MAC: Mines and Communities

Newmont accused of rights abuses and betrayals in Ghana

Published by MAC on 2012-03-06
Source: Statement (2012-02-29)

Newmont Gold has allocated around 20% of its "core assets" to two projects in Ghana - both of which have now come under fire from local communities.

Demonstrators in Akyem against Newmont
Demonstrators against Newmont in Akyem. Source: LEG

Human rights abuses have been reported from the Ahafo mine.

And, in February, the people of Yayaaso, Adausina, Ntronan and surrounding communities in the Birim North District, eastern Ghana, carried out a peaceful demonstration against Newmont' proposed Akyem project (See photo).

According to facilitators from Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG), this action was undertaken for two major reasons.

First was the failure of Newmont to compensate the Denkyira family, whose land had been used for construction of the company's offices.

Second was the company's abdication of its responsibility to employ local people.

According to the demonstrators, ninety percent of current workers are from outside the area. And, of the remaining ten percent, only two percent are permanently employed.

Field Report of the Victims of Human Rights Violations Allegedly Perpetrated by Newmont Gold Ltd., Ahafo gold mine Project, February 2012

Livelihood & Environment Ghana (LEG)

Communities and individuals continue to suffer human rights abuses by Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) since they started their gold mining project in Ahafo in 2002. Due to no or low voice of communities affected, LEG Ahafo community based research and advocacy non-governmental organisation has ever since developed the strategy of visiting those communities from time to time as a way of expressing solidarity and sharing experience with them.

On Tuesday 7th February, 2012 a visit was paid to some of the communities and the following were our findings:

1. At OLA resettlement site, Salamatu Ibrahim who was knocked down by Pergah transport a client of Newmont and sustained severe injury has still not been compensated. According to Sala, the insurance company of Newmont has recently presented a cheque of eight thousand Ghana cedis (GHc 8,000) to her as compensation but she refused to collect the cheque simple because according to her doctor she still have two operations to go through and one of the operations which will be done in Ghana will cost five thousand Ghana cedis (GHC 5,000) and the other operation will be done in Us and that will cost thirty thousand US dollars ($30,000).

Therefore collecting the eight thousand Ghana cedis compensation would be something useless to her. Sala is calling on Newmont to either pay for the cost of her two operations and after that give her something to live on as source of livelihood or pay compensation that due her.

2. At Ntotroso town, Apraku & family whose cocoa and oil palm farms, buildings and fish ponds were destroyed in 2005 to pave way for the construction of Newmont's environmental control dam 2 (ECD2) have also not been compensated yet. According to Apraku, they are still looking forward for their compensation from Newmont.

3. Diana Amponsah of Tutuka the wife of the late Kofi Agyekum who was drowned by Newmont Water Storage Facility (WSF) has also not been compensated. According to her, immediately after the incident Newmont employed her so that she could get money to look after the children but shortly after the tention was over she was sacked from the job without any reason. She is also demanding for either compensation or employment from Newmont.

4. Amos Opoku of Kenyasi No2 who also sustained severely injury at work place when he was working for Group 4 a client of Newmont is also yet to be compensated. Amos is requesting for compensation in a form of cash.

5. Madam Akosua Gyamfua of Kenyasi No2 whose son (Kwabena Poku) was killed by a Tipper truck belonged to Newmont is also demanding for compensation in a form of cash or employment for her son.

6. Madam Ama Serekye of Kenyasi No2 Jericho whose farm and building were destroyed which paved way for the construction of Subika pit has also not been compensated yet.

7. Madam Patricia of Tutuka Damso the wife of the late Adofo Asa who died in a pit when he was digging a hand dug well for Newmont is also yet to be compensated. Patricia is also seeking for compensation either in a form of cash or employment from Newmont.

8. Kwame Poku and wife Adutwemwaa of Hawakrom whose cottage was pull down and their personal belongings destroyed in their absence have also not been compensated as recommended by the district office of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Asutifi district.

Colleagues, brothers and sisters and other benevolent individuals and organisations, we request for your consensus effort in order to secure justice for the victims including payment of compensation as the case may be.

Report by:

Richard Adjei-Poku, executive director
Livelihood & Environment Ghana (LEG)

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