CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - AngloGold Ashanti said on Wednesday its head of corporate affairs in Ghana was killed on Saturday during a riot among illegal miners at its Obuasi mine, which is currently idle as the company waits for a partner for the operation.
“We can confirm that John Owusu was killed on Saturday,” AngloGold Johannesburg-based spokesman Chris Nthite said.
Owusu died when a dispute between artisanal miners working on part of the Obuasi site and pressing for access to a larger portion of the mine escalated into a riot, senior union leader Samuel Dwamenah said from Obuasi.
“Local police are patrolling the mine. Personnel have been asked to work from home and the underground part of the mine is closed,” he told Reuters.
Africa’s top gold producer said earlier it would not look for a new joint venture partner for Obuasi until it had an investment agreement with the government.
Randgold Resources in December pulled out of a joint venture with AngloGold to redevelop Obuasi, a decision that could spell closure for one of Ghana’s most important mines.
Reporting by Ed Stoddard and Matthew Mpoke Bigg in Accra; Editing by Jan Harvey