Damang gold mine - Brief history
Several small mining companies operated the Abontiakoon concession near Tarkwa town, leading to the sinking of eight vertical shafts and the excavation of numerous open pits. In 1882, operations at the underground Abosso mine exploited banket conglomerates to a depth of 850m. In 1920, Adjah Bippo and Cinnamon Bippo underground mines to the north were incorporated into the Abosso mine holdings. Abosso mine ceased operation in 1956 with recorded production of 2.7Moz at an average gold grade of 9.8g/t.
In 1989, Ranger Exploration (Ranger) began an investigation to re-treat tailings from the Abosso mine. Following a drilling programme and subsequent feasibility study from 1993 to 1996, mining a mineralised quartz vein system extending to a depth of 200m was shown to be viable. Gold production started in November 1997. In 2001, Gold Fields and Repadre signed an agreement to purchase Ranger's 90% interest in Damang. IAMGold and Repadre merged to give IAMGold an 18.9% interest in Damang, with Gold Fields retaining a 71.1% interest. Gold Fields acquired the indirect 18.9% IAMGold interest in Damang increasing its holding to 90% with the remaining 10% held by the Ghanaian Government.
The Damang Expansion Project commenced in 2004 to assess the economic viability of the main pit cut-back and identify additional sources of ore from areas around the main pit. Following further drilling and a successful feasibility study (FS), the Damang pit cut-back (DPCB) and waste stripping commenced in July 2005. Additional mineral resources from Rex, Tomento North, Tomento East, Tomento West and Huni were added after completion of the regional prospectivity study in 2006.
In 2016-2017 Damang was re-capitalised (Damang reinvestment project) aimed at further cut-backs to access the main higher-grade ore body at the bottom of the current Damang pit.