Newmont Ghana says it will continue to rely on the Government, community leaders, and security agencies to protect its people, assets and communities following attacks by suspected illegal small-scale miners on national and company security protecting its Ahafo South mine.
Newmont Ghana has been collaborating with the National and Ahafo Regional Police to responsibly remove illegal artisanal miners from its Ahafo South mine’s mining area following persistent illegal mining encroachment.
The latest of these attacks occurred on 19th July, 2021 when the illegal operators wielding weapons and machetes attacked the police who reportedly reacted in self-defence. The illegal miners then blocked and prevented access to community routes, intercepted employee and contractor buses and vandalised company property.
A similar incident occurred two weeks ago following the arrest of seven illegal miners in one of Newmont Ghana’s Ahafo South mine pits. A group of suspected illegal miners, demanding the release of the seven operators, vandalized company and contractor buses used in conveying employees from surrounding communities to work.
“It is worrying to see illegal small-scale miners repeatedly threatening the security of our employees, assets and communities. We will continue to collaborate with the Government and other stakeholders to protect our workforce, communities, and assets as we focus on creating value that benefits our workforce, host communities and the broader country,” said Francois Hardy, Regional Senior Vice President, Africa Operations.
The company remains committed to undertaking responsible and sustainable mining that creates shared value for its stakeholders and will continue engaging in good faith dialogue and collaboration with Government, community leaders, and security agencies to bring peace and stability to its operating areas while creating viable and sustainable alternative employment opportunities for its host communities.
Meanwhile, Newmont Akyem gold mine achieves productivity gains with Orica’s autonomous measurement technology.
Orica’s FRAGTrack™ technology is enabling Newmont’s Akyem Gold Mine to make timely decisions based on automated fragmentation data, to improve the productivity of the mine. The Akyem Gold Mine is a large open-pit project located in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Owned and operated by Newmont Golden Ridge Ltd, the mine employs over 450 people and mines approximately 32 Mt per annum.
Orica and Newmont have been working in partnership to deliver a series of value delivery projects at Akyem. First among these projects was the trial of a higher energy bulk explosive, Fortis™ Extra, to optimise fragmentation and reduce downstream costs.
FRAGTrack™, Orica’s state-of-the-art fragmentation measurement tool, met all the requirements that Newmont had specified. In September 2020, amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, Newmont successfully installed two FRAGTrack™ cameras on two Liebherr 9400 face shovels. Augmented reality support, detailed installation guides and online training enabled the cameras to be installed remotely without the requirement of onsite specialist support.
Newmont Akyem Senior Mine Engineer Elvis Kyeremeh commented on the success of the technology installation, saying: “Since we started using FRAGTrack, access and monitoring of data related to fragmentation has been very efficient. We were able to make timely decisions and vital business plans to improve productivity on the mine”.