Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) has stated categorically that it will not condone gold mining activities in its attachment areas that pose danger to public health.
The gold mining company’s comment was in a reaction to widespread media reports suggesting that Wacam has warned Ghanaians not to buy foodstuff and fish from Kenyase in the Brong Ahafo Region because they were contaminated by the mining activities of Newmont Ahafo Mine.
Regional Senior Vice President of Newmont Africa, Mr. Alwyn Pretorius, in an interview with Today asserted that the Ahafo mine works closely with state extractive regulatory bodies as well as external agencies to regularly audit its environmental management to ensure compliance with laid down regulations.
Recently, Wacam’s local representative in Kenyase, Mr. Yakubu Adusah, granted interviews to some media houses, warning the public not to consume food and water near the Ahafo mine’s host communities, alleging that they have been polluted by the mine’s activities. But, the company reiterated that the health and safety of its employees, contractors and local communities remained a core value and are governed and assured by the country’s laws and regulatory bodies.
According to Mr. Pretorius, a study by independent assessors, made up of international and local experts, was currently underway to objectively evaluate earlier research reports by Wacam regarding allegations of adverse impacts of the mine on local communities. “We strictly adhere to our commitments and legal requirements outlined in our Environmental Impact Statement and provide regular reports to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding our environmental and social performance,” said Mr. Pretorius.
“It is in the interest of the public to avoid making unsubstantiated claims or speculations regarding public health and safety,” he said. To this end, Newmont Ghana stated that in line with its stated purpose, it will continue to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.
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