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Women in Mining UK 2020 Summer Internship at Golden Star Resources- Benedicte Nzolantima

By 11/01/2021February 22nd, 2021News

London – 11 January 2021: Women in Mining UK 2020 Summer Internship at Golden Star Resources

Written by: Benedicte Nzolantima 

GSR Corporate Development Internship Experience
My internship at Golden Star Resources (GSR) lasted 3 months, from the beginning of September to the end of November. GSR is a gold mining company that initially had two operating gold mines, and after a successful sale of the Bogoso-Prestea Gold mine to Future Global Resources, continued to operate one mine at Wassa. The sale was concluded during my internship, so I had the chance to discover the reality of such a transaction. I had studied and read about these M&A transactions but being able to experience this had a different impact. This was just one of the brilliant aspects of my internship, which the teams at GSR managed to put together despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Role as a Corporate Development Intern
As a first step in my career in the mining industry, being an intern in the Corporate Development (CD) team involved working closely with the EVP Growth and Exploration, and the Director Investor Relations & Business Development. This role gave me the opportunity to provide my input in projects that were aligned with the five-year vision, strategy and values of Golden Star (GSR), and I felt that I was able to add value to the teams in very concrete ways. Having such an enriching experience in an entry-level position is something I don’t take for granted.

Highlights: trip to Ghana, Wassa Gold Mine
One of the highlights of the internship was a two week trip to the Wassa gold mine in Ghana. The mine has about 50Mt of mineral resources in a complex geological deposit of quartz carbonate veins with pyrite. During my time on the Wassa gold mine I visited the processing and paste fill plants, the community projects (including the Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation (GSOPP) projects), the underground operations, and some satellite exploration projects. Whilst on site, I undertook a review of the regional Exploration targets on the HBB Project that involved re-logging some drilled core (lithology, alteration, veining and structural information) and used MapInfo to delineate new targets and anomalies in that area for future drillings. During this trip, we also had time to discover Ghana and particularly Accra. The rich history of Ghana was a great reminder of how much hope there is for Congo (DRC), my home country. Personally, the time in Ghana was eye opening. Seeing concretely how mines can positively impact local communities was quite impressive.

Key Work and Projects
During my internship, projects and work in-which I was involved included:

  • the creation of an ESG and political risk screening platform for each African country
  • M&A opportunities involving mining companies ranging from exploration to production
  • Valuation and targets of satellite licenced exploration of GSR using MapInfo
  • Interpreting geochemical, geophysical and geological data
  • In-depth research and analysis on companies and mining project


Company Values
The values of the company are seen at the corporate level and at the mine site. For example, the mine always prioritises the safety and wellbeing of their workers. The CSR projects of GSR are numerous and continually being improved and modified to empower more families to be involved, and to rehabilitate the environment. I was positively surprised by the friendliness and welcoming spirit that all the employees of GSR reflect. I’ll always remember how on my first day at GSR, the CEO, Andrew Wray, took the time to call and welcome me to the company.

Although GSR and the industry are facing many challenges, in my humble opinion, they are definitely on the right path, and are a great example of what mining companies (and the industry) can offer young graduates and professionals.