The Obuasi Municipal Assembly is seeking divine intervention to improve dwindling gold production at the Anglo Gold Ashanti Obuasi mine.
Officials say gold production at the mine has gone down by close to ten percent within the past year, recording the lowest figure in the mine’s 113th year of operations in the area.
The local union of churches is collaborating with the Assembly and AngloGold Ashanti to hold inter-denominational activities to seek divine favour to reverse the dwindling fortunes at the Obuasi mine.
Residents defied heavy downpour to attend a special interdenominational service attended by top management members of Anglo Gold Ashanti, the Municipal Chief Executive as well as clergy at the Black Park.
Residents in the mine’s catchment have in recent times expressed worry at the current state of the mine.
The number of people employed at the Obuasi mine has been cut from 14 thousand five hundred to 4 thousand five hundred.
Communities fear the local economy is in danger because the mass retrenchment affects breadwinners from catchment and the source of livelihood of others are curtailed.
Obuasi Municipal Chief Executive, John Alexander Ackon shares the concerns of the residents.
He implored residents and staff of AngloGold to join hands in praying for seeking divine intervention.
‘‘ This is the cry of the citizenry for the mine to be revamp and be economically sustainable to be able to engage particularly the youth to alleviate their plight’’, he told residents at the church service.
Quoting Biblical Solomon era, he said, ‘‘King Solomon in his wisdom is urging us to direct whatever we want to do in the hands of God’’.
Emphasizing the importance of the programme, Mr. Ackon said ‘‘the essence of this programme is to commit Anglo Gold Ashanti Obuasi Mine into the hands of the Lord for higher productivity’’.
He is hopeful prayers will have a ‘rippling effect on the entire society’.
A representative of the traditional authorities feared any slump in gold production will affect operations of the traditional council.
Acting President of the Adanse Traditional Council, where the Obuasi mine is located, Okofo Subin Kan the second said with funds from royalties Anglo gold Ashanti, the Council has been able to support education of some needy students in the area.
He said the Council is currently funding the construction of hostel facility at Fomena Nursing Training College in the mine’s catchment area.
Meanwhile, the Executive Manager in charge of Human Resource at AngloGold, Hussein Abugri has revealed one of the mines shafts which produce 40 thousand ounces of gold has been shut.
This will mean that gold production will decrease in three years running at the mine.
About 312, 000 ounces of gold are expected this year as a result of the closure of one of the tailing treatment plants to give way to reconstruction works.
‘‘We shut it down for this year to do a pipeline from the plant which have been producing between 40 and 50, 000 ounces of gold annually to the new plant’’.
He however allayed fears that the situation is too alarming as being portrayed elsewhere, arguing ‘‘we haven’t reach that alarming stage yet’’.
‘‘So it is not so alarming. All that we have to ensure is that production comes from underground, adding ‘‘we are not going to have surface mining this year’’, he explained.
Story by: Ohemeng Tawiah/Nhyira Fm, Kumasi /Ghana