Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

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Page 27 of 115

REGIONAL NEWS - AFRICA 26 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 Newmont Declares Commercial Production at Subika Underground in Ghana Newmont Mining has achieved com- mercial production at the Subika Un- derground project, adding higher-grade, lower-cost gold production at the Ahafo mine in Ghana, the company said. Sub- ika Underground represents Newmont's third profitable expansion in 2018 and its 10th completed project since 2013. The project was delivered on schedule and within budget for approximately $186 million in development capital, according to the company. "In addition to increasing gold produc- tion and lowering costs at Ahafo, Subika Underground leverages the operation's existing infrastructure and experienced workforce to further extend mine life," said Gary Goldberg, CEO, Newmont Min- ing. "The mine provides an underground platform to explore additional upside po- tential in adjacent ore bodies and also includes some of the latest fit-for-purpose technologies to enhance safety, produc- tivity and efficiency." Beginning in 2019, Subika Under- ground will add average annual gold pro- duction of between 150,000 ounces per year (oz/y) and 200,000 oz/y for the first five years and has an initial mine life of around 10 years. Combined with comple- tion of the Ahafo Mill Expansion project expected in the second half of 2019, Ahafo's average annual all-in sustaining costs (AISC) are projected to improve by between $250/oz and $350/oz compared to 2016. The project has projected rate of return of more than 20%. Newmont's newest mine, Subika Un- derground, features semiautonomous loading operations, proximity detection for vehicles, personnel tracking, and planned installation of ventilation-on-de- mand systems. AngloGold Ashanti Signs Obuasi Mining Contract AngloGold Ashanti announced finalization of a five-year underground mining contract at the Obuasi redevelopment project with Underground Mining Alliance Ltd. (UMA), a joint venture between African Under- ground Mining Services (AUMS) and Ac- cra-based Rocksure International, a whol- ly-owned Ghanaian mining contractor. The agreement, valued at $375 mil- lion over five years, will help develop mechanized, underground mining ex- pertise within Ghana's local mining and engineering sector. Rocksure, which has a strong track record in open-pit mining, will work closely with Australia's AUMS, which has significant experience in un- derground mining. Rocksure will have a 30% stake in the joint venture and AUMS the balance. UMA will provide the full suite of underground mining services at Obuasi, with major capital equipment supplied by AngloGold Ashanti. Work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019. In encouraging the creation of the joint venture, AngloGold Ashanti is demonstrating its commitment to in- creasing meaningful local participation in the redevelopment of the Obuasi orebody, which has 5.8 million ounces (oz) of ore reserves and 34 million oz in mineral resource, and will have an initial mine life of roughly 20 years. Around 550 people, predominantly Gha- naians, will be employed and trained by the contractors for the duration of the contract term, allowing for knowledge and skills transfer. Obuasi, which has been primarily an underground operation, was placed on care and maintenance in 2016 pending the commencement of the redevelopment project. In June, the Parliament of Ghana ratified the regulatory and fiscal agree- ments that cover the redevelopment of the Obuasi Gold mine and the Environ- mental Protection Agency issued environ- mental permits for the mine. Rio Tinto Sells Rössing Stake to CNUC Rio Tinto has entered into a binding agreement with China National Uranium Corp. Ltd. (CNUC) for the sale of its entire 68.62% stake in Rössing Uranium Ltd., owners of the Rössing mine in Namibia, for up to $106.5 million. In 2017, the Rössing mine moved 25.2 million metric tons (mt) of rock to produce 2,110 mt of uranium oxide. Operating since 1976, it The underground fans at Subika will be programmed for ventilation-on-demand.

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