Metallon is committed to engaging dialogue and building relations with the local community in the areas in which we operate.
We consider good community relations as a key component of continued operational success as well as a corporate requirement. We are committed to making a long lasting positive impact on the community where we do business. Our mines have been in operation for decades and our local communities have been involved with mining for generations and we aim to encourage further participation with generations to come.
We act at all times in a socially and legallly responsible manner and aim to give back to the community in which we operate. We are keen to continually improve on performance and build on the solid foundations already established with the local communities.
Our mining operations make a significant contribution to sustainable economic development through the creation of jobs and prosperity and the payment of taxes, duties and royalties. By creating value for stakeholders we benefit as a business and grow together with the countries in which we operate. The industry also plays an important role in the creation of secondary businesses, development of infrastructure, transfer of technical skills and other benefits.
We believe that less developed countries derive great benefit from the presence of responsible, world-class companies and we hope that our success will encourage other leading global companies to invest in these regions.
Our philosophy of partnership with the African countries in which we operate means that all our projects are geared towards mutual benefits. As well as driving profits for the company and tax revenues for our host countries, Metallon’s projects create a series of local economic benefits including employment, revenue for local businesses and funding for community development projects.
Our aim is to build capacity in the countries where we operate, and we aim to play a part in economic growth using mineral wealth. We also understand the risks involved in African investments and all our projects are preceded by a qualitative assessment combining governance, geological prospectivity, commercial infrastructure, environmental and social as well as other potential country risks.
Leaving a positive legacy requires a strong understanding of the social and economic relationships between our mines and the surrounding communities. A sustainable legacy also represents a shift from a traditional philanthropic approach to strategic social investment, partnership development and integration with government’s development plans.
Evidence suggests that mining companies can minimise their logistical costs, increase security of supply, reduce lead times and enhance their reputation by investing in local procurement. The benefits to the local economies would, at the very least, include increased market stability, improved productivity, increased employment and skills, improved domestic and foreign investment and increased tax revenues.
Our procurement policy is to form mutually beneficial relationships with the best local suppliers. We have established a programme of identifying local businesses and suppliers to close to each of our mines. We will then roll out the programme and aim to source materials locally where possible. An example is sourcing of protective clothing; at How Mine we are building a relationship with a local manufacturer who will be able to produce the clothing required to the correct specification. This enables us to build trust on the ground and also learn more about the business culture of the countries where we are operating.
Metallon believes that providing quality and proficient healthcare to its employees, dependents and the local community is an essential part of our community relations programme. Metallon owns and operates modern clinics at each of its mines to provide primary healthcare to the mine employees, their dependents and the surrounding community. The clinics are run by qualified personnel and they are visited once a week by a medical doctor. The clinics are in line with the international standards of fulfilling the three Millennium Development Goals:
- Preventing maternal mortality
- Reduce child mortality
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other disease through health education.
Education and Training
The provision of education and training is essential for the future generations of employees at our projects and the surrounding communities. Metallon has always been committed to the provision of education of the children of our employees and children from our local communities. At How, Shamva and Mazowe Mines schools have been built to provide education and additional welfare benefits such as food, water, sports and recreation to local children. At Redwing Mine, Metallon provides financial assistance and support to local schools in the surrounding areas. The number of children that are educated by our schools is substantial. At Mazowe Mine Primary School alone there are over 1700 children currently enrolled. At How and Redwing Mine, Metallon also provides a local bus services that transports children to school and back, ensuring all children are able to reach to school daily. There are further measures in place to equip schools with text books, furniture and computers.
in 2016 Metallon launched it Graduate Training Scheme whereby 15 university graduates, aged 18 – 28, were selected from over 1,000 applicants. As part of the Scheme the graduates will have a six weeks rotation period visiting all the mining operations to gather a full understanding of the business, before being placed in their target discipline. Disciplines include Mining Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Geology, Human Resources, Finance, SHEQ and IT. At their disciplines, graduates will work closely alongside highly experienced colleagues and in the future they will have the opportunity to be fast tracked to managerial positions. Metallon will run its Graduate Training Scheme every two years and will soon be extending its learner-ship development programs to the School of Mines and Polytechnic College cadets and apprentices. Metallon believes this Scheme will rebuild the country’s skills base and will be key to the future growth of the company, as well as driving the Zimbabwean economy.
As one of the largest employers in Zimbabwe, we are uniquely positioned to contribute to capacity development at both local and national level. We need a skilled, motivated and local workforce. To achieve this, the recruitment of talented individuals is an essential part of our growth strategy. Metallon provides fully on-the-job training for all new employees in all areas of the business. Ensuring that our workers are fully trained and have a clear understanding of all the risks involved in mining is essential to the smooth running of our operations. Many of our employees have worked for us for long periods of time and risen up through the ranks of the business. Even our CEO, Ken Mekani, joined the company as a graduate trainee and is now running the business after 30 years.
Metallon is working alongside local community groups and local government ministers to set up key CSR Projects that are critical to the local communities. We have identified key projects and programmes that need development and capital. The focus of these include investment in water supplies, roads, local schools, health clinics, hospitals and other essential infrastructure services. Metallon is dedicating funds, skills and expertise to these project to ensure the way the funds are spent in the local community achieve maximum impact. Metallon will also ensure there is fully accountability and transparency as to how funds and local projects are managed and developed.
Metallon has a dedicated Community Relations and Human Resources teams that works closely with host communities to create and implement integrated development programmes that take local priorities, concerns and needs into account, and focus on long-term sustainable development.
We strive to ensure that the operation of our mines does not cause or contribute to any negative impacts on neighbouring communities. However, to enable community members to raise concerns and to give us the opportunity to address those concerns, each of our mine sites operates a grievance mechanism which are designed to comply with the effectiveness criteria set out in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The grievance mechanisms are freely available at each of our mine sites and offices and can also be found here: Metallon Grievance Mechanism. – link to below
Cooperating with government agencies
Metallon understands that there is an increased emphasis from government organisations to better understand how to maximise the contribution of the mining and minerals sector to achieve sustainable development and meet broader UN objectives, such as the Millennium Development Goals. We believe Metallon has a significant role to play in working collaboratively with the Government of Zimbabwe and the other countries in which we operate assist in leveraging natural resource endowment to create a better future for the developing nations. We recognise that building partnership with the government at all levels is critical to earning and retaining our licenses and permits to operate. Being the largest gold miner in Zimbabwe, working together with the Government Ministries is essential for our licence to operate and for the growth and expansion of our operations.