Thursday, April 11, 2013

ABG committed to supply enough clean water to rural communities

AFRICAN Barrick Gold (ABG) the largest gold producer in the country has set aside $ 20 million (About Sh. 30 billion) to finance the construction of two drilling water boreholes at a famous Nyamongo village located in Tarime district, Mara region. It has been learnt. The move is part of the firm’s social corporate responsibility which aims to improve quality water supply in seven villages surrounding their North Mara gold mining site at Nyamongo village, the firm’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Hawkins said early this week in Dar es Salaam.  Speaking in an exclusive interview recently, he said that, this is a continuous long term programme which started five years ago with a view to increase clean water supplies to local people who consumes approximately 100,000 liters a day in these villages. However, he said add
Chief Executive Officer Greg Hawkins

ing that, since the programme started his firm has already built two boreholes in other villages close to their mine site.
ABG has embarked on an effective long term clean water supply programme around its four designated mining sites in the country following claims by local people that, the mining operations had caused a negative impact to their lives after major water resources they entirely depend on for domestic use have been polluted with the alleged poisonous chemicals emanating from their mining activities. The programme is among several ones which have been initiated in these areas by ABG and which arte executed under the assistance of the ABG Maendeleo Fund whose major objective is to facilitate social and economic activities to the people in the area, he said.  However, he has reiterated his firm’s commitment to continue supporting social and economic activities to the people in local communities surrounding his gold mining areas of operations in the country to work on the long standing problem of environmental pollution with the major focus on the problem of clean water supply which he said is the most crucial factor that has to be given special attention. Describing about the fund, he noted that, it has spearheaded the firm’s community investment program since its first  launch over the past 18 months and within the said period, it has supported over 50 projects worth approximately $ 7.5 million (about Sh. 12 billion). However, the CEO noted that, his firm created the fund as part of their commitment to promote sustainable development in the country for which they have seen a tangible impact in five major social areas of people’s community developments. He said that, in keeping with ABD’s objectives for its community investment programs, these have focused on long-term sustainable development projects in the areas of community livelihoods basing on supporting community development and capacity building, access to health services, education, water and environmental projects within communities surrounding the firm’s operations. However, he said that, ABG remains focused on ensuring that their host local communities benefits from their operational services and are fully delighted as they have reaffirmed the commitment of $ 10 million (about Sh. 16 billion) to the ABD Maendeleo Fund for the 2013. North Mara gold mine which opened its operations in 2002 consists of four open pits, a process plant, waste rock dumps, a tailings containment pond, and other associated facilities. Gold mining in Tanzania in modern times dates back to the German colonial period, beginning with gold discoveries near Lake Victoria in 1894. ABG is Tanzania’s largest gold producer and one of the five largest gold producers in Africa which has been contracted by the government to run four major gold mines in the country. All mining sites are located in North and others in West part of Tanzania, these are North Mara Gold mine located in Nyamongo in Tarime district. Tulawaka Gold mine in Biharamulo, Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu in Shinyanga region respectively. All mine facilities are fenced and tailings impoundment water, and other mine-impacted water, is regularly monitored to ensure that the water quality remains in compliance with the international criteria established to protect wildlife.  ABG is a UK public company with its headquarters based in London and it’s listed in the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the symbol ABG. Prior to the company’s initial public offering (IPO), the firm’s operations comprised the Tanzanian gold mining business of Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) the majority shareholder.

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