The Golden Star Wassa Mines claims that last week’s attack on the mine by illegal miners, which destroyed several mine properties, including expensive trucks, will cost the company millions of dollars.
Gerald Boakye, Corporate Affairs Manager of the mine, while speaking to Citi News after taking journalists on a tour of the state of destruction caused by the illegal miners, said that, in addition to the cost to the company, the attack could have an impact on the government’s Gold-for-Oil program because the quantity of produced gold required would be impacted.
“The cost implication is not just what you see with the eyes, but also the knock-on effect in terms of our contribution to national economy. Our contribution to all the statutory payments will all go down. Last year, most mining companies contributed 5,000 ounces to the national reserves and this year we saw the new regulation that says that we need to contribute 20% of our annual production to the oil-for-gold which is expected to reduce the country's use of foreign exchange and improve the value of the Cedi.”
“Now if Golden Star's mine which contributes about a third to our total production has to stop operating for about three months, that cost is a real cost. It also cost us a lot to reach that mining here. A cost that we haven't even recovered 50% yet, but now we have been set back by another three months”, he noted.
Gerald Boakye, highlighting the actual cost to the company, explained that, while the cost assessment is still ongoing because the cost implication is overwhelming.
“The Police and Fire Service officials are still around analysing the cost. This was even a special permission to bring the media here to enable the rest of the country to see the extent of damage caused. Just for the purposes of analysis, we saw about 22 dump trucks with their windscreens crashed.”
“One dump truck alone can cost about $478,000 and so to replace those screens will cost about a fifth of that cost to do it and that is a lot of money. The light vehicle destroyed which includes pickups and ambulances will roughly cost $60,000 per light vehicle, and so to replace them at current prices will raise our cost of operation. Physically, it is going to cost us a lot,” he emphasized.
So far, the police have apprehended 33 illegal gold miners who are accused of attacking the mines and torching several properties.