Prior to the 2008 elections, many Ghanaians were made to believe that Ghana’s golden share in AngloGold Ashanti was sold for peanuts.
Setting the record straight, President Bosompra John Agyekum Kufour recounted how his Government came to meet the Obuasi Mines in bad shape and had to take deep thinking and good business engineering before the mines came back to life.
President Kufour disclosed that Ghana’s share in Obuasi Mines was valued at $125 million as at the time. The mine was virtually on its knees and needed a strategic investor.
Through consultation, AngloGold from South Africa came on board as strategic partners and they were ready to invest hugely in the mines.
“AngloGold came with an initial offer of $175 million to invest in Obuasi Mines. During one of my negotiations with top management of the Obuasi Mines, he disclosed to me that with the Obuasi Mines, the further you go underground, the more rich gold you discover. Armed with this advice, we rejected the initial offer of AngloGold and went in for a Transaction Advisor outside Ghana”, President John Agyekum Kufour divulged on Opemsuo 104.7 FM Morning Show, Nkwantananso.
He further revealed that the Transaction Advisors concluded that the Obuasi Mines was worth more than $300 million as at that time. With this information, President Bosompra Kufour recounted how his Government was able to increase an initial offer from AngloGold from $175 million to $300 million.
President Kufour further revealed that Ghana’s stake in the mines was sold by the NDC Government before he came into power with Ghana having only one Director on the Board of Obuasi Mines. Through the new agreement with AngloGold, they were made to add Ashanti to AngloGold with the new mines becoming known as AngloGold Ashanti and Ghana’s Directors increased from one to two.
He further explained what was meant by the Golden Share we had in the mines. “ Though we had small shares in the mines, the major shareholders were obliged to inform us of any decision and sought our approval before embarking on any strategic decision ”, he stressed. This was what was termed as the Golden Share.
He narrated how an initial offer of $175 million from AngloGold South Africa metamorphosed into $300 million and still maintaining the local content in the mines.
With this deal, the mines came back to life only for it to suffer again when his Government left office. And again, it has to take another NPP Government to come back to power to bring back life into the mines.
He expressed his sincere gratitude to the Asantehene, His Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for the vital role he played in bringing back the mines to life.
Source: News Desk