Mining companies operating in Ghana have earned their right to some compliments: according to a report made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the firms have generally improved their operations in fields like respect towards mining laws and development of corporate social responsibilities.
The document “Environmental Performance Rating and Disclosure ‘Akoben’ of Mining Companies”, regarding data from 2012, was made public last week, in Accra.
The report, released under the Akoben initiative, rates the environmental performance of mining and manufacturing operations according to a five-colour rating scheme. Gold stands for excellent performance, green for very good performance, blue for good, orange for satisfactory and red for poor performance.
In 2012, 16 companies were involved in the program and all of them, except for two, got an excellent evaluation regarding their corporate social responsibilities. Also, a good number of them performed very well when it comes to providing feedback after receiving public complaints.
Most companies performed at a satisfactory level in the field of environmental practices. However, seven of them had some problems with legalities and regulations, which got them a poor rating.
According to Daniel Amlalo, executive director of the EPA, the ratings have been annually disclosed to the public since 2010. The goal is to increase public awareness and the participation on issues concerning mining. The companies that did well will get a reward, while the firms that performed poorly will be fined. However, Amlalo states that “it is not a heavy fine though”.
The rating involved big mining companies like Abosso Goldfileds Limited-Damang, Adamus Resources Limited-Teleku Bokazo, Anglogold Ashanti Limited-Iduapriem, Chirano Gold Mines Limited-Chirano, Ghana Bauxite Company Limited-Awaso and Ghana Manganese Limited-Nsuta. Other firms like Newmont Ghana Gold Limited-Kenyasi and Golden Star (Wassa) Limited-Akyempim were also included.
But there are plans to include the smaller miners in future ratings, assures the EPA. The program will occur with the collaboration of the Minerals Commission.
Benice Heloo, deputy minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, recently announced that the Akoben environmental trophy will be instituted to reward the 2013 Green and Gold companies during 2014 Environment Day celebration. She’s sure that:
In the coming years, we will see the Akoben programme establish deep institutional roots at the national, regional and local levels.