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Regional News of Saturday, 23 February 2008

Source: GNA

Newmont Ghana spends 1.5 million dollars on social responsibilities

Kenyasi (B/A), Feb. 23, GNA - Newmont Ghana Gold Limited spent 1.5 million dollars on social responsibilities in communities in its operation areas during the first year of its production. Mr Chris Anderson, Director of External Affairs, said this when a 40-member delegation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a multi prepared group, the Ahafo mine at Kenyasi in Brong-Ahafo.

He said Newmont had been working with EITI to help ensure transparency and fighting corruption in its areas of operation. Mr Anderson Newmont Ghana intended to integrate activities of EITI into its social responsibility programme to help educate the people about the objectives of EITI to promote transparency and accountability. Dr John Rains Kelly, Deputy Chairman of EITI, explained that EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish their payments and also for host governments to disclose what they receive from their extractive industries.

He said some 3.5 billion people lived in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals and that with good governance, such resources could generate large revenues to foster growth and reduce poverty. Dr Kelly said public understanding of government revenues and expenditure over time could help public debate and inform choice of appropriate and realistic options for sustainable development. He said the benefits for implementing countries of EITI included the improvement in investment climate because they would be providing a clear signal to investors and international financial institutions that the government was committed to greater transparency. Ghana announced its intention to pilot EITI in the mining sector in June 2003 and based on this a multi-stakeholder steering committee was established to oversee the process.

Dr Kelly said the steering committee had produced an implementation strategy and plan that outlined the object, implementation structures and key options for the initiative. He expressed optimism that EITI operations in Ghana would help fight corruption in the extractive industry.

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