Newmont Ghana Gold Limited ( NGGL) has laid off 240 workers this year due to the recent fall in the price of gold on the world market and the escalating cost of doing business in the last five years.
The move is to make the company break even and continue to stay in business.
The Communications Manager of Newmont at the Ahafo Mine site, Mr Agbeko Azumah, disclosed this at the annual press soirée of the company held at Kenyasi, the capital of the Asutifi North District in the Brong Ahafo Region, on Friday.
The event was to interact with journalists in the region and also to see how best Newmont could collaborate with the media to enhance sustainable development in the company’s operation areas, as well as to improve the livelihoods of the people in its host communities.
Mr Azumah said the workers who were affected by the downsizing and had been paid their retrenchment packages were from the head office in Accra, and the Ahafo and Akyem project sites in the Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions respectively.
He stated that 2013 had been a very challenging year for mining companies in the country and expressed the hope that the coming year would be better.
Mr Azumah noted that as part of measures to position the company to still remain in business, there was the need to cut cost and reduce the number of workers hence the decision to retrench the 240 workers.
He said the company was adjudged the overall best mining company in the country that observed safety rules and regulations in the mining sector for the year 2013 by the National Minerals Commission and gave an assurance that the company would continue to operate within the confines of the laws that governed mining.
Mr Azumah said the company would also continue to make an impact in the lives of people in the communities affected by its operations, adding that Newmont had so far contributed GH¢28.9 million ($17 million ) to the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) since its establishment in 2008 in fulfilment of its commitment to ensure sustainable development in host communities.
He noted that in spite of the fall in gold price on the world market, Newmont would continue to contribute its $1.00 per ounce of gold produced and one per cent of its annual net profit to the foundation.
Mr Azumah disclosed that to date, NADeF had completed and handed over about 43 infrastructural and social amenities, including community libraries, teachers’ and nurses’ quarters, ICT centres and schools among others in its 10 host communities in the Ahafo Mine area to beneficiary communities.
He expressed his appreciation to the media for the support during the year and hoped that the relationship between the company and the media would be strengthened in the coming years.