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In developing a formidable operational plan for the mining sector in Ghana, the following underlisted pointers/parameters were given the requisite precedence: (a) Definition of operational
planning (b) Significance of operational plan development (c) General overview of mining in
Ghana (d) Radical players in the mining industry (e) Structure of the mining industry (f) Benefits
of the mining industry (g) Mining and the developing world (h) Contribution of the mining
industry to the Ghanaian economy (i) The impact of mining operation in Ghana and lastly but not
the least (j) Major challenges facing the mining industry.
The components of the operation plan that were thoroughly dealt with in this scholarly paper are
listed as below: (1) Process planning (b) Operation layout (c) Production planning (d) Machine
and equipment planning (e) Man power planning (f) Overhead requirements (g) Location plan
(h) Business and operation hours (i) Licence, permits and regulation requirements (j) Operation
budget (k) Implementation schedule as well as miscellaneous attributes such as Environmental
regulatory policy, Operational health and safety policy, Operational roles and responsibilities,
Risk assessment of mining operational processes, Issue management just to mention a few.
With regards to the processing of minerals such as gold, manganese and diamond, 6 critical
phases were realized namely: (1) Discovery of the ore body (2) Creating access to the ore (3)
Removal or breaking of the ore (4) Transportation of broken materials from the mining phase to
the plant for treatment (5) Processing and lastly but not the least (6) Refining.
In lieu of the afore-mentioned findings and insight into the root causes of operational planning
inadequacies and challenges prior to the development of the mining operational plan (MOP), the
researchers (Group One) of the paper in contention emphatically proposed that minimizing the
value, quality, and operational leakages (Zero-Defects), change management regimes, TQM,
BPR, team spirit, cohesiveness, synergy, transparency, ethicality, equity, performance appraisal,
effective leadership and managerial acumen during the commissioning and ramp-up phases of
major capital of operations in projects via the strict adherence to the postulations of some
management icons such as Elton Mayo, Human Relation and System Theories, Abraham
Maslows Need Hierarchy, Max Weber, Contingency Theory as well as notable quality gurus
including Kaoru Ishikawa Tools of Quality, Kaizen Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma not
losing sight of the effective application of project management tools (Monte Carlo Analysis,
Delphi Technique, PERT, CPM, PDM, etc) is paramount to the optimum operational
effectiveness, efficiency, performance and for that matter, the entire project success story which
will undoubtedly boost market share, profit margins via competitive advantage thereby
maximizing shareholders wealth or value in the long run.

Literally, the terminology operations refer to jobs or tasks consisting of one or more elements
or subtasks, performed typically in one location. Operations transform resource or data inputs
into desired goods, services, or results, and create and deliver value to the customers. Two or
more connected operations constitute a process, and are generally divided into four basic
categories: (1) processing, (2) inspection, (3) transport, and (4) storage
Basically, Planning is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to
achieve a desired goal. Planning involves the creation and maintenance of a plan. As such,
planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to
the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans; that is, it combines
forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them
An important, albeit often ignored aspect of planning, is the relationship it holds with
forecasting. Forecasting can be described as predicting what the future will look like, whereas
planning predicts what the future should look like. The counterpart to planning is spontaneous
order (
Operational planning on the other hand is the process of linking strategic goals and objectives to
tactical goals and objectives. It describes milestones, conditions for success and explains how, or
what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period, in
the case of commercial application, a fiscal year or another given budgetary term. An operational
plan is the basis for, and justification of an annual operating budget request. Therefore, a fiveyear strategic plan would typically require five operational plans funded by five operating
budgets (
Operational plans should establish the activities and budgets for each part of the organization for
the next 1 to 3 years. They link the strategic plan with the activities the organization will deliver
and the resources required to deliver them.
An operational plan draws directly from agency and program strategic plans to describe agency
and program missions and goals, program objectives, and program activities. Like a strategic
plan, an operational plan addresses four questions:

Where are we now?

Where do we want to be?
How do we get there?
How do we measure our progress?

The operations plan is both the first and the last step in preparing an operating budget request. As
the first step, the operations plan provides a plan for resource allocation; as the last step, the OP
may be modified to reflect policy decisions or financial changes made during the budget
development process (
Operational plans should be prepared by the people who will be involved in implementation.
There is often a need for significant cross-departmental dialogue as plans created by one part of
the organization inevitably have implications for other parts (
Operational plans should contain:
Clear objectives
Activities to be delivered
Quality standards
Desired outcomes
staffing and resource requirements
Implementation timetables
A process for monitoring progress.
The importance of planning can never be overlooked or underestimated. For a business to be
successful and profitable, the owners and the managing directors must have a clear
understanding of the firm's customers, strengths and competition. They must also have the
foresight to plan for future expansion (
Why should a business go through the trouble of constructing an operational plan? There are five
major reasons:
1. The process of putting an operation plan together forces the person preparing it to
perceive the business in an objective and critical manner.
2. It helps to focus ideas and serves as a feasibility study of the business's chances for
success and growth.
3. The finished report serves as an operational tool to define the company's present status
and future possibilities.
4. It can help an individual to manage the business and also prepare adequately for success
at present as well as the unforeseeable future.
5. It is a strong communication tool for ones business. It defines a persons purpose,
competition, management and personnel. The process of constructing an operating plan
can be a strong reality check.
6. The finished operational plan provides the platform for ones financing proposal.

Planning is very significant if a business is to survive in this competitive world of ours. By

taking a tentative view of ones own business can facilitate the identification of ones areas of
weakness and strength as well as realize the needs that may have been overlooked, spot problems
and nip them before they escalate, and establish plans to meet ones desired business goals and
target with the maximization of shareholders wealth inclusive (


Mining is the process of digging into the earth to extract naturally occurring minerals. It is
the worlds second oldest and most important industry after agriculture (Down & Stocks,
1977). It is currently the fifth largest industry in the world and it plays a crucial role in
world economic development. The trade of mineral commodities represents a substantial part
of international trade (Madeley, 1999). There are two kinds of mining; surface and
underground mining. Surface mining, also called open-pit mining or strip mining is undertaken
if the mineral deposit lies on the surface of the earth. This method is usually more costeffective and requires fewer workers to produce the same quantity of ore than the underground
mining does. Underground mining on the other hand is used when the mineral deposit lies deep
below the surface of the earth. Mining investment, irrespective of the type or kind of mining
being undertaken is capital intensive. It is a high-risk as well as a high reward business for
mining companies and communities (Wood, 1999). The historical importance of mining in the
economic development of Ghana is considerable and well documented, with the countrys
colonial name Gold Coast, reflecting the importance of the mining sector, particularly, the gold
trade to the country (Agbesinyale, 2003; Akabzaa, 2000).
The country has a long tradition of gold mining with an estimated 2,488 metric tons (80
million ounces) of gold produced between the first documentation of gold mining in 1493 and
1997 (Kesse, 1985; Ghana Chamber of Mines, 1998). The country also accounted for 36%
of total world gold output (8,153,426 ounces) between 1493 and 1600 (Tsikata, 1997). It is
the second largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa, the third-largest African
producer of aluminium metal and manganese ore and a significant producer of bauxite and
diamond (Coakley, 1999).
Despite the economic potential of the mining industry in Ghana, mining output had decreased
significantly since the late 1950s with gold experiencing the most dramatic decline in
production. As Aryee (2001) puts it For four decades up to the 1980s no new mine was
opened in Ghana due to a myriad of problems faced by mining sector investors and potential
investors alike, as a result of the economic, financial, institutional and legal framework within
which the mining sector operated (2001:62).
To stimulate investment into the minerals economy in Ghana, from 1985 onwards, the
government implemented series of laws and policy measures to create an effective regulatory
framework for the mining industry (Akabzaa, 2000; Iddrisu & Tsikata, 1998). This led to
the liberalization of the mining sector with the government selling out the majority of shares of
state owned mines to private companies most of which were of foreign decent.


Across Africa, in countries with rich mineral reserves and barren economies, thousands of
the unemployed dig for fortunes operating illegally and unregulated. These miners use
primitive extraction techniques, with dynamite, pick axes, mercury and the strength of their
arms (Harkinson, 2003: 1). Indeed, these miners earn a living at great threat to their lives.
This situation is not different from the happenings in Ghana where the small scale/artisanal
sector employs about 300,000 people most of whom are stark illiterates and employ very
primitive methods in mining at the expense of their lives. The opposite can be said for the
large scale mining sector which uses highly mechanized equipment and thus employ very few
but highly skilled individuals. Thus the small scale/artisan miners and the large scale miners
are the two main players in the industry. The major gold producing companies in Ghana are:
Goldfields Ghana Ltd (Tarkwa and Abosso mines); Anglo Gold Ashanti (Obuasi and
Iduapriem mines); Central Africa Gold (formerly, AngloGold Ashanti Bibiani Mines)
Golden Star Resources (Bogosu/Prestea and Akyempim mines); and recently Redback
Mining Ltd (Chirano mine) and Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd (Ahafo and Akyemmines).
Ghana Bauxite Co. Ltd. (GBC) operates the countrys only bauxite mine at Awaso, just as
Ghana Manganese Company Limiteds Nsuta-Wassa open pit mine remains the only
significant producer of manganese ore in the country. Ghana Consolidated Diamonds
Akwatia diamond mine is also the only operating diamond mine in Ghana.
The structure of the mining industry appears pyramidal. At the apex of the pyramid are a
few large companies from Canada, Australia, and South Africa and in recent time the
United States. There are however, lesser investors from the United Kingdom, Norway and
China. In terms of nationality of ownership, 85% of the industry is owned by foreigners and
the rest by the state of Ghana and several small scale Ghanaian operators largely due to the
legal restriction of small scale mining to nationals (Akabzaa & Darimani, 2001). Currently,
there are eleven large scale mining companies operating eight gold mines, one bauxite, one
diamond and one manganese mine, in various communities in the country. With the exception
of Anglo Gold Ashanti (AGA), which still operates an underground mine at Obuasi, all the
other mines are surface mine operations. Tarkwa, a town in the Wassa West district in the
Western region has the highest concentration of mining companies in the country, in the
West African sub-region and possibly the African continent (Akabzaa and Darimani, 2001).
Out of the 11 large-scale mines in Ghana, 7 of them are located in the Tarkwa area,
producing a significant proportion of the countrys gold output. The only manganese mine in
the country is also located in this area.
Minerals are a blessing. They are a gift of nature available to be developed, sold and used to
better the lot of a nations citizens (Eggert, 2002). A number of industrialized countries like
Australia, Canada, Sweden and United States have depended on the exploration and
extraction of minerals for their economic development. Mineral production generates income
and foreign exchange through exports, and can stimulate local economies through the local

purchase of inputs. Mining companies employ workers who earn income, some of which they
spend on domestically produced goods and services. Governments receive tax revenues from
mineral production which are available to fund education, health care, roads, electricity
supply and other forms of infrastructure development. In fact most mining companies on
their own accord provide some infrastructure development to the local communities
within which they operate without recourse to their tax obligations. By creating jobs and
economic growth, mining companies help catalyze other private investment at the local,
regional and national levels, and they have a huge demonstration effect. The informed
consensus by most researchers therefore is that minerals have the potential to contribute
significantly to economic development (Ascher, 1999; Davis, 1998; Deaton 1999)
Many developing countries pose high risks for foreign investors. However, the mining industry
remains a priority area for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in most developing countries with
mineral resources (Weber- Fahr, 2002). The mineral sector in spite of the horrendous picture
painted of it, the associated health and safety hazards, and the call by some international NGOs
for its abolishment in developing countries, is heavily relied on by many developing countries as
a driving force for economic development (Dias & Begg, 1994; Zank, 1995).
There is growing evidence that the sector forms a large source of government revenues in most
mining countries and continues to be the highest contributor in terms of FDI of most developing
countries. In response to economic and political reforms, the international mining industry is
expanding in areas formerly closed to mineral exploration for legal, political and economic
reasons and new mining projects progress into remote areas of the world (Madeley, 1999). Over
the past decade more than 100 countries have introduced new regulatory regimes resulting in the
growth of the mining industry. Over 75 mineral producing countries in the developing world
have liberalized their investment regimes since 1989 and investment flows overseas have
increased, stimulated by the privatization of formerly state owned mining enterprises (Warhurst
& Bridge 1997). This movement has allowed trans-national mining companies to explore in
areas which for years have been inaccessible. While these companies operating in developing
countries have contributed towards improved social development through providing jobs, paying
taxes, building an industrial base, enhancing efficiency, earning foreign exchange and
transferring technology, they have also been linked publicly to deepening disparities in wealth,
poor labor conditions, pollution incidents, health and safety failings, forced displacement and
other human and civil rights abuses (Thomson & Joyce 1997). This has led to an increasing
pressure from NGOs, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) over the world for multinational corporations to become more
As worldwide demand for mineral products continues to increase and operating costs rise and
reserves dwindle in the west, there is expected to be more exploration across the globe especially
in developing economies where there are mineral deposits and there have been reforms to
encourage foreign investment. The metals Economics Group estimates that in two decades, a
third of the worlds mineral output will come from the developing world. This conclusion they
arrived at based on their estimation that about 14% of exploration budgets are directed to Africa,

29% to Latin America and 7% to Pacific South East Asia (Mining Journal, 2001:353). If
these estimates are anything to go by, then there is no doubt that mining as an industry will
continue to expand over the next 20 to 30 years and that developing countries will almost
certainly play an increasingly important role in that expansion. However, considering the
numerous controversies that surround mining projects all over the world it is very important that
governments of the developing world put their house in order not to be overtaken by events as
they open their doors to foreign investors in the mining sectors.
According to Ahmad et al. (2003), the most difficult issues to predict and deal with in the
mining industry are the socio-economic impacts. They assert that it is natural to aim at
maximizing benefits from mining activities but this must not be at the expense of other important
socio-economic factors and those related to the environment. Environmental, Health and Safety
standards in western countries are tough and getting even tougher (Howard, 2006). This is
perhaps due to the realization that every aspect of the environment virtually affects physical,
mental or psychological health in some way, either positive or negative. In the developing world
however, these are work in progress. Thus they have just started. Considering the volume of
investment being attracted by developing countries to their mining sector and the various types
of risks and hazards associated with the industry, Governments in the developing world can no
longer afford not to step up environmental, health and safety standards in order to reap the full
benefits of the industry.
The mining sector of Ghana received priority attention unrivalled by any other sector in the
country under the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) in 1983. Apart from the general
macro-economic policy reforms for the country, there were specific sector policy reforms that
sought to boost investor interest in the mining sector. For instance, between 1984 and 1995,
there were significant institutional development and policy changes that offered generous
incentives to investors to reflect the new paradigm. The establishment of the Minerals
Commission in 1984; the promulgation of the minerals and mining code in 1986; the
promulgation of the small scale mining law in 1989 and the establishment of the Environmental
Protection Agency in 1994 were all to boost the mining industry in Ghana.
In addition to the regulatory framework developed via the laws and institutions, generous
incentives were provided to foreign investors to boost foreign direct investment in mining. For
example; corporate income tax on mineral production of private companies in Ghana decreased
from 50-55% in 1975 to 45% in 1986 and 35% in 1994 (Campbell, 2003; Akabzaa, &
Darimani, 2001). Companies received breaks on import duties on equipment and accessories
necessary for mining production. Additionally, mining companies were allowed to keep a
minimum of 25% of foreign exchange in an external account for various purposes including
acquiring physical capital requirements necessary for production and dividend payments as well
as for expatriate labor.

The benefits accrued to mining companies as a result of the dynamic evolution of mineral laws
and policies have led to a rapid growth of Ghanas mining economy. Between 1983 and

1998, the mining industry brought approximately US$ 4 billion in FDI to Ghana,
representing more than 60% of all such investment in the country (Ghana Minerals
Commission, 2000). The mining sector is credited with bringing in a significant amount
of foreign exchange earnings, employment generation, mineral royalties, employee income,
taxes payments etc. It is noteworthy that minings contribution to GDP increased from 1.3%
in 1991 to an average of about 5.2% between the years 2001 to 2004 (Ghana Minerals
Commission, 2006). The sectors contribution to the nations gross foreign exchange earnings
has also increased progressively from 15.60% in 1986 to 46% in 1998. In absolute terms, the
sector generated US$ 124.4 million in 1986, and US$793 million in 1998 (Ghana Minerals
Commission, 2000). The sector continues to be one of the highest contributors to the Internal
Revenue Service through the payment of mineral royalties, employee income taxes, corporate
taxes and ancillary levies.
The sector however, has a relatively limited capacity to generate employment. This is because
most of the mining companies in the country have surface mining operations which are capitalintensive with relatively low labor requirements. Employments in the minerals sector
though not the best as compared to other sectors of the economy surged, at least up to the
close of 1995. The total labor force of the sector rose from 15,069 in 1987 to 22,500 in 1995
(Ghana Minerals Commission, 2000). Direct employment by producing members of the
Ghana Chamber of Mines as at December 2004 according to figures from the
Chamber stood at 10,624. Of this, expatriate staffs constituted only 1.4% and the rest were
all Ghanaians. This level of employment excludes employees in exploration, contractors,
mining support service companies as well as suppliers to the large-scale mining companies,
not to talk about those companies not registered with the Chamber of Mines.
Although the direct employment generated by the mining industry is a relatively small part of
the Ghanaian labor market, it is a very important source of both direct and secondary
employment in the regional areas of the main mining regions of Western, Ashanti, Eastern
and Brong-Ahafo. The sector has attracted a significant number of sector support companies
such as security services, transport companies, explosive manufacturers, and mineral
assay laboratories among others in these regions.
Mineral production in the country has been on the ascent after the reforms and this is reflective
in the export earnings accrued to the state. Ghana recorded a significant increase in all mineral
productions in 2005 with gold taking over from cocoa as the leading foreign exchange earner
for the country. Mineral revenue went up from 798 million dollars in 2004 to 995.2 million
dollars in 2005 contributing about 13% of the total collection of the Internal Revenue Service.
Gold production recorded an increase of 63% with its export revenue increasing from
731.2 million dollars to 903.9 million dollars. Bauxite revenue increased from 11.9 million
dollars in 2004 to 18.1 million dollars in 2005, while that of diamond rose from 26 million
dollars to 34.7 million dollars. Manganese exports realized 39.1 million dollars in 2005, up
from 30.2 million dollars in the previous year (Ghana Chamber of Mines, 2005).
Though the Ghanaian economy is not by the United Nations definition, a mining economy, the
minerals sector has made noteworthy contributions to foreign exchange earnings and Gross
Domestic Product (GDP). Currently, Ghanas mining sector contributes approximately 40%
of Gross Foreign Exchange (GFE) earnings and accounts for approximately 5.2% of GDP
(Ghana Minerals Commission, 2006). In 2000, minerals accounted for 38.96% of total

export earnings, followed by cocoa (22.51%) and timber (9.03%) (ISSER, 2001). Indeed,
mining remains a key industry for the growth and development of the Ghanaian economy.
Ghana has become the preferred destination for most mining investors in recent times. This is
evidenced by the merger of Ashanti Goldfields and Anglo Gold and the emergence of the
giant USA mining company Newmont in the field of gold mining in Ghana. The mining
industry of Ghana therefore offers a bright opportunity to unravel the mystery surrounding the
insinuated sense of helplessness, fatalism and other causal attributions for accident occurrences
in the mines and help in the promotion of health and safety in the industry. Ghana has signed
up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an initiative of a global
standard for improving transparency and accountability in the management of oil, gas and
minerals in resource-rich countries. The underlying principle for the concept is the belief that
the prudent use of natural resource weal is an important engine for sustainable economic
growth that contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction, but if not managed
properly, can create negative economic and social impacts with untold hardships on the
citizens who rather should have benefited from the natural resource.
Almost all the large scale mining companies in the country employ the open-pit method of
mining in addition to cyanide heap leach operations. These methods have far-reaching
consequences for human health and environmental safety (Akabzaa, 2000). The use of heavy
machinery in exploiting the minerals also has a destructive effect on the vegetation as it
generates more dust (ILO, 2005) and noise pollutants. While mining projects may generally
have weak links with the rest of a host national economy, they can have a decisive impact on
the communities in which or near which they are located (Anyemedu, 1992).
Reforms in the Ghanaian mining industry have not received corresponding reforms in the other
sectors (e.g. the environment and health sectors) to accommodate the potential impacts arising
from an accelerated growth in the mining industry. This situation has led to adverse effects
not only on mining communities but the economy at large. An attempt to quantify annual
losses to the economy through environmental degradation by the Environmental Protection
Council in 1988 put conservative estimates at 41.7 billion cedis, the equivalent of 4% of
total GDP. Just as the benefits accrued from the industry appear enormous so are the problems
that emanate from mining operations.
The impact of mining operations in Ghana both from the large and small scale miners are
diverse and quite devastating for it touches on the livelihood and the very existence of people.
The principal elements of the environment (i.e., land, water and air) have been severely
affected by mining activities in Ghana. Large tracts of land for farming activities have been
acquired by mining companies for large scale surface mining operations depriving mining
communities of their source of livelihood (Akabzaa & Darimani, 2001). Sporadic cyanide
contamination of water bodies by large scale surface mining operations and mercury
contaminations from small-scale and illegal mining activities are common features of mining
Statistics from the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission on occupational health
problems caused by mining operations from 2000 to 2004 includes malaria and upper

respiratory tract infection, the two topmost causes of outpatient morbidity between 2000 to
2006 (Ghana Health Service, 2007). Quite informative on the statistics of diseases is the
inclusion of sexually transmitted diseases. Most mining towns in Ghana harbor a number of
commercial sex workers some of whom migrate to these towns in search of jobs or with the
intention of trading, the failure of which compels them to turn to prostitution as the last resort.
The trend for reported cases of HIV in the Wassa West district of the Western region has
been on the increase since 1992 (recording 6 cases in 1992, 25 in 1993, 37 in 1994, 68 in
1995 and as large as 100 cases in 1996). It is believed that the growing incidence of HIV
cases in the Wassa West District, the highest in the Western Region, is due to the increased
incidence of sex trade in the area. But what might be cause of this awful incidence?
Perhaps, the concentration of mining companies in the area accounts for this scenario.
The use of illicit drugs (e.g. marijuana, heroin and cocaine) as stimulants to work harder is also
taking root particularly amongst illegal and small scale miners in Ghana. Other health and
social impacts created by mining activities includes hearing losses and silicosis, conditions
created by the blasting and drilling activities with their resultant noise and dust, which have
become nuisance in the mining regions. Large scale surface mining unlike the underground
mining of the past has taken up large tracts of farmlands from mining communities.
Meanwhile, an operation in this area is more capital intensive than it being labor intensive.
Thus it requires less and very skilled labor to operate the very complex equipment used in the
exploitation and processing of minerals. This situation coupled with the increased migration to
mining communities in search of jobs has worsened the unemployment situation in these areas.
It has also created other social problems as overpopulation, congestion, and pressure on social
amenities among others. Thus the gains from the sector in the form of increased investment
and foreign exchange earnings are being achieved at some significant environmental, health
and social costs to the people living in mining communities and the nation as a whole.
In spite of the positive economic implications of mining in the development of an economy,
some researchers and other Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) continue to be on the
heels of mining companies trying to discourage their operations in developing countries.
Sachs and Warner (1999) indicated that natural-resource intensity is negatively associated
with both the quality of legal and government institutions in a country and the degree to which
an economy is open to international trade. According to them the more dependent a country is
on natural-resource exports, the poorer the quality of institutions and the more closed an
economy tend to be to international trade.
Ross (2001) in his review of the oil, gas, and mining sectors in developing countries
concluded that; the best course of action for poor states would be to avoid, export-oriented
extractive industries all together, and instead work to sustainably develop their agricultural
and manufacturing sectors that tend to provide direct benefits for the poor, and more
balanced form of growth (Ross, 2001: 17). This comment is however at variance with that of
Richards, (2002) who asserted that: farming and forestry have a far larger footprint than
mining, and probably a far greater negative environmental impact if the effects of fertilizers
and pesticides are considered (Richards, 2002: 18). Friends of the Earth, an International

NGO, in a position paper released in 2000 calling for the phasing out of public financing for
mining and fossil fuel projects argued that extractive industries do not foster
sustainable development or alleviate poverty (Friends of the Earth, 2000).
The industry by its very nature is a foot print industry thus it leaves an environmental,
social and economic impact wherever it finds itself (World Bank, 2002). Poorly managed
impacts on the environment and social fabric of society can reflect negatively on the economic
parameters. It is therefore important to conduct a cost benefit analysis of the industrys
operations and to mitigate any negative impacts in order to reap the desired benefits of the
Mining exploration and production activities inevitably cause physical and material damage
not only to the environment but also to the inhabitants therein (Veiga & Beinhoff, 1997;
Warhurst, 1994; 1999). The creation of large scale surface disturbances, the generation of
volumes of waste materials and the exposure of previously buried geological materials to the
forces of oxidation and precipitation are intrinsic to the mining industry and may continue to
present complex environmental and health problems even when the best available practices are
conscientiously followed (Chiaro & Joklik, 1998). The use of chemicals and explosives in
many areas of mining also create health and safety hazards by exposing the environment to
pollutants like chemicals, dust, and fumes.
In the past two decades, environmental issues have received an impetus in mining
operations; taking a centre stage in mining related issues (Omalu & Zamora, 1999). The
environments costs of mining are now being viewed as an additional tax. It has therefore
become a standard practice to see Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and
Environmental Action Plans either in mining agreements or in general mining legislation.
The Philippines was among the very first of the developing countries to adopt
environmental impact assessment through legislation. This was done by a presidential decree
(Presidential Decree No. 1121) which created the National Environmental Protection
Council (now the Environmental Management Bureau) to formulate policies and issue
guidelines for the establishment of environmental impact assessments. In Ghana, the national
environmental policy requires mining companies to undertake an environmental impact
assessment before they can be granted approval for a project.
Another important issue is that of the reclamation of an exhausted mine site. In Ghana,
mining investors in addition to Environmental Impact Systems (EIS) are required to
prepare an initial reclamation plan to achieve specified minimum standards before being
granted the permit to operate. Mining companies are sometimes required to provide some
funds to be placed into escrow accounts, which are made available to fund
restoration/reclamation expenses, when the operator closes down. The escrow account thus
acts as both a security and a tax-efficient funding device for the required reclamation work.
Modern agreements in the developing world tend to devote more attention to environmental
issues than that of employee safety and quality of life. This is so because while most
developed countries have well developed systems of environmental mining regulation, most
of these systems are not appropriate for developing countries, neither are they practical nor
desirable for implementation in developing countries (Otto & Barberis, 1994). However,

most large scale mining operations in the developing world are being carried out by companies
with backgrounds from the developed world, which makes the transfer of environmental
systems difficult.
While in recent years mining companies have become more aware of the need to address
environmental issues and to incorporate environmental management systems into their overall
policy, there are still issues to be addressed in terms of the social and health impact a mine
may have on its employees and the local community at large. Indeed, issues of quality of life
and health and safety of employees who work under arduous and dangerous conditions cannot
be said to be adequately addressed in todays mining industry, especially, in the
developing world. Employment levels have fallen in many mining companies as a result of
decreased productivity, radical restructuring and privatization of the mining sector by the
government of Ghana. This change has not only affected mine workers who have to look
for alternative employment, but also those remaining in the industry and have to work in very
different ways, requiring more skills and more flexibility.
Finding the balance between the desire of mining companies to cut costs and the determination
of workers to safeguard their jobs compounds the already existing issue of health and safety in
the mines. This is because as masters of mines seek sudden huge profits, the miners life
value is more likely to be trampled upon at the expense of expensive safety equipment.
Desperate employees who are also very determined to safeguard their jobs will go every
length to do so forgetting about energy sapping protective equipment which would not allow
them achieve their production targets.
It is in lieu of these afore-mentioned draw backs, facts and revelations that the researcher of
this scholarly paper finds it extremely expedient and necessary to develop a formidable
operational plan to be used contemporarily or in future not only as a benchmark or template for
the countless number of mining companies with myriads of operational inadequacies scattered
across the globe such as the Bogoso Gold Mines outfit but also providing a congenial pedestal
for the so-called mining giants with well-established and effective operational systems and
processes in place to gain extra impetus as well as a competitive advantage (edge) at the
expense of other radical players in the mining fraternity which will irrevocably reduce cost to
the barest minimum, boost profit margins, market share, performance, productivity and
optimum profitability in the long run.


An operational plan as had already been elaborated in the previous chapter of this paper is a
detailed plan used to provide a clear picture of how a team, section or department will contribute
to the achievement of the organization's strategic goals.
The strategic goals of an organization are outlined in the strategic or business plan, which
highlights the organization's intended direction (
The operational plan should align with the organizations overall objectives as detailed in the
strategic plan. This alignment can be achieved by ensuring that the team, section or department
purpose aligns with the objectives of the strategic plan. In turn, the Operating Plan of the team,
section or department should align with the purpose (
To hit the nail rightly on the head, the operation plan is undoubtedly, one of the pivotal aspects
that are normally incorporated into any business entities plan. This subdivision basically depicts
the operational phase of the business that cannot be underestimated as far as the re-engineering
or modification of input into output within the business community is concerned. The operational
plan more often than not comprises of limitless parameters. However, a few of these components
of grave concern that needs a tentative scrutiny and analysis as far as doing justice to this
scholarly paper is concerned are categorically spelt out as below: (a) Process Planning (b)
Operations Layout (c) Production Planning (d) Material Planning (e)Machine & Equipment
Planning (f) Manpower Planning (g) Overheads Requirement (h) Location Plan (i) Business &
Operations Hours (j) Licence, Permits & Regulations requirements (k) Operations Budget and
lastly but not the least (l) Implementation Schedule.
According to, process planning is a key element in project management that
focuses on selecting resources for use in the execution and completion of a project. In a
manufacturing setting, this aspect of planning also includes establishing the general sequence of
steps that begin with the acquisition of materials and end with the creation of a finished product.
Process planning is often closely associated with project planning, although the specific
functions of each tool are used differently in the overall strategic planning.
Production planning on other hand is a process used by manufacturing companies to optimize the
efficiency of their processes. Although they don't require extensive formal education, production
planners generally have some training in software programs and other tools so they can take a
structured approach to the planning process (
Production planning organizes the use of resources from personnel to materials so that
workplace efficiency is maximized, and production time and costs are kept to a minimum
In the strict and more pragmatic sense, the process of producing minerals such as gold,
manganese, bauxite etc. that shall be employed in the proposed project can be divided into six
main phases: (a) Discovering the ore body (b) Creating access to the ore body (c) Removing the
ore by mining or breaking the ore body (d) Transporting the broken material from the mining


phase to the plants for treatment (e) Processing and (f) Refining {This basic process applies to
both underground and surface mining operations}
Mining giants such as the AngloGold Ashanti's (AGA) global exploration programme identifies
targets and undertakes exploration, on its own or in conjunction with joint venture partners.
There are two types of mining which take place to access the ore body namely: (1)
Underground: A vertical or decline shaft (designed to transport people and/or materials) is first
sunk deep into the ground, after which horizontal development takes place at various levels of
the main shaft or decline. This allows for further on-reef development of specific mining areas
where the ore body has been identified; and
Open-pit: Where the top layers of topsoil or rock are removed in a process called 'stripping' to
uncover the reef.
In underground mining, holes are drilled into the ore body, filled with explosives and then
blasted. The blasted 'stopes' or 'faces' are then cleaned and the ore released is now ready to be
transported out of the mine.

In open-pit mining, drilling and blasting may also be necessary to release the goldbearing rock; excavators then load the material onto the ore transport system.


Underground ore is transported by means of vertical and/or horizontal transport systems. Once
on surface, conveyor belts usually transport the ore to the treatment plants: Open-pit mines
transport ore to the treatment plants in vehicles capable of hauling huge, heavy loads.

Mining activities require extensive services, both on the surface and underground, including: (a)
Mining engineering services (b) Mine planning (c) Ventilation (d) Provision of consumable
resources (e) Engineering services (f) Financial, administration and human resource services (g)
Environmental/permitting service
Comminution is the breaking up of ore to make gold available for treatment. Conventionally,
this process occurs in multi-stage crushing and milling circuits. Modern technology is based on
large mills fed directly with run-of-mine material.

Gold ores can typically be classified into:

o Refractory ores, where the gold is locked within a supplied mineral and not
readily available for recovery by the cyanidation process; or
o Free milling, where the gold is readily available for recovery by the cyanidation
Refractory ore treatment: After fine grinding, the sulphide materials are floated away
from the barren gangue material to produce a high-grade sulphide concentrate. The
sulphide concentrate is oxidized by either roasting just like AngloGold Ashanti
Minerao or bacterial oxidation (BIOX) at Obuasi. The oxidation process oxidizes the
sulphide minerals liberating the gold particles making them amenable to recovery by the
cyanidation process.
Free milling and oxidized refractory: Ores are processed for gold recovery by agitator
leaching the ore in an alkaline cyanide leach solution followed generally by adsorption of
the gold cyanide complex onto activated carbon-in-pulp (CIP).
The alternative process is the heap-leach process. Generally considered applicable to
only high-tonnage, low-grade ore deposits, AngloGold Ashanti has successfully applied
this to medium-grade deposits where the ore deposit tonnage cannot economically justify
constructing a process plant. Here, the run-of-mine ore is crushed and placed on the leach
pad. Low strength alkaline cyanide solution is applied, generally as a drip, to the top of
the heap for periods of up to three months. The dissolved gold bearing solution is
collected from the base of the heap and transferred to the carbon-in-solution (CIS)
columns where the gold cyanide complex is adsorbed onto activated carbon. The stripped
solution is recycled back to the top of the heaps.
Gold adsorbed onto activated carbon is recovered by a process of re-dissolving the gold
from the activated carbon (elution), followed by precipitation in electro-winning cells
and subsequent smelting of that precipitate into dor bars that are shipped to the gold
The retreatment of tailing stockpile from previous decades' operations is also practiced by
AngloGold Ashanti. The old tailings are mined by water sluicing followed by agitator
leaching in alkaline cyanide solution and recovery of dissolved gold onto activated
The tailings from the process operations are stored in designated Tailings Storage
Facilities designed to enhance water recovery and prevent contaminant seepage into the
environment (Refer to Appendix B).

The dor bars, are transported to a refinery for further refining, to as close to pure gold as
possible good delivery status. This gives the assurance that the bar contains the quantity and
purity of gold as stamped on the bar.
In all the jurisdictions in which a company operates, it is required to conduct closure and
rehabilitation activities in order to return the land to a productive state post-mining. Additionally,
these same jurisdictions require the company to provide financial assurance, in a form prescribed

by law, to cover some, or all of the costs, of the anticipated closure and rehabilitation costs for
the operation. Rehabilitation refers to the process of reclaiming mined land to that which existed
prior to mining or to a pre-determined use post-mining.
Closure plans shall be devised prior to the commencement of operation and are regularly
reviewed to take into account life-of-mine projections. Although the final cost of closure cannot
be fully determined ahead of closure, ample provision shall be made during the mine's economic
operation (









For countless number of folks in the business arena and other disciplines such as architecture,
metallurgy, pharmaceuticals etc., the issues of layout and flow are the most important within the
general area design in operations management. This is because the way facilities are positioned
relative to each other has an important effect on so many aspects of operations
Firstly, it affects the total distance travelled by materials, information or customers as they move
through the operation. Generally, layouts try and minimize distance travelled.
Secondly, layout can affect quality. If materials or information or customers are continually
being passed from one part of the operation to another there will be many points at which
damage (or annoyance) can occur.
Thirdly, layout will affect throughput time. The further the distance travelled, the longer it takes
to get through the operation. Lastly but not the least, layout can affect how much space is
necessary for the operation. Space costs money. Consider a financial services operation in a high
cost location such London. Every square metre is important so a compact layout can save costs
Strategic operation layout shall be instituted in tandem with those specified in the Mining
Mineral Act of Ghana

Material planning is a scientific way of determining the requirements starting with raw materials,
consumables, spare parts and all other materials that are required to meet the given production
plan for a certain period. Material planning is derived from the overall organizational planning
and hence it is always a sub-plan of the broad organizational plan. What it does is forecasting
and initiating for procurement of materials (
1) Macro factors: Global factors such as price trends, business cycles, government's import and
export policies etc are called the Macro factors. Credit policy of the government is a critical
factor as banks follow these guidelines only while extending financial support to a business
2) Micro factors: These are essentially the factors existing within the organization such as
corporate policy on Inventory holding, production plan, investments etc. For any organization,
factors such as Lead time of procurement, acceptable inventory levels, working capital,
seasonality, delegation of power are micro factors (
The above-mentioned macro and micro factors shall be factored into the mining operations
scheme of things to boost productivity, performance and optimum profitability.



All your machines are individually productive, but how well will they work with the other
equipments on site or with the prevailing site conditions? Choosing sub-optimal equipments can
mean the difference between profit and loss. Fortunately, computer simulations are creating
virtual sites and helping determine the best mix of equipments/machines and operating strategy.
Brian O'Sullivan reports (
Plans are useless - planning is everything' once said an eminent tactician. But despite the fact that
plans of a strategic kind often don't survive first contact with the opposition, multinational
companies around the world continue to spend fortunes developing complex scenario plans that
are designed to create real solutions to 'real' field conditions (
Choosing the right system of machines and equipments may seem intuitively straightforward, but
this isn't always so. True, it is often the case that several machine types can do the job but which
are the best ones to do it. For example, in load & haul applications, should you use excavators,
wheel loaders or backhoes to fill the trucks? And what size are the machines as well as their
operation capacity and efficiency? How hard is the material to excavate?
The desire to work out how machines and equipments will perform in the field is not new. Data
has long been produced to determine how individual products will perform. But what makes the
new generation of site simulation programs different is that they can cope with a much higher
level of complexity and determine how a range of machines will work as a system. In addition to
calculating factors such as travel times for haulers and wait times, fuel consumption etc., such is
the computing power of simulation programs that even sub-elements of site factors can be
The final factor is what machinery the contractor has available and what additional equipment is
necessary, if any. The data produced by the simulation program will help highlight any weak
links in the production chain, prompting questions such as: are all existing machines best suited
to the task? What ages are the machines and can they be depended upon to be reliable? Do any
need repairing/rebuilding - or replacing etc.? (
Parameters that shall be addressed in this perspective include: (a) Selection of the right
equipment (b) Operational capacity and efficiency of machines and equipments (c) Estimation of
factors such as travel, lead and lag times, fuel consumption of machines and equipments (d)
Availability of contractors machinery and lastly but not the least (e) Ages and shelf life of the
machines and equipments.
More so, the factors that shall be considered before purchasing machine and equipments are
listed as below: (a) Price (b) Quality and Reliability (c) Availability of Spare Parts (d)
Breakdown of Maintenance Facility (e) Technology and User Friendly (f) Supplier Reputation
(g) After Sales Services.


Manpower planning which is also called as Human Resource Planning consists of putting right
number and kind of people at the right place and time, doing the right things for which they are
suited for the achievement of goals of the organization. Human Resource Planning has got an
important place in the arena of industrialization as well as the mining industry. Human
Resource Planning has to be a systems approach and is carried out in a set procedure. The
procedure is as follows:
Analyzing the current manpower inventory
Making future manpower forecasts
Developing employment programmes
Design training programmes
The steps that shall be employed in the man power planning are categorically listed as below:
Analyzing the current manpower inventory: Before a manager makes forecast of future
manpower, the current manpower status has to be analyzed. For this the following things have
to be noted: (a) Type of organization (b) Number of departments (c) Number and quantity of
such departments (d) Employees in these work units.
Once these factors are registered by a manager, he goes for the future forecasting.
Making future manpower forecasts: Once the factors affecting the future manpower forecasts
are known, planning shall be done for the requirements in several work units.
The Manpower forecasting techniques that shall be employed by the mining industry are as
Expert Forecasts: This includes informal decisions, formal expert surveys and Delphi
Trend Analysis: Manpower needs can be projected through extrapolation (projecting past
trends), indexation (using base year as basis), and statistical analysis (central tendency measure).
Work Load Analysis: It is dependent upon the nature of work load in a department, in a branch
or in a division.
Work Force Analysis: Whenever production and time period has to be analyzed, due
allowances have to be made for getting net manpower requirements.
Other methods: Several Mathematical models, with the aid of computers are used to forecast
manpower needs, like budget and planning analysis, regression, new venture analysis.
Developing employment programmes- Once the current inventory is compared with future
forecasts, the employment programmes can be framed and developed accordingly, which will
include recruitment, selection procedures and placement plans.
Design training programmes: These shall be based upon extent of diversification, expansion
plans, development programmes, etc. Training programmes depend upon the extent of
improvement in technology and advancement to take place. It shall be done to improve upon the
skills, capabilities, knowledge of the workers (


The parameters mentioned above shall be inculcated into the man power planning regimes to
facilitate the attainment of the organizations operational set goals within that time frame.
In addition, the following procedures shall be adhered to ascertain the amount of direct labor
required by the mining industry: (i) Determination of the planned rate of production per day for
the exact section of the job requirements (ii) Determination of the workers production hours i.e.
to say, specifying the working hours per day as well as the rest time or workers idle time and
finally (iii) Estimation of the amount of direct labor required.
The method that shall be employed to determine the amount of direct labor requirement is given

No. of Workers per day=


Key to managerial functions: The four managerial functions, i.e., planning, organizing,
directing and controlling are based upon the manpower. Human resources help in the
implementation of all these managerial activities. Therefore, staffing becomes a key to all
managerial functions.
Efficient utilization: Efficient management of personnels becomes an important function in the
industrialization world of today. Setting of large scale enterprises requires management of large
scale manpower. It can be effectively done through staffing function.
Motivation: Staffing function not only includes putting right men on right job, but it also
comprises of motivational programmes, i.e., incentive plans to be framed for further participation
and employment of employees in a concern. Therefore, all types of incentive plans become an
integral part of staffing function.
Better human relations: A concern can stabilize itself if human relations develop and are
strong. Human relations become strong trough effective control, clear communication, effective
supervision and leadership in a concern. Staffing function also looks after training and
development of the work force which leads to co-operation and better human relations.
Higher productivity: Productivity level increases when resources are utilized in best possible
manner. Higher productivity is a result of minimum wastage of time, money, efforts and
energies. This is possible through the staffing and its related activities (performance appraisal,
training and development, remuneration)
Need of Manpower Planning: Manpower Planning is a two-phased process because manpower
planning not only analyses the current human resources but also makes manpower forecasts and
thereby draw employment programmes. Manpower planning is advantageous to firms in a
diversified manner of ways. Some of these functions are spelt out as below: (a) Shortages and
surpluses can be identified so that quick action can be taken wherever required (b) All the
recruitment and selection programmes are based on manpower planning (c) It also helps to
reduce the labor cost as excess staff can be identified and thereby overstaffing can be avoided.
(d) It also helps to identify the available talents in a concern and accordingly training
programmes can be chalked out to develop those talents (e) It helps in growth and diversification
of business (f) Through manpower planning, human resources can be readily available and they
can be utilized in best manner and lastly but not the least (g) It helps the organization to realize

the importance of manpower management which ultimately helps in the stability of a concern

The term overhead literally refers to the indirect costs or fixed expenses of operating a
business (that is, the costs not directly related to the manufacture of a product or delivery of a
service) that range from rent to administrative costs to marketing costs
More so, in business accounting, overhead is general operating expenses, including such items as
heat and electricity for the premises, which have no direct relationship to the production or
selling of a company's goods and services. In computers, overhead refers to the processing time
required by system software, which includes the operating system and any utility that supports
application programs. Overhead sometimes describes the amount of processing time the
installation of a particular feature will add to the amount already required by the program. In
telecommunications, overhead refers to the processing time required by codes for error checking
and control of transmissions ( Simply put, overheads refer to
requirements other than direct raw materials and direct labor:
The overhead requirements that shall be factored into the operational processes include: (a)
indirect labor costs (b) indirect material (c) insurance (d) maintenance and utilities.

Basically, the term location plan refers to the scale map of the projected mine development
indicating, among other things, proposed shafts and works in relation to existing surface features
It is an undeniable fact that a business entity has to make an informed decision as regards the
suitability of the location for a propose business operations. The choice of location is paramount
as far as the institutionalization of a business venture is concerned as it can directly or indirectly
affect revenue generation relating to sales, cost of operations as well as both short and long term
investment of the business entity.
The factors to consider when selecting a suitable location for business operations are quite vast.
Nevertheless, a few of these parameters deemed pivotal as far as the development of a mining
operation plan for any of the Goldmines in Ghana is concerned are categorically spelt out as
below: (a) Infrastructure (b) Land or Rental Price (c) Labor Supply (d) Transportation (e)
Climate (f) Prevalence of Effective Security System (g) Facility for Expansion & Business
Development and lastly but not the least (h) Local Government Policy

Location for the Gold Mining Plant shall be chosen according to proximity location from small
scale miners. Viability of transportation roads and electricity as well as water utilities shall be
considered in order to run the company with ease. The plan is to have this site within proximity
of competition thereby increasing its visibility to would be customers. Convenient parking
spaces shall be provided to accommodate large and small vehicle enough for the operation.
Site location will be established near the center of trading for customers convenience.
An area not less than 1 hectare and no more than 2 hectares will be leased approximately 20 to
30 km radius of the Tarkwa Town. Electricity should be readily available and roads should be
passable to big trucks.
The Gold mining plant will consist of the processing unit itself with minimum of 3 CIP tanks,
mini laboratory for assay analysis, firing area, mini office, provision for canteen and the large
portion will be allotted for stockyard. Perimeter fence will cover the whole plant for security
purposes using tin sheets roofing.
Basically, business refers to the time allocated to clients by business entities for transactional
purposes. Operation hours on the other hand accentuates on the number of hours given to
workers to execute their duties/roles within the organizational setting.
For myriads of manufacturing companies such as AngloGold Ashanti (AGA), Newmont, Tarkwa
Gold Fields just to mention a few, the operation hours is normally 8-Hour Shift. As regards
whether or not the business will run for just a shift or more largely depends not only on the
discretion of the business entity but also on its production planning capacity.
The recommended mining operations shall take place only between 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday
to Friday and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturdays (excepting Public Holidays).
The management of the proposed project shall ensure all the stakeholders and staff members
adhere strictly to the 18 guiding principles underpinning the mining categorically listed as below:
1. Ensuring that Ghanas mineral endowment is managed on a sustainable economic,
social and environmental basis , with due regard to internationally accepted standards of
health, mine safety and environmental protection ;
2. Fostering the development of a mining sector that is integrated with other sectors of
the national economy, which will contribute to the economic empowerment of Ghanaians by
generating opportunities for local entrepreneurship, increase demand for local goods and services
and create employment for Ghanaians;


3. Application of modern principles of transparency and accountability to the administration of

mining laws and regulations;
4. Ensuring an equitable sharing of the financial and developmental benefits of mining between
investors and all Ghanaian stakeholders;
5. Respect for the rights of communities that host mining operations;
Encouraging local and foreign private sector participation in the exploration for, and
commercial exploitation of, mineral resources;
7. Recognizing the need to establish and maintain:
a. a conducive macro-economic environment for mining investment; and
b. a predictable regulatory environment that provides for the transparent and fair treatment of
8. Ensuring availability and dissemination of geo-data necessary for the promotion of minerals
sector investment;
9. Incorporating in the licensing system an early focus on mine closure planning to anticipate
and provide ahead for environmental, social and economic consequences;
10. Promoting additional and alternative livelihoods in mining communities.
11. Supporting the development of Ghanaian mining skills, entrepreneurship and capital by
encouraging and facilitating the orderly and sustainable development of small-scale mining in
precious and industrial minerals;
12. Empowering Ghanaians to become professional miners, mine managers and owners by
maximizing opportunities for minerals -related education, training, career development and
other support;
13. Respect for employee, gender and human rights in mining, and the removal of obstacles to
participation in the mining sector on the basis of gender, marital status or disability.
14. Encouraging a more pro-active role for women in decisions relating to minerals and mining
at the national, local and firm level;
15. Encouraging mining companies to develop a participatory and collaborative approach to
mine planning, development and decommissioning, taking into account the needs of local
communities ;


16. Developing streamlined and effective institutional arrangements for the mining sector,
together with adequate capacity to gather, analyze and disseminate geo- data, and promote,
authorize, monitor and regulate mining operations;
17. Facilitation by Government institutions of community participation among other things
by removing impediments to free expression and providing for the dissemination of information
to the public on all aspects of mining as a basis for informed participation;
18. Acting in harmony with regional and international partners and, to this end, endorsing and
implementing principles that are established in regional and international conventions and other
instruments and undertakings that are relevant to mining and to which Ghana is a party or
signatory , including banning trade in minerals from illicit sources.
Lastly but not the least, the new mining law referred to as the Mineral and Mining Act, 2006
(Act 703) to replace the older version enacted in 1986 (PNDCL 153) shall strictly be adhered to
by all those involved in the project as well as countless number of drafts developed for the
mining sector in Ghana such as (a) Compensation and Resettlement Regulations (b) Mining
(Royalties) Regulations (c) Mineral Licensing Regulations etc.
The principal tool for the management of national mineral resources is a system of allocating
rights to mining companies and persons to carry out minerals exploration and mining operations
in return for the performance of explicit and enforceable obligations.
The objective of a licensing system is to allocate mineral rights, in areas not proscribed, to those
best able to generate improved knowledge about the mineral endowment in general, to delineate
mineralization of commercial value and to carry out commercial production and supply of
minerals in an efficient and responsible manner (
Terms and conditions that guarantee security of tenure to mineral right holders and the right to
proceed from prospecting to mine development once the commercial feasibility of mining shall
be established under the mining laws, in return for specific and enforceable commitments from
mineral right holders, including the following obligations:
(1) To carry out prospecting operations in accordance with an approved programme.
(2) Progressively relinquish portions of the area held for prospecting as prospecting advances;
(3) To move efficaciously towards determination of the commercial viability of mining
following the discovery of minerals;
(4) To support an application for a mini ng lease with a comprehensive mine development plan
(including a production plan, financing plan, marketing plan, environmental impact statement
and such other studies and proposals as are required under applicable legislation and obligations
into which the applicant has entered under a mineral agreement) to demonstrate that the
operations will ensure the efficient and beneficial socio-economic use of mineral resources;
(5) To conduct mining and related operation in accordance with the approved programme of
mineral operations; and,


(6) To provide satisfactory undertakings to guarantee or secure performance of the mineral right
holders obligations at the prospecting and mining stages.
Regulations shall also be developed to ensure that mining operators employ techniques that are
modern, efficient, safe and environmentally sound.
Additionally, the incumbent government normally also provide other assurances which are
required by the holder of mineral rights in order to facilitate the financing and
implementation of mineral operations, including: (a) transferability of mineral rights, subject
to prior approval of the Minister and other safeguards to protect the interests of Ghana (b)
access to land designated for prospecting and mining operations, subject to payment of
compensation and other safeguards to protect the interests of surface right holders; and lastly but
not the least (c) the right to market production, within the framework of the prevailing laws and
subject to accurate assessment of fair market valuation of the mine product and appropriate audit
and monitoring.


The current environmental and social standards under which economic activities should be
conducted in Ghana and the methods by which Government seeks to enforce them are contained
in the following documents and instruments: the National Environmental Policy of Ghana,
which is complemented by the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994 (Act 490);
Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (L.I. 1652) (Environmental Regulations); the
Forestry Commission Act, 1999 (Act 571); Ghanas Mining and Environmental Guidelines,
1994 ; Operational Guidelines for Mineral Exploration in Forest Reserves for Selected
Companies, 1997; Environmental Guidelines for Mining in Production Forest Reserves in
Ghana, 2001; Guidelines for the Preparation of Feasibility study reports, 2009; Mine Closure and
Post-closure Policies; Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility in Mining Communities;
and Compensation Policy and Regulations shall be strictly followed by all stakeholders within
the mining fraternity (project site) .
Environmental Management Controls
Management controls shall include the following, categorized by activity.
Construction Noise
Avoid all noisy activities occurring concurrently during construction particularly before
9.00am when the affects of local inversions may be noticeable.
Where possible construction activities shall be restricted to one of the more noise
activities at any one time.


Monthly monitoring of construction noise shall be undertaken to ensure

compliance with consent requirements.
Operational Noise
Construct the out-of-pit overburden emplacement to provide an acoustic barrier between
the open cut and Non-Project-related residences.
Placement of overburden on the Out-of-pit emplacements shall be avoided as far as
practicable during night-time operations whenever necessary.
Mid-high frequency broadband reverse beepers shall be fitted to mobile equipment,
decreasing sound power levels by 2dB to 3dB.
Ensure the on-site road network is well maintained to limit body noise from empty trucks
travelling on internal roads.
Confine operations to lower levels of the in-pit overburden emplacement to
mitigate noise exceedances under adverse wind conditions, i.e. to say, avoiding
operations on elevated section of the overburden emplacements during inversions and
SW Monsoon and North East Trade winds.
Maintain dialogue with neighbors and local community to ensure any concerns over
construction, operational or transport noise are addressed.
As much as it is practical, bulldozers are either to operate in first gear when
reversing on the out-of-pit emplacement (and demonstrating compliance with noise
criteria) or suspends operations (when compliance is not achieved with noise
Traffic Noise
The on-site road network shall be well maintained to limit body noise from empty
trucks travelling on internal roads.
All truck drivers shall be instructed to avoid the use of engine brakes when
approaching the mine site entrance and to be mindful of noise when accelerating.
Road transport of minerals to the Vantage Facility Sites shall be restricted to the hours
of 8.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Saturday, and may be extended to 8.00pm when the
need arises.
General Noise
Equipment with lower sound power levels shall be used in preference to more
noisy equipment.
All equipment used on-site will be regularly serviced to ensure the sound power

levels remain at or below nominated levels used to predict noise generation of the
Strict adherence to hours of operation, including transport activities shall be
enforced by Mine Management.
EPA shall maintain dialogue with the residents of surrounding properties to ensure
any concerns are addressed.
The various mining operations in Ghana pose different types of health and safety hazards.
It is the purpose of this policy to implement measures and systems to reduce mine-related deaths,
injuries and diseases associated with mining in the country. It is recognized that both surface and
underground operations, if not well managed, have the potential to result in workplace fatalities,
injuries and diseases. The introduction of the cyanidation technology for gold processing has
introduced new risk factors within the mining industry. Surface mining operations have brought
mining into proximity with the mining communities thereby creating new health and safety risks.
The policy objective is to ensure that all mining activities in the country are conducted in such a
manner as to protect the physical environment, the workers and the general public. This will be
achieved through compliance with applicable environment, health and safety laws and
regulations and the development and implementation of comprehensive monitoring and
auditing programmes.
A few of the occupational health and safety measures that shall be adhered to by all workers
includes the following under listed pointers:
1. There shall be regulations establishing more precise health and safety standards for all mining
operations in the country.
2. Mining companies shall be required to put in place adequate and effective measures to ensure
the achievement of the standards so established. To this end:

All companies shall conduct risk assessments to identify the various hazards inherent in their
operations, rank these risks and ensure that effective controls are put in place to ameliorate the
(a) Mining companies shall support this with training and re -training of the employees in
safety matters.
(b) Ensure that mining companies show commitment to comply with environmental,
occupational, health and safety standards through implementation of appropriate health
and safety programmes.


(c) Establish accountability for all employees to exert leadership and commitment to
continual improvement in environmental, occupational, health and safety awareness.
(d) District assemblies and other local level structures shall ensure that children are not
engaged in mining operations. Children who have to visit mining areas shall be under
proper supervision.
(e) Sustained educational campaign shall be carried out by companies and government
agencies in all mining areas in order to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in mining
communities. The Municipal/District Assemblies in mining communities shall
collaborate with mining companies to implement Voluntary Counselling and Testing
(VCT) programmes in the communities.
Basically, an operation budget encompasses detailed projection of all estimated income and
expenses based on forecasted sales revenue during a given period (usually one year). It generally
consists of several sub-budgets, the most important one being the sales budget, which is prepared
first. Since an operating budget is a short-term budget, capital outlays are excluded because they
are long-term costs (
The operation budget method that shall be used for the purposes of the operational processes is
represented in a tabular form as shown below:

Estimated Cost at Completion

Analysis in Hours

Activity Description




Prepare Preliminary Design


Develop Enterprise Architecture


Prepare Data Flow Diagrams


Prepare Logical Data Module


Prepare Detailed Design


Prepare Physical Data Model


Prepare Data Dictionary


Res Budget Actual Est to

Est @ Variance
# hours hours Complete Complet (+=More)

Document Design
Develop Design Specification
Design Review
Total for the Project


Analysis in Ghana Cedis

Budget Actual
Est to
Est @
hours hours Complete Complet (+=More)


Implementation scheduling refers to the sum total of all the planning tools within a project
setting. It is based on the future-state map and should include the goals, to-do lists, and other
devices that help to improve the processes involved in most project frameworks. Simply put,
implementation scheduling involves sequencing and allocating time to all project activities
within a specified time period through the effective utilization of MS Project Software Tool
The six key processes that shall be employed in the implementation scheduling as far as the
proposed mining project is concerned are listed as follows: (a) Activity Definition (b) Activity
Sequencing (c) Activity Resource Estimating (d) Activity Duration Estimating (e) Schedule
Development (f) Schedule Control.
(1) Activity Definition: This entails the project activities and milestones.
Inputs to be used: (a) Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) (b) Project Scope Statement
Tools to be used: (a) Expert Judgment (b) Project Network Diagrams
(2) Activity Sequencing: This category deals with project network diagrams.
Inputs to be used: (a) Milestones (b) Project Scope Statement or Approved Change Requests
Tools to be employed: (a) Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM) (b) Dependency
(3) Activity Resource Estimating: This deals with the resource requirements of the project.
Inputs to be utilized: (a) Enterprise Environmental Assets (b) Resource Availability or
Project Management Software
Tools to be employed: (a) Expert Judgment (b) Alternative Analysis or Project Management
(4) Activity Duration Estimating: This attribute accentuates on the estimation of projects
Inputs to be applied: (a) Expert Judgment (b) Reserve Analysis or Three-Point Estimates
Tools to be used: (a) Enterprise Environmental Factors (b) Organizational Process Assets or
Project Scope Statement
(5) Schedule Development: Basically, it involves the scheduling of the project.


Inputs to be utilized: (a) Activity List (b) Project Schedule Network Diagrams or Activity
Resource Requirements
Tools to be employed: (a) Critical Path Method (b) What-If Schedule Analysis or Schedule
Network Analysis
(6) Schedule Control: This perspective lays a lot of emphasis on schedule updates.
Inputs to be used: (a) Schedule Management Plan (b) Performance Reports or Approved
Change Requests
Tools to be employed: (a) Progress Reporting (b) Performance Measurement or Variance
Project Sponsor


Steering operations

Operations Manager


Ultimate decision-maker and

Provide project oversight and
project elements
Approves major funding and
resource allocation strategies,
and significant changes to
funding/resource allocation
Resolves conflicts and issues
Provides direction to the
Operations Manager
operations deliverables


Manages operations
accordance with the mining
operation plan (MOP)
Serves as liaison to the
Supervises consultants
Supervise vendor(s)
Provide overall operation
Direct/lead team members

One or more persons

depending on the size of the


Eight Persons

Operations Participants

Subject Matter Experts

toward project objectives

Handle problem resolution
Manages the operations
Understand the user needs
and operation processes of
their jurisdiction and locality
Act as consumer advocate in
representing their locality

To be identified by Steering
Operation Committee

Communicate project goals,

throughout the project to
personnel in their area
Review and approve project
Creates or helps create work
Coordinates participation of
work groups, individuals and
Provide knowledge and

To be identified by Steering
Operation Committee

Helps identify and remove

operation barriers
Assure quality of products
that will meet the operation
goals and objectives
Identify risks and issues and
help in resolutions
Lend expertise and guidance
as needed


The initial Risk Assessment attempts to identify, characterize, prioritize and document a
mitigation approach relative to those risks which can be identified prior to the start of the
The Risk Assessment shall be continuously monitored and updated throughout the life of the
project, with monthly assessments included in the status report (Refer to Communications Plan)
and open to amendment by the Operation Manager.
Because mitigation approaches must be agreed upon by operation leadership (based on the
assessed impact of the risk, the operations ability to accept the risk, and the feasibility of

mitigating the risk), it is necessary to allocate time into each Steering Operation Committee
meeting, dedicated to identifying new risks and discussing mitigation strategies.
The Operation Manager shall convey amendments and recommended contingencies to the
Steering Committee monthly, or more frequently, as conditions may warrant.
The following assumptions were made in preparing the Operation Plan:
(1) All mining employees are willing to change business operations to take advantage of the
functionality offered by the new mobile technology.
(2) Management will ensure that project team members are available as needed to complete
operation tasks and objectives.
(3) The Steering Operation Committee will participate in the timely execution of the Operation Plan
(i.e., timely approval cycles and meeting when required).
(4) Failure to identify changes to draft deliverables within the time specified in the timeline will
result in operation delays.
(5) Operation team members will adhere to the Communications Plan.
(6) Mid and upper management will foster support and buy-in of operation goals and objectives.
(7) The township for the mining operations will ensure the existence of a technological infrastructure
that can support the new and innovative technology.
(8) All operation participants will abide by the guidelines identified within this plan.
(9) The Operation Plan may change as new information and issues are revealed.
The following represent known operations constraints:
(1) Project funding sources are limited, with no contingency.
(2) Due to the nature of law enforcement, resource availability is inconsistent.
Unlike risks, critical operation barriers are insurmountable issues that can be destructive to a
projects initiative thereby promoting time and cost overruns. In this project, the following are
possible critical barriers that cannot be prevented or underestimated:
(1) Removal of operation/project funding
(2) Natural disasters or acts of war/God (force majeure) just to mention a few


The information contained within the Operation Plan shall likely change as the operation
progresses. While change is both certain and required, it is important to note that any changes to
the Project Plan shall impact at least one of three critical success factors: Available Time,
Available Resources (Financial, Personnel), or Operation Quality. The decision by which to
make modifications to the Operation Plan (including project scope and resources) should be
coordinated using the following process:
Step 1: As soon as a change which impacts project scope, schedule, staffing or spending is
identified, the Operation Manager shall document the issue.
Step 2: The Operation Manager shall review the change and determine the associated impact to
the project and will forward the issue, along with a recommendation, to the Steering Operation
Committee for review and decision.
Step 3: Upon receipt, the Steering Operation Committee shall reach a consensus opinion on
whether to approve, reject or modify the request based upon the information contained within the
project website, the Operation Managers recommendation and their own judgment. Should the
Steering Operation Committee be unable to reach consensus on the approval or denial of a
change, the issue shall be forwarded to the Project Sponsor, with a written summation of the
issue, for ultimate resolution.
Step 4: If required under the decision matrix or due to a lack of consensus, the Project Sponsor
shall review the issue(s) and render a final decision on the approval or denial of a change.
Step 5: Following an approval or denial (by the Steering Operation Committee or Project
Sponsor), the Operation Manager shall notify the original requestor of the action taken. There is
no appeal process.
Mining is an industry in which operational efficiency is paramount to the feasibility of mine
development, particularly with the relatively low ore grades that are being exploited routinely
today across the globe. From the initial development of the mine, engineers must include quite
detailed operational plans in the mine design and these must be constantly updated as new
information about the ore body and market conditions become available. It is this operational
focus that has been the main brain behind the successes of operational research in mining (Fytas,
Hadjigeorgiou & Collins, 1993).
Understanding operational inadequacies/challenges and their potential impact on capital projects
provides an indication of the preventative measures required in order to ensure that the project
retains the maximum NPV possible. It is often the case however, that these challenges and
impacts are not accounted for or factored into the operational planning process in the
development phases, negatively affecting the return on investment within most project settings.

There is no silver bullet panacea to mining operational planning and execution. Projects, by
their very nature exhibit unique diversity, complexity, ambiguity and these should be holistically
considered when planning for efficient operational processes. Typically, the researchers of this
scholarly paper have identified that massive expansions require different planning strategies in
order to leverage their different competencies within the mining arena. Essentially, operational
process planning requires consideration, strategic planning and more significantly, an operational
budget from as early as the study phases of a project. An operational plan should be created and
integrated into the overall project plan right from the word go to which will undoubtedly
prevent issues such as cost and time overruns, revenue leakages, litigation, total abandonment of
operations, arbitrations thereby adversely affecting profit margins, market share, performance as
well as optimum productivity and competitive edge (advantage) within the mining fraternity.
Making the strategic decision to integrate operational planning into the project development
process is the starting point. Effective operational planning will irrevocably benefit mining
activities if managed correctly and efficiently, building the NPV of the project, improving the
realizable value of large capital projects (ROCE) or (ROI), attainment of organizational set goals
and ultimately augmenting shareholders value or wealth within a specified time period.
Minimizing the value, quality and operational leakages during the commissioning and ramp-up
phases of major capital of operations in projects as well as the strict adherence to posits of
management and quality gurus such as the Human Relation and System Theories, Contingency
I&II, Elton Mayo, Max Weber, Mc Gregors X &Y, Abraham Maslows Need Hierarchy,
Vrooms, Frederick Herzbergs Hygiene/Motivational Factors, Hersey & Blanchards Situational
Theory on leadership, TQM, BPR, Balance Score Card, Murphys Law as well as the effective
utilization of Kaizen Continuous Improvement, Six Sigma, Ishikawa Tools of Quality (Run
Charts, Scatter Diagrams, Gantt Charts, Pareto Charts), Quality Circles, ISO/QS 9000, Armand
.V. Feigenbaum, Juran Crosbys Fitness-For-Use, Demings 14 Points, Philip Crosby, Genichi
Taguchi Contributions on quality (consistency of performance and decrease variability, robust
design), COQ, PDCA cycle, effective change management regimes vis--vis the usage of project
management tools such as the Monte Carlo Analysis, Delphi Techniques, PERT, CPM, PDM,
Crashing, Heuristics, Expert Judgment, Benchmarking, Brainstorming etc. is critical to the
operations and for that matter, the entire projects success story. Operational process plans must
be fully aligned and synchronized with the overall project implementation plans. The designing
and effective execution of operational plans can secure significantly more project value than a
singular focus on effective construction plan execution. Operational plans cannot give new life to
a sick project, but can prevent a good project from becoming sick and eventually
metamorphosing into a state of stagnation or inertia as well as its subsequent collapse and death
thereby affecting its completion time leading cost and time overruns, litigation, arbitration and
the overall total abandonment of the project.
Limitations are quite inevitable and insurmountable in this current dispensation of ours as
far as arduous and demanding research just like the one in contention is concerned.
Nevertheless, a few of these intriguing and dicey setbacks worth noting are categorically spelt
out as below:
(a) Workers at most of the mining companies we interviewed exhibited some thresholds of

trepidation of information leakage (strategic) which they presumed would be detrimental to the
image of the organization thereby affecting the efficacy and accuracy of the results obtained
throughout the field survey.
(b) Fear of being victimized or fired if the topmost executives should get wind of any
leakage (issue of ethicality and confidentiality) (c) Inconsistency in some of the feedbacks
received from those interviewed.
(d) Waiting for too long (time constraints) in order to have access to some of the
Operation Managers in the various departmental units of the mining outfits visited.
(e) Reluctance on the part of those interviewed to hit the nail rightly on the head (letting the
cat out of the bag) with respect to certain questions relating to the operational and levels at
Newmont, AGA, Tarkwa Gold Fields just to mention a few.
(f) Failure of some lackadaisical workers to respond to the questions accurately due to
deficiencies in their acumen/ingenuity (partially-academically-challenged) levels and lastly
but not the least.
(g) Intermittent meetings of t o p m o s t executives during such visits created myriads
of ambiguities in some of the data gathered by the researchers.


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BPR: Business Process Reengineering

COQ: Cost of Quality

CPM: Critical Path Method

dB: Decibel {unit for measuring sound intensity}

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

ISO: International Standards Organization

MOP: Mining Operation Plan

NPV: Net Present Value

PDCA/PDSA: Plan Do Check/Study Act

QS: Quality Standards

ROCE: Return on Capital Employed


ROI: Return on Investment

TQM: Total Quality Management

PDM: Precedence Diagramming Method

PERT: Program Evaluation & Review Technique