Ghana Holds Newmont’s First Community Relationships Forum
Building effective relationships with communities where Newmont operates is vital to our future success and our ability to execute on the five pillars of our business plan.
We believe each one of our employees, irrespective of job title, plays an important role in community relationship matters. The findings of the Community Relationships Review showed that we have room to improve our engagement with local communities. As a result, to help our employees better understand their role in environmental and social responsibility (ESR), we are holding a series of regional Community Relationship Forums that are designed to:
- Create a platform for frontline employees to interact, learn, understand and appreciate the challenges and opportunities of building and sustaining effective relationships with stakeholders.
- Encourage participants to speak up, empower, engage, collaborate and diagnose common issues.
- Share ideas and build relationships among ESR and non-ESR functions.
- Demonstrate how each employee, regardless of professional focus, plays a role in shaping community relationships.
The first forum, held earlier this year in Ghana, and attracted more than 100 frontline employees from Africa, Australia and Guinea. Forum participants gained insight into external stakeholders’ views of the risks and opportunities associated with mining projects, and the importance of managing community expectations transparently via dialogue and collaboration.
“There is a need to come together to improve our communication, empower ourselves, and build on our commonalities to solve problems and achieve Newmont’s Vision,” said Natalia Poku Boansi, monitoring and evaluation technical coordinator at the Ahafo mine.
Guest speakers representing local communities, the Minerals Commission, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Integrated Social Development Centre and the Third World Network Ghana, also attended to share their perspectives on what constitutes effective mine-community relationships.
“The level of passion, professionalism and excitement of participants coming together to deliberate on social issues relating to the company and, most importantly, external stakeholders, was extraordinary,” said Joe Pollara, senior director, ESR. “It gave frontline employees the opportunity to integrate and cooperate with each other and find possible solutions to emerging issues.”
“Listening to the perspectives of these stakeholders is essential to managing relationships with host communities more effectively,” said Randy Barnes, Newmont Ghana’s regional vice president for ESR. “Newmont’s community engagement is based on a very solid foundation and history, yet we recognize that the way we work with communities and key stakeholders at all levels must continue to grow. We will continue to engage stakeholders to support public policies that are in the public interest and help solve community problems.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, Forum participants appointed a task force to implement key actions. The next Community Relationships Forum will be held in our Asia Pacific region this fall.