Sierra Rutile is proud of its long association with the local communities in which it operates and makes a significant contribution to the community through wages, local sourcing and suppliers, social investment and numerous other commitments in addition to the statutory rents and taxes that it pays to the Government of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Rutile’s commitment to its corporate social responsibility focuses on health, education, safety and social investment and development.
Sierra Rutile has actively invested in primary healthcare since 2018, leveraging existing infrastructure including water supply, power, land tenure and security, to provide healthcare to employees and their dependents as well as emergency care to members of the local community.
The Sierra Rutile Clinic, which was established in the 1970s, provides medical support to employees and their families.
Sierra Rutile invests in education in Sierra Leone through its investment in a school bursary program, and its support of the Ruby Rose Educational Resource Centre, which provides educational facilities to children from nearby schools. The centre provides access to a library and internet facilities to young learners, outdoor play areas and a feeding program.
Sierra Rutile also established a school bus service for local children.
Sierra Rutile seeks to promote the development of its local communities through the following initiatives:
Health initiatives adopted by Sierra Rutile include the establishment of the Sierra Rutile Clinic in the 1970s, increased numbers of medical professionals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in two ambulances, a fire truck and fire fighting vehicle, and investment in additional equipment such as haematology analytical equipment, x-ray and ultrasound machines.
Sierra Rutile’s initiatives and resources have allowed earlier intervention for any injured employees, as well as improving service delivery for non-work related injuries and illnesses, with improved clinical outcomes for patients at the Sierra Rutile Clinic.
Safety initiatives adopted by Sierra Rutile include:
Risk management is an integral part of the health, safety, environment and community management system and the above initiatives have been undertaken to ensure that processes are in place to identify, analyse and evaluate hazards, to assess the risk posed by the hazards and to develop controls to reduce the level of risk to acceptable levels.
Sierra Rutile has recorded a strong safety performance in recent years, attributable to the implementation of training programs, risk assessment and enhanced hazard identification.
Sierra Rutile aims for continuous improvement in performance and the ultimate aim is to achieve zero workplace incidents.
Sierra Rutile is committed to managing its environmental performance to ensure that it complies with its obligations under all environmental legislation and is at the forefront of environmental management in the Sierra Leone mining industry. The EPA-SL is the custodian of environmental law within Sierra Leone.
Sierra Rutile has an ESHIA and Management Plan in place to ensure compliance and manage its obligations in regards to all aspects of environmental management including water, biodiversity, rehabilitation and waste management for Area 1. An ESHIA for Sembehun is required to be submitted and approved ahead of commencing development of the project.
Rehabilitation and mine closure within Sierra Leone are regulated by the EPA-SL. The overall closure objective of the EPA-SL is to ensure that remedial measures are planned and implemented in a manner that the land capability of the rehabilitated areas is capable of sustaining a variety of post closure land uses, where the residual post closure risks are acceptable to Sierra Rutile and Sierra Rutile’s stakeholders.
The sub-objectives to support this objective are:
Community rehabilitation initiatives through engaging in progressive rehabilitation, which commences during the operational phase of the mine lifecycle. This minimises the mining footprint and assists with the development and risk assessment of mine closure plans.
Sierra Rutile has rehabilitated approximately 665 hectares since 2016, supported by the ongoing efforts of Sierra Rutile’s nursery team.
As at 31 December 2021, the rehabilitation estimate for Area 1 was approximately US$45 million. This rehabilitation estimate is reviewed annually in accordance with the IFRS and Sierra Rutile’s closure provisioning accounting policy.
On demerger, Iluka established an externally managed rehabilitation trust, cash funded by a one-off payment of US$45 million.
The trust deed for the rehabilitation trust specifies the mechanism by which Sierra Rutile can draw down on the trust funds for rehabilitation purposes.