Newmont Ghana has announced a US$100,000 support package for Ghana’s public health. The donation is to support the nation’s efforts to “minimize the transmission of the Coronavirus in the country”.
Francois Hardy, Regional Senior Vice-President, Newmont Africa, said the mining company made the contribution because “the health and safety of our people and nearby communities takes precedence above all else.”
“We recognise the need to help fortify the capabilities of our public institutions so they can undertake mass testing and other public health measures to minimise the risks and impacts associated with COVID -19,” he added.
Out of the amount, $25,000 each is to support Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine to procure testing kits
Also, $20,000 is to be given to the Asutifi North and Birim North district assemblies in the Ahafo and Eastern regions respectively, while $10,000 will go the Tano North municipal assembly.
The company has also made “substantial donation” to the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ contribution towards the COVID-19 National Trust Fund.
“We hope our contributions will significantly help us win the fight against COVID-19,” Mr Hardy said.
Meanwhile, the company says it is taking measures to protect its workforce and nearby communities, in response to the pandemic. Mr Hardy said apart from initiating robust hygiene practices, social distancing guidelines and other precautionary measures, the company is aligning mine operations to critical operations to reduce the potential for exposure to, and transmission of, the disease.
Some of the measures include temporary closure of the regional office in Accra and establishing remote working plans for employees; temporary closure of non-operational departments at the Ahafo and Akyem mine sites; and cancelling all travel by non-critical site visitors, suppliers and vendors.
Other are evacuation of non-critical expatriate staff; enhanced temperature and questionnaire screening at all entry points to the Ahafo and Akyem mine sites; mandatory self-quarantine for workers who arrive from abroad; and minimised in-person meetings.
“While we have no confirmed COVID-19 cases among Newmont’s workforce at this time, protecting the health and safety of our people and nearby communities is our primary obligation.
“These steps are consistent with the World Health Organization guidelines and the intent of the government’s lockdown and categorization of mining as an essential service to minimize the exposure and spread of COVID-19,” said Mr Hardy.