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Merian Project a “Great Opportunity,” Says Minister of Natural Resources in Suriname

July 29, 2016

Suriname’s Minister of Natural Resources, Regilio Dodson, described the Merian Gold Project (operated by Surgold, a fully owned Newmont subsidiary) as a “great opportunity” for the Pamakkan host community.

Minister Dodson was speaking at the official signing of an extensive cooperation agreement negotiated between the community and the company over the last nine months. At the June 11 signing ceremony, held at Langa Tabiki, he said his impressions from interacting with company representatives so far have been positive. “It is clear that Surgold is not only [interested in] their rights, but they are also looking out for their obligations.”

As part of the agreement, Newmont will prioritize employment of qualified local people and procurement of goods and services from local contractors. The project, which is yet to start actual mining, already employs 200 local Paramacca people, and does business with about 20 local suppliers. Newmont is also creating a community development fund to ensure the benefits from the mine are sustainably shared with the Paramacca people over the long term.

In line with our commitment to environmentally responsible mining practices, a comprehensive environmental monitoring system involving local community participation also was included in the agreement.

The agreement was signed by four Head Captains of the Pamakkan community: Albert Kamil, Walter Doedoe, Henry Cedar and Anthony Abaqi, along with Adriaan van Kersen, Managing Director of Surgold. Also present at the ceremony was Edgar Dikan, Suriname’s Minister of Regional Development.

Before the signing, traditional libation was poured to honor the Pamakkan forebears and seek their blessings. The ceremony also included a traditional Apinti drumming and dance performance.

For more on our community relations and disclosure practices, visit our Merian gold project page.

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