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13.07.2004 Business & Finance

We want sustainable mining in Ghana - Newmont

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Accra, July 13, GNA - Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, the newest gold mining company in Ghana, has said it was keen on developing sustainable mining communities in Ahafo and Akyem areas, where it has concessions. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency Business Desk, Ms Mawuena Dumor, Communications Manager of Newmont Ghana, said the Company was taking time to interact fully with the various segments of the societies in the two communities.

"This is in order to ensure that we do not encounter problems that other mining companies have encountered when we do start pouring gold in 2006," she said.

"We are currently holding stakeholder consultations with the communities, their chiefs and elders and the people themselves and finding ways of providing them with sustainable alternative livelihoods," she told the GNA at the close of the Sixth West Africa Mining and Power Exhibition Conference in Accra.

"When we do this we are sure that we will both emerge in a win-win situation and the country would be the greatest beneficiary," she said. Ms Dumor said the Company saw its role in the communities as a catalyst for realising community aspirations in support of local government strategies.

"All activities are designed to ultimately transfer ownership to the community or local government. This requires community participation at the earliest stages of programmes and community empowerment to identify and solve problems."

Ms Dumor said the Ahafo Project had 11.9 million ounces of gold reserves.

She said an independent study of the area in September 2003 examined among other things the existing socio-economic condition; literacy levels and gender statistics, which would be used to design a comprehensive social action plan to be agreed upon in collaboration with the local community stakeholders.

The Akyem Project has about 5.9 million ounces, just under half of the 11.9 million ounces in Brong Ahafo.

The current status of the project is that Newmont would be granted permission to go ahead with the project at Akyem if the Company were able to satisfy the relevant regulatory requirements including social and environmental responsibilities.