Gold Fields pledges commitment to high operation standards, communities
Accra, May 29, GNA - Gold Fields Ghana, has launched its 25th anniversary celebrations in Accra with a pledge to continue to maintain the high standards of operations and to impact on the lives of the people within the communities in which it operates.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Alfred Baku, the Executive Vice President of Goldfields Ghana and West Africa, said the company had made positive contributions to the mining sector and the country’s economic development since it started operations in 1993.
“Indeed, throughout the 25 years’ journey, we have improved livelihoods, and continue to lead and drive positive transformations within our host communities and nationally,” he said.
Operationally, he said Gold Fields was able to turn the low grade Tarkwa deposit into a flagship mining operation that delivers returns to shareholders, including the government of Ghana, year-on-year.
Also, the Damang mine, which was on the verge of collapse, was given a fresh breadth of life with a US$1.4 billion investment approved by the Gold Fields Board in 2016.
“Our Tarkwa and Damang mines, create over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs annually,” positively impacting the livelihoods of between 70,000 and 100,000 people year-in year-out, mostly within our host communities and along our supply chain.
He said the company had also paid around US$1 billion in dividends to shareholders, since the beginning of surface mining operations in 1998 out of which the government of Ghana, having a 10% ownership through a free-carried interest, has earned in excess of US$100 million in dividend payments.
In addition, Gold Fields has paid over US$1.2 billion directly to the government in corporate taxes and royalties.
The company has spent approximately $44 million in the provision of social support in the communities; including access to potable water, support for local farmers, and extension of bursaries and scholarships to bright but needy pupils and students.
Mr Baku said currently Gold Fields was working on the upgrade of a 33km public road that links the Tarkwa and Damang Mines and several other communities at a cost of over US$21million.
The rehabilitation, which includes an asphalt finish with a lifespan of over 20 years, is already generating job opportunities for community youth along the road corridor. When completed, it will stimulate economic activities and benefits for those even much farther afield.
There are also plans to upgrade the Tarkwa T&A Park to a modern stadium as well as the Tarkwa Apinto Government Hospital into a first class medical facility.
“For as long as we operate, we will ensure that the growth and prosperity of our mines reflect positively on the Tarkwa and Damang townships and the surrounding communities,” Mr Baku said.
On the future outlook, Mr Baku said the company was even more optimistic, adding that the ongoing optimization of operations, the focus on exploration, and the extension of its footprint in Ghana through the recent joint venture with Asanko, showed that Gold Fields is poised for greater things in the years ahead.
The launch event was graced by the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Lulana Xingwana, the President of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and other distinguished personalities from the mining
Activities lined up for the year long celebrations include, engaging people in the sector including the parliamentary select committee on mines, health screening for workers, a raffle for workers to win a car as well as a golf competition with industry players and other dignitaries.
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