Gold Fields limited has received a directive from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Ghana to stop discharging water from its heap leach facilities at the Tarkwa gold mine (Tarkwa).
In compliance with this directive, the operation of all heap leach facilities at Tarkwa has been suspended since 16 July 2012.
Despite this, there has been no material impact on production to date.
The EPA’s directive further requires that all water discharges from the mine's heap leach facilities should be treated through a water treatment plant to reduce conductivity levels which is a measure of the amount of dissolved salts in discharged water and is classified internationally as a non-toxic pollutant.
According to Gold Fields, though it believes that it was complying with the prescribed conductivity levels in its water discharges, it is nonetheless conducting further investigations to validate this.
However, in pursuit of environmental best practice and world class environmental stewardship, and to comply with the directive, Gold Fields has commissioned the construction of two water treatment plants at Tarkwa's north and south heap leach facilities.
The plants are expected to be operational before the end of 2012.
By: Lorrencia Adam/Citifmonline.com/Ghana