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West Africa Region

West Africa Region

Salient features

  • Significant Mineral Reserve increase at Damang
  • Plant expansion at Tarkwa completed
  • Installation of a secondary crusher at the Damang plant is in progress
  • Mineral Resource 20.5 Moz
  • Mineral Reserve 12.5 Moz

Tarkwa Gold Mine

Mineral Resource 16.2 Moz
Mineral Reserve 10.7 Moz

  • Robust long life Mineral Reserve to anchor growth in Region
  • Maintenance of mining flexibility and security of supplies remain a priority
  • CIL feed now optimised over the LoM

Damang Gold Mine

Mineral Resource 4.3 Moz
Mineral Reserve 1.8 Moz

  • Significant brownfields opportunities
  • Damang Pit Cutback position continues to grow
  • Mineral Reserve increased 34% year-on-year

Gold Fields’ West Africa Region operations are located in the southern area of western Ghana, 300 km by road west of the capital of Accra and some 60 to 90 km southeast of the port city of Takoradi. The orebodies are located within the Tarkwaian System, which forms a significant portion of the stratigraphy of the Ashanti Belt in Ghana.

Gold Fields acquired the Tarkwa underground gold mine from the State Gold Mining Company of Ghana on 1 July 1993. Open cast and Heap Leach operations began in 1998, while the underground operations were suspended in mid 1999. The successful development of Tarkwa has enabled Gold Fields to increase its geographic and operational diversity by expanding internationally, while broadening its scope to include, not just deep level mining, but also surface operating mines.

Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GF Ghana) was incorporated in Ghana in 1993 and includes:

  • 71.1% interest in GF Ghana which holds a 100% interest in Tarkwa Gold Mine (Tarkwa);
  • IAMGold, through its affiliates, holds 18.9%; and
  • Government of Ghana holds a 10% free carried interest.
  • A 71.1% interest in Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL), which holds a 100% interest in Damang Gold Mine (Damang), while Repadre International Corporation (being a wholly owned subsidiary of IAMGold) holds 18.9% and the Ghanaian
    government holds the remaining 10%. Gold Fields acquired the Damang Gold Mine from Ranger Minerals in January 2002.

Annual overview

The West Africa Region Mineral Resources have increased by 8% to 20.5 (18.9) Moz, whilst the Mineral Reserves decreased by 1% to 12.5 (12.7) Moz, depleted by 1.0 and 1.0 Moz respectively.

Furthermore, at Tarkwa, the decrease in Mineral Reserves (690 koz) is largely attributable to production depletion (~800 koz) with marginal positive contributions from gold price and orebody modelling.

The post depletion Mineral Reserve ounces increased by 34% at Damang, primarily through a significant increase at Huni on the northern side of the Damang Pit Cutback (DPCB) following the pit optimisation at gold price US$800/oz. The DPCB continues to provide a window of opportunity to explore attractive targets and increase the mines operational footprint. The potential for further open pit mining at Damang will be evaluated during F2010 and is part of a three year program to grow Damang beyond its current Life of Mine.

The following points are noteworthy:

  • The CIL Plant expansion project at Tarkwa was commissioned in January 2009 and as a result, the CIL feed has been optimised in the LoM scheduling. The plant expansion increases the overall CIL capacity to 12.3 Mtpa. In addition, the Heap Leach (HL) treatment route has a capacity of 9.8 Mtpa, translating to a combined CIL and HL production of between 700 koz to 800 koz per annum;
  • Processing at the South Heap Leach was phased out in December 2008 and the current focus is on constructing a High Pressure Grinding Roll (HPGR) pilot plant to conduct a 1.0 Mt plant scale test of the technology during F2010. The tests will determine the viability of increased recoveries that potentially could be achieved via this process;
  • Delivery on optimising processing options, maintenance of mining flexibility and cost effective supply of commodities, fuel and power are key to ensuring Tarkwa maintains margin and Notional Cash Expenditure (NCE) targets;
  • The Hellman & Schofield Multiple Indicator Kriging (MIK) model for the DPCB complex was replaced by an updated constrained composite version this year; and
  • Installation of a secondary crusher at the Damang Processing Plant is planned for completion by the fourth quarter of F2010. The objective is to mitigate the current dependency on oxide ore and facilitate blending ratios of up to 95% fresh ore and 5% oxide ore.

Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves 1

    Mineral Resources       Mineral Reserves  
    30 June 2009   June-2008       30 June 2009   June-2008  
    Tons   Grade   Gold   Gold       Tons   Grade   Gold   Gold  
    (Mt)   (g/t)   (Moz)   (Moz)       (Mt)   (g/t)   (Moz)   (Moz)  
  GHANA OPERATIONS                                    
  Tarkwa                 Tarkwa                  
  Measured 144.7   1.5   6.800   6.914   Proved   149.6   1.3   6.220   6.371  
  Indicated 173.4   1.2   6.705   6.021   Probable   116.0   1.2   4.354   4.857  
  Inferred 26.0   3.1   2.569   2.411                      
  Total 344.1   1.5   16.075   15.346   Total   265.6   1.2   10.575   11.228  
  Measured low-grade stockpiles 4.7   0.8   0.112   0.090   Proved low-grade stockpiles   4.4   0.7   0.101   0.085  
  Tarkwa Total 348.7   1.4   16.187   15.435   Tarkwa Total   270.0   1.2   10.676   11.313  
  Damang                 Damang                  
  Measured 9.4   1.5   0.464   0.680   Proved   3.5   1.8   0.207   0.388  
  Indicated 48.0   1.5   2.268   1.309   Probable   27.5   1.6   1.429   0.800  
  Inferred 12.5   3.4   1.367   1.336                      
  Total 69.9   1.8   4.100   3.325   Total   31.0   1.7   1.636   1.189  
  Indicated low-grade stockpiles 5.1   1.1   0.184   0.165   Proved low-grade stockpiles   5.1   1.1   0.184   0.165  
  Damang Total 74.9   1.8   4.283   3.490   Damang Total   36.1   1.6   1.820   1.354  
  Total West Africa Region 423.6   1.5   20.470   18.925   Total West Africa Region   306.1   1.3   12.496   12.667  

1 Mineral Resource are inclusive of Mineral Reserves; Managed, unless otherwise stated.


Mineral Reserve sensitivities

The sensitivity of Mineral Reserve ounces at all the operations is shown in the accompanying chart, at -5%, -10% and +5%, +10% and +25%, relative to the base gold price used for this declaration.

The Mineral Reserve sensitivities are not based on detailed depletion schedules and should be considered on a relative and indicative basis only.

West Africa Region Mineral Reserve Sensitivity

West Africa Region Mineral Reserve Sensitivity

Grade control drilling, Damang Gold Mine, Ghana
Grade control drilling, Damang Gold Mine, Ghana

Grade control drilling, Damang Gold Mine, Ghana
CIL Processing Plant, Tarkwa Gold Mine, Ghana