Our original stakeholder mapping and group identification, which included the development of a stakeholder engagement plan, was determined during the Bisha project’s environmental and social impact assessment process. Stakeholders are identified by their potential impact (direct or indirect) by the project and their relationship to the overall project area. More specifically, this means all people who live, use or have cultural ties to lands and resources within the footprint or zone of influence of the Bisha Mine (4-34 km) radius. This includes our main stakeholder community populations in Mogoraib, Adi Ibrihim, Jimel, Aderat, and Tekreret, as well as authorizing government and regulatory bodies in Eritrea that have jurisdiction over resources potentially affected by the Bisha Mine. We engage regularly with these local communities because their concerns and feedback are important to us.

The BMSC Social Responsibility Policy includes a commitment to actively consult with local communities to identify and resolve environmental and social issues. Seven Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) are situated in nearby villages to provide local residents with general information and operations updates regarding the Bisha Mine, to discuss issues or discuss any complaints and to facilitate job applications. BMSC engages on a regular basis with the Sub Zoba Dighe Administration (including the Ministry offices for Agriculture and Health), Gash Barka Regional Administration Office; and National Government stakeholders, including those Ministry offices that have permitting, approval, and monitoring function of the Bisha Mine, also are represented by the Internal Review Committee (IRC). In addition, the Company plays an active role in local and national events, such as the Eritrean Independence Day celebrations, Annual Woman’s Day, and the 2015 Eritrean Expo.

STAKEHOLDER GROUP FREQUENCY OF ENGAGEMENT TYPE OF ENGAGEMENT
Information Update Committee (IUC) 12 times IUC meetings recommenced in mid-2014. The frequency has been monthly based on the feedback from the IUC members.
Sub Zoba Administration Year round Meetings - formal and informal communications, visitation to project area.
Stakeholder village residents Ongoing Formal and informal meetings as required, Community Liaison Officersnin place
Zoba Gash Barka Administration 5 times Formal meetings and letters
Ministry of Agriculture Gash Barka Regional Office 10 times Formal meetings and letters
Government of Eritrea Internal Review Committee (IRC) 4 times Quarterly reporting and site visits. Additional phone calls and emails to discuss points as required.
Ministry of Agriculture Sub Zoba Dighe office Year round Formal and informal communication, technical support meetings.
Ministry of Health Sub Zoba Dighe office 5 times Formal meetings and letters

Our community relations department maintains a record of stakeholder engagement activities including response to their concerns. The revitalization of the Information Update Committee (IUC) meetings in 2014 has improved stakeholder engagement with the Bisha Mine. IUC meetings have further encouraged stakeholder community representatives to share their ideas and concerns with the Company’s senior management. In 2015, these meetings became more involved (held monthly), as the engagement using the IUC meeting process was developed further.

Other community engagement successes in 2015:

  • Successful commencement and implementation progress with the communities on three initial CAP projects
  • Improved relations between BMSC and the stakeholder communities. In one example, a community shifted their cultivation for one season, to enable the company to move forward with its desired exploration activities, on the condition that the mine would clear and plough new community land for future farming activities
  • At the Eritrean expo, our carnival display was visited by 17,000 locals and won second place among all companies operating in the country. This event encouraged constructive dialogue between local Eritreans and the mining sector with respect to mining, environment and social issues