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26.03.2007 General News

Gold Fields Ghana commissions 4.1 billion-cedi projects


Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL) over the weekend inaugurated projects worth 4.1 billion-cedis at a ceremony at Tarkwa.

The 14 projects, which formed the first phase of the 2007 programmes for communities in its catchments includes the construction of a three-classroom block, an Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC) at Samahuu, construction of five hand-dug wells at Pepesa and the construction of a three bedroom Teachers' Quarters at Brahabobom.

Addressing the ceremony, Mr David Yaro, Western Regional Co-ordinating Director, who represented the Regional Minister, said government is looking forward to partner private organizations to carry out development programmes since it cannot develop it alone.

While seeking this opportunity, he said there was the need to create a peaceful atmosphere for organizations like GFGL to operate.

Mr Yaro appealed to the chiefs and elders in the area to refrain from engaging the Mining Companies in land litigations and petty squabbles.

He also in turn advised the Mining Companies not to shelve information from the communities, but rather share it with them to avoid suspicion and misunderstanding.

He said the mining company should ensure harmonious working relationship with the workers and sub-contracting firms in order to promote good partnership.

Mr Yaro pleaded with the communities to provide security in the schools especially at this time that the windows have been fixed with louvre blades.

Mr Johan Botha, general manager, GFGL, said the company is currently expanding its operations by doubling the capacity of the Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) plant and also increasing the capacity of the heap leach.

He said if completed, would lead to increased production from the current 700,000 ounces of gold a year to 1,000,000 ounces, adding that, "this is good news because the amount of money in the fund of the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation would increase to undertake more development projects".

Mr Botha explained that Gold Fields Ghana Foundation was funded by the deduction one dollar from every ounce of gold sold, and zero point five percent of its pre-tax profits.

He said the Mine is not interested in the billions of cedis that are invested in the communities, but rather the impact that the investments have on the community.

Mr Botha said the company occasionally undertakes impact studies to assess its projects on the beneficiaries.

He urged the communities to make optimum use of the facilities, so as to justify the investment.

He thanked the District Assembly, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service for ensuring the proper management of facilities built in the communities.

Nana Kwabena Angu II, chief of Apinto Divisional Area who chaired the function on behalf of paramount chief of Wassa Fiase Traditional Area, Osagyefo Kwamina Enimil VI, commended GFGL for numerous projects it continues to undertake in the area.

He however regretted that communities do not compliment the effort of the mine by maintaining the projects.

"Henceforth chiefs should organize communal labour to maintain facilities provided in their communities. Failure to do so would be prosecuted at the Divisional Council" Nana Angu declared.

Source: GNA