Newmont Ghana has said it is committed to transparently engaging and partnering with local communities to improve lives and mitigate impacts associated with its operations.
The miner said in a statement that in line with its “purpose to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining,” it “welcomes all well-intentioned input to enhance mining’s benefits to local communities.”
Paul Sowley, Newmont Ghana’s Senior Director for Sustainability and External Relations, in response to allegations in certain media outlets based on reports developed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), WACAM and Ford Foundation said: “Protecting and promoting the health and welfare of our employees and local communities is a top priority for us.”
“We are currently studying the accuracy of the reports and will provide further information once we complete the review,” said Mr. Sowley. “Our review will include following up with the reports’ authors to better understand their data collection, analysis and assessment methods, which seem to lack the scientific rigour to support their conclusions.”
Newmont Ghana said it’s mitigation programmes in Ahafo, namely the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme, Vulnerable Peoples’ Programme and Skills Development Improvement Programme, have supported more than 10,000 people. In addition, the Company has installed new wells, monitored ground water supplies, improved sanitation and worked closely with local communities on monitoring and protecting water quality.
In addition, the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation, which has accrued more than Gh¢54.2million, is “positively enhancing lives with the award of over 8,000 scholarships, 100 infrastructure projects (including schools, libraries, health facilities and potable water projects). The Foundation also has given out micro-credit support to approximately 1,500 beneficiaries, most of them women,” the statement said.
Newmont also added that it has undertaken deliberate efforts to empower women in all spheres of development. From its inception, the Ahafo mine instituted a gender mainstreaming policy to guide all social development interventions, it said.
In addition to the formation of a Women Consultative Committee, which has had “tremendous impact on women in the 10 host communities,” Newmont said “there has been an appreciable level of inclusion of women in the local economy. It is worthy to note that more than 40 percent of the scholarships and 98 percent of the micro-credit beneficiaries have been women.”
Newmont said it recognises that there remain opportunities to improve lives and mitigate impacts. Through ongoing, transparent and responsible partnership with local communities, the miner said it will help create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.
About Newmont Ghana
Africa is one of five core operating districts of Newmont Mining Corporation, the second largest gold company in the world (www.newmont.com). Newmont holds two gold mining operations in Ghana: the Ahafo mine in the Brong-Ahafo Region and the Akyem mine in the Eastern Region. The company currently employs approximately 4,000 employees and contractors.
It’s exploration and development focus is centred on Ghana. Newmont regularly review other opportunities throughout the continent and are currently undertaking greenfield exploration activities in Ethiopia
Newmont is the only gold company listed in the S&P 500 index and in 2007 became the first gold company selected to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In 2016, Newmont was ranked the DJSI global leader in sustainability for the second consecutive year. The Akyem and Ahafo mines were in 2016 also voted the best company in Ghana and the mining company of the year by the Ghana Investment Promotion Council and the Ghana Chamber of Mines, respectively.
Newmont’s industry leading performance is reflected through Newmont Ghana’s high standards in environmental management, health and safety for its employees and creating value and opportunity for its host communities and Newmont’s shareholders.