Gold Fields Ghana Limited in 2022 spent US$896 million to procure goods and services from registered suppliers.
Over 90 per cent of the amount went to in-country suppliers, which make up 70 per cent of the Mine’s over 1,600 active suppliers.
Mr Lindley Witbooi, the Vice President and Head of Finance for Gold Fields West Africa, announced this in Tarkwa, when he addressed the company’s local and foreign suppliers at the opening of this year’s suppliers conference.
The two-day event was on the theme: ‘The ESG culture change: An imperative to building a resilient supply chain through partnership.’
Mr Witbooi, who represented Mr Joshua Mortoti, the Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa, said as a major global gold producer, the company depended on its business partners to deliver products and services that were crucial to their mining operations in Ghana.
He said with such a large number of suppliers and enormous procurement budget, it was in order to ‘gather all of our business partners, once a while, to deliberate on issues of mutual concern, share ideas and best practices to navigate global supply chain challenges that directly impact our businesses, as well as learn new trends to improve our business processes.’
The maiden edition of the suppliers’ conference was held in 2019 and attracted over 250 local and foreign suppliers.
Mr Witbooi said the company had reviewed its supply chain strategy and improved aspects of its procurement, tender and payment procedures to ease the process and eliminate bottlenecks that burden suppliers.
‘We have now implemented preferential payment terms for licensed small and medium-scale enterprises that have established offices in our host communities. This means that host community SMEs who supply to us will receive payment within 10 to 15 days once they submit a valid invoice,’ he said.
He explained that this was a revision from the standard 30-day payment terms and would help make local businesses competitive and advance socio-economic development in host communities.
In addition, Mr Witbooi stressed that improvements made over the past few years by the company was deeply rooted in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
‘In line with our commitment to ESG, we are now deliberate about our dealings with businesses owned and led by women. One of our six ESG priorities is gender diversity, which charges us to increase women representation in our workforce to 30 percent by 2030.
‘For us, this goes beyond employing more women; it is also about incubating and empowering female entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders,’ he said.
He emphasised that, ‘we do not intend to unduly prioritise female-owned and led businesses to the detriment of other companies. Once you meet the tender requirements for a job, we will ensure fairness in awarding these contracts.’
‘Indeed, helping your businesses grow falls under Gold Fields ESG priority six, which is stakeholder value creation.’
He said this mandated the company to create and share the value of gold with all its stakeholders and business partners.
He also advised suppliers to ensure they aligned with Gold Fields’ commitments, learn about its supply chain procedures, understand the requirements for engaging in tenders and be aware of the expectations, enabling them to be well positioned to benefit from the various business opportunities available at Gold Fields.
Mr Theophilus Otchere, the Head of Supply Chain for Gold Fields, commended Genser Energy, a local company that has a power purchase agreement with Gold Fields.
‘They are one of our essential suppliers in the industry because about 90 percent of our power consumption comes from them. They generate power using natural gas on site, so we are not dependent on the national grid.
We can start up our mills with about 40 megawatts using the Genser plant. This is a local company we started a journey with. Today, we are proud that Genser can generate power at our Tarkwa and Damang sites,’ he stated.
Mr Otchere encouraged other local companies to emulate the higher standards set by Genser to help more businesses to excel and expand, adding that, ‘our current procurement process is very transparent’.
Mr Jerryscout Mensah, the Operations Manager of Jasey Mining Company Services, expressed gratitude to Gold Fields for creating numerous opportunities for its suppliers.
Participants were taken through Gold Fields’ procurement policies and procedures, payment terms, as well as the company’s commitment to ESG, women empowerment and creating a respectful and inclusive workplace for all employees.
Source: Ghana News Agency