New Abirem, May 12, GNA – Newmont Ghana, has restated its commitment to good-faith dialogue with community members regarding employment opportunities with the company and other issues of concern.
The company continues to dialogue with some community leaders and youth over their dissatisfaction with the finite number of jobs that the Akyem Mine requires to run its operation.
A statement issued by Newmont and copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra, said management and community relations team of the Akyem Mine continue to hold meetings with various community and youth groups, traditional authority, local government and the District Security Council to explain the Mine’s current employment needs, process and statistics and to explore opportunities on how to address their concerns.
‘We are very much aware that we cannot employ everyone who wants a job, said Pascal Kanbonnabah, the company’s acting Regional Vice President, Human Resources.
‘We remain committed to skills development and empowerment for all our host communities. Although the Akyem Mine has already delivered broader community benefits such as infrastructure development in the area of health, water, sanitation, education to the local communities, we continue looking for ways to enhance the Mine’s ability to serve as a catalyst for additional economic and social development.’
The company has built a tarred diversion road, from the Mine entrance to Adausena, to move traffic away from its mining area.
Newmont Ghana has also had ongoing discussions with the regional and local government on possible collaboration and opportunities to improve the road condition within the Akyem mine area.
‘As part of our commitment to providing employment opportunities to our host communities, over 43 per cent of our workforce are from the host communities. This number excludes our contractor workforce which has about 49 per cent local-local employees. We continue to explore feasible areas to increase the numbers with the limited job opportunities available.
‘Newmont Ghana continues to maximise opportunities for its community youth in job areas requiring semi and skilled job requirements. To provide local youth with specialised employable skills tailored to the Mine’s operational needs, Newmont Ghana has instituted a four-year Apprenticeship programme. Over 200 young men and women from our host communities have so benefitted from this programme.
‘There are also policies and agreements, which ensure that all our unskilled labour sourcing comes from the communities adjacent to the mine. The company also has facilitated the participation of the local youth in local capacity building initiatives.
‘The company is investigating the concerns raised about the impact of blasting on community buildings. We continue to comply with Ghanaian and international blasting standards within the approved mining area of the Akyem Mine, ‘the statement said.
It said the company’s blast monitoring and the mining practices have not shown any reason for the blasting to have affected any structure in the local communities.
However, the company continues to dialogue with local community leaders to resolve their complaints and says it welcomes the lead taken by some community leaders to contract an independent assessor to ascertain the reasons for the defects seen in building structures.
‘Newmont Ghana reiterates its commitment to acting in line with our social responsibility values and policies. We will continue with our social responsibility programmes aimed at creating shared value for our host communities and continue constructive and organised dialogue with all stakeholders on all issues of mutual concern, ‘the statement said.
Newmont Ghana is one of the five core operating districts of Newmont Mining Corporation, one of the largest gold companies in the world.
It operates the Ahafo Mine in the Brong-Ahafo Region and the Akyem Mine in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region.
The Akyem Mine received its environmental permit from the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana in 2008. The Project’s Mining Lease and Mining Area were approved by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources through the Minerals Commission in 2010.
The Mine has gone through extensive consultation and engagement processes with its project affected communities and other stakeholders. There have been open and transparent discussions on the Mine’s impact and mitigation measures.
Newmont’s Ghana’s industry leading performance is reflected in the Akyem Mine’s high standards in environmental management, health and safety for its employees and creating value and opportunity for its employees and host communities.
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