The security situation at AngloGold Ashanti‘s Obuasi mine in Ghana continues to deteriorate despite repeated attempts to have Ghanaian authorities restore law and order at the idled mine, the global mining company announced last week.
AngloGold Ashanti said it has been forced to invoke the dispute resolution provisions in its Mining Lease in order to protect and enforce its contractual rights in the face of increasing lawlessness, trespass, damage to property and threats to the safety of its employees.
“Accordingly, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana filed a Request for Arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Friday, 8 April 2016,” the company told the ASX on Thursday, adding that relevant authorities in Ghana, including the Attorney General, have been notified of the commencement of proceedings.
Earlier this year, AngloGold Ashanti Ghana withdrew its employees performing non-essential functions at the mine following the incursion of illegal miners inside the fenced area of the site. This decision followed the withdrawal of government military protection from the mine on 2 February.
AngloGold Ashanti said the Ghanaian authorities were yet to find a solution to the problem despite maintaining an open line of communication with the company.
“Despite these engagements, and the fact that His Excellency the President of Ghana directed the return of security agencies in March, law and order is yet to be restored,” reads the statement.
According to the company, these developments did not impact production and All-In Sustaining Costs as the site was not forecast to be in production for at least this year.
“AngloGold Ashanti Ghana hopes that the commencement of ICSID proceedings will expedite the reinstatement of law and order at the mine.”