Monday, 3 April 2017

Celebrating Women

8 March 2017 was International Women’s Day, a time to pause and reflect on the role of women in society and in our workplace. 



At Golden Star we recognize the important role that women play in the workplace and we value the contribution that people from diverse backgrounds can make to productivity and competitiveness.

Within Golden Star, 12% of our employees are women, which is comparable with the gold mining sector internationally, and within our Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation project 25% of the farmers and workers are women!

 
Golden Star women at the Bogoso/Prestea mine

The most recent Ghanaian Census showed that girls continue to have lower access to education than boys. Despite this, we are proud that in our workplace women hold roles throughout the hierarchy and in a variety of disciplines - women work in trades, mining, management, and supervision and support services.

Promoting Diversity

We embrace diversity in cultures, backgrounds, gender and thinking. To enhance opportunities for women and to promote diversity, we:

Advertise jobs in accordance with local employment policies agreed with host communities
Report on diversity in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report
Provide family accommodation or subsidies for senior staff so that families can stay together despite the remote nature of our operations
Provide medical services and National Health Insurance Scheme coverage to all employees and eligible dependents for equal access to good health
Participate in forums and research on the empowerment of women in the mining sector


Gifty Bilson, Senior Training Officer

Workplace Inclusion

To ensure that we act in an inclusive way and all our workforce can be productive contributors we:

Provide cross cultural awareness training for senior staff
Support the Golden Star Women’s Club and its’ programs
Provide access to training and development on the basis of merit
Ensure that women have access to appropriate personal protective equipment, private changing areas, and can breast feed as necessary
Conduct harassment and discrimination training within the workforce
Require leadership to ascribe to our Code of Conduct and Ethics and provide a confidential reporting line to report on breaches
Ensure that maternity and paternity leave law is upheld
Ensure that mine clinics provide privacy for men and women and are equipped for the treatment of children

Empowering Women

We recognize that as members of society we can also contribute to empowerment by providing opportunities for female children to have improved access to education and development. We:

Celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child
Undertake education programs with Senior Secondary schools in our host communities
Provide educational subsidies to our employees’ eligible dependents to ensure that boy and girl children have equal access to school and education
Ensure that community education scholarships benefit girl and boy children
Provide school bus services to specific host communities enhancing access to education

Through the Golden Star Skills Training and Employability Program, we have also supported 250 female youth to obtain skills and equipment to start their own small business. Over half of the participants of GSSTEP have been women.  In addition, through the Golden Star Development Foundation we have supported the construction and outfitting of schools for our host communities.


Children at a school built by the Golden Star Development Foundation

Golden Star Ladies Club

The Golden Star Ladies Club was formed in 2010 with the objectives to:

Empower members to be advocates in their communities
Create a forum for sharing experiences and matters relating to the welfare of members
Unite female employees on issues affecting the interest of members
Encourage, promote and enhance the productivity of members
Educate members about their rights and responsibilities with respect to matters related to sexual harassment

The Golden Star Ladies Club hosts a number of important programs for women in our catchments, including a Breast Cancer Awareness Program which has brought free breast cancer screening to over 10,400 women and girls in the last three years and potentially saved as many as 269 lives.

Golden Star women at the Wassa mine

Golden Star Women: Our Stories


In celebration of the contribution of women to Golden Star’s success, below is a feature on just a few of our female team members.



Ernestina Gyawu, Ventilation Engineer and Underground Shift Boss (5 years with GSR)

“My experience on the mine has been positive – the attitudes and communication among the team have helped me to accomplish my tasks successfully. I work to mentor, motivate and inspire women to believe that they should not limit themselves but be confident to take up challenging tasks. I advocate that women should step out into roles that traditionally used to be only for men”.


Lovelis Esi Acquah, Auto Electrician (8 years with GSR)


“Growing up in a mine host community, I had the dream of working in the mines one day. This gave me the energy to overcome the challenges I faced due to my limited early education. Today, when I look at back, I am happy with what I have achieved.  I work among men of various ages and I approve my worth as a colleague among them. I am now a mentor for the girls in my community and I encourage them to work hard and to look beyond our traditional roles.  I am confident and happy to be working in the industry and encourage more women to join us”. 


Alberta Stevens and Abigail Akua Akyere (both 7 years with GSR)

Alberta and Abigail sharpen the drill bits for underground drill rigs. 

“We are happy to work in the mine because of our unique roles and we our proud of the quality of the work we do. Our male colleagues respect us and the community like to hear us talk about general mine activities. This goes on to encourage more ladies to look for higher ranking roles in the mines”. 



Rebecca Appiah, Community Relations Officer (7 years with GSR)

“I am happy to work in mining because I am a native of one of the catchment communities and I have become a mentor for the girls in these communities.
I love to inspire women by saying that, “Women should be focused and work harder and also know that we can do what the men can do””. 


Gladys Asare, Dispatch Officer

Gladys orders and receive items into the warehouse system. 

“I feel excited about my role and function in the mine. I have been challenged to meet some critical tasks during my three years with Golden Star. I use these as proof that women can be successful in the mining industry”. 




Belinda Cudjoe, Dispatch Officer

Belinda tracks machine performance.

“I find it interesting to work at the mine, because of the variety of tasks and knowledge that I am constantly exposed to. I have developed a passion for machines and engineering - it is great and interesting to work in the mining industry. I encourage all women to grow their skills and try to rise higher, because there are more opportunities out there for women now.” 




Esther Arhinful, Machine Inspector (12 years with GSR)

“I feel excited about my duties in the mine. My motivation stems from the opportunity to work on machines, which is unique for women in my town. Most often, my male colleagues respect me as a leader and a strong woman. I advocate for girls to go school, develop a passion for hard work and become responsible in life. Today I am happy - because of my schooling and hard work I am the backbone of the family”. 

Celestina Atsiagla, Environmental Officer (7 years with GSR)



“I am happy to be working to protect the environment and I feel respected by men at work and within my society. I have become a mentor to girls in the communities and I inspire women to seek opportunities that now exist for them.” 



Gifty Gandhi, Underground Shift Boss (5 years with GSR) (pictured on the left)


“On my normal shift, I supervise a crew of 14 men to help me achieve my shift goals. Working with my underground crew is fun for me and I have earned the respect of people on and outside the mine due to my role and responsibilities.
I urge all women out there to be strong and try as much as possible to rise up and hit the targets they have set for themselves.”

Aisha Feimoakib Gani, Mining Engineer (6 years with GSR)

“I aim at producing ore in a safe manner and in compliance to environmental regulations. This has been my goal since I joined GSR six years ago. I like the industry; because it has helped me to build good team working skills and good interpersonal relationships. 
I always say that that there is no segregation in our mine so ladies should rise up and compete with the men because we can equally do what men do. I am happy to be here and have had so many experiences that I am proud of.” 


Rosebella Agyei, Group Business Coordinator (3 years with GSR)

Rosebella champions strategies to improve business processes.

“Working in a male dominated area is fun because it has taught me valuable lessons such as how to approach stressful situations with ease. My motivation has been hard work and learning, whilst maintaining a strong sense of myself and my values in every situation. I motivate women to learn, believe in themselves and approach life with confidence”.





Augustina Yenzu, Stakeholder Engagement Officer (8 years with GSR)

“My interest includes inspiring girls to go to school and achieve greater heights as well as serving as a mentor for young girls to look up to. I really like working in the mine, because I spend time with people who are determined and disciplined to achieve their goals. Based on this, I am able to inspire women to be determined, disciplined and believe in themselves that they can do it with God on their side.”


If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.
 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Working in Partnership with Ghana

We value respect and honesty in relationships, team work and accountability. We work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery by supporting the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Golden Star supports the social and economic development of Ghana through Government payments including royalties and ground rent, direct and indirect employment generation, flow on through supply and services contracts, corporate social responsibility initiatives such as the Golden Star Development Foundation and Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation (each funded with US$1 per ounce of gold produced), and other direct mine funded initiatives.

To ensure that the contributions of the extractive sector reach the intended beneficiaries for sustainable benefits, the industry has embraced the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). 

Contributing to Ghana’s Growth

Golden Star’s annual Corporate Responsibility Reports disclose the payments we make to the Government of Ghana including royalties, fees, permit, licenses, SSNIT, value added tax, pay as you earn taxes, import duties, withholding tax and the stabilization levy. 


Augustina Yenzu, a member of the Golden Star community affairs team,
reads our Corporate Responsibility Report

In 2016 Golden Star paid over US$36 million to the Government of Ghana. For the life of our operations to date, Golden Star has paid in excess of US$324 million in Government payments.


In Ghana, the payment of royalties to the Government is distributed in a legislated way:

80% - Government Consolidated Fund 
10% - Mineral Development Fund (intended for mining community projects and to support mining sector institutions)
The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands (OASL) receives the remainder, split amongst the following groups:
o 1% - Administrator of Stool Lands 
o 4.95% - District Assemblies where the gold was produced
o 2.25% - Stools 
o 1.8% - Traditional Councils 

Of Golden Star’s royalty payments, approximately US$1.18 million is expected to be disbursed to the OASL, Districts, Stools and Traditional Councils. Since 2011 the total amount expected to disburse from Golden Star royalty payments to these groups is in excess of US$12 million: a significant contribution to support the social and economic development of our host communities.


Leading The Way

Ghana led the way amongst African nations by being the first country to sign on to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2009.  In 2016, Ghana won the Global Extractive Industry Transparency Award for strict implementation of recommendations leading to far-reaching policy, regulatory, and institutional reforms in its mining, oil and gas sectors.

The Ghana EITI (GHEITI) reports that the sector contributed to 64% of Ghana’s total export value in 2014 – a whopping US$4.3 billion; 10% of gross domestic product (GDP); and 17.5% of Government revenue!

What’s more, the latest EITI reporting shows that companies, such as Golden Star, are meeting local content and local procurement mandates.  

At Golden Star, over half of our workforce hails from our host communities, 66% are from our host region and 99% are Ghanaian.



Supporting the EITI in our Host Communities

Mr. Ben Ayree of the Ministry of Lands and
Natural Resources addresses the forum.

In February, Golden Star participated in a multi-stakeholder disclosure workshop hosted by the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Areas (WAGES) project team, which is jointly implemented by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Centre d’étude et de Coopération Internationale (CECI).


The workshop brought together members of the District Assemblies, Traditional leaders, elected leaders, extractive companies, artisanal and small scale mining groups, NGOs, CSOs and other stakeholders. The program was supported by representatives of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance and Ghana Revenue Authority, as well as members of the GHEITI team.

This is what participants had to say about the EITI Workshop:

Robert Gyamfi, Golden Star Resources, Community Relations & Social Responsibility Manager 


“The workshop was very revealing for me and my community participants.  It was recognized that Golden Star complies with making its royalty payments but it was suggested that the utilization of these payments by the Prestea Huni Valley District Assembly needs to be reviewed.  I am convinced that our current corporate responsibility programs together with the proposed utilization guidelines for mineral royalties will have a further positive impact on our business and in the communities in which we operate”.


Akwasi Owusu-Bi, Local Governance Specialist, WAGES

 “Working in partnership with communities, local government, mining companies, and other stakeholders, the WAGES project aims to improve local governance and maximize the socio-economic benefits from extractive resource investment in West Africa. The forum was timely as information shared engendered a conscientious effort to encourage community policing of mineral revenue disbursement.  Part of the strategy was also to develop a new type of thinking and awareness within the civil society that breeds responsible social engagements and participation of issues that results in positive developmental activities. That is the way to go.”

Godwin Amoakohene, Entrepreneurship Officer/Business Advisor, Business Advisory Centre

 “I found the forum to be very participatory and informative. Together with the community members we now have insight into the accrual system used for mineral royalty funds and how these revenues are utilised. I also now know that, besides the minerals funds, ground rent has been added to the stream of District Revenue sources.  As an Enterprise Developer, I was particularly keen to see that more of the mineral funds be used to promote Local Economic Development activities and create alternative employment opportunities in the communities. This will help alleviate pressure on the mining companies to provide employment and social amenities.”

The Future for EITI

The next phase of the roll out of the EITI requires Governments and companies to commence disclosure on beneficial ownership. The program will be a land-mark milestone in increasing transparency for reducing conflict of interest in the sector.

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Your Health Is Your Wealth

Our Commitment

Golden Star values and is committed to safety and employee well-being.
We believe that job-related injuries and illnesses are unacceptable.

In support of our commitment, we continue to improve our health and safety systems and practices, and grow our skills and capacity in support of our changing business.

So let’s take a look at a few of our key initiatives from the last quarter of 2016…

New Underground Mines

With the development and commencement of our two new underground mines, we have completed a number of projects for ‘operational readiness’, including:

updating risk registers – lists of key hazards and controls to minimize risk
job hazard analysis – teams identify hazards and controls for a task
safe work procedures –documented instructions on how to do safety critical work
mine development - actual work to install new tunnels and support the rock, provide electricity, water and air to make it safe for workers to access the ore bodies
occupational hygiene studies – monitoring of environment and hazards in the mines



Installing ground support for safe mine access using
manual and remote operated drill rig

   

Frank Osei Bonsu, Production Shift Boss, wearing the occupational
hygiene monitoring equipment including noise dosimeter and personal dust pump
Building Enthusiasm

Our Wassa team recently held a safety day with an inter-department first aid competition and competition for a new safety mascot.

In a hard-fought competition, including high-pressure tie-breaker, the Underground team just clinched the title from the second placed Construction Projects team. 


The Underground mine team celebrate their win
Solomon Smith from the Heavy Equipment Maintenance team won the competition for naming of the new safety mascot. ‘Ahwɛyie’ is the ‘cautious rabbit’, who considers his actions before he acts, and works safely even when no-one is watching.
  
Solomon Smith is congratulated by
Wassa General Manager, Gary Chapman
Solomon said:”I was very much elated and surprised when I won the competition but I was even happier when I first heard that my suggested name for the safety mascot was chosen."  

Ensuring Employee Wellbeing

Ensuring that our employees are healthy is one of Golden Star’s top priorities.  We have implemented a number of health programs inside our mines for our team as well as outside for the local communities.  Read more about our community health projects in the November blog post.

Malaria is one of the most prominent diseases in Ghana. Our malaria program includes internal residual spraying (IRS) in all company buildings and accommodation, garden management and brushing to reduce breeding sites, rapid and laboratory testing for malaria, and targeted treatment. It has led to a huge reduction in malaria cases amongst the workforce.

Following successful preventative health screening campaigns, our medical service providers now provide integrated preventative health screening for our employees for a range of different problems. Workers and site-based families can request blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and other tests at any time, to enable improved health management.


Mine employees participate in health screening campaigns

Practice Makes Perfect


Each and every one of us wants to know that if something did go wrong in a mine that a trained and capable management team, and emergency response team, would be there to help.

At Golden Star we are no different, and like all modern miners, we conduct mock emergencies and drills to make sure all our systems and equipment are reliable, and our people know what to do.

Prestea's emergency response team preparing for a drill
In November each of our mines conducted two major mock drills. Reflecting our strong commitment to safety, operations were stopped to make the drills as realistic as possible. Our personnel, our medical services providers, and even our teams in Accra and Toronto were involved in the practice to ensure we continue to improve!


Stephen Aninoo, Mine Shaft Captain, Prestea Underground Mine

 “I am the Shaft Captain for Prestea Underground mine, where I have been working for over 35 years. In the course of my work, incidents and emergencies do occur and although I used to manage these as before, I have gained new skills through the recent emergency practice exercises.  During the drills, I had a continuous flow of information from the onset of the incident through our emergency management process. It aided me to communicate smoothly during the drill and I participated in the review session after the drills.  The drills offered multiple benefits to the safety of the mine, and looking forward, I am confident that together with my team I can better manage emergencies.” 

Recognition for Our Commitment

Golden Star continues to strengthen our safety and health systems and management. We record all injuries sustained by employees and contractors so we can learn from them in the future.

As required by law we also report on the number of injuries that prevent people from being able to do their normal work, per every million hours worked at our operations.  This is known as the lost time injury frequency rate or LTIFR. We compare our LTIFR to other companies, and as at the end of 2016 our LTIFR was 0.36 – a very good result compared to many industry peers.

In 2016 Golden Star was recognized by the Minerals Commission at their annual awards ceremony in the following categories:
Wassa placed second at the National Inter-Mines Safety and First Aid Competition,
Wassa placed second position in Best Improved Mine award, and
Sidi Adam was recognised with the first ever individual Excellence Award, for his work in supporting the Wassa team to win the three successive Safety and First Aid Competitions.

At the prestigious 2016 Ghana Mining Industry Awards, Golden Star was recognized with our Wassa operation placing as First Runner Up in the Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety category.


Sidi accepts the award from the Paramount Chief

Sidi said: “I was overwhelmed with so much ecstasy when the long years of hard work finally paid off.  I must say this would not have been possible without the support from the management of Golden Star's Wassa mine and the tireless effort of the Wassa mine team and community teams.  I sincerely believe this is just the beginning and we will continue to fly the Golden Star flag high through this competition.” 

What Has Been the Impact?

More importantly than any competition, award or metric, we remain committed to continual improvement in safety and health, to ensure everyone goes home safely every day. In 2016 there were no fatal incidents at our operations, and we are proud of our teams for their dedication to continual improvement; however every injury is unacceptable, and so our journey must continue.

Nicolas Teiku, Chairman of Local Companies in Mining Services (LOCOMS), Prestea South Mbease Nsuta project haulage contractor

“Safety is number one when it comes to working with Golden Star and the benefits transcend the operators (drivers) of our trucks to include the truck owners and our cost of operation as haulers. Anytime I go to negotiate for trucks for haulage, I always warn the truck owners that if their operators do not obey safety rules and regulations, they should count their contract with LOCOMS terminated outright because our client Golden Star doesn’t joke with safety compliance.” 


If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Water is Life

When We Arrived in Ghana

Golden Star first arrived in Ghana in 1999 and since then we have had a significant positive impact on the access to a clean water supply for our host communities.

A child drinking from one of Golden Star's boreholes
In 2000 the Ghana Statistical Service observed a major disparity between urban and rural areas in Ghana with regards to access to safe supplies of drinking water. In rural locations, just 15% of the population had access to pipe-borne water (inside or outside the home), whilst 40% relied on sources considered to be unsafe, with boreholes (27%) and wells (17%) providing the remainder.

The Importance of Safe Drinking Water

The human body requires water for sustenance and life. Unsafe water can contain chemical and biological contaminants that may result in disease and ill health. 

Globally, it is recognized that clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supplies, sanitation and hygiene.

Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought afflicts some of the world's poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.



What Have We Achieved?

In our 17 years in Ghana, Golden Star has funded the installation of over 200 safe water supply systems for our host communities.

These systems supply more than 25,000 households. In 2012, the Ghana Statistical Service indicated the average household size in our region to be 4.2 people, indicating that these systems may supply water to more than 100,000 people.


Before Golden Star’s involvement, most of these communities were heavily reliant on streams, often affected by illegal mining, and communities reported walking up to several kilometres a day to get water. This had a flow on effect to childhood education, as it is often the role of children in rural regions to fetch water for the family. 

What Has Been the Impact?

Our contributions have supported the work of the Government of Ghana and other private and public institutions in improving the access of communities to safe supplies of drinking water. As a result, by the 2012 Census, the number of people in the Western Region with access to pipe-borne water had doubled to 30%. In reality the impact is probably even more significant due to the increase in population during that time.

Most significantly the proportion of people relying on water supplies not considered to be safe had reduced to 16% - this is a 40% reduction compared to the situation before Golden Star's intervention!



How Do Local People Feel About It?

Nana Yaw Botwe, Odikro of Brakwaline
“The provision of potable water by Golden Star has really helped us, we used to have to walk a kilometre to the nearest stream or Mine Cottage to fetch water. Now, we have three standpipes with a continuous flow of water from the camp site. In addition, Golden Star provides maintenance support during breakdowns. I am very happy that my community enjoys adequate and good quality water”. 




Haruna Iddrissu, Assuminamu - Odumasi District Assemby School Teacher
“We are grateful to Golden Star for constructing a borehole for the school. The pupils used to have to walk 100 metres to a nearby stream to fetch water. It usually wore the children out and most did not return to school once they had gone to fetch water from the stream during break time.” 

The children of Odumasi school using their borehole

Opanin Akwasi Appiah, Odikro of Assuminamu 
“Our borehole used to be a hand dug well. There was a seasonal shortage of water and the women used to have to walk about two kilometres to fetch water from the stream until Golden Star converted it into a borehole. We have access to water all year round now." 

Opanin Akwasi Appiah using his community's borehole

Ebusuapanyin Nana Damoah, Old Subri
“With a population of about 800 people and one borehole, queuing for water became a daily struggle until another borehole was constructed. We no longer have to queue for long hours so students are able to go to school on time and there is less pressure on the boreholes. Thank you Golden Star!” 


Cynthia Duku, Women's Leader, Akyempim town
“We are more than 1,000 people in this community.  The original boreholes were insufficient to the needs of the population. Golden Star has now provided us with a mechanized borehole with standpipes at vantage points. It feels like living in an urban area now. We have access to good quality water all year round. No more queues, no more walking long distances to the fetch water. Golden Star has really helped us. We are grateful.”

Cynthia Duku collecting water from a borehole

Akyempim's water supply system, which was
installed by Golden Star

Francis Kwaw Yawson, Golden Star Water Services Officer
As I always say, “water is life”.  I have worked for the last 13 years with Golden Star as part of the team that ensures that potable water is provided to our host communities. This is done in three ways: electrical mechanized boreholes systems, manual mechanized borehole systems, and tanker service. As a unit, we go all-out to continuously improve upon the communities’ water infrastructure, increase supply and maintain the quality of the water. For example, as I ask speak now I am supervising a drilling of a new borehole at Bondaye, near our Prestea mine, to meet a larger demand. However, the maintenance of the boreholes is key to ensure a continuous supply of water, which is why my greatest satisfaction is when I have successfully trained selected members of the communities to maintain their own boreholes”. 

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit www.gsr.com/responsibility.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Double Recognition for GSR at the Ghana Mining Awards

At the Ghana Mining Industry Awards gala on November 25, 2016, Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Limited was recognized as first runner up for Corporate Social Investment Project of the Year for the company’s Prestea South Mbease Nsuta Community Benefit and Value Retention Initiative.

Golden Star team members, Mr. Robert Gyamfi, Mr. George Amankwah-Kumi, Mr. Nyanzu Agyabu and Mrs. Boatemaa Hammond, receive the award from Mr. Toni Aubynn, CEO Ghana Chamber of Mines

So what makes this project worthy of a national award?  Read on to find out...

What Does the Project Aim To Do?

The project has the objectives to:

Retain and enhance social, economic and environmental improvement benefits associated with Golden Star’s operations
Promote interest in and enhance opportunities for local residents to benefit from mine operations through the formation of new or expanded local businesses
Acquire a greater proportion of mining services supply locally through small business incubation and advisory support
Strengthen the capacity of local businesses to support a wider array of services associated with mining, and be positioned to bid for contracts elsewhere in the industry

The project initially involved programs to enhance the development of local suppliers and convert an unauthorized refuse disposal site into a community recreational park.  However it captured the community’s imagination and a number of daughter projects have evolved for even greater community benefit. 

The town of Prestea in south-western Ghana

What Benefits Does the Project Bring?

Local Value Retention

The project has generated local employment opportunities and business incubation for citizens of the mining project host communities that previously would have been filled by services providers from outside of the region.  These include:
Approximately 250 long-term unemployed youth of the locality have received employment, on-the-job training, and productive work experience through this initiative since July 2015
18 local companies are involved in the initiative, with full control of employment vested in the local companies to enable positive employment opportunity for qualified local citizens.
Golden Star supported the formation, registration and licensing with the Minerals Commission of the ‘umbrella’ company, Local Companies in Mining Services (LOCOMS), providing haulage or equipment hiring contract services
Over US$8 million has been paid to local companies since the project inception, reinvigorating the depressed local economies of Prestea and Bondaye
Local companies have gained enhanced technology and managerial knowledge, access to industry peers and competitors, knowledge on maximizing value retention, and positioning for growth and expansion outside of the locality
Flow-on benefits include work for auto-mechanics, boilermakers, food vendors, waste management contractors, banking establishments and more. In the region, flow-on has been conservatively estimated as 4 to 1, i.e. every one mining job brings 4 other jobs to the community. With the direct employment of 250 citizens, it is conceivable that 1,000 people are benefiting from this initiative

Enhanced Use of Land

The recreational park plan agreed with traditional and elected leaders will incorporate parkland, outdoor eating areas, kiosks, toilet facilities and other infrastructure to enable use of the venue by community for a wide variety of social and cultural programs.

In synergy with the company mining operations, Golden Star has completed the site rehabilitation, and the almost 5,000 residents living in direct proximity of the refuse site have benefited from a significant improvement in hygiene and sanitation. 

Not only was the site a sanitation risk, with sewage and bacteria overflowing to the Nsuo Kofi stream that runs through Prestea town and discharges to the Ankobra River, but it was also a breeding ground for disease vectors.

The conversion of the site to a community park will benefit the whole community. At present, there is not a single site available for public community recreation in the entire jurisdiction of the Prestea community, which includes some 30,000 people.


 The former refuse site (insert) and following land rehabilitation ahead of planting

Nearby local businesses have benefited from from the rehabilitation program:

The owner of a hotel that views the site had halted hotel expansion and decided to sell the expansion structure, as patronage had declined with the growth of the refuse site. With the site rehabilitation, and planned park, patronage has increased and the hotel expansion has resumed.
The Ave Marie Restaurant, overlooking the refuse site, has also experienced increased patronage. The owner has expanded the restaurant boundary and established an external eating area and garden.

Mrs Nyame of Prestea commented:

“When the Prestea South project commenced in July 2015, I secured a contract with another third party contractor as a food service provider. I currently serve an average of 30 staff per day. My restaurant used to be located close to a community refuse dump, which was poorly managed, but Golden Star is rehabilitating the land to convert it into public space. This has significantly changed the environment that I operate in and it is already having a positive impact on my business.”

Hygiene, Sanitation and Waste Management

Golden Star, traditional and elected leaders, opinion leaders and youth in Prestea came together to agree the plans for improvements in community waste management, as well as future site development.

The recreational parkland plan has received wide support and endorsement from the community
The engagements have resulted in the Community Mine Consultative Committee electing to fund, through the Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Development Fund, the purchase of community waste management equipment.
A new, larger, more sustainable waste disposal location has been identified by the Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly and community
Upgraded urban waste transfer stations have been established by the Prestea Urban Council
The general consensus is to embed the enhanced waste management services through a social enterprise-oriented, community business. Operated on a ‘pay as you throw’ or pre-paid household levy basis, it will provide a modest revenue to cover operation and maintenance. 

Economic savings are expected to be realized by the Prestea Urban Council and Prestea Huni-Valley District Assembly through reduction in recurrent expenditure in managing the former refuse site. 

Golden Star team members inspects waste management equipment purchased through the Development Foundation

As part of the value retention initiatives, a locally-owned waste management business, Passionate Community Services (PaCS), was contracted to provide door-to-door waste collection and disposal for the mining operations. 

As part of this contract, PaCS also provides community sensitization on effective and approved waste disposal practices. Education provided by the PaCS team on the use of transfer stations is gaining attention and promoting more sustainable practices. 

Mrs. Fidelia Kwapong Arthur of Prestea commented:


“With the inception of the Prestea South Nsuta Project, I have been able to secure waste collection and disposal as well as cleaning service contracts at Golden Star. I now employ a workforce of seven for both Golden Star and the community. In addition, a total of 250 households are currently registered with my company for waste collection and disposal.” 

Mrs Kwapong Arthur and her team from PaCS

Mining Project Synergies

With the completion of the rehabilitation of the former refuse site, the Prestea Government Hospital management approached Golden Star to explore opportunities to reclaim a valley stopping the expansion of the hospital, and upgrade of access-ways to the hospital. 

Golden Star, with the support of traditional leaders, was able to design an engineered backfill, which transformed the valley into usable land.  This will allow the hospital to expand and cater for the growing population. 

Golden Star team members with Mr. Felix Osei Kesse (Prestea Hospital Administrator) on the site of the reclaimed valley now affording expansion opportunity for the Hospital

Community Support for the Initiatives

A new NGO, Maintenance and Sustainability Africa (MSA), has been established by local youth in support of the refuse site clean-up and conversion to a community recreational parkland. 

Members of MSA have provided free labour (voluntary services) in support of revegetation activities at the former refuse site, grassing the 1.2 hectare area. The formation of the group and their contribution is significant: for the first time in the area, local young people have volunteered their services for the betterment of the community. 

Inspired by GSBPL’s decision to transform the refuse site into a community recreational park, the young people decided to make their own statement of support for the initiative. 

Mr. Godfred Turkson of Prestea commented:

“Maintenance and Sustainability Africa (MSA) is a youth led organization with a goal of offering sustainable solutions to the continent's development challenges. Our vision is to see an Africa where both infrastructure development and the environment are conserved. As an NGO that is focused on sustainability, we felt overwhelmed by the announcement that GSBPL is converting an illegal garbage collection site into a recreational facility for the benefit of Prestea Community. There could not be a more profound definition of sustainable development than this 360 degree turn around project, which transforms a 1.2 hectare, poorly managed, waste dumping site (a major source of pollution and diseases) into a facility that will provide refreshment and wellness to the catchment community. Therefore MSA decided to partner GSBPL to offer our quota of contribution to the project as well as to depict the great degree of improvement in the relationship between GSBPL and its catchment communities.  We say Kudos to GSBPL, as we look forward to a very successful project and to more enhanced partnerships to ensure a total development of our catchment communities and beyond.” 

Mr Turkson and the team from MSA