We actively work with the Government of Eritrea to enhance preferential hiring for Local Diversity candidates for the Bisha Mine.

Local HiringIn 2015, local Eritreans made up 90% of our employees in Eritrea (89% in 2014) and 35% of our onsite senior management (37% in 2014). The slight change from 2014 is primarily due to the need for the ramp up of local workers expertise during our zinc-production capital expansion project, as well as internal promotions. Our Eritrean workforce consists of people from Asmara and other parts of the country (48%) – compared to 69% in 2014, while the remaining local workforce (42%) – compared to 20% in 2014, is from nearby stakeholder villages in the Gash Barka Zone. The combination of the Bisha training centre and a lower turnover rate for the stakeholder villages explains the decrease/increase of nearby stakeholder villages comparative to the rest of the country.

At the Bisha Mine, we support a great deal of local diversity. Eight different Eritrean ethnic groups (out of nine ethnic groups in the country) were represented at our operation in 2015— on par with 2014. To date, there has been no member of the minority Rashaida (a nomadic Arab Bedouin tribe found along the Red Sea) employed at our operation.

Our expatriate community comes from locations far and wide, including South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Tajikistan. These overseas specialists support their roles while training local personnel, with the intention of eventually replacing expatriate personnel and independently sustain operations using local expertise.

Ruth Negash - Manager for Training and Development, Bisha MineRUTH NEGASH – MANAGER FOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, BISHA MINE

As head of the mine’s Training and Development Centre, Ruth’s job is central to developing the skills and establishing the work credentials of local Eritreans. The mine’s training provides job opportunities that build careers and enhance labour mobility in the mining sector. Ruth thoroughly enjoys seeing the difference her efforts have made in empowering workers through skills transference and upskilling.

Ruth is originally from the nearby town of Asmara, but in 1986 she moved with her family to the United States, as a result of the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. In the U.S. she studied pre-med, and then Administrative Leadership and Education. She then joined the Peace Corps and worked in Jordan, where she played a key role empowering individuals and communities at the grassroots level, before returning to Eritrea. She appreciates the cohesive, collaborative approach at the Bisha Mine. In her spare time, Ruth enjoys jogging, comedy and watching soccer.