Gold Fields sets up instrumentation training rig

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Gold Fields instrumentation training rig
Gold Fields instrumentation training rig

Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) has spent more than 450,000 Euros to set up a high-tech instrumentation training rig, which is the first of its kind in Africa.

The company said investing heavily in the state-of-the-art equipment was beneficial because of its immense benefits and value.

Commissioning the facility at the Gold Fields Training School at Tarkwa Mine in the Western Region, Mr. Joshua Mortoti, the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Head of Gold Fields West Africa, said the rig would offer intensive and practical training, as it simulated real-world conditions in the process plant in a safe classroom environment.

He said after training with the rig, their instrumentation engineers would be equipped with the technical know-how, which would enhance their competence.

It was a major investment that would take the skills development of employees a notch higher because it would add to the company’s existing solid technical training modules, equipment and infrastructure.

“I am pleased to note that the youth from our host communities will not be left out. They will have the opportunity to be trained with the rig when the Gold Fields Training School launches the instrumentation apprenticeship programme for young people in the host communities,” Mr. Mortoti said.

He further said, “As a company, we don’t hold back when it comes to enhancing the competencies of our employees because they are our most asset. Our commitment to employee skills development also aligns with our value of innovation, which encourages ideas, creativity and changes that can drive our business forward.”

Mr. Mortoti emphasised that it was for these reasons that management of the Mine continued to invest significantly in employee training and development.

He indicated that since 2014, the company had invested close to US $17 million in various competency-enhancement, leadership and professional development programmes for its employees and business partners.

Some of these training programmes catered for the specific needs of employees to help develop their individual potential.

This is handled by our learning and development department, which ensures that we have a fully functional, competent and safety-conscious workforce to help us achieve our strategic objective, he said.

Mr. Mortoti praised the engineering, learning and development teams for translating this innovative idea into action, adding “to our suppliers, Automation Solutions Limited and Endress + Hauser, l say we value your partnership over the years.”

Mr. Simon Egloff, the Business Development Manager, Endress +Hauser, thanked Gold Fields for selecting them to provide training infrastructure to increase the competence of their engineers.

He said the employees would respond with higher skills set and be able to apply improvement in their daily work and through this, achieve higher productivity over the next years.

He added that, “smart sensors using heartbeat technology as a solid base for internet of things will help move from reactive maintenance to preventive maintenance”.

Kweku Asmah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Automation Ghana Group (TAGG), explained that the instrumentation training rig was the first of its kind across Africa because several companies such as; food and beverage, oil and gas and mining had similar equipment on their respective fields, but none in the classroom where students could learn using the latest technology.

“It’s a state -of -the -art equipment that would enable employees to learn new technology, stimulate the faults they would encounter on the field, test, write examination and pass. After all this process they would be certified to go back to the field and work,” he said.

Mr. Asmah explained that “It is an instrumentation and automation training rig, which works by putting together the same equipment and instrument that you will find on a mining field in a training room, with exercises that students would go through, start and stop a pump, control a valve, open and close it, check temperature and pressure. You can connect using your laptop or Bluetooth on your phone, configure it and get it work.”

Mr. Emmanuel Appiah, a staff of Gold Fields, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), expressed appreciation to the management of the company for providing the training rig, saying the facility would enhance their training and equip trainees with skills that hitherto they had to go on the field to be able to experience them.

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