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17.12.2003 Regional News

Mining Company sets up community development fund

By GNA
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Accra (W/R), Dec. 17, GNA - Gold Fields Ghana Limited has launched 250 million cedis development fund for the Abekoase Community, near Tarkwa, in the Western Region.

This is an outcome of the out of court settlement deal clinched by the people of Abekoase and the Company.

The Abekoase Community and Gold Fields went to court over their inability to reach an agreement on how some of revenue generated from mining activities in the area could be passed back to develop the area. Mr Albert Brendar, Managing Director of Gold Fields Ghana, speaking at the launch of the Fund in Accra, noted that the establishment of the fund was meant to obtain a social licence from the Community for the smooth running of the Company.

He said it also formed part of the Company's social responsibility and a process of ensuring a positive relationship and peaceful co-existence.

"We do not take our relationships for granted since we believe it will offer us a continuous social licence to carry out the mining work for mutual benefit.

Mr Brendar urged the Chief and people of the Abekoase to use the fund to provide quality education for the youth; build good roads and other basic amenities for the community.

Dr Abdel-Majeed Haroun, Deputy Minister of Mines, commended the Company for responding to the need of the people saying the Company to a large extent had demonstrated a level of social consciousness. He said the Company did not only go to extract wealth but had also taken prudent steps to improve the standard of live of the people in the community.

Dr Haroun urged the people to make judicious use of the fund for it to benefit the entire community. Nana Moleba, Chief of Abekoase, praised the Company extending such assistance to the Community.

He noted that the Community resolved to opt for out of court settlement because they realized that dialogue was the best way to ensure peace in the area.

The Chief said he was optimistic that the gesture would establish a healthy relationship between the Company and the Community. Madam Grace Moleba, Queenmother of Abekoase, expressed scepticism about the administration of the fund and suggested that it should be entrusted into the hands of the Community.

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