Residents ask Newmont Ghana to review Compensation Policy before new project

NewmontResidents of satellite communities around the Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana at Kenyasi in Asutifi District have urged the company to review its compensation policy before it executes the Subika Underground Mining Project.

Newmont has sent a draft Environmental Impact Statement to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its endorsement to execute the underground project.

The residents noted with concern that since the multi-national mining company started surface mining at the Kenyasi plant site, in 2006, it had not been able to address all the social concerns raised by the various communities.

They made the call at a public hearing on the proposed Subika Underground Gold Mining Project, organised for the communities by the EPA at Kenyasi Number Two.

The communities include Kenyasi Number Two, Kenyasi Number One, Ntotroso, Gyedu, Wamahinso, Dokyikrom, Manu Shed, Akorekrom and Kenyasi resettlement.

The residents enumerated a number of problems such as unemployment, poor road network, high cost of food stuffs, water pollution as well as the outbreak of malaria, typhoid and other water-borne diseases blaming them on the mining activities.

Mr Johnson Owusu Prempeh, spokesman for Dokyikrom and Akorekrom communities, observed that most of the buildings in the two areas had developed serious cracks and were on the verge of collapse because of the blasting activities of the mining company.

He said the residents had complained to the company on several occasions but their problems had not received the needed attention.

Nana Adu Ababio, Akwamuhene of Ntotroso, stated: “Now that Newmont has decided to mine underground our problems are going to be worsened.”

He said the community was not in agreement with the decision by the company to construct a by-pass in the area because the by-pass would impede easy transportation of their food stuffs to the marketing centres in Sunyani and other places.

Nana Ababio said if the mining company did not re-consider its decision and continued with the by-pass project, the community would embark on a demonstration against the mining company.

He explained that most of the residents were farmers who sold their food stuffs in Sunyani but the by-pass on completion would compel them to travel a long distance before arriving at Sunyani.

“We will not tolerate any decision by the mining company that will affect our economic activities,” Nana Ababio warned.

Nana Owusu Ayeboafo, Akwamuhene of Kenyasi Number Two, also stated that “almost all our roads are now in deplorable conditions because Newmont’s huge trucks ply on them.”

He observed that the various traffic lights the mining company had erected at some vantage points along the Kenyasi-Ntotroso main road to control the movement of the company’s huge trucks that carried the ore to its plant site had also become a burden to the people.

“When patients and women in labour are referred to the Brong-Ahafo Regional Hospital in Sunyani some of them die on the way because of delays caused by the traffic jam,” Nana Ababio alleged.

Nana Yaa Adutwumwaa, Queen mother of Kenyasi Number Two, however, noted that with the support of Newmont the communities had seen tremendous infrastructural development but appealed to the mining company to continue with its social responsibility programmes to alleviate the plight of the people.

Mr. Ransford Sekyi, Director of Mining at the EPA, advised Newmont to endeavour to address the problems affecting the communities in order to maintain peace in the area.

He appealed to the chiefs and people in the various communities not to take the law into their hands but to dialogue with the company in settling their differences.

Mr. Sekyi gave the assurance that the EPA would ensure the Newmont complied with the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (LI 1625 1999,) Regulation 17 (A/B).

Mr. Joshua Mortoti, Acting Mining Manager of the Ahafo Mine, gave the assurance that the company would continue to focus on safe production and responsible mining through its social and environmental practices.

He disclosed that Newmont Mining Corporation had set itself a strategic goal to produce seven million ounces of gold globally by 2017.

“This target will include significant growth in the Africa region where we hope to more than double our production in the same period,” Mr. Mortoti said, and expressed optimism that the Ahafo Subika Underground Project would contribute meaningfully.

He explained some of the practices and measures that the company upholds, which would be used in the management of the Subika Project.

“Newmont is a founding member of the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM), and also a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC) as well as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact,” Mr. Mortoti stated.

Mr. Mortoti assured the communities the company would comply with all the requirements and guidelines of those recognized international bodies to guarantee the well-being of the residents.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.