Community Engagement & Development
The Group is committed to being a positive force in the communities around the mine site as well as in Sierra Leone as a whole.
Through collaboration with the communities, the Group has identified core areas which are capacity building, investing in education, promoting small scale economic growth, improving access to healthcare and establishing physical infrastructure such as roads, to improve standards of living.
The Group engages with the communities to understand the social, environmental and economic implications of its activities, and seeks to minimise negative impacts and bring shared value to the places where the business operates. The Group pursues a number of initiatives and partnerships, including the Sierra Rutile Foundation, which are designed to improve the lives and employment opportunities of the people of Sierra Leone.
Training and recruiting the next generation of skilled employees is an important part of Sierra Rutile’s long-term business strategy. Growing competition for skilled labour in Sierra Leone, the ageing nature of the Group’s workforce and the desire to improve the lives of the local population mean it is increasingly important to support education initiatives in the areas around the mine.
The Group continued to support the Jackson and Devon Anderson Technical and Vocational Institute and Ruby Rose Educational Centre. The Institute provides relevant technical and engineering courses for young people in the communities around the mine site and currently offers diploma and certificate level courses in civil, electrical, mechanical and automobile engineering, business studies and information technology. It is anticipated that the Institute will significantly improve the long-term employment prospects for the people living around the Sierra Rutile mine and promote increased recruitment of local Sierra Leoneans and further lower its reliance on expatriate workers.
The Group also provided financial support to the Ruby Rose Educational Centre that provides library facilities and adult education in the proximate mining communities. In 2015, the Group provided an annual contribution of $25,000 to the Jackson and Devon Anderson Technical Institute and $16,000 to the Ruby Rose Educational Centre. USAID has approved a concept paper submitted by the Group in partnership with the German International Cooperation (‘GIZ’) for upgrading of the Jackson and Devon Anderson Technical Institute. The project will be funded through a tripartite arrangement by Sierra Rutile, GIZ and USAID.