Characterisation of Small-Scale Gold Mining Tailings in the Western Region of Ghana
On the average, small-scale miners are able to recover gold ranging from 20% to 70% of the total available gold by the conventional gravity separation methods only. As a result of this, tailings materials from small-scale gold mining (ASGM) operations contain significant amount of gold, and characterization of these materials would inform metallurgical decisions concerning reprocessing of the tailings from ASGM. In this study, size-by-size analysis, gold grade, gold deportment and cyanidation studies were carried out on ASGM tailings samples collected from five different locations (Asankragua, Bogoso, Prestea, Wassa-Akropong and Tarkwa) in the Western Region of Ghana. Head grades of tailings samples from Asankragwa, Bogoso, Prestea, Wassa-Akropong and Tarkwa were 1.84 g/t, 4.12 g/t, 0.45g /t, 0.17 g/t and 5.97 g/t, respectively. Averagely, 80% of the tailings materials passed through the 1.52 mm screen size. Also, the gold deportment analysis revealed that the highest metal distribution, 42.03% was recorded in -106 µm size fraction for samples from Bogoso, followed by 31.0% for Wassa-Akropong, 29.7% for Tarkwa, 27.0% for Prestea and 22.0% for Asankragua. It is shown after cyanidation test works that the highest gold recovery was 81.5%, 72.3%, 75.3%, 65.6%, and 38.5% for samples from Wassa-Akropong, Asankragwa, Prestea, Tarkwa and Bogoso, respectively. Cyanidation can thus be employed towards resource optimization in ASGM.
Copyright (c) 2021 Alex Kwasi Saim, Isaac Joseph Cobbinah, Gideon Mawuli Kobla Gbedemah, Zakiya Konda Nurudeen, Richard Kwasi Amankwah
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright © 2021 University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa. Ghana