Tarkwa, Damang and Asanko JV gold mines located in Ghana
At Tarkwa exploration successfully defined a significant extension to the Akontansi Underlap palaeoplacer which delivered an additional 1.3Moz Resource at a discovery cost of US$3.25/oz, with 552koz converted to Reserve. This marks the first time Tarkwa has fully replaced Reserves depletion in 15 years.
The Damang Reinvestment project has progressed according to plan in 2019 with traction on total material moved, and will deliver strong cash-flows as the mining front transitions through the Huni Sandstone unit, with characteristically erratic grades, into the heart of the ore body from mid-2020 onward. Damang has returned production levels to in excess of 200koz gold per annum for the first time in eight years.
The Asanko JV has a revised LoM plan supported by a PFS to underpin this maiden Mineral Resources and Reserves estimate for Gold Fields. Studies to assess additional opportunities and business improvement options to further optimise the LoM plan and the financial metrics will continue in 2020.
Exploration drilling and expenditure
At Damang, the 2019 drilling programme focused on Resource infill drilling at the southern end of the Amoanda – Tomento Corridor and an Advanced Grade Control (AGC) programme in the area under the Amoanda Bridge. The Resource infill drilling programme followed up on a successful scout drilling programme in 2018 and forms part of a series of Resource infill drilling programmes planned to fully establish the economic viability of the Amoanda – Tomento corridor. The AGC programme targeted northern extensions of the scattered mineralisation in the Banket Footwall at the upper portions of Amoanda pits 2 and 3 into the Bridge. Pending future budget approvals, the team will focus on developing the southern strike extensions of the Rex World Bank and Amoanda mineralised trends.
At Tarkwa, the team strategised to explore the on-lease palaeoplacer potential to delineate new Resources and upgrade known Resource areas. A total of 27km of drilling was completed over six targets in initial drilling, Resource definition and Resource conversion programmes. Remarkable success was realised with the addition of 1.2Moz to the Resource portfolio.
In 2020, the team will continue to explore the near-mine palaeoplacer potential at Tarkwa. A total of US$3m has been budgeted to complete 10.2km of drilling over four main target areas. Work planned to explore the entire northern extension of the Underlap trend has been prioritised.
At Asanko there is a strong focus on exploration across the tenement package. In 2020, a budget of US$10m (Gold Fields portion of US$5m) has been allocated to exploration. A three‑pronged exploration strategy is directed at:
- Short term – seeking a new oxide Resources within a 5km radius of the processing plant
- Medium term – evaluation of the Obotan – Esaase Belt Corridor
- Long term – search for ore replacement along the South Camp area with credible potential for large-scale discovery as a replacement to the Nkran open pit