Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) Ahafo Mine, has been urged to make deliberate effort to hire people in the mining communities, for jobs they are capable of doing.
Barima Twereko Ampem III, Omanhene of Ntotroso, said that was important to minimize tension and conflict between the local communities and the mine.
This comes amid widespread frustration, agitation and discontent among young people in the area with the employment policy of the company.
Many of them are unhappy that 10 years into the operation of the Ahafo Mine, they are jobless – expectations, largely unfulfilled.
Barima Ampem speaking at a public hearing on the Mine’s proposed “Subika” underground mining project at Kenyase Number-Two in the Asutifi North District, said preference should go to them, when there were job vacancies.
The event was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to listen to the concerns of the people about the underground project, which could start next year.
The Mine is projecting to produce four million ounces of gold annually from its underground operation.
It has currently been doing about 322,000 ounces through surface mining.
Barima Ampem suggested on-the-job training for the local people lacking experience, employed by the company.
He counseled the youth to remain calm and step back from confrontation as the chiefs engaged the management of the company to get more of them hired alongside the improvement of the health and safety of the people.
Mr. Michael Asandow Ali, Head of Mines, EPA, gave the assurance that adequate measures had been put in place to prevent the pollution of the Tano River, running through the area, by the underground mining operation.
He indicated that under no circumstance would the Agency give the greenlight to any project that would impact negatively on the lives of the people.
Mr. Joshua Mortoti, acting General Manager of Newmont Ahafo Mine, said the company had engaged extensively with stakeholders on the economic benefits of the project.