable ore reserves (as reported by AngloGold Ashanti in their 2014 Annual Report) of 24.53Mt at 6.70g/t for 5.29Moz, part of a substantial mineral resource base. In 2012, AngloGold Ashanti initiated a programme to modernise the mine, principally by starting to develop a ramp access that will ultimately run from surface to high-grade blocks of ore underground. The ramp will supplement current vertical hoisting infrastructure and help debottleneck the underground operation by allowing for greater ease in transporting people and materials underground, and transporting ore to surface. This is a necessary step ahead of the envisaged transformation of the mine into a modern, mechanised operation.
At the end of 2014, AngloGold Ashanti converted Obuasi to limited operations, ceasing underground production, retrenching the workforce, but continuing to process tailings and starting a feasibility study on the redevelopment of the mine. Development of the decline ramp has continued over this period.
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