CASE STUDY: CREATING JOBS AND EMPOWERING PEOPLE IN MAURITANIA
The mining industry can make a significant contribution to the economic well-being of host communities and countries by providing well-paid jobs, purchasing from local suppliers, investing in community development and supporting the tax base. In Mauritania, where Kinross’ Tasiast operation is among the country’s largest employers, the Company’s benefit footprint is substantial; in 2013, Kinross procured $379 million in goods and services from 637 Mauritanian suppliers, paid $55 million in wages to Mauritanian employees and contributed $23 million in taxes, royalties and other payments to government.
Evidence shows that our operations are having a measurable, positive impact on the quality of life of the communities around Tasiast. A 2013 survey conducted by Mauritanian sociologists found that the number of local households living below the extreme poverty line had been reduced by more than half since 2011, from 28% to 13%, the unemployment rate had declined from 47% to 24%, and per capita spending had doubled.
The most significant impact our Tasiast operation has is through the direct employment of 1,495 workersand 2,322 contractors, almost 90% of whom are Mauritanian nationals. Many of the people living in the vicinity of the mine do not have the skills or education to take on technical roles, so Kinross has implemented competency-based employment and established training programs to help non-skilled Mauritanians gain access to job opportunities at the mine. Kinross is making meaningful investments in training and education. The Company has committed $10 million over the coming years to the Mauritanian School of Mines, the first post- secondary school of its kind in the country to offer degrees in mining engineering and geology. Kinross also has an active apprenticeship program, with 71 apprentices participating in four years of on-the-job trainingand studying to become electricians, welders, heavy equipment mechanics and millwrights.
Tasiast’s benefit footprint also includes investment in community development, which is targeted at programs that leverage shared value from our operations. Kinross has worked closely with Bedouin herders who graze their animals in the semi-desert around Tasiast, whose livelihoods are heavily reliant on the health and integrity of their livestock. With the nearest water source some 80 kilometres away, Kinross supports the delivery of 900 cubic metres of water a month to area wells, while the Company’s veterinary health program provides vitamins and subsidized feed, and has vaccinated 95% of the area’s goats and sheep and 40% of all camels.
Supporting local entrepreneurship is a priority for Kinross at all our operations and, at Tasiast, we are partnering with the Dawas Co-operative for Development, the local community co-operative, to build capacity and identify business opportunities. Kinross provides the co-operative’s 35 members with training in organizational skills and bookkeeping as well as in basic literacy and numeracy. The co-operative has so far won contracts from Kinross to provide maintenance services to the Tasiast camp and to run a regular transportation service for local community members to travel to the Mauritanian capital and the coast. Kinross has also provided funding for a brick-making operation and the co-operative is soon expected to supply the mine’s roads with paving bricks.
By supporting today’s youth to become the workforce of tomorrow, partnering with local communities and continuing to be a major contributor to the country’s economic base, our goal is to help foster a vibrant mining industry that brings shared value to both Kinross and the people of Mauritania for many years to come.