Ghana: Gold Fields Damang Mine Turns Reclaimed Land Into Profitable Use

Reclaimed mining pit being used for oil palm plantation. Gold Fields Damang Mine site

Damang, Western Region, Ghana, September 21, 2019//-Gold Fields Damang Mine has turned its reclaimed land into profitable uses, according to senior executives of the gold mining giant.

 The Manager of Goldfields Damang Mine, Michiel Van Der Merwe who revealed this when some members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy toured the mine, disclosed that out of a total area disturbed of 1,448.91 hectares,  465.66 hectares had been  rehabilitated.

He added that hectares of tree crops including oil palm, rubber and coconut were being planted by the gold mining company under its rehabilitation and reclamation programme.

Mr Van Der Merwe said the programme was boosting sustainable agriculture in the mining community and its surrounding areas.

According to him, the company’s policy on reclamation is to rehabilitate disturbed areas while mining operations are ongoing and not to wait until the end of mine life.

This approach also takes into consideration the life-of-mine plan, reclamation criteria and the socio economic activity the land can be put to after mining.

The reclamation plans for the Damang Mine are designed to facilitate the re-establishment of the best possible land uses for the benefit of local communities and also as a good means of employment generation, Van Der Merwe stressed.

Some Members of Parliament and the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Mines, Sulemanu Koney who visited the company’s oil palm, rubber and coconut plantation expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far.

General Manager of Goldfields Damang Mine, Michiel Van Der Merwe conducting the MPs around the mine

The Damang Mine of Abosso Gold Fields Limited was the first mining company to have signed the Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA) and bond with the Ghanaian government to ensure that the company reclaims all used land for the benefit of the company, communities and the country at large.

The RSA requires filling the mined lands with soil to restore them to their original state at the end of a mine’s life.

The bond value of Gold Fields Damang Mine with Stanbic Bank was estimated at $8.3 million, last year.

The Damang concession covers a total area of 23,666 hectares .

The Damang plant processes mainly fresh ore with approximately 5% oxides, which is sourced from five open pit mining operations and existing surface stockpiles, located on the Damang mine lease.

The plant has been upgraded from 4.0Mtpa to 4.2Mtpa and is a conventional two-stage grinding circuit with a gyratory crusher feeding a SAG and ball mill combination, with pebble crusher and gravity concentration, followed by a carbon-in-leach recovery process. Gravity gold is collected and treated by the Knelson Gravity concentrators and an In-line Leach Reactor.

The East Tailings Storage Facility (ETSF), with additional lifts, supports the LoM plan to October 2017 and then until 2020 is catered for by the Far East Tailings Storage Facility (FETSF) where permitting is already in place for the initial placement.

Damang is located in south-western Ghana, approximately 300km by road west of Accra, the capital. The Damang concession lies to the north of and joins the Tarkwa concession, which is located near the town of Tarkwa.

The area is served by access roads with established infrastructure, and a main road connects the mine to the port of Takoradi, some 90km to the south-east.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

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