BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL), one of the world’s big mining companies operating in Ghana, has recorded an improvement in performance in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2012 ‘Akoben’ ratings released last week Friday.
From an overall rating of ‘orange’ (satisfactory) gained in 2011, NGGL made a leap to ‘blue’ (good) in the latest trend analysis for the mining sector disclosed by the EPA.
Despite scoring ‘gold’ (excellent) in corporate social responsibility since the ‘Akoben’ ratings began in 2009, Newmont Ghana Gold has also consistently scored ‘not adequate’ for community complaints, and accounts for its inability to score higher than the ‘blue’ grading.
This setback notwithstanding, the company’s Ahafo mine and Akyem project received high ‘Akoben’ scores for best practices in environmental management and performance and its corporate social responsibility; in addition to being assessed as fully complying with all mandatory legal requirements.
“The EPA’s ‘Akoben’ environmental rating and disclosure programme encourages improved environmental and social performance across industries”, Randy Barnes, Regional Vice President, Environment and Social Responsibility for Newmont said.
He stated that “The Ahafo mine’s second consecutive ‘Blue’ rating is an indication of our commitment to high environmental and social responsibility performance.”
The Akyem project, which is in the construction phase and expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2013, received an overall ‘orange’ rating. Although the project received high rating in its environmental, management and performance and corporate social responsibility, the audit process provided input for further improvements in the project’s environmental management programme and practices.
Speaking about the Akyem project’s ‘orange’ rating, Mr. Barnes said, “The Akyem project was audited during the construction stage. The ‘Akoben’ audit has assisted the Project to further refine its environmental management programme and practices”.
This story was first published by THE MIRROR on September 28, 2013