BGL regrets Cyanide Spillage
Bogoso (W/R), June 24,- GNA- Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL) has announced with regret that the tailings delivery pipe to the tailings dam developed a leak and sprayed about 25 to 40 drums of mill tailings into the external environment at approximately 2300 hours on June 16, 2006.
The leak was discovered and the valve closed within an estimated 30 minutes of the leak commencing.
The following morning, the situation was evaluated by senior management and water samples taken at several points along the Adjornum and Apepre Creeks.
This was contained in a press release signed by Mr Bruce Higson-Smith, acting General Manager, BGL.
It said the cyanide level at the point near Dumasi Village was zero point twenty six milligrammes per litre (0.26mg/L) at 0900 hours on June 17, adding this level subsequently declined to zero point eighteen milligrammes per litre (0.18mg/L) by early afternoon and by June 19, it was down to zero point zero zero five milligrammes per litre (0.005mg/L).
The Release said the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guideline is a maximum of zero point two milligrammes per litre (0.2mg/L). Only one other point, just below the embankment gave a reading of zero point thirty four milligrammes per litre (0.34mg/L) which was over the EPA guidelines and on the morning of June 17, this had reduced to zero point zero thirteen per litre (0.013mg/L) by the morning of June 16. All other sample points along the Adjornum and Apepre Creeks returned low to trace cyanide levels.
For comparison, the free cyanide concentration of Bogoso mill tailings at that point in the system is approximately 75mg/L.
The EPA and Mines Department have taken samples of
water, sediment and fish for independent analysis. All operating procedures by Company personnel were carried out in a satisfactory manner, particularly the timely reporting of the incident by Security personnel and a quick response by the Metallurgical Department to close off the
tilings flow carried out
All relevant regulatory agencies, namely the EPA, the Mines Department and Minerals Commission were informed. Senior representative of these entities, including the
Executive Director of the EPA and the Chief Inspector of
Mines, visited the mines on June 17 and June 18. By 0845 hours on June 17, BGL management was
present at Dumasi Village informing the community about the
spill and discussing the incident with the community leaders.
These discussions continued on June 18 with the additional involvement of the EPA. Several dozen Dumasi residents were given a thorough examination at the Company's clinic, which did not indicate any symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Subsequent to the incident, the Company has repaired the pipeline, cleaned up the immediate area of the leak, and is cleaning up the small amount of tailings that were deposited into the Adjornum Creek. It is noted that most of the Dumasi Village rely on the fresh water supplied by the Company. Consultation to keep the community informed of the leak and the measures taken continue.
It said, although the initial investigations indicate that all the tailings dam management was being done in accordance with existing standards and procedures and its Environmental Management Plan, the Company is re-examining its tailings dam management procedures to identify areas for improvement to mitigate a re-occurrence.
These could include depending and extending the embankment toe drain, construction an additional sump, and re-training of shift personnel to speed up response times for the identification and resolution of similar incidents, he release added.