Johannesburg, South Africa — 13 August 2012 – Gold Fields Limited has announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana has lifted the temporary suspension on Tarkwa Gold Mine’s heap leach facilities.
In a statement issued here, the company said Tarkwa had reopened both its north and south heap leach facilities on Friday, after they had been closed on 16 July 2012 to comply with an EPA directive that water discharges should be passed through a water treatment plant to reduce conductivity levels (a measure of the amount of dissolved salts in discharged water).
“Although Gold Fields believes that Tarkwa was complying with the prescribed conductivity levels in its water discharges, it has nonetheless commissioned the construction of two water treatment plants at the heap leach facilities,” the statement added. “This was in pursuit of environmental best practice and in compliance with the directive. The plants are expected to be operational before the end of 2012,” it said.
In the meantime, as agreed with the Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology and the EPA, Tarkwa will continue to dilute and discharge excess water in a controlled manner while the plants are being built. The mine will also submit monthly progress reports on the construction of the plants to the EPA.
The estimated impact on gold production as a result of the temporary closure is around 15,000oz, which is less than 10% of the mine’s quarterly production. Tarkwa’s carbon-in-leach plant, which produces about 75% of the gold at the mine, was not affected.
Source: Gold Fields Limited. For more information, click here.