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Asante Gold has awarded a contract to PW Mining (Ghana) to start mining activities at the Bibiani gold mine in Ghana.

The open-pit mining operations are slated to begin next month. It will include the development of satellite pits, as well as offer material to the Bibiani processing plant from the second quarter of 2022.

The main pit development will include a four-stage cut back programme.

PW Mining is planning to mobilise up to 125 units of heavy equipment at the project site. This includes drills, excavators, haulage trucks, bulldozers, and ancillary equipment.

The firm intends to employ more than 850 people at the Bibiani site, which will comprise a training centre, a heavy equipment maintenance facility, and offices.

Located in the western region of Ghana, the Bibiani mine features a 3Mpta mill and processing plant, as well as existing underground mining infrastructure.

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Asante Gold said that the processing plant refurbishment started in September 2021. It is scheduled to pour first gold in Q3 2022.

Asante Gold president and CEO Douglas MacQuarrie said: “Our team has been impressed by the quality of people, resources, and record of success in the mining business that PW Mining brings to the Bibiani Mine.

“Asante looks forward to working with PW Mining, and all our other project partners, to continue to deliver a safe and successful operation.”

In 2014, Resolute purchased the Bibiani mine through a Ghanaian Government-supported Scheme of Arrangement, following which the mine was placed on care and maintenance to complete exploration activities.

The mine was purchased by Asante Gold in August 2021 for $90m in cash.