MANAGEMENT of Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL), Damang Mine, have disclosed that a total sum of $8.3 million dollars has accrued in a saving bond meant to reclaim lands which was destroyed by their activities , as part of agreement signed with government in November 2000.
The Damang Mine of Abosso Gold Fields Limited is the first mining company to have signed the Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA) and bond with government to ensure that the company reclaims all used land for the benefit of the company.
The RSA entails filling the mined lands with soil to restore them to their original state at the end of a mine’s life.
Currently, the bond value of Gold Fields Damang Mine with Stanbic Bank is estimated at $8.3 million.
According to the company, its policy on reclamation is to rehabilitate disturbed areas while mining operations are ongoing and not to wait until the end of mine life.
General Manager of Goldfields, Michiel Van Der Merwe, speaking at an Open House Forum on Rehabilitation Planning for the Mine, pointed out that the company’s policy on reclamation was to rehabilitate disturbed areas, whiles mining operations were on-going and not to rather wait until the end of mine life.
Photo: Michiel Van Der Merwe
This approach, the General Manager observed, also took into consideration the life-of-mine plan, reclamation criteria and the socio economic activity the land can be put to after mining.
Van Der Merwe added that the reclamation plans for the Damang Mine were designed to facilitate the re-establishment of the best possible land uses for the benefit of local communities and also as a good means of employment generation.
“To show our commitment to concurrent reclamation, Damang Mine was the first mine in Ghana to sign a Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA) with the Government of Ghana and post a reclamation bond in November 2000. The RSA is basically to ensure that we reclaim all disturbed areas at the end of the mine life. Failure to which the Government can and will use the bond to reclaim all disturbed areas for the benefit of local communities. “
He revealed that about 1,286 hectares of disturbed area have been reclaimed by the mine even though Damang is still at the peak of its operations.
“The entire world is heading towards food security challenges and in a few years, communities that are able to overcome these challenges by producing food to meet the world’s demand are going to be the richest communities in the world,” he emphasized.
“It is with this vision in mind that Gold Fields continues to reclaim lands it has disturbed and restore for agricultural use,” he added.
Mr Van de Merwe says Gold Fields is committed to transforming parts of the mine’s lease area into large-scale commercial plantations for the benefit of the company’s host communities.
He called for partnerships with chiefs and other land owners to convert some areas on the mine into cocoa and rubber plantations.
John Kwasi Adingala, acting Manager, Health, Safety and Environment of the mine, who took the participants through the reclamation process, said;
“The seedlings would be nursed after which land clearing, including stripping and stockpiling of the topsoil and oxide would be done. Then there would be rehabilitation earthworks comprising the battering the oxide and the spreading of the topsoil followed by soil and slope stabilization and ultimately, tree or crop planting.”
The current (2018) bond value with Stanbic bank is $8.3million.