Newmont Ghana urged to employ more indigenes for Ahafo mine

NewmontBarima Twereku Ampem II, Chief of Ntotroso in the Asutifi North District has appealed to Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) Ahafo Mine at Kenyase to employ at least 90 per cent of the unskilled labour force from their communities on the proposed Ahafo Mill (AME) Expansion Project.

He said that most of the residents were jobless because Newmont had taken over their farm lands and despite compensations paid by the company to some of the people before the commencement of its operations about nine years ago, it was fair and proper to employ more indigenes.

Barima Ampem made the appeal at a “Public Hearing” organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the project at Kenyase.

Construction works on the project is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2014 to be completed within 24 months, to begin operations in the second quarter of 2016.

Barima Ampem observed that unlike other gold mining companies operating in the country, NGGL Ahafo Mine had offered employment to non-citizens at the expense of the indigenes.

Barima Ampem, who is also President of the Ahafo North Divisional Council, said “Newmont’s refusal to employ the indigenes is affecting chiefs in the area because the people thought they were not being efficient and effective”.

Nana Yaa Adutwumwaa, Queen-mother of Kenyase Number One appealed to Newmont to collaborate with Asutifi North District Assembly to construct a befitting district hospital for the people.

She explained that until the creation of Asutifi South District in 2012 out of the then Asutifi District, they depended on the Saint Elizabeth Catholic Hospital at Hwidiem, the only health facility for their health care needs.

“Asutifi North District needs its own district hospital because the people cannot rely on the NGGL clinic solely for its workers,” she said.

Mr David Kwame Manu, Chairman of Oman Botantim, a local youth pressure group comprising membership from all the towns and villages in the area, said discussions with the company indicated that the project would be beneficial to them.

He said it would not be enough when the company employed people from other areas while the local people remained jobless.

Mr Frederick Addai Opoku, Senior Community Relations Manager of NGGL Ahafo Mine, said the company was prepared to maintain and improve on its social responsibilities to improve on the living standards of the people.

Mr Michael Sandow Ali, Deputy Director, Mining Department of the EPA, said the forum was related to the social concerns, the potential environmental implications of the project.

Mr Eric Addai, Acting Asutifi North District Chief Executive, advised the people not to resort to the use of demonstrations to address their concerns because of its negative social and economic effects on individuals, families and the society.

He urged the people to endeavour to engage in negotiations and dialogue in addressing their concerns or settling issues with institutions in their localities.

Source: GNA

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