A worker at Obuasi mine, Ghana, watches molten gold pour. Picture: REUTERS
A worker at Obuasi mine, Ghana, watches molten gold pour. Picture: REUTERS

AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third-largest gold miner, said on Wednesday it had now received environmental permission from Ghanaian authorities to redevelop its loss-recording Obuasi mine.

AngloGold suspended most of the operations at the high-grade underground mine in 2014 after years of underperformance, subsequently pushing a redesign of operations as it seeks to offset declining production in SA.

AngloGold expects to spend between $450m and $500m over two-and-a-half years to mechanise the operation, which is expected to generate an internal rate of return of between 16% and 23%, assuming a gold price of between $1,100 and $1,240 an ounce.

The company said on Wednesday the environmental permits follow a ratification by the Ghanaian parliament of certain regulatory and fiscal agreements covering the redevelopment.

"With the key permitting and regulatory process complete, we will continue to progress the redevelopment of the Obuasi mine as a modern, productive operation that will benefit a range of key stakeholders for at least two decades," said AngloGold CEO, Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan.

At 10am AngloGold’s share price had risen 0.27% to R108.17, amid general pressure on the JSE’s listed gold miners. The gold index had fallen 0.86%, despite a flat precious metal price and a slightly weaker rand.

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