Newmont Ghana has confirmed that the cause of fish death in the Ahafo Water Storage Facility (WSF) in January was due to low oxygen levels in the water.
Randy Barnes, Regional Vice President, Environment and Social Responsibility said, ‘The company’s earlier position as well as that of experts from the Water Resource Institute indicated that the oxygen levels in the facility at that time of season were low and likely to have led to the death of the fish.
We have since engaged a team of experts from the Fisheries Commission and Water Resources Institute who are carrying out a comprehensive ecological study of the facility that would help us understand the seasonal nature of the fish deaths as well as the future management of the facility.
This information regarding low oxygen levels in the water is based on results from external laboratories,’ he added.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also conducted its own investigations and is expected to make its findings available to the public.
Newmont’s ongoing routine water monitoring continues to verify that the water in the WSF is in compliance with EPA standards.
We also continue to monitor the water quality of boreholes that we have provided for the communities around the facility and they remain safe for human consumption.
The WSF is a fresh water dam that is within the boundaries of the mine and was built to provide water for the mining operations.
It is a restricted area and has a community patrol team to educate the public about the WSF and to prevent potential trespassers from fishing or swimming in the facility.
‘We remain committed to the safety and well-being of our host communities and will continue to work to the highest standards in safety and environmental stewardship.’
Newmont Ghana is one of five core operating districts of Newmont Mining Corporation, one of the largest gold companies in the world. The company employs approximately 4,900 employees and contractors with the majority working at its Ahafo Mine in the Brong-Ahafo region where Newmont also has a development project, the Akyem Project in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region.
Newmont is the only gold company listed in the S&P 500 index and in 2007 became the first gold company selected to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and was recently ranked 16 th on Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens List.