Wa Gold Project, Ghana
Location and Access
The Wa Gold Project is located in the Upper West Region in the far northwest of Ghana along the border with Burkina Faso. The Black Volta River marks the western border of the project area and the Burkina Faso border. The regional capital, Wa (from which the project takes its name), is located within 10 km of the project area, at Latitude 10°04’ N and Longitude 2°30’ W.
The Upper Region is a relatively poor part of Ghana, with a population of about 600,000. The region is governed by a Regional Coordinating Council and sub-divided into nine districts, each of which is administered by a District Assembly, headed by a District Chief Executive. These comprise Wa West, Nadowli, Jirapa/Lambussie, Lawra, Sissala West, and Wa East. Alongside the government structures, a traditional political system exists, in which Paramount Chiefs and Chiefs preside over the local population, grouped by villages.
The project comprises the three separate tenement blocks. The Wa-Lawra block in the west covers a large area of approximately 2177.0 km² in located to the west and north-west of the town of Wa. It runs north-south for c. 110 km immediately east of the Burkina Faso border along the Black Volta river. The Wa East block includes the Josephine and Julie- Collette licence blocks located east of Wa.
Azumah has a well-equipped project base at Kalsegra near Nadowli, north of Wa, and a field base at the Julie deposit at Wa East. Grid power is available to all of the major population centres. Mobile phone coverage is available in most of the Project area and Azumah has satellite Internet connectivity at Kalsegra and Julie.
The project area is accessed by good, largely bitumen road from Accra, approximately 650 km to the south. The quickest access is by internal flight to Sunyani or Kumasi and then by road to Wa and Nadowli in the south of the project area, about five to seven hour’s drive. The road conditions are relatively good and transport infrastructure within Ghana is generally well developed for the region.
The area is traversed by a well-developed network of graded laterite roads linking many smaller towns and villages, as well as numerous smaller roads and tracks that can become impassable during the wet season. Access by 4WD away from tracks is relatively easy in most areas. Field work is possible in the wet season in most areas.
Sealed airstrips are located at Wa and Nandom, and the project can be accessed by charter flight from Accra. The nearest rail head is at Kumasi, 350 km to the SSE, which runs south to Accra and the country’s main deep water port at Tema.
Topography and Climate
The area of the Wa-Lawra block is relatively flat with low-relief hills occupying the area between a north-south ridge on granitic terrain in the east (350-450 m elevation) and the Black Volta valley in the west on the Burkina Faso border. The area is dissected by a welldeveloped network of dendritic drainages running west to the Black Volta flood plain. The Wa East area is dominated by low-relief hills and intervening outwash flats and creeks.
The climate is monsoonal, situated between equatorial southern Ghana and the more arid Sahel belt to the north. Annual rainfall is c. 1000 to 1250 mm/year, largely falling in the rainy season from June to October with a peak in August-September. The average daily temperature is about 27º C but can reach above 35º C in the hot season before the wet. Night time temperatures fall below 20º C in the winter.
Natural vegetation is open savannah woodland. The Wa-Lawra area is quite populated and cultivated for millet, maize, cassava, ground nuts, and yams, as well as grazing of cattle, sheep and goats. The Wa East area is less populated with more open woodland.
Mineral licences in Ghana are issued by the Minerals Commission (MinCom) under the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703). Exploration licences include:
- Reconnaissance Licence, which provides for the exclusive right to carry on reconnaissance for the related minerals, but does not allow for drilling or excavation.
- Prospecting Licence, which provides for the exclusive right to carry on prospecting for the related minerals, including the drilling of boreholes and the digging of excavations.
- Mining Lease, which provides for the extraction and processing of minerals.