African Underground Mining Services (AUMS) has been awarded a $US375 million ($529 million) underground mining services contract at AngloGold Ashanti’s historic Obuasi gold project in Ghana, West Africa.
AngloGold has awarded the five-year contract to Underground Mining Alliance (UMA), a 70/30 joint venture between AUMS and Ghanian contractor, Rocksure International.
UMA will provide a full suite of underground mining services at Obuasi, with AngloGold to supply the major capital equipment for the operation.
The contract works are expected to start in the first quarter of 2019. The workforce will primarily be Ghanian with some expatriates to provide training and development, and specialist skills. AUMS plans to employ 550 people during the contract term.
AUMS, a JV between Australian-based contractors Ausdrill and Barminco, has operated in Ghana for the past eight years.
The JV will be part of the re-launch of the Obuasi mine, which has been under care and maintenance since 2016.
AngloGold Ashanti executive vice president – group planning and technical Graham Ehm said Obuasi was an important investment in Ghana.
“We have worked hard with the Government of Ghana to progress the redevelopment of the mine as a modern operation,” Ehm said.
“Obuasi is a key asset in AGA’s portfolio and to the Ghanaian mining industry. This contract award is a major milestone towards recommencing production at Obuasi and delivering on outcomes that will benefit the national, regional, and local economies.”
AUMS chief operating officer Blair Sessions reinforced the importance of the Obuasi mine to Ghana.
“We are pleased to be further extending our relationship with AngloGold Ashanti and look forward to working closely with the client, Rocksure, and the local community as we deliver on this project using modern and efficient mining methods, supporting local suppliers and providing employment and training opportunities to Ghanaians,” Sessions said.
Ausdrill is on track to complete an acquisition of Barminco at the end of this month after launching a takeover bid in August.