Economic activities at Prestea and its environs are expected to receive a major boost with the re-opening of the Prestea Underground Mine by Golden Star Resources Limited (GSRL), a gold mining company operating in the Western Region.
The underground mine, which was shut down for close to 15 years, is expected to create more jobs and sustain economic growth for the people of Prestea and Heman, all in the Prestea-Huni Valley District.
The Prestea underground mine is located within a mining lease which covers the same area as the surface mining lease granted to Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) in June 2001.
The surface mining lease is restricted down to a depth of 150 meters below sea level and the underground mining lease is restricted to material deeper than 150 meters below sea level.
The underground mine, which has operated for 100 years and produced more than 9 million ounces of gold, lies underneath some of the surface reserves to be mined by BGL.
The re-starting of the underground mining will not only provide a new source of gold production for GSRL, but lower the company’s overall cash operating costs.
In March 2002, GSRL, through its local subsidiary, BGL, formed a joint venture with the government of Ghana and Prestea Gold Resources, which owned the Prestea Underground Mine, to evaluate and restart operations at the underground mine.
GSRL financed the rehabilitation of the Central and Bondaye Shafts as well as the winders, refurbishment of main access ways from the central shaft to the West Reef ore body, replaced pumps, compressors and ventilation equipment underground.
The company obtained extensive geologic and operational data as well as digitized all the relevant data and outlined a number of drill targets.
From 2003 to 2006, the mining company carried out a number of drilling programmes underground, tested the down-dip extensions of the West and Main Reef ore bodies.
The drilling was successful and outlined significant extensions to the known West Reef ore body below 17 level, which is 600 metres below surface.
Drilling by Golden Star of the Prestea Underground resulted in an Indicated Resources totaling 666,000 ounces of gold.
President John Dramani Mahama, who was expected to cut the tape for the re-opening of the underground mine last Friday, did not show up. Officials explained that the president failed to travel to Prestea because of bad weather.
The people of Prestea, particularly the NDC supporters, who were drumming and dancing in anticipation of the arrival of the president, were so disappointed when the news reached them.
But for the timely of Kwame Sefa Kayi, the host of the morning show programme, “Kokrokoo” on peace FM, an Accra-based radio station, who was the moderator, the programme would have ended abruptly.
As the guests were awaiting the arrival of the Western Regional minister, Ebenezer Teye Addo before the commencement of the programme, the weather changed suddenly. Sefa Kayi quickly grabbed the microphone and moderated the programme.
After some speeches were made, he appealed to the Omanhene of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, Osagyefo Dr. Kwamina Enimil VI to lead other company officials to cut the tape. Immediately, the tape was cut, the rainstorm disrupted the programme.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwamina Enimil VI, who also doubles as the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, used the occasion to appeal to the government to, as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate the deplorable roads in the area.
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