Operation and Cost Analysis of a Partly Mechanized Small Scale Gold Mine in Ghana

Kategorien: Bergbau {Technik}


The economically successful operation of partly mechanized small scale mines in Ghana could fill the gap between large scale, industrial and foreign controlled mining operations and the artisanal (or "galamsey") small scale operations which use only manual labour and simple tools and are mainly confined to alluvial gold deposits and on limited scale to hard rock occurrences. The need to initiate and operate partly mechanized small scale mines stems from the existence of many small orebodies spread all over Ghana which are in their extent and amount of available ore reserves too small to be of interest to medium or large scale mining companies. In this presentation one of these small auriferous orebodies is described and the operation of a small mine is outlined. The employed mining methods during start up and throughout production phases are described. Special attention is given to safety aspects of such operations. A mechanised plant for crushing and grinding the ore in preparation for gravity separation (sluicing) was set up by using locally obtainable or manufactured crushing, seeving and milling equipment. The extraction results over 6 month operation are presented and discussed. The total investment for the small mine and the production costs are presented giving an overview on the economics for such operation. Factors to be observed to safeguard a small mine from causing adverse environmental effects are discussed. Finally, an outlook in respect of multiplication of such operations in Ghana is presented.
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