Environmental Impact of Mining and Ore Processing – A Case Study at Satellite Goldfields Limited

Albert O. Ainoo, Newton Amegbey, Raymond Suglo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The increasing number of surface mines in Ghana and the consequent adverse effects of mining operations on the environment have been of great concern to the local communities, government and non-governmental organisations in Ghana over the last decade. Satellite Goldfields Limited (SGL) is an open pit gold mine in the Mporhor Wassa East District which produces about 10,000 tpd of ore at an average stripping ratio of 2.1:1. Ore is processed by crushing, treatment by agglomeration, stacking, heap leaching, electro-winning and smelting. This chapter identifies the potential environmental impacts of mining and ore processing at SGL on the environment. The results show that fugitive dust levels were generally high during the dry seasons and that the fugitive dust levels far exceeded the Australian and New Zealand maximum guideline value of 4.0 g/m2/month in 1998 when the project was under construction. The levels reduced markedly over the years. Total suspended solids and iron levels exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency guideline values in streams that received direct discharge from the mining and ore processing areas. Ground vibration and airblast levels were predominantly below the set trigger limit of the seismograph. Waste management practices at the mine, especially segregation of contaminated and uncontaminated waste at disposal sites, were found to be inadequate and require some attention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Environment and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa
Subtitle of host publicationManaging an Emerging Crisis: Selected Papers from ERTEP 2007
PublisherSpringer, Dordrecht
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4020-9382-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-9381-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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