Wednesday, April 10, 2013
ABG records impressive development investments
AFRICAN Barrick Gold (ABG) has reiterated its commitments to continue supporting social and economic activities to people in the communities surrounding its gold mining areas of operations in the country through its ABG Maendeleo fund. The Fund 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). Sources from within the firm have said. ABG Chief Executive Officer Greg Hawkins told a press conference recently in Dar es Salaam 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. Furthermore, ABD pays all overheads for administering the ABD Maendeleo fund separately, which according to Hawkins 100 percent of the Fund’s expenditures go directly towards community projects. To highlight some of the work done, he noted in brief that, to date the Fund has committed more than $ 2.7 million (about Sh. 4.3 billion) to help improve public health in local communities to gain access to healthcare to a wide range that includes maternal and child health care. He further noted that, other projects in this category are those that provide training of health care workers to deliver dental care. However, he said and added that, his firm support a range of initiative in this category that aimed at helping to combat core infectious diseases namely malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.
Supporting projects that increase access to education is a primary objective of the ABG’s fund whereby in this category the firm has committed approximately $ 1.9 million (about Sh. 3.0 billion). Under this category, Hawkins elaborated that, his firm is increasing educational infrastructure through building and renovations of classrooms, teachers, houses, and it also provides learning materials such as books and some other important facilities needed. However, he added that, the ABG also provides scholarships and training opportunities for students and members of the teaching professions to higher learning institutions. The fund has also invested $ 1.4 million (about Sh. 2.2 billion) towards the provision of clean water and sanitation services. One of the major projects has been around the North Marta mine in Tarime district whereby the ABG has invested $ 800,000 (about sh. 1.3 billion) in the drilling of water wells to provide nearby communities with access to clean and safe drinking water. The fund has also invested $ 1.5 million (about Sh. 2.3 billion) in over 10 projects that are aimed at supporting community development in the communities around the mining sites run by the company and the country at large. The projects provide support towards capacity building initiatives and philanthropic donations. 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 Tulawaka Gold mine in Biharamulo, Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu in Shinyanga region, North Mara Gold mine located in Nyamongo in Tarime district. 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. ABG was cross-listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DES) on December 7th 2011.
African Barrick Gold Chief Executive Officer Mr. Greg Hawkins talking to journalists not in the picture.