Exploration Strategy And Application At Ashanti?s Obuasi Operations

Cox, J. A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
The Ashanti mine is located within the Lower Proterozoic Birimian of Ghana, and covers a concession of 474 square kilometres at its Obuasi operations which comprise large scale underground, surface and tailings treatment facilities. The mine had operated for a century at the end of 1997 and had produced nearly 25 million ounces of gold, a significant proportion of which came from the underground operations. This paper covers the strategy under which exploration for both surface and underground mineral resources was instrumental in enabling the expansion programme to go ahead together with the methodologies and results that have developed in the exploration area over the last five years. Within capital expenditure constraints, the objective on surface is to replace oxide depletion with a secondary objective of discovering new sulphides in areas other than the main trend. In the underground, the exploration strategy is directed at replacement of both underground and surface sulphide depletion, minimising finding costs and assisting the development of long lead time infrastructure. The exploration application describes the methodologies in use for both surface and underground exploration that have been developed in recent years in conjunction with a description of a major review conducted in 1995/96 of the exploration database using an integrated approach, geochemistry, geophysics, remote sensing and structural geology. A revisit of soil geochemical data in particular, and modification of exploration methodology led to the success in finding relatively significant new oxides in 1997.
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