African Gold Group, Inc. (TSX-V: AGG) (" AGG " or the " Company ") is pleased to announce its corporate social responsibility program (" CSR ") as it prepares for the start of construction of its flagship Kobada Mine. As a mining company operating in Africa, AGG recognizes its responsibility to adhere to the highest standards and is committed to creating sustainable long-term value for all of its stakeholders.
AGG is guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (" UN SDGs ") at all stages of its decision making and will work towards aligning our operations towards the following goals as Kobada moves towards production:
- Goal 3: Good health and well-being
- Goal 4: Quality education
- Goal 5: Gender Equality
- Goal 6: Clean water and sanitization
- Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
- Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
- Goal 13: Climate action
- Goal 15: Life on land
The Company's corporate social responsibility goals and objectives are built around three pillars – environment, social responsibility and health & safety.
Goal 13: Climate Action
AGG's commitment to environmental stewardship begins with its strategic partnership with DRA NEXUS and SENERGY to build and install a highly efficient hybrid power plant that will combine photovoltaic solar panels, thermal generators, and a battery energy storage system.
This will enable significant pollution reduction annually in the form of:
- Over 5 million litres of heavy fuel oil
- Over 14 million kg of carbon dioxide emissions
- Over 8,000 kg of carbon monoxide emissions
- Over 720 kg of unburned hydrocarbons
- Over 34,000 kg of sulfur dioxide
- Nearly 62,000 kg of nitrogen oxides
The hybrid power plant will also provide significant annual power savings of more than 22% or c.$US5m in comparison to a conventional thermal power system.
Goal 15: Life on Land
In an effort to minimize AGG's environmental impact, the Company will use a specially designed and engineered repository – known as a tailings storage facility (" TSF ") for the processing of waste. The design of the HDPE lined TSF conforms to the recently published ICMM Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and processes will be put in place to align to these standards through construction and operation and ongoing external assurance once operational.
Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation & Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
Reliable and secure access to water will be crucial to the effective operation of the Kobada Gold Project. It is also a human right. Our aim is to deliver enough water for the effective operation of the Kobada Gold Project, while also preserving and improving the quality and quantity of water available to the local community. We aim to minimize our use of water through recycling and treatment of process water, control and manage our impacts on water quality, and engage with stakeholders to maintain sustainable management of water resources for the benefit of all users. In addition, we believe that we will be able to return clean water to the local communities for use in agriculture projects as part of our CSR programmes.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
AGG strives to offer equal opportunity to women in its organisation. As part of its Code of Ethics, the Company fosters a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and are not discriminated upon based upon their gender. Mining is an industry that offers equal opportunities for men and women and the company will seek to employ the best person for the job, as opposed to their gender.
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
AGG is committed to working with local stakeholders to share the value of responsible resource development. As part of our environmental and social management plan (" ESMP "), the Company is in constant communication with local communities to align the interests of all stakeholders. Monthly meetings are held with Community heads and actions arising from these meetings feed into our ESMP. The Company has made great strides already by employing local labour for the exploration drilling and camp construction activities, as well as where possible purchases local goods and services from the surrounding villages. Through continuous engagement with the local community heads, we will develop a list of key skills requirements for future employees, and where possible select and mentor local labour into permanent and skilled positions within the project before looking elsewhere in Mali. Our commitment is to employ and develop a predominantly Malian workforce as we ramp up through construction and into operation.
Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
To ensure provenance and transparency of processed gold, the Company has partnered with SAFE Ltd to create a digital supply chain map which will enable to assess and address all risks along the future supply chain. SAFE Ltd provide best in class advice and solutions for companies looking for increased oversight and transparency in their supply chains. The key areas of supply chain provenance for finished gold is; conformance to all International legislation; transparency and understanding of every step along the supply chain to identify high risk areas, and use of technology, such as Blockchain, to ensure that a secure and tamper proof record of this supply chain exists for external assurance. By beginning the process prior to operation, this will enable the Company to develop a robust and risk-free supply chain of gold from production through to finished product.
As part of the capital expansion of the Kobada project, capital has been set aside to refurbish infrastructure such as roads and bridges, to maintain critical transport links between the local villages, the mine site and the capital city, Bamako. This, along with other projects form part of the ongoing development of our EMSP.
Health & Safety
Goal 3: Good health and well-being
The Company is committed to provide a safe working environment for every employee and contractor and will aim to enforce its safety principles throughout all operations. The Company is committed to the following principles:
- Zero Harm – is possible, no matter the situation
- No repeat accidents – accidents, although always preventable, are opportunities to improve and lessons will be taken from all incidents, audit findings to prevent their recurrence
- Straightforward and consistent procedures – safety should be understood by all employees, contractors, and visitors, no matter their background. Our procedures aim to keep everyone safe and apply equally to all.
As part of the project construction capital, the Company will construct on-site medical facilities, as well as refurbishment of local clinics as part of a dedicated CSR programme. All employees and their families should have access to health education and quality healthcare.
In November 2019, AGG established a dedicated Malaria prevention and control programme which included vector management tools such as insecticides, environmental modification through elimination of breeding grounds, and bed nets, as well as access to malaria medication and education. This has already resulted in a significant reduction of malaria cases on site. This will be expanded to the local areas as construction commences.
Goal 4: Quality Education
As part of the ongoing community engagement, a review of all local educational facilities is being undertaken. The Company will assist the local community and government in infrastructure improvement, providing educational materials and, where possible, assistance to ensure that all children of school going age have access to education. Ongoing consultations will ensure that a robust and achievable plan will be in place once construction gets underway.
Skills development and training will be implemented as part of the construction schedule to bring the Kobada Gold Project into operation. Where possible local labour will be employed and trained up to levels to enable them to operate safely and effectively at various levels within the company. External skilled personnel will be used to mentor and guide local employees where training and development is required. As part of the commissioning plan before production commences, training plans will be developed and implemented to ensure that employees can operate at the requisite level required.
About African Gold Group
AGG is a Canadian listed exploration and development company on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V: AGG) with its focus on developing a gold platform in West Africa. Its principal asset is the Kobada Gold Project in southern Mali. For more information regarding AGG, please visit our website at www.africangoldgroup.com .
For more information:
President and Chief Executive Officer
+(27) 76 411 3803
Non-Executive Chairman of the Board
VP Corporate Development
This press release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding, the partnership with SAFE, the Company's CSR program and the implementation thereof. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" or "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of AGG to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: receipt of necessary approvals; general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; future prices of mineral prices; accidents, labour disputes and shortages and other risks of the mining industry. Although AGG has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. AGG does not undertake to update any forward-looking information, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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