Gold Fields has commissioned a secondary crushing plant at its Damang gold mine in southwest Ghana. The added crushing capability will increase the average head grade to the Damang mill by boosting the feed of harder, higher-grade “fresh” ore and reducing the feed of softer, lower-grade oxide ore. As a result, gold production at the mine is forecast to increase to 240,000 oz/y in the medium term. Current production is around 200,000 oz/y.
Process design of the secondary crusher project began early in 2009, and construction of the plant started in November 2009. The project was completed in April 2010 at a total cost of around $12 million.

In order to feed the enhanced crushing and milling systems, exploration on the Damang mine property has been refocused over the past year toward finding additional higher-grade ore. These efforts have been successful, and Gold Fields is now targeting a reserve at Damang of at least 2 million oz. 

Gold Fields CEO Nick Holland said, “The installation of the secondary crusher is an important step toward transforming Damang into a long-life mine, and we expect improved production over the next few quarters. It also contributes to our strategy of increasing attributable production from our West Africa Region to at least 1 million oz/y over the next five years.”