Gold Fields Ghana
Joshuna Mortoti, Acting Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa
Gold Mining is a major economic driver for many countries across the world. Gold Fields is the seventh largest gold producer in the world and globally diversified with nine operating mines in Ghana, Australia, South Africa, Peru, and a project in Chile. The Group has listings on the Johannesburg and New York stock exchanges. In Ghana, Gold Fields is one of the largest private sector companies, controlling 90% of both the Tarkwa and Damang gold mines. The government of Ghana owns the remaining 10% through a free-carry interest. Gold Fields took over the Tarkwa mine from the State Gold Mining Company in 1993 and acquired the Damang mine in 2002. Later in 2018, the company bought a 45% stake in Galiano’s Asanko Gold mine in the Ashanti Region, in a joint venture partnership. Currently, the company has a total workforce of over 7,000 employees and contractors, about 70% of whom are from the company’s host communities.
A Pioneer in the Mining and Metal field
Gold Fields Ghana contributes significantly to the development of the country through job creation, taxes and royalties, community and infrastructure investments, as well as local procurement and enterprise development. Joshua Mortoti, the acting Executive Vice President and Head of West Africa affirms, "Our core business is gold production, and we are known for setting standards in environmental stewardship, operational excellence, as well as national and host community development. We mine responsibly and comply with all legal regulations and adopt international best practice.”
Every organization faces difficulties and obstacles while out-performing the success curve. Similarly, Gold Fields Ghana has also faced many challenges affecting its performance and viability such as deeper pits, declining ore grades, and high operating costs. “Tarkwa and Damang are mature open-pit mines and we need to mine deeper to reach economically viable grade ore. As we mine deeper, we mine more waste and this requires massive resources, which drive up the cost,” asserts Mr. Mortoti.
Gold Fields Ghana is tackling these challenges by adopting innovation and technology to boost production efficiency, reduce cost, improve safety and promote growth. These key performance indicators underpin the sustainability of the company’s operations.
Gold Fields Ghana’s shared value initiatives ensure that stakeholders benefit from the value created through its operations. Over the years, Gold Fields Ghana has received recognition for its contribution towards the development of host communities and the country.
The multinational company's mining activities, supply chain management and sustainability practices are guided by local and international laws, policies and standards. These regulations and standards help the company to operate sustainably and better manage social challenges.
Standing Apart in Global Market
“Our main objective is to create lasting value for our stakeholders, who are our employees, host communities, the government, shareholders and business partners,” shares Mr. Mortoti.
Gold Fields Ghana builds trust with all stakeholders, especially, the communities within which it operates. Its sustainable mining practices and ESG commitments set the company apart from its peers. Gold Fields has also been ranked among the top five mining and metal companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Gold Fields Ghana aims to create long-standing partnerships with its stakeholders and is committed to maintaining the trust built for close to three decades.Its strategy to achieve this is by sharing value, investing in host communities; ideally employing people who reside in these communities, and procuring goods and services from companies based near the mines.
The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation was established in 2004 and has invested almost US$84m in infrastructural and socio-economic development projects in host communities of the Tarkwa and Damang mines. The Foundation focuses on education, health, infrastructure, water and sanitation, and agriculture. The company has shifted its focus to shared value projects and programmes with long-term measurable impact on the host communities. Some of the significant projects the Foundation has invested in include the rehabilitated 33-km Tarkwa-Damang asphalt road. Over US$27m was invested in upgrading the road, which has eased transportation, improved road safety, and boosted economic activities in communities along the road. The Foundation is currently reconstructing a community park in Tarkwa into an international standard stadium with a seating capacity of 10,400.
For a Sustainable Future
The Gold Fields Ghana Foundation continues to support projects that will bring development, enhance livelihood, and improve the quality of life of the community members. “For us, social investment is crucial, not only to secure our social license to operate but because we genuinely seek the wellbeing of the people who have hosted our operations for close to three decades. A recent stakeholder relationship survey confirmed our strong relationship with our host communities,” says Mr. Mortoti.
The company’s strategic objective is to produce safely one million ounces of gold annually in Ghana at an all-in cost of under US$900/oz with minimal environmental impact.
“Our joint venture with Galiano has pushed us an inch closer to realizing this strategic intent. Our portfolio expansion strategy is to consider opportunities in mergers and acquisition, exploration, improvement in safety and productivity, as well as cost reduction,” concludes Mr. Mortoti.