For the implementation of major mining projects and industrial development, cooperation between all stakeholders is critically important. This requires the establishment of an ongoing dialogue and partnership between businesses and local communities, leading to a social and environmental management plan for the projects.
Far from limiting the contribution of foreign partners, social and environmental responsibility is a way to secure their investments by ensuring the approval of local communities and the equitable sharing of benefits from natural resources, maximizing the positive and mitigating the negative impacts associated with their exploitation.
Social and environmental impact assessments
As part of their mining projects, companies commission social and environmental impact assessments (SEIA) involving local and regional authorities, village leaders, local entrepreneurs, and representatives of associations and local communities.
These studies assess the positive and negative impacts, direct and indirect, of the projects on the society, economy and environment of Guinea.
The objective of these studies is also to reach an agreement with communities to ensure the success of the projects. Social acceptance is a broader process by which stakeholders together build the conditions for the harmonious integration of the project into a natural and human environment.
Analysis of the social, economic and environmental impact of the Simandou South project
As part of the Simandou South project, the resettlement action plan and compensation (PARC) provides for the resettlement and compensation for communities affected by the project (including the mine project and construction of a railway and port). PARC was developed in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) which already has experience in this area.
Moreover, the social and environmental management plan includes facility building, the procurement of materials, energy production, water supply, access to infrastructure, the accommodation of labour, and the application of health and safety standards. Finally, the management plan provides for measures to be taken for the closure of the mine.
The protection of cultural heritage is one of the areas included in this study, which includes a survey of 300 potentially affected sites. The recruitment of labour and working conditions were also raised by stakeholders during the consultation.
The other major aspect of the study concerns environmental protection, notably: resource efficiency and pollution prevention for water and forests, biodiversity protection and the sustainable management of natural resources (including agriculture, livestock and protected species).