The management of Newmont Akyem Mines, in the Eastern region has revealed the company expended US$ 5,121,373.16; engaging over 400 firms on its local-local content operations in 2014.
The local-local segment of the company’s operations was designed to cede some jobs critical to the operations of Newmont to the indigenous people in the mining communities.
These activities include, transportation, accommodation, construction, supply of basic material, and security.
Addressing journalists at a three-day workshop organized by the company and the Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) in the Eastern region, the External Relations Manager, Mr. Oduro-Kwarteng Marfo stated that the move is part of Newmont’s commitment to engage the immediate people of the mining area into the value chain process.
“We at Newmont have made a commitment to the people of New Abirem and the surrounding communities to create an avenue for the them to participate in the operations of the company to help provide employment and a livelihood for them”, he said.
He explained that the local-local initiative has given priority to the indigenes, placing them at the top of the chain anytime the company decides to outsource a need.
According to him, the local-local exclude Ghanaians who work in the company but are not directly linked to the mining communities.
“We specifically designed it this way to make sure those who matter benefit directly from the initiative’, he said.
As at 2014, the company had directly partnered 274 companies, constituting 43 percent of Newmont’s business partners.
On gender basis, 551 of the direct business partners were male, while 79 women benefited directly from transacting business with the company.
Mr. Marfo stated that the company has targeted an increase in its local-local investment for 2015 to seven million dollars.
“We have decided to increase our local-local investment by two million dollars this year as a way of expanding economic activities in the area”, he said.
Touring corporate social responsibility sites
Journalists of JBA were also given the opportunity to tour some CSR projects undertaken by Newmont in the district.
The company had undertaken major infrastructural works at the New Abirem Government Hospital by building maternity ward, female ward, doctors’ bungalow, nurses’ quarters, a theater block and providing a 275kva generator set at a cost of GHS 108,619.
The company has also built a new vocational school with dormitories; and constructed a road linking a new resettlement site to the main New Abirem Township.
The other projects include water expansion programs, educational infrastructure upgrade, sanitation, landfill site development, security programs and capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the JBA, the leader, Suleiman Mustapha expressed the group’s appreciation to Newmont Akyem mines for their warm reception.
He stated that Newmont’s decision to open up to the media to scrutinize its operations was a good step that enhanced transparency and accountability.
The people of Ghana would be pleased to know that their God given resources are not being taken away but impacting on the general wellbeing of the people of Ghana, he said.
He was the view that the gesture, particularly, the corporate social responsibility programs undertaken by Newmont Akyem must be emulated.