Gold Fields Limited has announced a new leadership team for its Tarkwa and Damang mines in Ghana. 

Elliot Twum has been appointed as Vice President and Interim Managing Director for Gold Fields Ghana, while Catherine Kuupol Kuutor is now the Tarkwa Mine Manager, making her the first woman to be appointed to a senior mining leadership position in Ghana.

Their appointments took effect on May 1, 2024.

Sampson Arthur remains the Operations Manager for Damang, and both he and Ms Kuupol Kuutor report to Mr Twum. 

Gold Fields CEO Mike Fraser welcomed the new leadership team.

“The three executives have risen through the ranks at our mines and understand the business well.

"I am confident that Elliot, Catherine and Sampson are the right leaders, as we implement our new operating model with a strong focus on safe and sustainable production at our mines.” 

Commenting on Ms Kuupol Kuutor’s appointment, he said, “Gender diversity is a critical business imperative for Gold Fields, particularly in Ghana where the mining sector is still largely male-dominated.

"We are, therefore, delighted that an accomplished mining professional like Catherine is now leading Tarkwa, the largest mine in our portfolio.” 

Profile of Elliot Twum 

Until his recent appointment, Mr Twum was the Engineering Manager for both Damang and Tarkwa and has acted as General Manager for both operations on several occasions.

As Engineering Manager at Tarkwa, Mr Twum and his team implemented several industry-leading projects which have contributed significantly to the reliability of the mine’s processing plant. 

He joined Gold Fields in 2014 from AngloGold Ashanti, where he was the Senior Manager of engineering, for the Sadiola and Yatela mines in Mali.

He had previously worked at AngloGold’s Siguiri mine in Guinea and spent some time at the company’s mines in South Africa. 

He has a degree in Electrical Engineering, a post-graduate diploma in mining engineering and is an alumnus of London Business School’s Accelerated Development Programme. 

Profile of Catherine Kuupol Kuutor 

Already a trailblazer in the Ghanaian mining industry, Ms Kuupol Kuutor has several ‘firsts’ and now makes history as the first woman to be appointed as a Mine Manager of a major mine in Ghana. This is a significant step for gender equity and inclusion in the country. 

Ms Kuupol Kuutor is a metallurgist with over 20 years of experience in the gold mining industry.

Prior to her appointment, she was the first female Metallurgical Manager for the Tarkwa mine, with oversight of the Damang mine. She has on several occasions acted as the General Manager 

of both operations. She was appointed the Metallurgical Manager for Damang, which she joined in 2013 as a Metallurgical Superintendent. 

Before joining Gold Fields, she worked at Golden Star Resources (Wassa mine) for almost a decade in various roles. 

Ms Kuupol Kuutor has led business improvement processes and projects which have resulted in increased gold recovery, as well as improvements in processing cost and efficiencies at the two Gold Fields mines in Ghana. 

With a passion for supporting the development of mineral processing engineers in Ghana, especially women, she instituted two annual academic awards for the best student and the best female student in mineral engineering at Tarkwa’s University of Mines and Technology (UMaT). 

She has received several industry awards, including Female Mining Professional of the Year at the 2019 Ghana Mining Industry Awards, organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines. 

Ms Kuupol Kuutor is a PhD candidate in Mineral Engineering at UMaT and holds a Master of Science Degree in Mineral Engineering from the same university.

She also holds a Diploma in Mineral Engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

She is a member of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, West Africa Institute of Mining, Women in Mining Ghana and Ladies in Mining and Allied Professions. 

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