A Study of Sedimentation Management Systems at Newmont Ghana Gold Limited

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Many mining communities in Ghana continue to complain about the muddling and pollution of their water bodies as a result of mining activities. It is therefore in this light that the research is undertaken to investigate the erosion and sedimentation management systems of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited within its Ahafo operations, to asses the effectiveness of the systems put in place and determine whether or not the discharges from the mine do not pollute the receiving Tano River which in many cases serves as source of drinking water for communities living along it. To achieve the set objective, sedimentation control practices of the mine were studied, runoffs in the environmental control dams were monitored for a period of 106 days (between August and November) to determine the quality of runoff that are being discharged into the environment, samples were taken upstream and downstream of streams draining the mine area to assess the quality of runoff entering the mine area as well as the quality of those leaving it. Samples were also collected at the inlet points of the various Environmental Control Dams (ECDs) to asses the effects of mining on the streams by monitoring sediment build up during rainy days. Analyses of the results established the fact that although the mining activities generate a lot of sediment into the runoffs, yet the sedimentation dams are able to reduce the sediment loads by 92% to 95% and therefore making discharges from the sedimentation dams to the Tano River to be within the allowable discharge limit of 50mg/l. In conclusion, the activities of the mine do not appear to have adverse effect on the receiving Tano River in terms of sedimentation and therefore recommend this type of sedimentation management system to other mining companies.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Resources Management,