Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Golden Star Shines at the 5th Ghana Mining Industry Awards


The 2019 Ghana Mining Industry Awards gala was held on November 29, 2019 where the Golden Star team was recognised with awards in three categories:
  • Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety – Golden Star (Wassa) Limited
  • Financial Deal of the Year – Golden Star (Wassa) Limited 
  • Runner-up - Corporate Social Investment Project of the Year – Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Limited

Golden Star Ladies showcase the awards presented to the team
Eric Bondzie, Finance Manager and Shaddrack Adjetey Sowah, MD - Wassa Mine

Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety 

Golden Star Wassa Limited was awarded the Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety. The award celebrates the company which excels in promoting a holistic health and safety culture and compliance with industry regulations and safety standards. 

In 2018 and 2019, Golden Star Wassa Limited and in fact, our entire company, undertook major programs for enhanced safety culture including leadership training, the development of standards to prevent fatal injuries, and various programs to enhance workplace housekeeping and safety. In 2019, GSWL met and exceeded all its leading safety metrics and achieved 15 million working man hours with no lost time injuries (LTI). 

Team Golden Star treating a casualty during an exercise at the 2019 inter-mines competition
  
Financial Deal of the Year 

This award celebrates joint financial transactions between a local financial institution and a producing mine that is breaking new ground and driving mining operations forward. Golden Star and Ecobank have had a history of financial partnership with two successful financial transactions leading up to 2018. 

In 2018, Golden Star Wassa benefited from US$45 million in financial transactions with Ecobank, following US$75 million in previous loans. The deal for which the partnership received the award secured the future of Golden Star Wassa Limited by guaranteeing continuous employment of 2,257 employees and 1,366 third party contractors (2018 data) of whom 2,170 are directly employed from the local mine communities. 

Lilian Awuah in front of her new jumbo drill 
The financial deal enabled the purchase of new equipment

Runner-up - Corporate Social Investment Project of the Year

Golden Star’s “Multi-Purpose Recreational Park Complex” was recognised as runner-up Corporate Social Investment Project of the Year, making 2019 the fourth successive year that GSBPL has been recognised in this award category.

This project saw the reclamation of an unauthorised communal refuse site into a multi-purpose recreational park complex that is now the focus for sports and social programmes for almost 30,000 people in Prestea and its surrounding communities.

The project which brought together the combined efforts of Golden Star, LOCOMs and Maintenance Sustainability Africa, has served about 30,000 people through social events ranging from competitions, wedding receptions, music festivals and others. On a weekly basis basketball and aerobics sessions are conducted, with plans for exercise programs for the elderly and infirm among others.

Before (top) and after pictures of the Multi-purpose Recreational Park


Congratulations to everyone for the fabulous efforts in 2019 which have made these recognitions possible.  

Ayekoo Golden Star!!!

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

Monday, 9 December 2019

Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention During #PINKTOBER

From its humble start in 2013, the aim of the Breast Cancer Awareness initiative was to bring free and confidential breast cancer screening to communities that would otherwise not have access. In the first five years of the initiative by the Golden Star Ladies Club, with the support of Golden Star, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and AEL Mining Services, more than 10,400 women and girls have undergone clinical breast cancer screening, potentially saving as many as 270 lives. 

In the final stage of the program in 2017, Golden Star in partnership with GIZ, Ghana Health Services and AEL Mining Services, established Prevention Health Units (PHUs) in the catchment government hospitals and health compounds. Under the program funding, these PHUs were equipped with preventative health equipment, enabling host communities to routinely access affordable prevention health services, including clinical breast cancer screening and education on an ongoing basis as prevention is better than a cure.

2019 was GSR’s year of celebration for the breast cancer screening programs in the communities. In the month of October, Golden Star Ladies Club went pink to raise awareness for breast cancer by embarking on numerous activities. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, over 700 women in seven communities were screened for breast cancer. The program resulted in 25 women being referred for further screening and potentially life-saving treatment.


Sandra Yawson records risk factor information from a participant


During the same month, GSR’s Ladies and management wore pink mining uniforms sown by local tailors in our host communities. 


GSR Wassa Ladies Club members with the Managing Director and HR Manager

The uniform was the official dress for the program activities which included;

  • Breast cancer awareness and self-examination talks to build capacity in  the local populace and employees
  • Fundraising for future projects
  • Inter-departmental Pink Master Chef cooking contest amongst employees
  • Clean up exercise

GSR Bogoso Ladies together with some donors; the General Manager and HSEC Manager

GSR Prestea Ladies give thumps-up to beating breast cancer

Ladies with local tailor and HSEC Manager
   
Awareness campaign

Early detection is the safe way


Activities in Pictures:

Ladies helping to make the environment clean

Pink Master Chef Competition #MenForPink
   
Here is what people had to say:


Marian Aba Amankwah – Ladies Club Member / GSWL Inventory Controller
During the month of October we were able to screen lots of women and girls which we celebrated on October 22nd. The ones that showed signs of breast cancer were registered on the National Health Insurance Scheme for further screening and possible treatment. I’m very proud of what we have achieved this month. I say Ayekoo to the GSR Ladies for the unconditional support and a thank you to the management of GSR for their continuous support and sponsorship. 


Makki Rashida Iddisu – GSBPL Ladies Club President / Snr OH & S Officer
GSBPL Ladies celebrated #PINKTOBER to raise awareness for breast cancer. Lots of activities were undertaken during this month including education on breast cancer awareness, screening, fundraising, and a cook out competition which we called the “Inter-Departmental Pink Master Chef”. Well done ladies, and a special thank you to our management and all staff for the immense support.
Special appreciation goes to the executive management and GSBPL management for their kind donations.


George Amankwah-Kumi – Group & Comm. Health Coordinator  
According to WHO, breast cancer kills about 500,000 people each year, mainly in low and middle-income countries. That’s why I joined and congratulate the GSR Ladies for their initiative to create awareness on breast cancer. With breast cancer, it’s all about early detection. We have to educate women, both young and old, to have periodic clinical breast cancer screenings in the PHUs set up in the various health facilities within GSR catchment communities by GSR and GIZ under the “Prevention is Better than Cure” project. Ayekoo Ladies!


Sara Fosu – Beneficiary of the Breast Screening at Himan 
This morning I heard an announcement that GSR Ladies requested that we come and check our health (breast screening, sugar level, blood pressure, etc.) at the community centre where they had made the equipment readily available and for free. I participated in this check and my health was fine. I encourage everyone to participate in this. GSR should continue with this program since it has really proven to be very beneficial for me and other women. I say a big thank you to the Golden Star Ladies Club. Medase!

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

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Enriching our Communities Through Volunteer Work

Golden Star is once again working with our host communities to provide practical experience for young people. Between 2010 and 2019, we have hosted almost 800 attachment students, 750 National Service Personnel (NSP), 154 graduate trainees and 84 apprentices.

In 2019 alone, Golden Star is hosting around 90 National Service Personnel from our host communities and beyond. 

Inspired by Golden Star’s work and our commitment to sustainability, the National Service teams have carried out a number of their own volunteer programs as part of their contribution to corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

National Service Personnel at Bogoso/Prestea

In July 2019 the 2018/2019 National Service Personnel raised funds of over $5,000 to embark on projects to give back to the communities. These projects included:
Provision of solar panels for Brakwaline Community Clinic 
Support for National Health Insurance Scheme registration for over 500 community members
Volunteer activities including painting of Kubekro Community Primary School


Brawkwaline Community Clinic solar panels in use
Municipal Chief Executive of Prestea Huni-Valley and Golden Star’s Group and Community Health Coordinator at the launch of the solar panels for Brakwaline Community Clinic

As part of their program the National Service team arranged for personnel from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to attend the community, thus providing the opportunity for over 500 members of the community, who were not enrolled in NHIS, to undertake their enrollment and gain enhanced health security for themselves and their family.
  
National Health Insurance Scheme registration for community members

At the Golden Star Wassa operations, National Service Personnel volunteered numerous hours of their time to clean and repaint Kubekro Community Primary School and give it an enhanced look.

National Service Personnel painting Kubekro Community Primary School

Golden Star is extremely proud of the National Service Personnel and their efforts – not only in their tremendous service to the Company, but more importantly, for the leadership they have displayed through numerous hours of volunteer time and effort. Ayekoo!

Here are some of the comments made about these personnel and their projects:

Gifty Bilson – Senior Training Officer GSWL
“Everyone is capable of change and growth, we just need to know where to begin. Starting work life or a new job can be exciting. It offers the opportunity for greater independence, meeting new friends and colleagues, and learning new skills, but it can also be a stressful time for many young people. For this reason, Golden Star has put in a programme to prepare these young graduates for the job market.

Counting back from 2010, GSR has supported the scheme by providing service placement offer for hundreds of youth.

The Company’s aim is to help the National Service Personnel gain the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience across the core operational areas of the business and also create employment opportunity for these new graduates. Well done to these personnel on their marvellous projects."

Mozart Kweku Owuh – Municipal Chief Executive of Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality 
“This is the first health facility in the Municipality to have solar panels as its source of energy. It is a small step for the GSR 2018/2019 National Service, but a giant step to achieve Sustainable Development Goals #7: Affordable and Clean Energy.

These guys have great minds and I am happy with the impacts of their project on health care delivery at the clinic. They have really left a legacy!"

Abigail Kumi – Midwife, Brakwaline Clinic
“As a midwife, this project is really going to help in safe deliveries as we previously delivered using a torch light at night. Medicines that needed cold storage could not be kept at the clinic because of the absence of electricity. This puts mothers and babies at risk during deliveries.

Ayeekoo NSP for your great work!"



Robert Ntsiful -Municipal Health Directorate Representative, Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality
“The Brakwaline Clinic is one of the greatest projects by the GSR NSP. This clinic was built around 2015 and because it did not have a grid, the facility was not fully serving its purpose. Now that we have this solar installation, we are going to see to it that it does. 

The capacity of the panel is great and we are going make sure that it stays in good condition. Kudos guys!”

Nana Kweku Frimpong, Brakwaline Chief 
“I’m excited about this project because we desperately needed this power. Golden Star and the National Service Personnel have really surprised us, so what I can say is, God richly bless them for having such a great idea to help people of Brakwaline and other surrounding hamlets."





Patience Ackon- Secretary, National Service Personnel, GSBPL
“Looking back, I'm happy that our group of Golden Star National Service Personnel focused on “Health is Wealth” as our theme for our long week celebration. Through the theme, we identified that Brakwaline Community Clinic had no power and several community members have not been enrolled in the National Health Insurance Scheme Program.

Now, I'm glad that we have been able to provide power to the clinic and we have enrolled over 500 community members in the National Insurance Scheme Program."

Prince Essel – President, National Service Personnel, GSWL
“I felt excited when we decided to volunteer as painters to give a new look to the community school block. 

I want to say a big thank you to the entire team, the community and Golden Star for giving us the opportunity to extend a helping hand onto others.

I hope that the next group of National Service Personnel at Golden Star will follow on and continue doing community service as part of their National Service Week celebration activities."

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

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Golden Star Excels in Ghana National Inter-Mines First Aid and Safety Competition

Golden Star is committed to safety and employee well-being and 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. To boost the value we place on this, our employees actively participate in local competitions.

In Ghana, the top annual event for mine safety is the National Inter-Mines First Aid and Safety Competition. Golden Star chooses to be an active participant in the competition to underscore the importance it attaches to safety issues and to educate employees and host communities on health, first aid and safety practices. This year, Golden star won a number of awards in the 2019 zonal competitions. 

Now let’s take a closer look at each of the award categories that we won…

Best Mining Company: Mine Safety Drills & Quiz (Zone 3)

Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) Ltd. was recognized for Best Mining Company in the competition for Zone 3. This flagship award was bestowed on the company for achieving the highest score in the quiz drills contest hosted by Golden Star Bogoso/Prestea.

At the end of the competition Golden Star (Bogoso/Prestea) emerged the winner ahead of Asanko Gold Mine, Newmont Goldcrop Ahafo and Gold Fields Ghana, Tarkwa.

The Golden Star team treating a casualty during a drill

Golden Star teams celebrate their win
 
First Runner Up: Mining Company in Mine Safety Drills & Quiz (Zone 1)

Golden Star Wassa was recognized as first runner up in the Zone 1 category of the competition. This award celebrates Golden Star Wassa for excelling in health and safety culture, compliance with industry regulations and safety standards.
 
The Golden Star Wassa team treating a casualty during a drill

Golden Star Wassa team celebrates their win
 
Best Mining Company: Community Mine Safety Drills & Quiz (Zone 1)  

Golden Star Wassa local community team was recognized as having the best abilities to assist their communities during emergencies. 

Golden Star Wassa Community team during a drill

Golden Star Wassa Community team during a drill

This is what people had to say:

Ahmed-Salim Adam  General Manager GSBPL
AYEKOO to the GSR TEAM!!! 
At GSR we recognize that our operations come with a wide range of health and safety risks for our workforce and host communities. We also recognize that as a responsible mine we can provide opportunities to enhance healthy outcomes for employees, their dependents and local communities. We believe that all work-related injuries are unacceptable and everyone should go home safely every day, hence our commitment to “If it is not safe, make it safe”.  AYEKOO once again to the team.

Nana Andoh – Environmental Consultant (Ghana Chamber of Mines - Represented the CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines during the Zone 3 inter-mines first aid and safety competition.)
The industry is very cautious about the role that safety plays in the life of the mine. A safe mine is a very productive mine. 
The chamber is very interested in making sure that mine employees work to safety rules so that everyone can return home safely to their families.
Not only do the competitions have a positive impact on the safety at the mines but they have helped catchment communities by involving the community brigade in the competition. I say congratulation to the winning teams and look forward to seeing them perform at the finals.

Philip Thompson  Safety Superintendent – HSEC (GSBPL)
The safety competitions have helped to give in-depth education to our community members and employees. They have showcased that the industry has learned a lot from the past.
We have used this safety competition platform to train a number of community members. Some have joined our workforce as emergency responders or first aiders and continue to provide first aid services to their communities.
I say kudos to the GSR team who won. Congratulations once again.

Sidi Adam – Health & Safety Superintendent – HSEC (GSWL)
GSR acknowledges safety as an integral part of its business and with the inception of the safety competition, it has improved the knowledge of health and safety practices of both the company employees and the community at large. 
The competition has helped train community members to act as first aid responders in incidents in their communities. 
I want to take a minute to thank you all for a job well done. Our team was selfless and unified. Thanks for pulling us through.

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

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Strengthening Community Relationships

Golden Star is committed to being a part of the community in which we operate. To achieve this we engage in accurate, transparent, and timely two-way consultation with local stakeholders in order to communicate on the business and address the needs of local partners. 

Regular dialogue can take the form of public meetings, open houses, and sensitization forums. All are essential to developing lasting relationships built on mutual trust and respect to reach agreed objectives and shared involvement. 

In 2012, Golden Star entered into agreements with host communities at its Bogoso/Prestea operations covering relationship and sustainability, local employment and the development foundation.

Signing of Agreement at Bogoso
Members of Wassa MOU Committee

MOU Negotiation Committee at Wassa

Now in 2019, our commitment to establishing strong relationships with our host communities continues. This year Golden Star’s Wassa operations, the Company and local communities have been jointly developing a memorandum of understanding. The process of development has involved four catchment communities, two resettlement communities and two divisional areas. Representatives include traditional council, Queen Mothers, Members of Parliament, Districts Assembly and women and youth, amongst others. 

A key component throughout the process was the involvement of women, which has been recognized by other participants as adding a vital new perspective to the development of the MOU. 

Following the signing of the MOU, a subsequent blog will be published outlining its details and the ways in which it will play an important role in the continued development of strong relationships between Golden Star, our employees and our host communities. 

A word from the committee members…


Nana Kwamena Damoah III, Divisional Chief for Mampongso Division Area
The community and the company didn’t have procedures to guide them in their activities in the communities. Now, I think with the help of this MOU, it will improve the relationship between the community and the company. This will address the needs for the company to balance its employment process.

I am happy we have women and Queen Mothers on the committee as their contributions were useful to the committee’s work. 


Zachariah Issah, GSWL Community Superintendent  
A well negotiated MOU will help promote greater unity between the community and the company because it will address two major issues; community employment and management of the Golden Star Wassa Development Foundation fund.

The number of women in the community and their participation was vital to the process and the impact of their contribution was significant during the meetings.


Wilson Arthur, District Chief Executive of Wassa East 
This MOU is a good opportunity for the company and the communities and I am glad I assisted in the steering of the program. I believe that the mine has really transformed our various communities but together we can do more. My contribution for the few times that I have been here is to help the community change their attitudes as by working together more empowerment can be achieved. 



Nana Ama Afoa II, Queen Mother of Mampongso Divisional Area
The community has co-existed with the company for a number of years and issues are resolved through its community engagement process and our traditional meeting methods.

This is the first time and we have come together to formalize our co-existence. This will help the community and the company as we will all heed to the agreements. 

As a Queen Mother, I am very happy to be part of the committee and my contributions were welcomed. I proposed that more women be added to the various committees to “balance for better”. 


Isaac Okyere Mensah, Youth Secretary for Golden Star Catchment Youth Association
GSR has been in this community for a long time. Whilst differences between the community and the company have been resolved through dialogue with government representatives as a third party, the MOU is going to help the community and the company relate more directly.

Having women representatives in our various committees is going to help us achieve a better outcome. We used to discourage women participation in committees, but not now, we empower them to make their opinions known.


Patrick Amoah, MOU Moderator
It is a very good decision for Golden Star to negotiate and sign an MOU with the community to enhance the cordial relationship.

We all recognize that Golden Star has contributed to CSR programs for its catchment communities. This MOU will enhance the relationship on employment and supply of goods and services. Together the parties will realize enhanced value from their collaboration and the presence and investment of the company in the host communities.

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