The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Dr. Kwabena Opuni Frimpong, has commended Newmont Ghana for being a good example of responsible mining in Ghana.
He made the observation as part of a delegation of an international Faith-based group which recently a visited Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo Mine in Kenyase, in the Asutifi District of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The group, which was made up of representatives from the Catholic Church and other denominations around the world, toured key operational areas around the mine and met with community stakeholders to understand the impact of Newmont’s activities on their livelihoods and corresponding community development programs being undertaken by the company.
“I see Newmont working towards responsible mining. You see that, you feel that, in all the documents, in the conversations, you engage the community and it’s like these people are pursuing responsible mining; I witnessed that,” Rev Opuni said after the tour.
The delegation visited the mine ahead of this year’s Day of Reflection dialogue to be held in London in October. The Day of Reflections is a leadership dialogue between the mining industry and some members of the Catholic Church, protestant churches and faith-based investing groups on key issues regarding the mining industry. The first dialogue was held in September last year, at the Vatican, and was hosted by Peter Cardinal Appiah Turkson.
Rev Dr. Opuni-Frimpong urged the company to put a system in place to help resettled farmers transition from “farming communities to mining communities.” He observed that although the farmers enjoy the resettlement packages offered them by the company, some of them have still been unable to transition from their agrarian life style to a community based lifestyle.
“Despite all the efforts Newmont is making in the areas of education, health, infrastructural development and all that, I realized in my interaction with the people that there is still a struggle…because they still think like they’re still living on their farm lands. They want the new resettlement buildings and all that but they still want to enjoy what they were enjoying when they were on their farm lands,” he said.
He encouraged mining companies to be more transparent with information and possibly partner civil society and faith- based organizations in educating the public in order to correct negative public perceptions about their operations.
A member of the delegation and Executive Director of the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC), Dr. Anna Falkenberg, also commended the Ahafo Mine for what she described as the high standards attained for its cyanide and tailings management.
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