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Newmont Ghana committed to stakeholder engagement

Kenyasi (B/A), Aug. 1 GNA – Newmont Ghana has
expressed commitment to the good-faith dialogue with the youth at Kenyasi No. 2
near the Ahafo mine to address their concerns regarding employment
opportunities.

The youth demonstrated on Tuesday to express
their concerns about youth unemployment, community investment opportunities,
and environmental management.

A statement issued by the company and copied
to the Ghana News Agency said Bernard Wessels, General Manager of Newmont
Ghana’s Ahafo Mine reiterated the company’s commitment to serve as a catalyst
for local economic development and as a responsible steward of the environment.

“We will continue engaging the youth groups
and others in nearby communities regarding our hiring policies and current and
future employment needs through transparent and respectful stakeholder
engagement,” Mr Wessels said.

“Work hasn’t been significantly affected
though we have currently halted mining operations for safety reasons so we do
not put people in harm’s way. However, we are continuing with plant
operations,” he said.

The statement said in line with Newmont
Ghana’s commitment to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights,
the public enforcement agencies deployed to guide the demonstrators and protect
the company’s workforce and assets have been informed about respecting and
protecting the human rights of the demonstrators and operating within the rules
of engagement in enforcing public order.

Additionally, the Asutifi North District
Police Commander has briefed representatives of the Ahafo Mine and the
demonstrating youth on the public peace and asset protection approach and
respecting the Public Order Act requirements.

Since the commencement of active mining, the
Ahafo mine has generated significant economic stimulus, social and
institutional development and infrastructure investment.

The statement said out of a workforce of
2,538, about 40 per cent are from Ahafo Mine’s 10 host communities.

The Apprenticeship programme that was
instituted to provide employable skills in mining related disciplines to local
community youth has trained 130 persons out of which 96 have been employed by
Newmont and its business partners.

Following the approval of two expansion
projects – the Subika Underground Project and Ahafo Mill Expansion  also offer 
employment opportunities.

Africa Underground Mining Services, the Ahafo
mine’s business partner in the Subika Underground Project, has so far recruited
230 Ghanaian nationals out of which 101 (48 per cent) are locals from the
mine’s host communities.

Also, the Newmont Ahafo Development
Foundation, which is the main driver for social investment programmes in the
host communities, has accrued GH¢57.1 million while executing more than 100
projects and disbursing 8,000 community scholarship.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, we work
closely with regulatory bodies as well as external agencies to regularly audit
our environmental management systems to ensure compliance with laid down
regulations.

“We appreciate our community youth’s desire
for more opportunities. We will continue to explore ways of further stimulating
sustainable development in our host communities as we seek to create more value
through safe and responsible mining,” Mr Wessels concluded.

GNA

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