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.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Beating Air Pollution Through Education

In June, Golden Star joined the global community to celebrate World Environment Day under the 2019 theme of “Air Pollution".

At the Golden Star operations our leaders held programs with the workforce and communities to discuss our role in the protection of the environment and to launch various World Environment Day activities.

Golden Star Sustainability Club members planting trees to mark World Environment Day

Tree planting activities were held with the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly, traditional leaders, members of the Golden Star Sustainability Clubs and local schools. 


Golden Star team members assist Municipal Chief Executive with tree planting

At Golden Star we believe our children are our future and that they play a critical role in advancing environmental stewardship. For this reason we promoted World Environment Day activities including environmental inspections, quizzes and tree planting at schools within our host communities. 

In a very close finish at the schools in the Wassa area, Old Subri School clinched the title for the schools’ environmental protection quiz and the schools’ environmental inspection. Congratulations to all participants!


Golden Star and traditional leaders join school quiz participants to celebrate

Golden Star actively undertakes revegetation of areas where mining is completed and have nurseries to grow native endemic trees. Since 2010 we have propagated over 178,000 indigenous plant seedlings, many of special conservation value, in former mined areas. This was supported by the replacement of topsoil and broadcasting of over 18,000 kg of plant seeds.

June also marked the two year anniversary of the commencement of revegetation of the largest tailings storage facility at our Bogoso operations. In partnership with the Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation almost 3000 oil palm seedlings have been successfully propagated in former tailings areas. 

Oil palm flourishes on a former tailings storage facility

This is what people had to say about our World Environment Day activities:

Ahmed-Salim Adam, General Manager
“The value of protecting our environment cannot be overemphasized. As we work to achieve this, my aim is to see that we do more to protect our world through planting and maintaining trees, minimizing waste generation, saving energy and avoiding burning”.






Shaddrack A. Sowah, Managing Director
“This day highlights environmental issues which affect all of mankind: climate change, air pollution, poor waste management and excessive deforestation.
As a leader in Golden Star, I am in support of sustainable initiatives for environmental improvement for our catchments. In this regard, these celebrations aim to bring communities, regulators and mine leadership together to improve the environment.”




Francis Sarfo, Environment Superintendent
“World Environment Day is a key forum to create awareness and recognize the impact we have on the environment. This year’s campaign on air pollution highlights a big issue in developed and developing countries. Some of the simplest ways of reducing air pollution impact is the planting of trees and waste management. We must be proactive to create awareness when it comes to environmental stewardship.”



Raymond Seworh, Municipal Environmental Health Officer, Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly
“As we celebrate this year’s World Environment Day air pollution is a vital theme, as the ozone layer is being depleted and human pollution from industrialization is affecting our health. Let each of us individually work to have a clean environment for a healthy life.”




Kennedy Boadu, representing the Municipal Director of Education
“This year’s theme is a laudable one because the country and the world as a whole have to be reminded of the causes and effects of air pollution. I would thank Golden Star for reminding us that human behaviour is the key contributing factor to air pollution. Educating the public is key and Golden Star is doing this.”




Emmanuel Kini Ababio, President of Sustainability Club
“Golden Star management made a good decision by organizing this program. We learnt a lot and it reminded us of what we can do. As a president, I will make sure that my colleagues are ambassadors of protecting the environment. We are going to make sure that we put into practice what we have learnt so that our environment will be safe in the hands of our generation. Thank you Golden Star”.



Gloria Damoah, Prestea Secondary Technical School
“World Environment Day promotes education, which leads to behaviour change. If we keep on practicing reforestation, it is going to help us reduce carbon monoxide in the environment and have a positive impact on our lives. I would recommend that we help preserve the quality of the environment by educating the youth on the causes and effect of pollution and to teach them how to protect it.”



Nyanzu Agyabu, HSEC Manager
“I am happy that this celebration brought education to the community and school children on the need to reduce air pollution. The children exhibited their knowledge on prevention of air pollution and committed to carry the message to their communities and homes.”






Peter Addai, Golden Star Oil Palm Plantation
“My aim is to protect the environment for generations to come and I am grateful for Golden Star for giving me the opportunity to expand our oil palm plantations into former mined lands which helps to protect the environment and create a livelihood for our communities.”






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

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Golden Star Featured in the Global Compact Network Canada's SDGs Emerging Practice Guide

United Nations Global Compact

In 2005 Golden Star, with the full support of our Board of Directors, wrote to the United Nations Secretary General and committed to adopting the UN Global Compact. 

As the world's largest global corporate citizenship initiative, the Compact is concerned with exhibiting and building the social legitimacy of business and markets. It is a framework for businesses to align their operations and strategies with universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a driver for Golden Star’s strategic approach to corporate responsibility. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encompassed by the Agenda are the focal point for development across the globe.

In May 2019 the United Nations appointed 17 influential public figures as SDG Advocates to raise awareness, inspire greater ambition, and push for faster action on the SDGs. To build the momentum for transformative, inclusive development by 2030, the Secretary-General’s SDG Advocates will use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilization of the global community.

Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates and President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo noted “The SDGs are about the future that we all want and indeed the future that we all need. It is not just desirable. It is an indispensable investment for our future - the future of our youth and that of our children. We cannot and should not fail them.”

SDGs Emerging Practice Guide

Last week, the Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) launched its SDGs Emerging Practice Guide. The GCNC has been spearheading and promoting the SDGs in Canada through collaborative efforts with the private sector. 

After consultations with various Canadian companies, it was determined that the lack of SDG-inspired practices was one of the leading obstacles in the adoption of the SDGs—leading to the preparation of the “SDGs Emerging Practice Guide.” 

The guide features three leading practice case studies by Golden Star! These case studies focus on our efforts in support of SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing) and SDG 8 (Decent work). 
2018 Golden Star Corporate Responsibility Report

At our recent Annual General Meeting, we released our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report, our 13th report against the UN Global Compact. 

Here is a summary of what our President and CEO, Andrew Wray had to say on releasing the report:

“On behalf of the Golden Star team, I am pleased to share our annual corporate responsibility report. This is the first corporate responsibility report which I have the pleasure of presenting as the CEO of Golden Star. For me, this is a key area of strength for the company and I am privileged to inherit such a talented and dedicated team. 

In 2018 we achieved much success related to our ongoing delivery of corporate responsibility programmes including winning the prestigious PDAC Environment and Social Responsibility award and multiple awards at the Ghana Mining Industry Awards. I would like to extend my congratulations to our teams, GSOPP, LOCOMs and Ms. Gandhi for these fantastic achievements.

We also continued to advance our progress in supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. One of my key priorities is to ensure that our work in corporate responsibility continues to develop and that we remain a trusted and valued partner for all our stakeholders”.

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

To download the SDGs Emerging Practice Guide please visit www.globalcompact.ca/sdgs-emerging-pratice-guide 

Friday, 26 April 2019

Golden Star Joins the National Malaria Programme in Promoting this Year’s World Malaria Day

In support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3): End the Epidemics of Malaria and Other Diseases, Golden Star joins the National Malaria Programme and other partner organizations in promoting this year’s World Malaria Day theme “Zero malaria starts with me”.

Malaria is the single greatest cause of disease burden in Ghana and it disproportionally affects children and pregnant women. In our host communities, malaria represents around 60% of clinic attendance cases.

In Golden Star, we implement a malaria prevention program that incorporates spraying of residential areas, provision of personal protection equipment and repellents, and access to 24-hour testing and treatment at our mine site clinics.

In 2018, with the support of program partners, we shared over 5,000 long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets with our families and host communities. As a result of our ongoing efforts, we were recognized as a Malaria Safe Organization by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Our programs are paying off – in 2018 our malaria case rates were less than 5.5% of clinic attendance, translating to 0.35 malaria cases per workforce capita for less than 768 days lost to malaria illness.

GSR continues to support the Malaria Control Programmes (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3)) with implementation of the Behaviour Change Communication Strategy on the use of insecticide-treated nets. 

This is what some employees and partners had to say:


Evelyn Gifty Bilson, HR Training & Development Coordinator
As a Golden Star malaria champion, I share malaria control measures with HR at safety meetings and coordinate the departmental malaria champions training to ensure that everyone gets involved. The initiatives taken by GSR will reduce our medical cost when it comes to malaria treatment and will reduce lost productivity. The awareness created at safety meetings, and also the involvement in the malaria eradication programme, will go a long way to get people informed about the control measures that can help prevent malaria. Going forward, I look forward to educating catchment communities on environmental cleanliness as additional measures for malaria control.
Malaria control starts with you and in your home. Defeat mosquitoes and Malaria will be no more.


Francis Sarfo, Environmental Superintendent at Bogoso Gold Mine
As a GSR employee, I have participated and benefited from the malaria prevention program that incorporates both indoor and outdoor residual spraying of residential areas, offices and work places, and the use of long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets. These initiatives are good for GSR and it forms part of our key measures for preventing malaria.
I look forward to becoming a champion of malaria prevention by educating the workforce and the host communities on malaria prevention measures.


Hannah Owusu Adjei, Nursing Officer, Bogoso Mine ISOS Clinic 
In view of huge financial and economic burden, which the disease poses to the operations of the company, the Health and Safety Department as well as the Community Relations Department have been implementing a number of initiatives to reduce malaria cases among its workforce. Notably, among these initiatives are employee education to create awareness on malaria, training of malaria champions in the various departments, internal residual spraying of company buildings and structures, distribution of long lasting insecticide nets, of which I was involved, and many others.


Samuel Kojo Ansah, Senior Safety Training Coordinator at Golden Star Wassa Limited
As a malaria champion, I coordinated the training of the GSR employees on malaria prevention practices and assisted with the distribution of the nets. The distribution of the nets has gone a long way to reduce the malaria cases reported in the mine. It is a great and effective initiative to prevent illness caused by malaria. 
Personally, after a bad encounter with malaria, I am supportive of the medication as well as the preventive measures recommended.
More often than not we convince ourselves that using mosquito nets are uncomfortable and expensive, forgetting the self-inflicting slaps from spending a night with mosquitoes.


Zacharia Issah, Community Affairs Superintendent at Golden Star Wassa Limited
Malaria is a very serious illness and one of the leading causes of death in children under five and pregnant women in Ghana.
Golden Star as a Malaria Safe Organization has a lot of initiatives that help reduce malaria among its workforce and dependent. Sharing of mosquito repellent to employees who work on night shift and also progressing education on malaria control practices throughout the year help in the reduction of malaria cases.
Personally, I educate employees during safety meetings and sometimes unofficially talk to the community members on what they can do as individuals to help reduce malaria cases in themselves and their families. 
Thank you Golden Star for these initiatives. 

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

Monday, 1 April 2019

Balance for a Better Golden Star - Celebrating International Women's Day 2019

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019, the theme of this year’s campaign calls for us to “#BalanceforBetter” and work together to forge a gender-balanced world. As Golden Star recognizes the critical link between advancing the status of women and reducing the poverty burden, we aim to create equal opportunity for every member of our team.

A 2018 United Nations study (https://www.cigionline.org/articles/advancing-gender-equality-through-trade) estimated that women in developing countries could increase their farm yields by approximately 30% if they are provided with the same resources as men. This would help increase total agriculture outputs and decrease the number of people affected by hunger by 12 to 17 percent. 

At Golden Star we are confident that the same resulting benefits from increased resources for women in farming can be achieved in a number of other employment sectors. In support of this, we are focused on the empowerment of women within the organization and in our third party contractors. By providing our female team members with the same resources as their male counterparts Golden Star aims to achieve a working environment where every person has the same opportunity to succeed and live a well-balanced life. 

BALANCE FOR A BETTER GSR

For this year’s International Women’s Day we wanted to highlight women who are both directly employed by Golden Star and working as third party contractors in fields such as security, catering and gardening services. According to statistics, over 50% of Primus (GSR Catering Service Provider) workers are women with 100% of those women being from our host communities.

Golden Star encourages everyone to take responsibility in shaping a gender-balanced world through collective action and strives to ensure safe, equal and gainful employment for all members of our team.   



Gifty Asante (Primus Service Limited) 
I’m a mother of three and I also work for Primus. As a mother I have to make sure I’m well organized because it can be challenging to balance my time between work and home. As a woman it can be tough sometimes, but the fact that we are able to overcome it shows why women need to be included in every workplace. Gender balance is important for a better organization.




Gladys Ewudzie (Kruger Brent Security)
I was happy when I got a message from a friend wishing me a happy International Women’s Day this morning. I’m celebrating this day with love and pride as a single mother of three.  Now I can boast of my achievements as a mother. Being a mother goes beyond giving birth, it includes the love and affection that you show toward your family. I didn’t find it easy to give up time with my family to work at first, but when I considered the benefit for myself and my family, it is worth the sacrifice. In many ways this job has raised my self-esteem as a woman as people see me as a mentor and find inspiration in my accomplishments. 


Vivian Mahama (Primus Service Limited) 
Management is key when you want to balance your time as a mother and a career woman. When leaving home I make sure that I manage my time by sticking to my schedule for my routine at home. I don’t regret being a career woman and a mother because this job is helping me to provide for my family. As a career woman you earn the respect of your family and your community and I support the idea of a gender-balanced organization. In my field of work there are women who have higher positions than some of the men. I advise women stay hopeful as they strive to earn a living for their family. 


Lucy Lambon (Primus Service Limited) 
It’s good to have a gender-balanced organization regardless of its type as it allows people to explore their different strengths while supporting each other. As a single woman, I am happy to be working as I am not in a rush to get married. I would love to continue working and use my job as a way to take care of my family. As a woman, I am able to use my story to inspire others, especially teenage girls. Though I wasn’t able to go far in my education, that didn’t stop me from working. For me, I’m happy to be a career woman.


Matilda Koney (Kruger Brent Security)
There is a saying that “if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family”. This saying comes from a Ghanaian scholar Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey. I am so excited to be an educated woman. As a career woman and a mother, balancing my time at work and home is not very flexible. Though my mother has offered to take care of my child, I want to fulfill my role as a wife and mother on my own.  Competing with men in the workforce is quite challenging but when teamwork prevails, a lot is achieved. I wouldn’t dream of staying home, I want to continue to work to help support my family. 


Christina Kwafo, (Brosons Environmental Services)
I am a mother of three, a widower and a career woman. Having kids and working as a single mother is not an easy task. I used to be a seamstress when my husband was alive but after his loss, the sewing couldn’t cater for the family so l had to look for other means to keep the family moving. Then I got this job and I have been with this company for seven years. With hard work I have been able to help my kids at the tertiary level. Having women in the workforce is important and it allows us to contribute even more to our families. I support the idea of every woman having a career if that is what they want.


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