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26.08.2002 Business & Finance

BGL revamps Prestea Mines

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BOGOSO Gold Limited (BGL) has invested US$678,956 to revitalise the Prestea underground mine and guarantee longer mining life and employment in the area. The amount, which is an initial investment on the on-going project, excludes cost of renovation work on the mine.

The Project Manager of BGL, Mr Samuel Appiah Kusi-Agyemang, who disclosed this in an interview, said the revitalisation programme, which is also to make the mine profitable, is to pave the way for it to resume production.

He noted that the revitalisation programme became possible after BGL had paid US$4.1 million out of a total amount of US$4.5 million to PGR to acquire a 30-year surface mining lease and a 45 per cent interest in the Prestea underground mine.

He said to ensure a safe and conducive working environment underground, BGL contracted a specialist shaft consultant from South Africa to inspect and assess the suitability of the central shaft and winders.

He said the inspection and assessment contract, which is also to ensure incident free hoisting of workers and ore, cost BGL US$11,000.

He said the company attaches great importance to the central shaft since it is the main access into the underground mine and a key facility for the mine. Mr Kusi-Agyemang said refurbishment of the headframe of the central shaft, winders, new workshops and the procurement of a new fan exciter unit cost BGL a total of US$298,000.

He stressed that the exciter has contributed to the reduction in power draw and saved the company $25,000 per month in electricity charges.

The company is also building new stores and warehouses at an estimated cost of $108,000, while the erection of a wall, fencing and reinforcement with barbed wire cost BGL $10,000.

The project manager disclosed that the next phase of revitalising the Prestea mine is the physical geological appraisal and examination of the underground mine.

He said the exercise, which is to determine the geological resource potential of the mine, will start in September, 2002.

Mr Kusi-Agyemang said BGL has contracted a dedicated underground geologist to carry out the appraisal.

He pointed out that the geologist will set up a team to remap and resample the mine and recommend further underground sampling and drilling programmes. The project manager further disclosed that PGR and the government have formed a joint venture known as the New Century Mines (NCM) He explained that BGL has acquired 45 per cent shares in the joint venture, with PGR retaining another 45 per cent.

He noted that under the joint ventureship, BGL will fund all costs associated with care and maintenance and the detailed feasibility study into the future viability of the underground mine.

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