JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - Gold major AngloGold Ashanti said on Tuesday that it expected to resume gold production at its Iduapriem mine in Ghana in April.
The miner suspended processing operations at Iduapriem in February, pending the establishment of a temporary tailings storage facility at the mine. During the suspension period, certain maintenance scheduled for later in the year was completed.
The company had now applied for a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana for the construction of the temporary facility.
Further, AngloGold Ashanti had accelerated the establishment of a water treatment plant and a new tailings storage facility, which it aimed to commission in the third quarter of 2010 and early 2011 respectively.
AngloGold Ashanti said in a media statement that it continued to assess the rescheduling of production at the mine, with a view to recover some of the lost production during the remainder of 2010.
Meanwhile, gold processing at the company's Obuasi mine in Ghana had also been suspended, awaiting the implementation of a revised water management strategy to reduce contaminants contained in its discharge.
The company said that the revised plan would use existing infrastructure for the containment and treatment of water on site, but added that it intended to establish additional water holding and treatment facilities progressively over the next 18 months.
Consequently, AngloGold Ashanti predicted that production from the mine would be around from 20 000 oz to 25 000 oz lower than anticipated for the second quarter of 2010. "Alternative mining strategies have already been identified and will be implemented at that time, to mitigate further shortfalls."
In 2009, the Iduapriem and Obuasi mines produced 190 000 oz and 381 000 oz of gold respectively and together accounted for some 12% of AngloGold Ashanti's global production.