Our Ahafo mine recently signed revised Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum Agreements with its 10 host communities in Ahafo in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana.
Newmont employees and community leaders sign agreements at Ahafo.
The Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum was established in 2006, with 53 members comprising representatives of traditional leadership, District Assemblies, Community Groups, NGOs and Newmont Ghana, to deliberate on issues of mutual interest to both parties.
In 2008, the Forum signed into effect what became known as the Ahafo Social Responsibility Forum Agreements. The agreements covered three thematic areas, namely: Employment, Development Foundation and Relationship Agreements. The Employment Agreement spells out guidelines for employing locals within the Ahafo mine’s host communities; the Foundation Agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which Newmont shall fund the operations of Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF), while the Relationship Agreement sets out the understanding reached between the company and the community to advance sustainable and economic development of the communities.
After five years of operation, the Forum reviewed the three agreements, following extensive deliberations with all relevant stakeholders, to ensure they bring more enhanced benefits to both the communities and Newmont.
Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Yaw Effah Baafi, commended Newmont for contributing significantly to the development of the country’s economy through its prompt payment of taxes, royalties and related payments to the government.
He said the arrangement put together between Newmont, local chiefs and other stakeholders would promote transparency, enhance community participation and promote accountability.
Traditional leaders in Ahafo signing the reviewed agreement.
General Manager of the Ahafo mine, Joep Coenen, revealed that through the Employment Agreement, the Ahafo mine currently employs about 35% of its total workforce and that of its contractors from the local communities in Ahafo while about 150 locals have benefited from the mine’s apprenticeship training program which trains locals in Ahafo to acquire employable skills in Mine Maintenance.
He said that through the Development Foundation Agreement, the forum jointly established NADeF to serve as the main driver of the company’s social responsibility obligations to the Ahafo communities. With a contribution of US$1 per each ounce of gold sold and 1 percent of net profit, we have provided funding to the tune of US$17.5 million to the Foundation; out of which about 63 infrastructural projects have been completed and handed over to the communities, in addition to other non-infrastructural projects and educational benefits to the people in Ahafo.
He added that, despite the current economic challenges facing the mining industry, the nature of the agreements has largely insulated Newmont Ghana’s community development efforts from the low gold price impacts. He said the decision to align Newmont’s contribution to production means that at all times there will be funds available for NADeF to carry out sustainable development projects in Ahafo communities.