In its inaugural environment, social and governance (ESG) report covering its 2020 operational performance at its Blanket mine, in Zimbabwe, London-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation has highlighted some of its key achievements.
These include that 99 percent of its 1 671 employees and contractors originate from Zimbabwe, the majority of whom live in a dedicated mine village, while 25 percent of suppliers were from Zimbabwe.
The company’s employees own 10 percent of the mine through a trust, which currently receives 20 percent of Blanket’s attributable dividends and is represented on Blanket’s board of directors. The trust has facilitated US$5.1-million in dividends to the community from 2012.
Caledonia’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme at Blanket focuses on education, health, agriculture, women and youth empowerment, the environment and charity.
The company’s CSR investments in 2020 totalled $1.7-million, while its taxes and royalties payment to government totalled US$12.5-million.
The Zimbabwean government owns 16 percent of the Blanket mine through its National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund, which currently receives 20 percent of the mine’s attributable dividends and is represented on the board of directors.
The company paid out US$4.5-million in dividends in 2020, after generating a gross profit of US$46.6-million from the sale of 57 899 oz of gold.
“The long-term success of our business relies on mutually supportive, open and constructive relations with our local communities,” CEO Steve Curtis states in the ESG report.
He comments that Caledonia in 2020 enhanced its focus on ESG with the constitution of a new board-level ESG committee.
In terms of its environmental impact, Caledonia is building a 12 MW solar farm, which is expected to be operational sometime next year and will provide 27 percent of the mine’s daily electricity needs.
The Blanket mine’s power consumption totalled 65.9-million kilowatt-hours in 2020.
Of the mine’s 2.2-million cubic metres of water used in 2020, 23.4 percent of it was pumped from mine workings and the balance was drawn from a nearby dam.
In terms of safety, COO Dana Roets reports that the company’s Nyanzvi initiative, which was launched in 2018, has continued to ensure reduced total accidents by 60 percent from 2017 to 2020.
In 2020, Caledonia only had one positive case of Covid-19 at Blanket, but it has subsequently reported 46 positive cases, with one fatality as a result of the virus. The company in March this year committed to procure vaccines for all Blanket employees and their families.
Caledonia had, as at the end of 2020, 12.5 percent female representation on the Blanket board, 25 percent women in senior management and 2 percent female employees.
Curtis says the company continues in an evolving journey towards a more diverse workforce, and safer and cleaner operations. –