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18.10.2005 Regional News

Two farmers drown at Newmont Ghana project site

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Kenyasi (B/A), Oct. 18, GNA - Police at Kenyase in the Asutifi District of Brong Ahafo is investigating the drowning of two persons at a water storage facility of Newmont Gold Ghana at the weekend. The victims, identified as Yaw Frimpong and Kofi Agyekum, both farmers, were alleged to be crossing an area submerged by water within the facility constructed by Newmont Ghana for its gold project. A press statement issued by Newmont on the incident stated that, despite warnings from bystanders not to cross the submerged area, "the two persons went ahead to cross it".

The statement, quoting an eyewitness said when the victims allegedly got into deeper water and began struggling bystanders went to their aid but were unable to save them.

On notification of the incident, the authorities of Newmont, in conjunction with the local police, mobilized rescue services and the bodies of the two persons were recovered, the statement added. Meanwhile, the bodies of the deceased have been deposited at the mortuary.

The Ahafo Gold Project is a 450 million dollars investment by Newmont Mining Corporation of the United States of America. The investment agreement was signed and ratified by Parliament in December 2003.

The project, the first in Brong-Ahafo is at the construction stage and mining is scheduled to commence in early 2006. The water storage facility is to provide the project site with fresh water for use at the processing plant and has the potential of providing alternative resource for fish farming and irrigation. Newmont Ghana has expressed sympathy with the families of the deceased.

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