Newmont Ghana has been named ‘mining company of the year’ and commended by the 2016 Africa Sustainability Report, for its operational standards and reforestation efforts in reclaiming each hectare impacted by their mining operations.

The report stated that Ahafo and Akyem mines adhere to the highest standards of internationally acceptable environmental practices and both mines have reclamation plans in place and are implementing concurrent reclamation to restore previously mined areas.

According to Ahafo site engineer, Stephen Kpabitey, speaking to Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) who went on a familiarisation visit, 70 hectares of its gold mining sites in Ahafo have been reclaimed, while 12.9 hectares are still undergoing reclamation this year.

“Newmont Africa remains committed to operating safely, maintaining environmental standards and creating shared value for our stakeholders in the countries and communities in which we operate,” said Kpabitey.

“A total of 56 hectares of land has been closed and reclaimed between the period of 2015 and 2016 with local and foreign tree species to regain their natural form for reuse by the community,” he added

Meanwhile, the Akyem mine has committed to a reforestation programme that replaces portions of the Ajenjua Bepo forest that have been impacted by the mine’s operations, three-fold. The mine also committed to undertake biodiversity offset of no net loss for key biodiversity values.

“Before we mine we take the laterite (top soil) and store it somewhere. And what happens is that after we have dumped the site, we slope the rock so that it doesn’t become too steep. We bring back the laterite and spread it over the area.

“In doing so, we try to check erosion by putting jute mat on it and creating lines, after which we then begin planting local and foreign species of flora to restore it back to its natural form called reclamation,” said Kpabitey.

Kpabitey revealed to JBA, the plans of Newmont Ghana to do a $150m – $200m expansion project on the Subika underground mining pit, in order to increase its commercial production from 150 to 200Koz next year.