Akyem undertakes a number of initiatives aimed at minimizing our environmental footprint.

A small portion of Akyem’s operations reside in an area of the Ajenjua Bepo Forest reserve. This portion – 74 hectares out of more than 18,000 hectares of forest reserves – has been classified by the Ghanaian Government as a productive forest, which means exploration and mining for mineral deposits is permitted in that portion of the forest. Over the last 14 years, independent scientific experts conducted a number of studies to assess the reserve’s biodiversity and environmental importance to ensure necessary management initiatives and plans are in place. Newmont’s commitment to stewardship of the environment and stakeholder engagement informed the decision to locate all mine-related infrastructure and other non-essential activity outside of the forest.

 

We have established a number of environmental monitoring programmes to collect baseline data to ensure we have the appropriate management programmes in place.

Flora ManagementEXPAND [ + ]

As part of Newmont’s reforestation, biodiversity and reclamation efforts, we have constructed a greenhouse with a total capacity of 70,000 seedlings.

Currently, the greenhouse has approximately 16,000 indigenous plants made up of 66 different species and 4,000 ornamental plants from nine different species. The plant seedlings are used for the community tree planting program, medicinal plant farm and donations to stakeholders for planting.

Vetiver PlantationEXPAND [ + ]

Vetiver is a hedge grass in Ghana that not only battles invasive weeds, but is shown to be effective at erosion control. We have established a four hectare Vetiver plantation at Akyem for concurrent reclamation and to control erosion onsite.

Wildlife EXPAND [ + ]

As part of measures to reduce the impact of mining on wildlife, the Forest Institute of Ghana and Wildlife Services Division conducted a study of wildlife including reptiles, amphibians and mammals in the area as well as the Adjenua Bepo Forest Reserve. No endangered wildlife species were found in the studies.

Community Tree planting and Medicinal Plant FarmEXPAND [ + ]

About 1,600 ornamental plants were planted at the Yayaaso resettlement village. Once grown, the trees will provide shade and serve as wind brakes.

Currently, community members travel long distances into the forest to acquire medicinal plants. Newmont is establishing a one-half hectare medicinal plant farm to provide nearby communities easier, safer and faster access to these medicinal plants.

Biodiversity Offset ProgrammeEXPAND [ + ]

In 2015, Akyem expects to start one of Newmont’s four worldwide Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) pilots. Biodiversity offsets are conservation actions intended to compensate for the residual, unavoidable harm to biodiversity caused by major development projects. The BBOP aims to achieve no net loss of biodiversity and, where possible, deliver a net gain. Akyem’s BBOP includes reforestation establishment.

The Environmental Science ProgrammeEXPAND [ + ]

To increase community participation in Newmont’s environmental management activities, we provide senior high school students better understanding of the environmental control measures put in place by the company.

The Environmental Science Programme is intended to provide practical opportunities for senior high school students in the community to further their interest in the practical application of science. The students join the Newmont team to undertake activities such as: ground water monitoring and assessment, surface water sampling, stream flow measurement, evaporation monitoring, noise and sound vibration, and weather monitoring, among others.

Environmental MonitoringEXPAND [ + ]

Since in 2007, Newmont has established a number of environmental monitoring programmes to collect baseline data and for ongoing monitoring. The current monitoring program includes blast, noise, air quality, rainfall and weather stations. Stream gauge stations monitor surface and ground water in the Akyem operation area. The compliance surface water monitoring stations, rainfall, weather and blast monitoring stations are connected to a telemetry system where real time data can be viewed and downloaded from a base station located at the environmental laboratory.

ReclamationEXPAND [ + ]

Throughout the life of the operation, Newmont’s reclamation efforts are designed to accommodate sustainable, post-mining land uses. Our efforts include maintaining biodiversity and providing post closure multiple beneficial land uses.