Mining companies cannot sacrifice the health, safety, protection of its employees, host communities and the protection of the environment in the wake of challenging times in the industry.
We must put people first and ensure that no matter the circumstances, the provision and protection of our employees are upheld above all else.
Ken Norris, General Manager and Vice President of the Chirano Gold Mines Limited said these at an employee acceptance and complete owner-mining transition programme at Akoti on March 31.
“Mines don’t exist without people and it takes smart, motivated, and skillful employees, working safely and efficiently to make a successful gold mine” he said.
Mr. Norris stressed that every mining company must ensure that each and every day their employees are able to do their job safely while working in the mine, adding that working safely is critical to the success of any company and no organisation should operate if it compromises the health, safety and well-being of its employees.
He stressed that there is no compromise on this basic core value, and asked employees to work as a team, irrespective of where they find themselves.
Mr Norris reminded new employees joining Chirano to be concerned and caring about its two immediate neighbours of Akoti and Etwebo.
He explained that the owner mining operation will allow CGML to re-invest in the business to find more gold reserves, build more underground mines, invest in the local communities to help with infrastructure needs, continue to pay taxes to the treasury of Ghana which benefits all the citizens of Ghana, rewards our owners for their investment and confidence that we are well managed business and help us have a long-term vision to continue to mine gold long into the future.
He said Chirano will continue to be a company of preference in the local communities in Ghana, with our suppliers, with the Government of Ghana, and with prospective employees and we shall continue to do this by changing from contract mining to owner mining which will increase the numbers of people working from the catchment area, which we believe will reach about 50 percent of the local labour force.
Mr. Norris pledged that the company will continue to invest heavily in training for mining and also extend same to artisan/trade training programs in the future for local employees as well.
“ As new underground mine workers and for those of you arriving in Ghana for the first time you should be aware that there are certain hazards you may not be accustomed to at this mine site, be alert to pedestrians, including children, women and livestock which traverse the road network and haul roads at the Chirano mine site” he reminded.
Mr. Norris explained that several thousand people living in four communities in and bordering the mining lease, so all employees need to take precaution and drive slowly and carefully when circulating the roads at Chirano and the catchment area.
He reminded all that as a company, there is the need to work in harmony with our neighbours, so please be careful when you see people from the village walking on the haul roads. Their well-being is important to us and if we want to be the best gold mining company we have to put people first, employees as well as our neighbours who live close-by.
Mr. Thomas Nyarko-Danquah, Human Resource and Community Relations Manager also used the occasion to launch the Living Our Values Award (LOVA).
The LOVA award is an annual event aimed at awarding and recognizing employees who have made significant contributions in the mine in four key areas of Putting People First, Outstanding Corporate Citizenship, High Performance Culture and Rigorous Financial Discipline.
Chirano Gold Mines Limited with over 1,000 employees in Ghana and 8,000 others in nine other operations, produce collectively nearly 2 ½ million ounces of gold per annum.