AAMEG
Resolute MD John Welborn and AAMEG CEO, William Witham, with the “Best Workforce and Industry Development Initiative’ award for Resolute’s Malian Talent Development Program in south Mali - Courtesy of Paydirt Media – Bryan Charlon

The Australia-Africa Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) has announced Syrah Resources and Resolute Mining as the winners of its inaugural Africa Awards.

The initiative recognises and promotes the leadership and innovation demonstrated by Australian companies operating in Africa in the areas of capacity building and workforce development.

“These awards set the benchmark when it comes to Australian mining companies delivering projects that have sustainable and tangible benefits to local African communities,” comments Ben Gargett, AAMEG Vice-Chair and 2019 awards judge.

Syrah Resources took out the award for ‘Best Innovation in Corporate Social Development’ for its Balama Professional Training Centre project, located in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

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The project has in the last four years mobilised and trained a workforce of close to 1,000 employees in Mozambique, of which 55% reside in the local host communities, 96% are Mozambican nationals, and over 20% female.

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Fiona Haslem-McKenzie, Co-Director for Regional Development at the University of WA and 2019 awards judge, said that Syrah Resources showed exceptional dedication to upskilling members of the local community and their commitment to retaining this workforce was providing long-term, local economic advantage.

These achievements align closely with the awards’ efforts to recognise success in building local resilience and capacity building.

Resolute Mining walked away winning ‘Best Workforce and Industry Development Initiative’ for its Malian Talent Development Program, situated in south Mali.

This project utilises the latest underground remote operation technology and has recruited a significant number of senior school students to participate in a three-year apprenticeship program – currently, there are 8 apprentices.

Final year students are given the opportunity to undertake an internship program, and college students are accepted for vocational training – the top student receiving a yearly bursary scheme to study at an Australian university.

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Founder and Chairperson of the African Dream Foundation and 2019 award judge, Fadzai Matambanadzo comments, “Resolute’s Syama mine in Mali presents many operating complexities, and the decision to award Resolute Mining was based on the company’s leadership and extraordinary efforts to proactively hire, recruit and train a local and diverse workforce at its Syama underground gold mine – one of the most sophisticated and advanced gold mines in Africa and in the world.”

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Base Resources was recognised as a Highly Commended entrant of the ‘Best Workforce and Industry Development’ initiative for its efforts in developing Kenya’s mining workforce through its Kwale Operation in Kenya. \

Proving highly effective, the innovative “Fencing System” has recruited a 70% local workforce, employing more than 1,100 employees from the surrounding Kwale County, and a further 28% from wider Kenya.

“We have been overwhelmed by the calibre of entrants who have shown a great determination to deliver leadership in the areas of social responsibility and workforce development through the course of their project development.

“Operating in Africa is not without its challenges, and we should recognise and promote the achievements of our Australian miners who are building the ‘Team Australia’ brand in Africa,” says AAMEG CEO, William Witham.