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02.09.2005 Business & Finance

Newmont awaiting report on Nyafom-Noyem tragedy


Accra, Sept. 2, GNA - Newmont Ghana Limited says it is waiting for the Ministry of Mines and the Mines Department to come out with their findings on the recent alleged trapping of small-scale miners at Nyafom-Noyem in the Eastern Region to decide on its next line of action. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Business Desk, Ms Mawuena Dumor, Communications Manager of Newmont Ghana, said they were keen on putting to a close the case and to move ahead with their programme.

She explained that the Company's major concerns were to contribute to streamlining the operations of "galamsey" operators, save lives, property and the huge investments that mining companies made in their areas of operation.

The Mines Department, Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines as well as rescue teams from Anglogold Ashanti and Newmont a month ago put together a brave effort to save the lives of alleged 40 small-scale miners.

However, after almost a week of excavation the rescue effort was suspended amidst uncertainties of how many people were trapped in the pit.

It is not known how long the Ministry and its Departments would take to put together their findings.

Newmont has concessions in Ahafo and Akyem in the Brong Ahafo and Eastern Regions, respectively. Currently, exploration works are ongoing in Ahafo.

Ms Dumor denied that the Company had spilled cyanide into a stream, as no aspect of their operations currently required the use of cyanide. "Cyanide in an exploration activity. It is only required at the extractive stage."

Commenting on the signing of the international cyanide management code, Ms Dumor said it required signatories to undergo an independent, third party audit within three years.

The International Cyanide Management Code is a global industry programme for companies involved in the production of gold and provided a comprehensive guidance for best practice in the use and management of cyanide.

The code covers nine areas, namely, production, transportation, handling, storage, operations, facility decommissioning, worker safety and training, emergency response and public awareness and communication programmes.