AngloGold Ashanti Ghana says it cannot grant the request of aggrieved youth in Obuasi for a release of some of its concessions for community mining as part of efforts to reduce the high levels of unemployment in the area.
This comes after some youth, on Tuesday, demonstrated to push for jobs while accusing the mining company of not employing residents.
The protestors have petitioned the management of Anglogold Ashanti Obuasi mine, asking that the lands be released for mining in order to create employment.
But AngloGold Ashanti, in a release, explained that it has in “recent times surrendered over 70 percent of its original mining lease to the Minerals Commission and has only retained areas critical to its current and future mining and infrastructural requirements.”
It further explained that, it is only the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources who can grant a mining lease.
“AngloGold Ashanti does not have the power to release any portion of land which falls within the mining lease area to third parties”, it added.
AngloGold Ashanti says it admits unemployment is one of the most prevalent socio-economic challenges in Obuasi and the country at large.
Since commencement of the Obuasi Redevelopment Project in 2019, the company has prioritised employment of residents from the Obuasi communities, specifically Adansi and Amansie, in varying capacities and in temporary and permanent roles.
This priority status of local communities has been formalized through a Local Employment Procedure.
Through a three-year Social Management Plan, from 2019 to 2021, the company has also made significant investment in its host communities, including in the areas of education, skills development, health, water and sanitation, infrastructure support, and local content.
Also, through its 10-year Socio-economic Development Plan, from 2021, AngloGold Ashanti continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to the development of the Obuasi communities by fostering local economic growth and nurturing relationships with the host communities.
AngloGold Ashanti also contributes $2 for each ounce of gold it produces to the Obuasi Community Trust Fund, which has the primary objective of funding projects in the communities based on the recommendations of the communities themselves.