Sustainability

Corporate Social Responsibility is important to us. It is founded on managing marketplace engagements, ensuring environmental sustainability, creating a dynamic workplace and contributing to the community. It is driven by a shared set of values, operating in a unified sustainable manner. It influences every aspect of our operations. It inspires us to better the well-being of others and treat our environment with respect.

Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa had a devastating effect on local communities, from health as well as socio-economic impacts. The original outbreak started in December 2013 and has killed more than 11,000 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

However, we were pleased and relieved to hear that on 29 March 2016 the UN declared the outbreak to be over. Although the UN has cautioned that high vigilance is required to protect against any further outbreaks, much has been learned about the disease and the emergency response structures, medical facilities and supplies that have been left in place for any future occurrences should hopefully mean that not only should we expect not to see any such outbreak again, isolated cases should be identified quickly and remain rare.

I am pleased to report that Ebola had a minimal impact upon Bellzone within Guinea, occasionally compromising our ability to move people in-country and in particular around Conakry, the densest population centre and capital city. There were very few cases reported in Faranah Prefecture, host to both the Kalia and Sadeka licences, during the whole of the outbreak. This is at least in part due to continuing education, monitoring programmes and other direct support provided by Bellzone such as the transport of schoolchildren by bus to attend national examination centres.

Environment

Bellzone recognises that its activities have a continuous impact on the natural environment in which the Company operates. Successful stewardship and protection of the environment are central to Bellzone’s success and acceptance by host governments and host communities. Accordingly, Bellzone has developed a stringent set of processes to minimise the environmental footprint of the Company’s operations and safeguard the environment now and for future generations.

To achieve our goals, we apply a “life-of-mine” approach, including assessment of and provision for post-mining remediation, based on environmental impact assessments and risk mitigation plans by independent experts. Our environmental management systems are used to implement and monitor our risk-mitigation activities and to drive continuous improvements in the management of these activities. For the year ended 31 December 2015, there were no recorded environmental incidents. The Company has received, on 17 March 2016, a renewed Certificate of Environmental Compliance from the Guinean authorities, which is valid until 16 March 2017.

Health and Safety

Bellzone is committed to a safe and healthy environment, which supports superior performance in the workplace. The key to achieving this is the principle that all Bellzone employees are responsible for each other’s safety and wellbeing. It is every person’s duty, while working on a Bellzone site or on a Bellzone task, to ensure that the workplace is safe and that co-workers are working safely. Bellzone’s safety programmes, systems, training, performance measurement, risk assessment and recognition processes have been designed to enable and encourage the achievement of this philosophy.

We support the philosophy of continuous improvement and reward people who understand the need to continuously identify and implement a safe and healthy workplace.

The 12-month rolling average of the total reportable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) for Bellzone’s operational areas (Conakry, Kalia and Sadeka) per 1,000,000 man hours worked at the end of 2015 was 12.65 (2014: 23.15) or 3.16 (2014: 5.79) per 250,000 man hours worked.

No LTI was reported in 2015. The last LTI was reported in July 2012.

Community

Bellzone recognises that a key component in successfully developing our projects is to involve and respect our host communities. Our relationships with host communities are invaluable and we are committed to making a positive difference in these communities. Bellzone, through its directors and employees, is committed to ensuring that all interactions with host communities are conducted with respect and dignity.

We are committed to developing and applying a Corporate Social Responsibility Charter that outlines our commitment to business ethics, the environment, employee health and safety, and community development.

In conjunction with our host communities and independent professionals, we develop Local Community Development Plans that identify and prioritise the expectations and needs of host communities, ensuring that they benefit from our projects.

Staff

Bellzone has specific procedures, standards and guidelines to ensure that the relationship between the Company and its staff is structured in a professional framework. The framework is designed to provide staff members with a safe, nondiscriminatory, innovative and results-driven environment that motivates them to maximise their contributions to the success of the Company.

Employees Gender and Status in 2015 – Guinea
                Staff             Management    
Gender Status Unskilled Skilled Ordinary Middle Senior Total
Male Guinea National 64 10 17 5 3 99
Expatriate 0 0 0 0 1 1
64 10 17 5 4 100
Female Guinea National 14 4 2 0 2 22
Expatriate 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 4 2 0 2 22
Total Guinea National 78 14 19 5 5 121
Expatriate 0 0 0 0 1 1
78 14 19 5 6 122