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24.02.2009 Regional News

Newmont defers mining in Ajenua-Bepo Forest Reserve

Newmont defers mining in Ajenua-Bepo Forest Reserve

Newmont Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Richard O'Brien says in view of recent volatility in global mining, the Company has had to defer decisions on its Akyem Project in Ghana, which would involve mining in the Ajenua-Bepo Forest Reserve.

Also affected is the Newmont Conga Project in Peru, “Mining Weekly & Mineweb has reported.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana had gone ahead to grant permit to Newmont to mine in the forest reserve amidst protestations from a coalition of nongovernmental organizations including Third World Network (TWN) and Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM).

Director of Mining at EPA, Mr Anthony Andoh said the Agency issued the permit after taking into consideration the concerns raised by the nongovernmental organizations and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) presented by Newmont on its plans to mitigate the negative effects of its operations.

The Akyem Project is an open pit mine that would be 2.5 kilometres long, 900 metres wide 500 metres deep.

Newmont has an 85 per cent interest in the Akyem Project, which at year-end 2004 had 5.4 million equity ounces of reserves.

The estimated cost of development is approximately 500 million dollars and is expected to generate steady-state annual consolidated gold sales of approximately 400,000 ounces.