Sustainability Water stewardship

Water stewardship

Involving our communities in water monitoring

Community members involved in water monitoring at Damang mine

Water management is a core component of our business, and vital to our mining and processing activities. As our Tarkwa and Damang mines are located in the Western Region of Ghana, which has high rainfall and boasts a positive water balance, our focus is on reducing freshwater intake, maximising water recycling and active participation in host community water management.

Over 70% of the water used at the Tarkwa and Damang mines is recycled. Yearly water targets are set to ensure increased water recycling/reuse and to reduce freshwater intake.

In line with regulatory guidelines and international best practice, we constantly monitor both surface and groundwater. We also have in place a robust system to ensure containment of potential pollution sources. As such, the quality of surface and groundwater is assured and published to external stakeholders.

Our operational 2000m3 per hour water treatment plants (clarification units and reverse osmosis) ensure that the quality of treated water meets legal guidelines. We protect water bodies surrounding our operations from all forms of pollution by:

  • Using silt traps and sediment control dams
  • Diverting clean water from contaminated water
  • Using absorbent pads to contain spills
  • Maintaining buffer zones around water bodies and wetlands

In 2019, Gold Fields updated its Group Water Management Guideline and published the Water Stewardship Policy Statement. In line with this, Gold Fields Ghana commits to:

  • Ensuring water security supply without compromising access for others
  • Regularly updating plans to address water-related risks, including those related to climate change
  • Setting relevant water performance targets, including a reduction in freshwater usage and maximising water recycling
  • Ensuring all employees have access to clean drinking water and gender-appropriate sanitation and hygiene facilities
  • Engage with stakeholders, especially those in our host communities, who could influence or be impacted by our water management
Read more about Gold Fields Group’s water stewardship