Newmont Ghana will continue to seek the consent and acceptance of communities
Newmont Ghana says it will continue to seek the consent and acceptance of communities impacted by its exploration activities and operations before undertaking any mine related activities.
“We believe in engaging communities and soliciting their input regarding our development plans prior to undertaking activities. At our Ahafo Mine and Akyem project, we have held hundreds of public meetings to gather input, concerns and identify opportunities raised by the local communities and other stakeholders,” stated Randy Barnes, Newmont Ghana’s Regional Vice President for Environment and Social Responsibility. “Newmont will continue to consult with traditional and opinion leaders, land owners and other stakeholders surrounding our operations in all matters that affect them. We remain committed to working with them in a collaborative manner to implement collectively-agreed upon decisions.”
The company explained that after obtaining a license from the Minerals Commission to undertake exploration activities in the Donkro Nkwanta area, Newmont officials had, in keeping with customary protocol and tradition, met with the traditional leaders of Donkro Nkwanta to inform them of its proposed exploration and to understand the protocols for engaging the wider community. Meetings also have been held with sections of the community including opinion leaders, identified landlords and other community members aimed at enhancing their understanding of the exploration activities.
Newmont’s most recent meeting with the leadership of the town was fruitful and peaceful. At no point did Newmont officials engage the wider communities neither were they chased out nor had their vehicles stoned as has been incorrectly reported.
Newmont Ghana subscribes to international best practices and standards in its approach to mining and the positive impacts of our operations have been widely acknowledged. A recent independent study on the impact of Newmont’s Ahafo Mine on the local and national economy provides revealed that Newmont:
- Is a major contributor to Ghana’s economy, generating nearly 10 percent of the nation’s total exports;
- Directly and indirectly created 48,000 jobs in Ghana; and
- Provided 99 local contractors around the Ahafo mine with nearly $6 million in contracts in 2009 alone.
The company also stated that it had implemented the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme (AILAP) and livelihood restoration initiatives in its Ahafo and Akyem project areas. AILAP provides extension services and the supply of high yielding, quality farm inputs to farmers resulting in significant increases in agricultural productivity in the Asutifi District. Data from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture shows that since the inception of the programme in 2006 to 2009 in the Asutifi District, maize production has increased by 72%, plantain by 40%, rice and cassava by 35%.
Newmont Ghana reassured its stakeholders that honest and transparent communication underpins its relationship with communities and it will continue to be sensitive to their concerns and aspirations.