On Wednesday, 14 July 2021, some illegal operators wielding weapons and machetes attacked the police, who reportedly reacted in “self-defence,” the multi-national mining company said in a statement issued and signed by Agbeko Azumah, the director, communications and external relations, NGGL.
According to the statement issued in Sunyani, the illegal miners blocked and prevented access to community routes, intercepted employee and contractor buses and vandalised company properties.
“A similar incident occurred two weeks ago following the arrest of seven illegal miners in one of Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo South Mine pits.
A group of suspected illegal miners, demanding the release of the seven operators, vandalized company and contractor buses used in conveying employees from surrounding communities to work,” it said.
The statement explained the company had been collaborating with the National and Ahafo Regional Police to responsibly remove illegal artisanal miners from its Ahafo South Mine’s mining area following persistent illegal mining encroachment.
“It is worrying to see illegal small-scale miners repeatedly threatening the security of our employees, assets and communities. We will continue to collaborate with the government and other stakeholders to protect our workforce, communities and assets as we focus on creating value that benefits our workforce, host communities and the broader country,” said Francois Hardy, Regional senior vice-president, Africa Operations in the statement.
The company remains committed to undertaking responsible and sustainable mining that creates shared value for its stakeholders and will continue engaging in good faith dialogue and collaboration with government, community leaders and security agencies to bring peace and stability to its operating area while creating viable and sustainable alternative employment opportunities for its host communities.
“Newmont Ghana is the country’s leading gold producer and operates two gold mines: the Ahafo Mine in the Ahafo Region and the Akyem Mine in the Eastern region. The company is a subsidiary of Newmont Corporation, the world’s leading gold business.
According to the statement commercial production at Ahafo began in 2006 and at Akyem in 2013.
The company currently employs over 6,500 employees and contractors and its Ahafo Mine was named Mining Company of the Year in 2016 and Ghana’s Corporate Social Responsibility Organization for 2018, while the Akyem Mine was adjudged the Best Company in Ghana for 2015 and 2016.