Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor has noted that government will continue to seek the necessary partnerships to grow the mining sector while also taking the necessary measures to protect and safeguard the natural environment for posterity.
Speaking at a handing-over ceremony of the Golden Star Wassa Limited to Chifeng Jilong Gold mining Limited, the sector minister stated that all agreements needed to ensure that Ghana benefits fully from the takeover have been satisfied.
“Chifeng has agreed to respect and honour all existing contracts of Golden Star Resources, including employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, entered into with employees of the mine. Let me assure all the workers, and the good people of Wassa that government will work with the company to ensure that the rights of all employees are protected, and where necessary, appropriate severance packages are paid in accordance with the laws of our country, and the existing collective bargaining agreements.”
He maintained: “Chifeng has also committed to implement the community development agreements entered into with the host communities, as well as support the development of the Community Mining Scheme, being implemented by Government, to promote responsible, sustainable, viable and environmentally-sound small-scale mining.”
The Wassa Mine, which has been in operation for decades, covers a total surface area of approximately 52.89 square kilometres (km2).
It was first operated as a small-scale mining site until Satellite Goldfields Limited acquired it in 1993, before transferring their interest to Golden Star Resources, in 2002.
At the end of the year 2020, Golden Star Resources had produced about 2.4 million ounces (oz) of gold, since its acquisition.
On Monday, January 31, Mr Abu Jinapor and representatives of Golden Star Resources performed a ceremony to hand over the mine to new owner Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Limited, an international gold-mining company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and with a market capitalization of approximately US$3.7 billion.
Former Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star Resources Andrew Wray expressed optimism that the takeover will signify innovation and added value to the mine.
New Chief Executive Officer of Golden Star Resources Tiehe Chen assured that all the necessary agreements entered into will be respected to promote a long-lasting relationship for all stakeholders.
Queen mother of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area Nana Abena Kunadjoa II prayed that more indigenes will get the opportunity and continue to work.
The takeover of the Wassa Mine by the Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Limited makes it the second mine to be sold by Golden Star Resources in the past two years.
Last year, Golden Star Resources sold its mine at Bogoso to Future Global Resources.
This will be the first time a Chinese mining company is taking over the full operations of a large scale and commercial gold mining company in Ghana.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana