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Merger of Tarkwa, Iduapriem mines won’t harm jobs — AngloGold Ashanti MD

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Tarkwa, Iduapriem mines, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields

THE merger of Gold Fields’ Tarkwa Mine and AngloGold Ashanti’s (AGA) Iduapriem Mine will not lead to job losses, the Managing Director (MD) of AGA, Eric Asubonteng, has assured.

Instead, he said the move would create the biggest gold mine in Africa, capable of delivering more value and impacting the host communities more positively.

He was speaking at a media briefing on the proposed joint venture (JV) between the two gold mines owned by the two mining giants in Accra yesterday.

Employment

The press conference followed a joint statement last week that announced the decision.

When asked how the proposed JV would impact jobs, he said: “We do not see any major impact on employment.”

There would be potentially very few job impacts on certain jobs or changes to certain roles, but even then, we will be looking at opportunities to ensure that those that are impacted, can be redeployed in other areas of the business.

“And if that can’t happen, then we would commit to fair compensation, and you can be sure that we’ll be very transparent in communicating with our employees and the people that get impacted.”

Eric Asubonteng, AngloGold Ashanti MD

Benefits

Asubonteng explained that a significant attraction of the proposed combination was that the firms are able to realise significant benefits in operational and planning benefits, as well as scale and longevity, without major impact on employment.

This, he said, was because both sites, plants, mines and other infrastructure- will continue to operate, and tonnages will increase, after the combination is concluded.

“This means we expect a relatively small number of roles to change as a result of the proposed JV. Both companies’ HR teams will work through the combined structure, and we will provide periodic updates to ensure employees are kept abreast of developments.

We are committed to transparency throughout this process, and to ensuring this process accords with our values,” Asubonteng added.

Impact on local communities

The Executive Vice President and Head of GoldFields West Africa, Joshua Mortoti, said GoldFields and AGA both made major contributions to the social and economic well-being of the Tarkwa and Iduapriem communities in which they lived and operated.

Joshua Mortoti, Executive Vice-President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa,

That contribution, he said, would continue and likely be improved under the JV.

“The larger scale and longer life of the mine compared to the individual operations provides scope for meaningful and sustained community projects that will benefit the communities for generations to come,” he said

Africa’s operations

The proposed JV is expected to create the largest gold mine in Africa, and one of the largest in the world, supported by a substantial mineral endowment and an initial life spanning almost two decades.

That could be further extended, producing approximately 900koz at an AISC of less than US$1,000/oz during the first five years, which is substantially more significant than Iduapriem on the standalone basis.

The company’s production from Africa in 2022 was up to 15 per cent from 2021 and it will grow further this year.

The proposed JV will add further strength to the portfolio, increasing the share of production from Iduapriem/ Tarkwa orebody and extending the life of the combined assets.

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