Newmont Ahafo Mine of Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) raked in US$1.03 billion proceeds in 2016, and paid US$78 million to the government as royalties and taxes.
According to Mr. Daniel Egya-Mensah, the Acting General Manager of the Mine, the multi-national mining company paid US$36 million and US$42 million dollars as royalties and taxes respectively, adding US$363 million was also spent in the Ghanaian economy.
Interacting with some members of the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) at the Company’s Plant site at Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of the Brong-Ahafo Region, the Acting General Manager said US$75 million was paid in employee wages and benefits.
Led by Mr. Mustapha Suleman, its President, the about 10 members of the JBA were at the Plant site on a familiarization visit to acquaint themselves with the operations of the company. The day’s visit was organized by the JBA with support from the Ghana Chamber of Mines.
Mr. Egya-Mensah said NGGL’s ability to explore, develop and operate mines near communities around the world depended on its ability to do so in a manner that created social and economic benefits in the surrounding communities.
He said the mine was committed to strong governance, multi-stakeholder engagement, and transparency around payments to local and national governments in order to increase accountability, develop trust, create mutual value and reduce corruption.
Mr. Okyere Yaw Ntrama, the Mine Manager, said the Company had started underground mining at the Subika pit, which adds 150,000 to 200,000 ounces of gold to its annual production. Currently, the Ahafo Mine is producing between 315,000 and 345,000 ounces of gold annually, and production is expected to jump to around 550,000 and 600,000 ounces by 2018.
Mr. Ntrama said close to US$200 million dollars was spent in the construction and development of the Subika underground pit, adding that by the second half of 2018 commercial production would commence at the pit.
Mr. Derek Boateng, Senior Manager, Sustainability and External of the Mine said the Company was embarking on concurrent reclamation, indicating 125 hectares of land had so far been reclaimed with Odum, Oframa, Mahogany and other tree species, since 2007.
He mentioned illegal mining (galamsey) as a great menace, but quickly added that the company was collaborating with the government, stakeholders and all relevant institutions to bring the situation under control.
Mr. Boateng said though the Company employed about 43 per cent of the local workforce, community employment expectations and resettlement challenges remained huge problems. The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines (CEO), Mr. Sulemana Koney, said sustainability and responsibility remained critical values in the mining business, hence the need for mining companies to adhere to laws in the payment of royalties and taxes to the government.
He said local content was also another critical area in the sector which needed to be given utmost attention, disclosing that in 2016, 50 per cent of capital of mining companies went into local content.
Mr. Koney expressed worry about the delays in the issuance of permit for exploration, saying such delays remained an impediment for the sector to attract investors. The CEO observed that the mining industry was for development and underscored the need to link up the industry with other sectors for sustainable wealth creation. He noted that environmental responsibility was a global phenomenon and asked civil societies, regulators and all stakeholders to contribute towards environmental sustainability.
Mr. Kwame Agbeko Azumah, the Manager, Communications and External Relations of the Mine, said last year the Mine contributed approximately US$935,000 to the Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF). NADeF remains the company’s flagship social responsibility fund set up to support development projects in the 10 communities affected by the Mine.
The Mine has set aside US$1 per ounce of gold sold and one per cent of annual net profit to be channelled into the Foundation for sustainable development projects in the communities. Mr. Azumah added that the total contribution of the Company into the Foundation was US$24.5 million, since it was established in 2007.
Led by Mr. Azumah, the visit took the Journalists to the Subika pit site, the Mine’s tailings dam, reclamation areas and the processing facility.