Gold Fields Extending Mine Life at Damang
Since Damang started up in 1997, the mine has produced more than 4 million oz of gold, sourced from multiple open pits. Production from the Damang Pit Cutback (DPCB) came to an end in 2013, and since then mining has focused on the margins of the Damang pit, as well as lower-grade satellite deposits. A decline in production since 2013 has been exacerbated by variations in grade in the northern and southern extremities of the DPCB and the satellite pits, where grades have been lower than expected.
A strategic review initiated in 2015 indicated that Gold Fields should return to mining the higher-grade core of the main Damang orebody. This work was supported by a “development agreement” signed between Gold Fields and the government of Ghana in March.
Major cutbacks will be undertaken to the eastern and western walls of the DPCB, followed by a deepening of the pit by a further 76 meters (m). This work will ultimately provide access to the full Damang orebody, including high-grade Tarkwa Phyllite lithology. Planning for the Damang cutback has resulted in a 72% increase in Damang’s proven and probable reserves to 1.68 million oz of gold in 31.5 million mt at a grade 1.65 g/mt, compared to the December 2015 totals.
To provide short-term ore supply while the Damang pre-strip is in progress, mining will continue at satellite pits, and plant feed will be supplemented by lowgrade surface stockpiles.