Raw materials could unlock Zambian development

Mining Indaba: Valuing Social Investment in Mining

Mining companies are very aware of the significant impact of their operations upon local communities and recognize the need to earn a ‘social license to operate,’ in the form of an unwritten contract with workers, their families and other stakeholders. Consequently vast sums are ploughed into social investment initiatives including infrastructure, education and training, healthcare, sports and recreation. Countries such as South Africa and India have mandated social investment, and others are sure to follow. When entering new markets in emerging territories, governments want to see social investment plans before granting mining rights.

On the surface, such philanthropy should bring enormous benefits by reducing poverty, improving health and employment prospects, securing food and water supplies, and preventing environmental damage. The businesses themselves can enhance their reputations, build better relationships with local suppliers, attract talented and engaged employees, and reduce sickness and absenteeism, all of which should contribute to higher productivity and commercial success.

Dr. Patricia Makhesha, MD of Ivanplats’ Platreef Project, shares their social community programme at the 2015 Mining Indaba.

 

A recent KPMG survey titled Unlocking the Value of Social Investment suggests that mining companies should aim for a small number of programs with measurable social impact.

To download the survey click here

David Okwara

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