Ghana: Report says deployment of military to mining areas has led to serious human rights violations

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Company response
12 July 2010

Gold Fields' response

Author: Gold Fields

Gold Fields Ghana (GFG) is not cited in the DanWatch report as one of the mining companies in the country engaged in “aggressive tax planning”. By implication though, the report suggests that other companies are engaged in similar practices. For the record we have listed a number of our contributions to the Ghanaian economy since 1993, when the company acquired the almost defunct State Gold Mining Corporation’s underground mine at Tarkwa.

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Article
10 June 2008

[DOC] Gold Fields' response

Author: Gold Fields

As a group, the Gold Fields Limited strategy is that of operational excellence which involves operating our mines to the highest standards...Whilst it is obvious that mining requires land to operate on that could be used for alternative enterprises, we firmly believe that our approach provides tangible benefits and conforms to recognised principles of sustainable development. Our current approach to many of the initiatives actually encourages and facilitates agricultural development in the region.

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Article
9 June 2008

[DOC] Newmont's response

Author: Newmont

We wish to respectfully point out that mining is not in conflict with agriculture in Ghana. Mining and agriculture have worked in parallel in Ghana for many decades. The industry only uses a small area of the lands of Ghana for active mining. This is productive economic use of Ghana’s land that provides employment for thousands of people and provides taxes, royalties, dividends and expends millions of dollars on goods and services in the country. More pertinently, once mining is completed, most of the land is reclaimed and returned for other uses including farming...Newmont Ghana is working with several NGOs on agricultural projects that will enhance the productivity and incomes of farmers in the Ahafo area...

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Company response
4 June 2008

Response by AngloGold Ashanti: NGOs say mining companies have impeded food production, led to serious human rights abuses by the military.

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Company response
4 June 2008

Response by Newmont: NGOs say mining companies have impeded food production, led to serious human rights abuses by the military.

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Article
2 June 2008

[DOC] AngloGold Ashanti's response

Author: AngloGold Ashanti

On the...conflict between land use for agriculture and for mining, it is clear that...agriculture and mining are two of the primary industries which have formed the basis for broader economic development. It is also clear, however, that the task of determining national economic development priorities, in a democratic country such as Ghana, rests most properly with government...As a signatory of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, we agree that neither private nor public security forces should be entitled to violate human rights, and that mining companies should avoid complicity in human rights violations of any sort. However, normal police functions are sometimes necessary. Where company officials have occasionally called for military assistance this is out of desperation at the fact that many employees have been seriously injured in attacks by artisanal miners. The Ghana Mineworkers Union, too, has expressed serious concern over their members’ (our employees’) safety in this respect

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Article
1 May 2008

[PDF] Universal Periodic Review - Ghana (May 2008) Human Rights violations in the context of large-scale mining operations - Submission by FIAN International

Author: FoodFirst Information & Action Network

The intention of this submission is to draw attention to the number and intensity of human rights violations in the context of large-scale mining operations in Ghana...During the reporting period, the expansion of existing as well as the development of new mining operations and the related deployment of the military and Police to the mining areas has led to serious human rights violations in many mining communities in Ghana...Reports from mining communities...indicate a high degree of complicity of multinational mining companies in these human rights violations. In many cases it is private security personnel of mining companies that take the lead.
Security contractors of mining companies assisted by armed police and soldiers often conduct “operations” ostensibly to arrest alleged illegal small scale mining operators...These “operations” tend to be violent and bloody invasions of communities resulting in gross human rights violations. [refers to AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont, Red Back Mining, Bogoso Gold Limited (part of Golden Stars Resources)] [The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has invited these companies to respond and we have received AngloGold Ashanti's response; Newmont declined to respond; Golden Star declined to respond; Redback Mining declined to respond]

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Company non-response
6 April 2008

Red Back Mining did not respond to: NGOs say mining companies have impeded food production, led to serious human rights abuses by the military.

Company non-response
8 January 2008

Golden Star Resources did not respond to: NGOs say mining companies have impeded food production, led to serious human rights abuses by the military.