March 2017: The Divisional Chiefs of Wassa Subri, Wassa Damang, and Huni Valley have expressed unflinching support for Gold Fields’ Damang Mine, as the company embarks on its next major phase of development at its operations in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region.” The traditional rulers made the declaration when the new General Manager of the Mine, Michiel Van der Merwe, paid a courtesy call on them separately in their respective palaces. While welcoming Michiel, the Divisional Chief of Wassa Subri, Nana Kwabena Amposah II, recounted the significant support the communities have received from the company, through community employment and the provision of health and education infrastructure. He also cited the company’s investment in water and sanitation facilities, and particularly mentioned the a Two Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand Ghana Cedi (GHS 267,000.00) Small Town Water System, which has accelerated potable water supply to host communities.
Nana Amoakwa III, the Divisional Chief of Wassa Damang, pledged the communities’ support to the Mine, and commended the management of the Mine for maintaining a transparent and healthy relationship with the communities. He noted that the Mine can only operate in a peaceful and secure social environment, and promised to ensure that such an environment continues to exist. “When the Mine remains in operation, our communities benefit. The evidence is there for all to see, and so it is in our interest, as communities, to protect the mining operations as a way of securing our own development” he said.
The Bosomtwe Divisional Chief, Nana Kwabena Amponsah IV, who was the last to receive the General Manager at his palace, expressed gratitude to Gold Fields for making the decision to reinvest in the Damang Mine. Recognising the communities’ heavy dependence on the Mine, Nana Amponsah IV was hopeful that the reinvestment will translate into more job opportunities for community residents, either directly or through contractors, and an increase of social investment.
The Gold Fields Group Board, in October 2016, approved a US$1.4 billion investment in the Damang Mine, which extends the Mine’s life from 2017 to 2024. Set on a growth path, the Damang Mine will create and protect over 1800 jobs, most of which will be local, and will continue to invest in community development projects and sustainable livelihoods.