Newmont’s Ahafo mine is located along the Sefwi Volcanic Belt, a northeast-southwest trending volcanic belt in Ghana. The mine is in the Ahafo region, approximately 307 Kilometers northwest from the national capital city of Accra.
Commercial production at Ahafo began in 2006. Ahafo has two primary ore zones: Ahafo South and Ahafo North. Mining is currently underway at Ahafo South. In November 2018, Subika, a new underground mine which was completed on schedule and within budget, achieved commercial production, adding higher-grade, lower cost gold production at Ahafo south.
Ahafo began commercial production in 2006 and operates both surface and underground mines.
Ahafo adheres to the highest standards of national and internationally accepted environmental practices. Consistent with Newmont’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship, we strive to ensure that our employees and contractors abide by standards that are protective of both human health and the environment.
Certification ISO 14001
Ahafo has been ISO 14001 certified since 2010. ISO 14001 is a benchmark for which top international companies are assessed to ensure adherence to the highest environmental standards. The mine was recertified for ISO 14001 (2015) in May 2018 for improved performance and showing leadership in responsible environmental stewardship.
The Ahafo mine is also certified under the International Cyanide Management Code. Subscription to the code is voluntary and represents best practice in cyanide management.
Reclamation is an essential part of Newmont’s operations. Ahafo conducts concurrent reclamation during operations and final closure after Life of Mine. The aim is to ensure that the site is left in a condition that is safe and stable to minimize long-term environmental impact. The mine also ensures that the site is without any future liability and land use restrictions are minimized.
Ahafo’s concurrent reclamation began in 2009. Both native and exotic tree species have been planted and more than 150 hectares of waste rock dump have been reclaimed as of the end of 2018.
The mine’s reclamation and mine engineering teams collaborate on long-term planning for revegetation programs, as well as weed and soil control. Learn more about our closure and reclamation practices here.
Monitoring and Compliance
The Ahafo Mine adheres to all legal requirements, environmental standards, policies and procedures. We collaborate with government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Water Resource Commission to develop, implement and audit environmental programs.
Ahafo monitors and reports on water quality and quantity, air quality, noise and blast levels as part of its commitment to responsible environmental practices.
Water Storage Facility
Ahafo’s Water Storage Facility (WSF), a fresh water dam built to provide supplementary fresh water for the mine’s processing plant, is closely monitored to ensure that the water quality and level are compliant with the regulatory approved standards. Ahafo’s environmental laboratory also provides onsite analyses and environmental data evaluation. We collaborate with regulators, consultants and researchers on various projects, including ecological studies of the WSF. To ensure the safety and free movement of people around the WSF, Ahafo has warning signs, conducts regular patrols and community education. Learn more about our water processes here.
Environmental Control Dams (ECDs)
The ECDs are sediment control structures that have been constructed downstream of the operation to impound turbid runoff water and allow the sediment to settle before release into the environment. This helps minimize sediment flow into streams and prevent flooding. To ensure the safety and free movement of people around the ECDs, the operation has erected warning signs, conduct regular patrols and community education.
The Counter Current Decantation Circuit (CCDs) is used to dilute the standard levels within the process waste before it is pumped into the tailings dam. This ensures that the level of active cyanide at the tailings dam is very low and within approved regulatory limits. Learn more about our cyanide management practices here.
Ahafo also operates an Integrated Waste Management Facility to manage hazardous waste streams in an environmentally responsible manner.
The mine’s collaboration with bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Resources Commission ensures fulfillment of its regulatory obligations and implementation of environmental best practices.