Some indigenes employed by AGA for the redeveloped Obuasi Mine
AngloGold Ashanti says it will respect local content requirements by ensuring semi-skilled and unskilled locals get fair opportunities in the company’s personnel recruitment.
The Obuasi mine has been under care and maintenance since 2016 and is currently working towards pouring first gold in December.
Ongoing construction activities have already seen over 3,000 workers employed for underground tunnels, production plants and other important components.
Head of Operations, Brett Thompson, says the majority of the workforce is from Obuasi and surrounding communities.
"At the moment because we have a large number of constructional activities going on in the processing plant, there are additional people coming in. We probably have in excess of 3,000 on-site currently and for permanent employees, we are still recruiting the people for the processing plants," he said.
AngloGold Ashanti signed a five-year underground mining contract with three firms for the Obuasi Re-development Mine.
Underground Mining Alliance, Ghana's Rocksure International and Australia’s African Underground Mining Services.
The agreement, worth $375m, is for developing mechanised and underground mining expertise in Ghana’s local mining and engineering sector.
"As the mining operations suspend further, we will introduce new activities. Right now we are only developing but towards the end of this year, we will establish stoping activities and then mid next year, we will bring on some major infrastructure refurbishment," Mr. Thompson said.
AngloGold Ashanti says its existing recruitment drive has definitive local content supervised by the Minerals Commission, a procedure Mr. Thompson describes as good.
"The ongoing recruitment process has a very definitive local content requirement and not just from us but good business for us but also, is well controlled by the Minerals Commission as well
In terms of local employment, the majority we are trying to source [unskilled and semi-skilled] exclusively from the Obuasi communities. Where we can't find those skills here, obviously we look to elsewhere in Ghana and for a limited period and that is well controlled by the Minerals Commission."
It is a common practice for locals, especially, the youth to line up at AGA offices in search for employment.
Municipal Chief Executive for Obuasi, Elijah Adansi-Bonah, is happy about the turn of events so far.
"I can say without mincing words that Obuasi people are being employed...There are people I can mention their names; they are Obuasi people."
Locals seeking employment with AGA must first have their forms endorsed by traditional authorities, assembly and unit committee members.
Mr. Adansi-Bonah is hopeful this would help track the number of indigenes employed by AGA.
"They [AGA] have put together local employment procedure. You pick a form, you take it to your community your chief, your queen, your unit committee chairman, assembly member and all the three must endorse. Then you submit the form to the company so they know that you are an indigene," he explained.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.