Tarkwa gold mine - Asset fundamentals


General location


Tarkwa is located in south-western Ghana approximately 300km by road west of Accra, the capital, at latitude 5°15’ N, longitude 2°00’ W. The Tarkwa gold mine is located 4km west of the town of Tarkwa with good access roads and an established infrastructure. The mine is served by a main road connecting to the port of Takoradi some 60km to the south on the Atlantic coast.

Licence status and holdings


The Tarkwa mine operates under mining leases covering a total area of approximately 20,825ha. Five mining leases, dated 18 April 1997, cover the Tarkwa property, while two mining leases, dated 2 February 1988 and 18 June 1992 respectively, cover the Teberebie property. The Tarkwa concession mining leases expire in 2027 and the Teberebie property mining leases expire in 2018. Application for an extension of the mining leases has been applied for and all required fees and documentation submitted to the Minerals Commission of Ghana. There is no reason to expect that these will not be granted. All necessary statutory mining authorisations and permits are in place for the Tarkwa mine lease and GFG is entitled to mine all material falling within the lease.

Operational infrastructure and mineral processing


Ore is processed utilising a conventional CIL plant, with a gyratory crusher feeding a SAG mill and ball mill. Gold is recovered from solution by electro-winning and smelted in an induction furnace. Current plant capacity is 13.5Mtpa.

LoM tailings deposition requirements are catered for in the short term by wall raise sequences at the operating TSF 1, 2 and 3 facilities and in the medium term by TSF 5 whose construction commenced in 2016. In the longer term, LoM tailings deposition requirements will be catered for by planned TSFs 4 and 6.



A tropical climate, characterised by two distinct rainy seasons from March to July and September to November. Average annual rainfall near the site is 2,245mm. Although there may be minor disruptions to operations during the wet season, there is no operating or long-term constraint on production due to climate.

Local geology and deposit type


The open pit surface operation currently exploits the tabular auriferous conglomerates similar to those mined in the Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa from four open pits - Pepe-Mantraim, Teberebie, Akontansi and Kottraverchy.

The local geology at Tarkwa is dominated by the Banket series, which can be further subdivided into a footwall and hangingwall barren quartzite, separated by a sequence of mineralised conglomerates and pebbly quartzites.

The stratigraphy of the individual quartzite units is well-established, with auriferous reefs interbedded with barren immature quartzites. The units thicken to the west and current sedimentological parameters indicate a flow from the east and north-east. Structurally, the Tarkwaian belt has been subject to moderate folding, and at least five episodes of deformation are recognised. The original deposition occurred in a district basin environment with associated low to steep-angle normal faulting. Subsequent compression and folding led to the development of thrust faults and inversion of previous normal faults. The final stages involved further thrusting in a south-westerly direction.



It is estimated that the current Mineral Reserves will be depleted in 2031 (14 years).

Environmental, health and safety


Tarkwa retained its ISO 14001 environmental management system certification following an external audit during 2015. The mine also retained full compliance to the ICMC, as well as OHSAS 18001 in June 2015 and June 2014 respectively.