My company runs a very small gold mining operation in Ghana (Africa)
The operation is “alluvial” in nature meaning it is essentially a large “gold panning” operation. To clarify this means that we dig out large amounts of soil, put it into what is essentially a large sifting machine which separates the gold from the sand. As I need to gain familiarity with this project I need to learn about “best practices” so that the mine will operate smoothly. Many choices must be made. I seek your research skills so I may familiarize myself with the issues.
1)We rent our fleet of mining and hauling equipment. I know the cost per hour to rent the bulldozers, haulers etc, but I do not know the fueling costs or items about the capacity of the vehicles. To illustrate, using very small simple numbers
My Truck version 1 is rented for $50/hr and can carry 1 ton of rock over a 1 hour period. Fuel is say $100/hr so my cost to operate this truck is $150/hr and also $150 per ton of rock moved. This truck could be bought outright for $200K.. should I buy it?
My truck #2 can carry 5 tons of rock/hr, rented for $100 hr & fuel is $200/hr so my cost is $300/hr but this truck has drawbacks if the roads are bad it is to big to pass + this truck needs more “maintenance” This truck could be bot outright for $400K should I buy it?
If you could make a spreadsheet with "rent or buy" matrix and a "payback period" to recoup the cost of an actual purchase this would be useful.
A list of the actual vehicles we use is as follows, please research and advise best practices I.e. use more of truck #1 and less of truck # 2 or perhaps some vehicles should not be used at all and we should consider other vehicles.
[url removed, login to view];mdlgrp=330
CAT 345B; CAT D6H; CAT D8R; CAT D9N
[url removed, login to view];Mdltxt=A35&mdlx=contains&Manu=VOLVO&FullText=VOLVO+A35&ETID=1&GUID=6A2D926F974C4898BBEFF720D3E5B233
Volvo FM-12 8X4 Dump Truck
2)We use a “wash plant” which separates the rock from the gold. (Like a giant gold panning device)
The Wash Plant is made up of
(i) a series of on site modular “floating pontoons”
(ii) the gold ore processing and recovery equipment, including a
vibrating grizzly feeder, scrubber, vibrating screen, a three stage IHC radial jig gold recovery unit. The rated recovery of gold capacity of the Wash Plant is approximately 150 cubic meters of ore gravels per hour. It uses about 80L of fuel/hr + a return pump needs another 40 or so.
As electricity is erratic we tend to run the was plant via a diesel generator. Ideally we would like the plant to run say 12 hours a day, possibly longer should conditions permit.
I need you to research wash plant/s and advise “best practices” so we can get maximum “production” out of this machine or should we look to replace it? For instance if the throughput is poor vs. newer technology or the power consumption makes use of this device inefficient I seek your comments, A supplier of wash plants can be found at [url removed, login to view]
3)Another consideration is the matter of “security” small amounts of gold are obviously worth a lot of money. What is the best way to “Secure” the wash plant from theft of whatever gold is sifted out.
3B) Security is also important for the operation at large. Please describe any best practices which would prevent theft at the operation. (From miners dinging, to hauling crews, to the wash plant, to moving the raw gold to the smelter)
4)General and admin items.
A) I am tasked with monitoring operations “remotely” from north America. The company maintains bank accounts in the city of Accra + in the small town near the gold mine. The Accra Bank has internet access and I can monitor transactions. I need to know if other banks in Ghana which are located near the mining camp such as Echo Bank or Atiwa bank have effective internet banking.
B)Status of internet access in Ghana.
My admin staffers say that internet access in Ghana is erratic at best. I am hoping you could research this and advise what providers have the most reliable service and what cost structure would be expected.
C)We pay displaced farmers “crop compensation” in other words we pay them for the crops they would have planted and the money they would have received had our operation not encroached on their land or caused some other inconvience. I need assistance in determining what would be proper amounts for compensation. Can you advise what the major crops are in Ghana and what the expected yield per acre would be so I know the amount I am paying in crop compensation is in fact reasonable.
D)Comments/ research for best practices in running a mine at large. Anything from a proper maintenance schedule for plant and equipment to making sure I have the correct mining equipment, to preventing “phantom employees” to preventing gold theft. Additionally any insight into cultural aspects of Ghana, tribal issues, items of importance to locals (customs etc) that a North American company is likely to miss.