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20.11.2007 Business & Finance

Newmont Listing Not Abandoned

NEWMONT Ghana says it has not abandoned its decision to list a part of the company on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

The gold company's Regional Director of Communications, Dr Chris Anderson, said the company only wanted to strengthen its operations in the country and bring its Akyem mine, currently in initial stages of development, on stream.

“We will list on the GSE. We need to get a critical mass of our operations underway. We are positive about that and it is just a question of time,” Dr Anderson stated.
He was briefing a section of the press in Accra on the current state and development of its Ahafo and Akyem projects.

Dr Anderson said the Group Chief Executive of Newmont had already given that assurance and the company was even upbeat about the news that it would not need any laborious procedures to list, once it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Newmont, the world's largest gold producer, entered the Ghanaian market in 2002 by acquiring Normandy Mine.
It currently has two sites, the Ahafo Mine in the Brong Ahafo Region and the Akyem Mine, in the Western Region, currently seeking regulatory approval for its Environmental Impact Assessment.

Dr Anderson said the Ahafo Sustainable Development Foundation set up by the company by contributing a $1 per ounce plus one per cent of net profit had so far yielded $700,000 and would reach $1 million by the close of the year.

He explained that the fund went directly into projects that the community itself would decide on in the areas of human resource development, provision of infrastructure, social amenities, economic empowerment, protection of natural resources and support for cultural heritage.

The Ahafo Mine, which was on target to produce between 425,000 and 450,000 ounces of gold by the close of the year, employed 2,900 personnel, out of which 96 per cent was Ghanaian, he said.

The gold producer had from July last year, when it poured its first gold, to September this year paid $8.6 million to the government as royalties, the third quarter of this year alone amounting to $2.3 million.

Dr Anderson said for this year alone the company had invested over $600 million and estimated that an over $600 million investment would be made in the coming years.

He said the company was committed to using the highest standards in its operations, saying 'Newmont works not only to Ghana's laws and regulations, but also complies with a number of international standards.”

The company subscribes to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which required that mining companies published what they paid.

Dr Anderson said the company was also building the local micro-,small-,and medium-size enterprises in the 13 communities around the Ahafo Mine, adding that it had so far developed 42 local suppliers, as well as 47 local businesses, mainly in agribusiness and hospitality sectors.

He said the company would set standards in building, operating and closing mines, contribute to Ghana's economy and the development of local communities where it operated.

— Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey

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