Accra, Oct 11, Graphic --Anglogold Ashanti paid over US $7 million in royalties last year.The company also paid about ¢700 million in property rates within the same period.Mr Daniel Owiredu, Chief Operating Officer of Anglogold Ashanti (West Africa) announced this at a networking dinner of the Ghana Chamber of Mines held with the media in Accra on Thursday night.
Mr Owiredu who spoke on the topic “Corporate Social Responsibility - The Anglogold Ashanti response” said the company supported the Chamber of Mines in the drive to encourage an equitable distribution of the considerable earnings from royalty payments to the communities in which they operated.
He said the issue of royalties benefiting the communities in which mining companies operated had created a lot of friction.Mr Owiredu noted that Anglogold Ashanti aimed to build an organisation that would continue to create value for its shareholders, impact positively and significantly on the people and livelihood of the communities in which it operated.
He noted that the company had over the years undertaken social investment initiatives in areas where it could make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people concerned. The company provided potable water, electricity, schools, health facilities and other amenities in communities where they operate.
Mr Owiredu announced that the Iduapriem Mine of the company had topped up the salaries of all the teachers in the area by 10 per cent to motivate them to put up their best and also attract others to the otherwise deprived rural environment.The company had also commissioned the early childhood development centres,a junior secondary school for Obuasi, Bibiani, and Iduaprim communities early this year and hoped to evolve even more creative ways to promote corporate social responsibility.
He said that in Bibiani, the company established community farms that produced pawpaw and passion fruits as successful initiatives in addition to various business training programmes organised for the youth in the communities.Mr Owiredu announced further that the company had employed and financed EMPRETEC,a small and medium scale business training consultancy to train the youth in its communities in alternative livelihood and prepare them to face the future when the mining operations ceased in those areas.
The Obuasi Mine which he described as being on the forefront of the HIV education had been selected by the Anglogold Ashanti Group for a pilot scheme to benefit from successes the company had attained in HIV and tuberculosis education and treatment in South Africa.
Steps were also being taken to replicate the equally remarkable results in malaria control achieved in Mali by the company in Obuasi and stated that preliminary extensive research work was being analysed by the South African Colleges.
Ms Joyce Aryee, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines said the interaction was aimed at bridging the gap between media practitioners and operators in the mining industry.