Our community engagement strategy at our West African operations continues to evolve, balancing short-term stakeholder needs for social support and infrastructure improvements with Kinross’ strategic goals of working with the community to help generate long-term economic benefits and sustainable livelihoods. At Chirano, we work with local stakeholders to maximize employment as well as business and economic opportunities for local communities. Our initiatives at Chirano focus on education, youth skills training and entrepreneurship, health and sanitation, infrastructure and cultural activities. At Tasiast, we are focusing on “shared value projects” in skills development, poverty reduction, and improvements in health and veterinary care.
Our Chirano mine generated a range of socio-economic benefits in 2012 and 2013: provided employment for approximately 1,050 employees and 920 contractors (of whom 99% are from Ghana), purchasing $247.2 million in goods and services within Ghana, and contributing over $63.6 million in taxes, royalties and payments to governments in Ghana.
Chirano initiated the development of a new Corporate Responsibility Strategy in mid-2012. Developed in consultation with the Community Consultative Committee (CCC), which is comprised of stakeholder representatives from traditional authorities including tribal chiefs and security agencies, and local government, farmers and institutions, the updated strategy is currently awaiting final ratification. In the interim, we continue to support community priorities, such as educational and sanitation infrastructure as part of our community investment program.
Our community investment strategy has reached over 120,000 beneficiaries during the reporting period through a range of initiatives:
- We contributed $433,120 to educational initiatives including funds to build three local schools in the communities of Etwebo, Akoti and Paboase. The new schools reduced overcrowding in existing schools, replaced unsuitable buildings, and enabled children who previously travelled to other communities to attend school to stay in the local community. Following construction, the schools were transferred to the Ministry of Education.
- Funding was also directed to building a new kindergarten and primary school for approximately 275 children in Obrayeko, which significantly reduced overcrowding in the Chirano schools. Kindergarten blocks for Kwame-Aninkrom and Lawerkrom, and a block of six classrooms for Akasso, were also built. In Etwebo and Akoti, support was also provided for extra classes, desks and furniture, and reading and writing materials.
In the area of health care, we established partnerships with two NGOs, the Sefwi Health Initiative and Breast Care International (BCI), to improve breast cancer education and screening for women living in Chirano’s catchment area.
Beatrice Wiafe Addai of BCI
Kinross supported National Farmers Day celebrations at the district level.
- To supplement the investment in physical infrastructure, we also provided equipment, training and maintenance support for six IT labs as well as an additional information technology lab and library at Chirano.
- We continued to support the Chirano Malaria Control Program, an integrated vector control management approach to malaria prevention. Since the inception of the program in 2009, the program has contributed to a 20% reduction in the incidence of malaria in 13 beneficiary communities and an 82% reduction of malaria in our workforce. By the end of 2013, we had invested approximately $7 million in the program. Together with community stakeholders and the government, Kinross is evaluating sources of continued funding for this program.
Developing entrepreneurial and other skills among youth continues to be a priority. In 2013, we provided skills training to 143 young people in key trades, including truck operators, heavy duty mechanics, welders, drillers and drilling mechanics, cassette operation, forklift operation, plumbing and masonry, electrical, air condition repair, sign writing, and auto mechanic.
We contributed to a range of socio-economic benefits in Mauritania in 2013, including providing jobs for approximately 1,495 employees (of whom 88.5% were born or lived in Mauritania), purchased $379 million in goods and services from 637 local suppliers across 61 categories; and approximately $23.4 million in taxes, royalties and other payments to governments. Job creation at Tasiast, particularly opportunities for local employment, has contributed to a 66% reduction in the number of households living below the poverty line in communities close to the mine site since 2011. Our community investment strategy has reached over 105,000 beneficiaries in 2012 and 2013.
At Tasiast, our community investment strategy is focused on fostering local economic development through job creation, while balancing the most urgent near-term needs of local residents in key areas such as health care. To understand and define priorities, and to keep pace with community needs, we conduct both formal and informal consultation with our stakeholders including the community, government and NGOs, as well as stakeholder surveys.
Partnerships and shared value projects are the cornerstone of our CR program in Mauritania. A broad range of initiatives were implemented in 2012 and 2013:
- Working with local NGO, École de Developpement (ECODEV), Tasiast is supporting a three-year project to foster economic development in the local communities of Benichab and Nouamghar. Initiated in 2013, the program has supported 19 income-generating activities including a bake shop, butcher shop, tire repair and community shops. Since its inception, the program has created 97 jobs.
- Adult literacy training continued to be a focus of our community investment program. In 2013, ECODEV delivered 120 hours of literacy training for 65 women in the communities of Benichab, Asma, Lebeidatt, Bergeimatt, Lejwab and Lemenda, contributing to an increase in literacy and numeracy skills and commerce-related opportunities.
- In partnership with NGO, Sante Sans Frontiers (SSF), our mobile medical clinics bring critically needed health care to 16 villages and two community health centres to communities in and beyond the Tasiast area. Since the clinics were introduced in 2012, they have served over 5,500 people spread out over the 16 villages, including over 1,600 children. To learn more, see our video on the mobile medical clinics. We continue to provide access to site medical facilities for emergency care and basic health care for populations living around the Tasiast mine.
- To learn more about activities in Tasiast, read our case study on Creating Jobs and Empowering People in Mauritania.