15 November 2020 – With an increased focus on social and environmental programmes by mining companies, Norgold’s community forest initiative in Burkina Faso is a good example of what private companies can do to mitigate its most adverse impacts.
Nord Gold SE (Norgold) is an internationally diversified gold producer. As part of its social and environmental programmes the mining company supports the development of a community forest in the province of Oubritenga in Burkina Faso, where it operates the Bouly and Bissa gold mines.
The project has a range of social and environmental benefits, including, helping to improve household living standards in five villages; in addition to saving rare plant species and promoting the natural regeneration of local species.
The community had previously expressed a need for a nutritious forest during the validation process of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study, on the development of the Samtenga deposit. The deposit will become the source of gold ore for the Bissa’s processing plant. In order to create the forest, with fruit trees being planted over a three hectares area, the Bissa mine has provided the Provincial Directorate for the Environment of Oubritenga with the necessary equipment, totalling more than USD50 000, which includes, among other necessities, rolls of fencing, wheelbarrows, pickaxes and gardening tools.
For the implementation of the community project, land agreement protocols were signed with the partners in the presence of the grassroots communities (municipal councillor’s, Village Development Councils and producers organisations), village resource persons and local administration, to enable efficient and sustainable management of the site. The project management committee will be set up and trained by Nordgold’s environmental technical services team, to further support the preservation, safeguarding and, one day, the marketing of the products that the forest will produce.
Nordgold is an internationally diversified one-million-ounce gold producer with over 8000 people operating a portfolio of ten mines (in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Russia and Kazakhstan) and a number of development and exploration projects in West Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. Since 2013, Nordgold has successfully constructed three gold mines, including two in Burkina Faso (Bouly and Bissa) and most recently, the Gross mine in Russia.