Gold Fields Ghana 'optimistic about the future' as it marks 25 years
As Goldfields marks 25 years of surface mining operations in Ghana, the company has outlined a number of initiatives to drive further growth in the coming years.
Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa, Alfred Baku, said at an event to mark the silver jubilee on Monday, May 28, 2018, that the company is resolved to deliver on its mandate to shareholders and other stakeholders of the mining firm.
“While we look back to our 25 years of existence in Ghana with a huge sense of pride, we are even more optimistic about the future. With the ongoing optimisation of our operations, our focus on exploration, and the extension of our footprint in Ghana through our recent joint venture with Asanko, we see a Gold Fields that is poised for greater things in the years ahead,” he said.
Indeed, throughout the 25 years’ journey, we have improved livelihoods, and continue to lead and drive positive transformations within our host communities and nationally. Please permit me to highlight a few of our key achievements and milestones in the course of our journey in Ghana.
Recounting achievements of the mining firm over the years, Mr Baku said a firm demonstration of the firm’s hunger for operational success is how it turned a low-grade Tarkwa deposit into a flagship mining operation that delivers returns to shareholders, including the Government of Ghana every year.
“The Damang mine, which was on the verge of collapse, was given a fresh breath of life with a $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. Even with a conservative multiplier effect calculation, we positively impact 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.
Financially, the company has paid around $1 billion in dividends to shareholders, since the beginning of its surface mining operations in 1998.
“Of this amount, the Government of Ghana, having a 10% ownership through a free-carried interest, has earned in excess of $100 million in dividend payments. In addition, Gold Fields has paid over $1.2billion directly to the Government in corporate taxes and royalties. Let me hasten to add that even though we’ve been around for 25 years, the first three to five years was spent developing the mine,” Mr Baku recounted.
Gold Fields is currently upgrading a 33km public road that links the Tarkwa and Damang Mines.
At a cost of over $21 million, the road does not only serve the two mines, but also the several communities along the stretch.
“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,” he revealed.
There is also a plan to upgrade the Tarkwa T&A park to a modern stadium. A committee has been set up to carry out the necessary feasibility studies and cost estimation.
The same committee will also undertake a similar exercise for the upgrade of the Tarkwa Apinto Government Hospital into a first-class medical facility, and a model for quality healthcare delivery in the region and the country.
“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 promised.
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