Social responsibility is a fundamental part of our business and we have commitments to the local communities at each of our mines. In particular, we support projects which our communities can sustain long after our mines are gone.
We believe that engaging effectively with local communities is as important to us as any part of our business, since it helps protect and maintain our social license to operate. We understand that mining operations can have both positive and negative impacts on local communities, and hence we seek to maximise positive impacts through our charity and sponsorship initiatives and mitigate negative impacts through constructively engaging with communities. We continuously strive to improve our understanding the cultures, priorities, and concerns of local communities, in order to find the most effective ways of dealing with issues and gaining trust.
We invest in a number of social initiatives and community development programmes across our operations. These include the building and on-going support of schools and health clinics, road repairs and infrastructure construction, clean water supply, workforce support programmes, assistance to local farmers, and a range of supportive measures for many of the more vulnerable people in the societies where we operate.
In 2014, we adopted corporate Community Relations Policy that outlines our commitment to building and maintaining relationships of mutual respect and trust in each country where we operate.
The key areas
Education, health and economic empowerment are the three key focus areas on which we concentrate our main community engagement activities.
- Education: our education-focused activities are always in line with the individual national policies of the countries involved. They include the building and renovation of schools, provision of education supply and construction of libraries, providing scholarships for students, organization of social and cultural programmes.
- Health: we are providing local populations with health support, including new clinics and health centres, improved medical equipment, ambulance and sanitation facilities sporting programmes. We are also focused on the specific regional needs of African mines, such as active support of anti-malaria programme or Ebola precautionary measures.
- Economic empowerment: we are prepared to provide help to local communities when they face particular needs, such as distribution of financial support or food supplies. We also promote opportunities for local people to launch and manage successful enterprises and support farming and ranching. It is important that wherever possible we employ local people at all levels of our operations.