Mr. Larry Anim, a member of Akyem Newmont Reforestation Project, interacting with the journalists.
THE Akyem mine of Newmont Golden Ridge Limited in the Birim South District of the Eastern Region is to rehabilitate over 257 hectares of degraded land in the Kweikaru Forest Reserve as part of its reforestation programme.
Larry Anim, an official of the Akyem Newmont Reforestation Project, who led members of the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) on a tour of the forest recently, made this known.
According to him, there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Forestry Commission (FC) and the mining company last year to conduct the tree planting even though the company’s operation was nowhere close to Kweikaru Forest Reserve, the Akyem mine operates open-pit mining on 101 hectares of degraded portions of the Ajenua Bepo Forest Reserve.
He said the project was the second phase of Newmont Goldcorp’s reforestation programme, which would see the company nurse seeds and nurture seedlings, plant seedlings and manage them for the next 10 years.
“The first phase began in 2014 and it covered 60 hectares of the boundary area between the company’s mining area and the Mamang River Forest Reserve.”
He noted that the two projects would together cover more than 317 hectares, which was a little more than three times Newmont’s current mining area in the Ajenua Bepo Forest Reserve. This involves replanting indigenous species including Wawa, Mahogany, Emre, Mansonia, Sapele, Odum, Kyenkyen, Ofram, Kusia, Bako and Asanfena and one exotic species – Cedrela.
He said the Reforestation Project at the Kweikaru Forest Reserve had been divided into five blocks, with each block having a different planting design because of the diverse vegetation.
On biodiversity, he explained that with its operations surrounded by forest reserves, Newmont had a very strict policy on protecting the environment.
Dr. Osenkor Gogo, Acting Communications and External Relations Manager of Newmont Goldcorp’s Akyem Mine, in her presentation, explained that Newmont Goldcorp’s Akyem mine was investing in the communities it operated in by supporting local businesses to take part in the value chain of the mining company.
She noted that the company had spent over $8 million on the local businesses which provided various services including transportation, wielding and reclamation activities.
She said Newmont had 10 communities and had funded sustainable development projects, including educational scholarships, infrastructural and social amenities, youth development and promotion of culture, business development and economic empowerment.
JBA is an advocacy group made up of journalists committed to advocating for small and medium-scale enterprises that are marginalised.
BY Daniel Bampoe