Appian regards social, environmental and governance standards as crucial elements within all investment opportunities and portfolio companies
Roxgold has successfully demonstrated a commitment to conducting its mineral exploration and development activities in accordance with international best practices outlined in the International Finance Corporation’s (“IFC”) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, who are a major shareholder. Roxgold’s comprehensive Health, Safety, Environment and Community (“HSEC”) Policy ensures that environmental responsibility and community engagement remain at the forefront of day-to-day operations while maintaining a work environment conducive to workers’ health and safety. A brief summary of Roxgold’s HSEC policy is highlighted below:
Work towards and build on international best practices for exploration and mining
Implement environmental requirements as outlined by the authorities of Burkina Faso and any future jurisdictions in which it operates
Implementation of health and safety best practices and making leadership accountable for their application
Comply with IFC’s Performance Standards and applicable guidelines
Establish and implement appropriate communication and consultation procedures with all stakeholders, as identified in the Stakeholder Engagement Plan
Seeks to achieve a balance of economic growth, social progress and environmental stewardship in our operations, to ensure we make a lasting contribution in the communities in which we operate
Roxgold provided 16,678 hours of training to contractors and employees
Following intensive local training, 84.7% of employees are from Burkina Faso
Roxgold Invested US$138m in local procurement, fostering socio-economic development and engaging with the local stakeholders
Roxgold invested US$656k in community development activities and received the Medal of Honor of Local Communities
Health and Safety
Since day one, Health and Safety have been fundamental aspects of the Roxgold culture. The Company’s dedication to the IFC’s Performance Standards has been consistently demonstrated through the prioritization of the protection of the health and safety of the Roxgold workforce. The primary goal of realizing a Zero-Incident workplace has been reinforced by the active participation of all employees and contractors in achieving this goal, and further driven by Roxgold’s exemplary culture of safety leadership. Thanks to the dedication of all Roxgold staff members and contractors, the Company has achieved the impressive milestone of working over 3.2 million hours LTI free in 2019. To this end, Roxgold provided 16,678 hours of training to contractors and employees and conducted 1,080 formal work area inspections.
Roxgold is committed to having an enduring positive impact on the people and on the communities near its operations. This commitment is tied to the conviction that Roxgold’s presence in host communities should provide employees and neighbours with opportunities for growth and development. Most of Roxgold’s people (85%), including employees and contractors, are Burkinabe, with 40% coming from the immediate mine area. Local employment is a strong expectation of nearby communities and a significant component of Roxgold’s social license to operate. A job at Roxgold gives households stability and the opportunity to prosper in the long term. Roxgold’s workplace is characterized by a relentless focus on health and safety, and a commitment to continued learning and skills development.
Frequent and formal stakeholder engagement, such as quarterly community monitoring committee meetings, monthly villages meetings, mine visits, and local authorities meetings combined with the use of key performance indicators has resulted in the Company’s proven ability to develop pertinent social programs that meet stakeholders’ expectations including the IFC, the Burkina Faso Government and the local communities.
As Roxgold grows, so do its efforts to work for the benefit of its stakeholders. Roxgold’s commitment to social responsibility and community well-being leads to the building of meaningful relationships with the communities in and around its operations. Roxgold makes commitments – both formal and informal – to strengthen these communities by investing in the local workforce, supporting local businesses, financing infrastructure development, promoting health and well-being and helping preserve their cultural heritage.
In 2019, Roxgold invested $656,022 in community development activities and spent $138 million in local procurement of goods and services in Burkina Faso. In total, 40 unique projects were realized under the community investment program, with a 100% completion rate, and 315 consultations with local governments and communities took place. Major projects included constructing a library and an administration office at Bagassi high school, refurbishing three classrooms, manufacturing tables and benches for schools, repairing Sipohin dam irrigation canals and bringing electricity to the Mana health centre and Niakongo and Kaho schools.
Roxgold’s operations add value to Burkina Faso’s formal economy by providing contracts and stable jobs for local people and by helping to expand the revenue base of its host government through income taxation, national social security system contributions and the royalties Roxgold pays every time gold is shipped.
As Roxgold’s HSEC Policy adheres to the IFC’s International Best Practices, the Company is committed to conducting all mining and exploration activities in a responsible and sustainable manner. To ensure environmental best practices are consistently respected, the Company continuously monitors all aspects of their operations through a robust environmental management system, resulting in no significant impacts or incidents recorded and no fine or non-compliance following the governmental audits and inspections. In addition, the Company has allocated significant resources to meet all environmental objectives related to long-term mine closure planning.
Roxgold supports a wide range of environmental initiatives across its operations that embody its commitment to protect and preserve the local environment. In 2019, 198 environmental inspections were conducted and no significant adverse environmental impacts or non-compliance incidents were noted.
Water is a highly valuable resource in Roxgold’s region, so water stewardship is especially important. The Yaramoko process plant is designed to ensure zero discharge into the environment and 40% of the water consumption is from recycled water from the tailings facility. Roxgold’s biodiversity management program is designed to conserve and promote the viability of plants and wildlife, reduce the impacts of mining activities on biodiversity, progressively rehabilitate land disrupted by mining activity and, together with the community, create actions aimed at protecting the environment within the mine site. Within Roxgold’s 2019 reforestation campaign, 15,327 trees were planted.
Guided by its environmental policy, Roxgold continually monitors environmental conditions in the areas near its operations to evaluate the impacts of its activities and define strategies and plans to address them. Roxgold applies best practices to prevent pollution and manage waste based on the principles of usage reduction, reutilization, recycling and elimination. In 2019, no cubic metres of waste were directed to landfills.