Newmont Ghana Committed to Operating Safely
Accra, November 11th, 2010 – Newmont Ghana Gold Limited is committed to operating safely and responsibly in our operations and projects. The health and safety of our employees and our neighbors is of utmost importance and is taken very seriously as part of our business and we continuously seek to improve our safety practices and methods. We regret and are deeply concerned with any fatality or injury that occurs from activities of Newmont employees and our contractors whether inside the boundaries of our mine areas or outside the operations on public roads or in communities.
Newmont Ghana recognized from the earliest days of the Ahafo project feasibility study that road traffic safety and related accidents in Ghana were amongst the highest in any country where Newmont had previously worked.
As a result of the initial project risk assessments and the health impact assessment, the company has continuously strived to put measures in place to address road safety risks. These measures include extensive, regular and frequent training for all employees and contractors in addition to numerous efforts with external stakeholders and local communities to increase awareness and improve safety in and around the mine site area. Below are some of the safety measures in place.
- Engaged the local District Assemblies and traditional leaders to ensure the roads within urban community areas are not blocked by local vendors and traders;
- Evaluating proposals from NGOs and other organizations to provide road safety capacity building to local communities, employees and contractors;
- Provide training to the youth to assist children in crossing the roads safely;
- Sponsored numerous road safety campaigns on local radio stations;
- Enforced strict speed controls for company employees and contractors passing through communities;
- Supported local authorities to improve road signage within our host communities; and
- Installed Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and speed trackers in all of our light vehicle to monitor adherence to our mandatory speed limits.
A recent report has challenged our safety record in Ghana, claiming that 15 fatalities have been associated with our operations over the past five years. The Ahafo operation has not had a mine-work related fatality associated with its mine operations since production began in 2006. Regrettably, there have been a number of accidents which occurred around the mine operations area and road traffic accidents both near and far from the Ahafo operation’s area.
The report also makes reference to the standards utilized in the construction of “dams” or facilities at the Ahafo mine. The facilities at Ahafo which contain “dams” or engineered embankments have been designed and constructed to international standards. Similarly, all embankments which are larger than fifteen metres in elevation were reviewed by independent engineers during both the design and construction phase. Embankments are alsoindependently audited annually to ensure facilities are operating as designed. To date, no design or operational issues have been identified by any of the independent reviews or audits.