AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) spent a total of 2.178 million dollars last year on social investments in Obuasi concessional area with education, malaria control and general community development as key areas of commitment.
Mr Kwesi Enyan, Deputy Managing Director of the Obuasi Mine, announced this in his presentation during a day’s working visit to the mine by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).
The presentation covered the company’s social responsibility programmes and policies that ensure the establishment of a participatory and collaborative approach on the reclamation of degraded lands and the reduction of blasting and pollution levels in the communities.
Mr Enyan who is also the General Manager (Operations) said 7.5 million dollars was spent on malaria control since 2005, leading to a drastic reduction of the incidence of malaria cases in the municipality.
“Obuasi has spent over eight million dollars in the last two years on meeting the environmental obligations, and will continue to invest in improving its environmental performance.”
He said though the Obuasi mine recorded a loss of 45 million dollars in gold production in 2008, and might not make profit in 2009, the company was committed to live up to its social responsibility as well as its commitment to ensuring a safe environment.
“AGA is systematically addressing a number of environmental challenges including environmental cleanups, water management, rehabilitation and mine closures and independent monitoring of critical areas,” he said.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee, Clement Kofi Humado called for an effective consultative mechanism to help resolve conflicts and other problems arising out of mining operations.
He stressed the need for openness, transparency and accountability from district assemblies and traditional authorities in the use of mineral royalties.
Mr Humado, who is the Member of Parliament for Anlo in the Volta Region, said the Committee had not come to witch-hunt but was on a fact-finding mission to better inform the sector minister on the situation on the ground.
He encouraged AGA to work together with other stakeholders to enable the mining industry to gain profit and enhance sustainable livelihood programmes.
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