OPERATIONS West Africa Region

West Africa region

Tarkwa has now fully transitioned to contractor mining and is well positioned to deliver sustained value, while the best long-term option for Damang to create future cash-flow is being realised through the implementation of the Damang Reinvestment project.

      Damang   Tarkwa   Asanko  
  Mining method   Open pit   Open pit   Open pit  
  Infrastructure   Two open pits and one Carbon in Leach (CIL) gold plant with a current capacity of 4.3Mtpa   Four open pits and one CIL gold plant with a current capacity of 13.5Mtpa   Three open pits and one CIL gold plant with current capacity of 5.4Mtpa  
  Mineralisation style   Hydrothermal (orogenic) and palaeoplacer   Palaeoplacer   Hydrothermal shear hosted  
  Mineralisation characteristics  
  • Hydrothermal mineralisation hosted within structural shears and fault zone
  • Confined to well-defined prospective structural belts
  • Mineralisation within pods with short-range predictability
  • Exploration and resource definition programmes required to further define controls on mineralisation and continuity
  • Palaeoplacer characteristics are the same as for Tarkwa
  • Mineralisation hosted within sedimentary conglomerates of the Tarkwaian Group
  • Laterally continuous with mid- to long-range predictability
  • Clear patterns of mineralisation governed by sedimentary characteristics
  • Exploration programmes ongoing to test near-mine palaeoplacer potential
  • Deposits are typically hydrothermal shear hosted in style and situated within the Kumasi basin within the Asankrangwa Gold Belt
  • Mineralisation is structurally hosted along several regional NE trending shears and within sandstone, siltstone and shale sedimentary packages
  • Most deposits have intrusive tonalitic-porphyritic granite dyke associations
  • Exploration programmes are ongoing to identify strike and depth extensions to existing ore bodies, and to profile new opportunities along these well-defined structural pathways

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

Salient points

Mineral Resources   Mineral Reserves
16.9Moz*   7.6Moz*

* 90% attributable to Gold Fields and 50% of Asanko JV


Alfred Baku

Executive Vice President:
Head of Gold Fields in West Africa

Mr. Baku has over two decades of mining experience, mostly in senior management positions at Gold Fields. Prior to joining Gold Fields, Alfred worked in Australia for Billiton and Ranger Minerals in production and mine planning engineering capacities. He joined the Damang Mine in 2002 as mine manager and a member of the senior management team. Alfred was appointed General Manager of the Damang Mine in 2008, General Manager of the Tarkwa Mine in 2010, and subsequently, Vice President of Operations for both mines. In 2013, Alfred was promoted to Senior Vice President for West Africa, becoming a member of the Group’s Executive Committee. In February 2014, he became Executive Vice President and head of West Africa. As the Vice President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ Executive Council, Mr. Baku serves on the Advisory Board of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. He is also a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.





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