The Bisha Mine Human Rights Impact Audit

A broad and comprehensive mandate was given for the 2015 HRIA audit to examine the full spectrum of human and labour rights, through a review of the policies and management systems in place at the Bisha Mine and through engagement with affected stakeholders in Eritrea. Similar to the initial HRIA, the assessment team conducted interviews and focus groups with a wide range of stakeholders, including Nevsun and ENAMCO’s senior management; Eritrean government officials; BMSC employees and managers; local community leaders; and employees and managers of Eritrean contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

icon-casestudyupdate-v3For the second year in a row, Nevsun and ENAMCO commissioned an independent audit on human rights. This was intended to assess the performance at the Bisha Mine in advancing human rights initiatives and implementing the recommendations from the initial HRIA in 2014. The 2015 audit also assessed additional human rights issues related to changes in the operational context at the Bisha Mine.


The 2nd HRIA audit covered the following human rights issues:

  • respecting and ensuring labour rights, including freedom from forced labour, freedom of association, working conditions, and training opportunities
  • respecting human rights related to the environment, including the human rights to clean water and proper sanitation
  • contributing to community development and ensuring stakeholder engagement and dialogue with local communities
  • conducting human rights due diligence with respect to business partners and supply chain
  • providing for an effective operational grievance mechanism at the operational level
  • identification and assessment of emerging issues related to exploration, road safety, staff turnover and security and human rights

The full 2015 HRIA audit, as well as the initial HRIA, are available on the Nevsun website . We committed to providing a public response to the HRIA, developing and sharing an action plan resulting from the HRIA process, and continuing to report on human rights in our annual CSR Report. Our public commitment letter can be found on on the Nevsun website .

Our key actions and commitments related to the implementation of the recommendations from the HRIAs are summarized lower on this page.

HRIAIn 2015, Nevsun representatives met in person with interested stakeholder groups to review the full report, its recommendations, and planned Company follow-up. Nevsun has received constructive feedback regarding the commitment to the principles of accountability and transparency, and that our actions to date have represented good practice in the emerging field of impact assessment related to human rights. Human rights are integral to our corporate values and shape the expectations of many of our stakeholders. Most importantly, human rights are fundamental to the ongoing dignity, safety, and well-being of the individuals and groups that are affected by Nevsun’s operations.



  • A BMSC Workers Rights Policy will be finalized and adopted for the Bisha Mine
  • A cross-departmental CSR Working Group will be given formal responsibility for implementing the Workers’ Rights Policy
  • A roll-out plan will be developed to ensure our stakeholders are informed of the new policy


  • The human rights section of the BMSC induction training to take into account the new Workers Rights Policy
  • Continue to deliver the BMSC Human Rights and Voluntary Principles training and implementation initiative for the security personnel at the Bisha Mine
  • Provide training to the CSR Working Group to support their role in implementing the Workers Rights Policy


  • Continue to revise BMSC social and environmental SOPs to align with IFC Performance Standards and other international good practice standards as relevant
  • Particular attention will be paid to stakeholder engagement, grievance mechanisms and water-related plans and SOPs
  • Continue dialogue with the State of Eritrea’s multi-departmental Internal Review Committee (IRC) about BMSC environmental, social and human rights policies and procedures with a view to establishing good benchmarks for the Eritrean mining industry


  • Continue to apply screening procedures (to uphold the prohibition again national service workers in the mining sector) to all employees, contractors and suppliers that work at the Bisha Mine
  • Continue to do audits of all contractors and subcontractors practices
  • Continue to expand dialogue with contractors and subcontractors to other human rights and labour rights topics as relevant
  • Consolidate existing contractual provisions, policies and procedures into a Supplier Code of Conduct for ease of reference


  • Continue to refine and promote different grievance mechanisms to encourage the early resolution of any concerns
  • The CSR Working Group will track the different mechanisms to ensure there is a coordinated and responsive approach
  • Continue to evaluate the effectiveness of grievance mechanisms through the HRIA audits and other feedback from stakeholders
  • The use of operational-level grievance mechanisms does not preclude workers or community members from using other processes if they so choose