NEWMONT Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL), operators of the Ahafo Mine in the Brong Ahafo Region, has been commended for living up to the content of its social responsibility pact signed with the government and the communities affected by its operations.
Within its five years of operations, the company has created 4,000 jobs and also abided by the quota for employment for people from the affected communities.
Statistics available indicate that 35 per cent of the 98 per cent Ghanaians engaged by Newmont are from the affected communities, while the company has also invested heavily in skills training for the youth of the area.
The Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, gave the commendation at the enrolment and promotion of students under the Newmont Apprenticeship Programme held at the Ahafo Mine Site in Kenyasi in the Asutifi District.
The programme, which is aimed at training senior high school (SHS) graduates in the affected communities for full employment at the Ahafo Mine, forms part of the employment pact signed under the Ahafo Social Responsibility Agreement between the company and the affected communities.
The training cost of $255,000 for the 15 students who were enrolled into the four-year programme would be borne by Newmont. This brings to 54, the number of beneficiaries.
Mr Mensah called on other mining companies to emulate Newmont’s example by abiding with the social responsibility agreements signed with communities and the government.
“As a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, we scrutinised the social responsibility pacts signed with the government and communities affected by mining and it is only Newmont that has been able to execute to the letter the content of its agreement with the government and the affected communities,” he stated.
He said the government was going to get tough on mining companies that failed to live up to their social responsibility agreements.
Mr Mensah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram in the Greater Accra Region, urged the beneficiaries of the programme to work hard and be disciplined to justify the investment made in them.
The General Manager, Environment and Social Responsibility, Newmont Ahafo Mine, Mr Dan V. Michaelson, said the programme had deepened the company’s social responsibility commitment to its host communities and helped in honouring its commitment to develop the people in pursuit of excellence.
He said apart from the apprenticeship programme, the company had instituted a scholarship package for tertiary and senior high school (SHS) students.
“As I speak to you, 406 tertiary and SHS students drawn from our host communities in Ahafo are benefiting from the package worth about GH¢368,000,” he stated.
Mr Michaelson said the company was also constructing five educational facilities for four communities, namely, Wamahinso, Gyedu, Susuanso and Afrisipakrom, at the cost of over GH¢204,088.33.
The Communications Manager of Newmont, Mr Agbeko Kwame Azumah, said the trainees for the programme, who were selected from 10 host communities, had completed SHS and had the ability to write and understand English.