Integrated Annual Review 2012 Annual Financial Report 2012 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Regional overview  

7.2.5 Local engagement

The operational continuity of our mines, as well as our ability to successfully establish new operations in potentially challenging locations, relies on a strong social licence to operate from our local communities – and, by extension, our host governments. This makes it essential that we establish and maintain durable relationships based on the sustainable generation of shared value.

Engaging local stakeholders

We place particular focus on establishing and maintaining constructive, consultative and cooperative stakeholder relations. This includes regular and formalised engagement with the following groups to address relevant and material issues:

  • Central and local government
  • Traditional community leaders
  • Informal community groups
  • NGOs
  • Organised labour
  • Local businesses

Our activities in this regard are guided by relevant legislation, our Communities and Indigenous People Policy, our Social and Labour Plans (SLPs) in South Africa and the AA 1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard. In addition, in 2012 we developed a new Community Handbook that will apply across the Group and across all project lifecycle stages. This will establish a coherent approach to community engagement across all regions based on our ‘shared value’ concept (p141) – as well as best practice from the International Finance Corporation, World Bank, the International Council on Mining and Metals and the wider industry. Guidance included in the Community Handbook is designed so that it can be tailored to local circumstances.

In addition, we conduct public engagement as part of our Environmental Impact Assessments, to help explain project impacts (and related mitigation measures) and to identify and address stakeholders' issues of concern. In 2012, this process was used (in addition to other project-related engagement activities) at the Arctic Platinum Project, for example (p112).

Case study: Developing a Group-wide approach to artisanal and small-scale mining

Online corp_ext_content/ifc_external_corporate_site/home


Communicating transformation and development in South Africa

During 2012, we initiated a dedicated awareness-raising campaign in South Africa to highlight our community initiatives – as well as our ongoing contribution to transformation within the mining industry and wider society. This included particular focus on our upgrading of accommodation, our provision of portable skills training to local people, new development opportunities being driven by South Deep, local agricultural projects and our contributions to education.

Although the illegal strike action that affected the Beatrix and KDC operations took place as we launched the campaign, these events – and the wider political, social and economic tensions behind them – highlighted the importance of this initiative. The awareness-raising initiative sought to:

  • Maximise the development and transformation impact of our new and existing SLP programmes (p149)
  • Ensure that these impacts are understood at a grassroots level – and are clearly associated with Gold Fields and Sibanye Gold

This is one of the reasons that Gold Fields is piloting new Sustainable Development Forums in communities around South Deep, to enhance our ability to communicate directly with local people – without the assistance of intermediaries.

Maintenance of community relations in Cajamarca

The Cajamarca Region of Peru – in which the Cerro Corona mine sits – has seen a high degree of social tension between certain local communities and mining operations. This has been exemplified by events around Newmont’s Congas and Yanacocha joint ventures, which have faced extensive activism and opposition from certain elements within the community – as well as NGOs and political actors from beyond the region.

Cerro Corona has so far been unaffected by related activism or tensions – something we believe is due to the particularly strong community relations we have nurtured since before the construction of the mine, as well as our longstanding focus on sound water management. Nonetheless, we are monitoring the situation closely to help ensure this remains the case.

What are Social Labour Plans (SLPs)?

South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 2002 requires mines to submit a five-year, renewable SLP before they are granted mining rights. Each SLP, which is agreed with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), commits companies to spending a defined budget on Local Economic Development (LED) or Skills Development (SD) initiatives. This is with the aim of:

  • Promoting employment and socio-economic welfare
  • Assisting in the transformation of the mining industry
  • Contributing to development of their areas of operation – as well as in their labour-sending areas

In 2012, we submitted new, second-round SLPs for the Beatrix and KDC mines following the end of their initial, five-year SLPs as well as a new SLP for South Deep. The new SLPs integrate earlier lessons-learnt, including increased focus on:

  • Narrower, more vertically integrated LED and SD programmes
  • Optimisation of impact

The SLP for South Deep is currently being negotiated with government and the relevant trade unions.

Community engagement details by region

Australasia: Engagement with local indigenous groups at both mines under the Native Title Act 1993 on issues around native title, land access and cultural heritage

South Africa: Engagement – under the Local Economic Development (LED) of our statutory Social and Labour Plan (SLP) requirements – on issues including local enterprise development and infrastructure support. This includes:

  • Regular engagement on issues around water quality in the West Wits area through the Far West Rand Dolomitic Water Association and the Mining Interest Group (p92)
  • The 2012 piloting of new Sustainable Development forums in communities around South Deep, which include directly elected local representatives. One of these forums is the South Deep Community Trust, which was established as part of Gold Fields 2010 Black Economic Empowerment transaction, and which to date has received R11 million (US$1.4 million) in dividends from the deal. These will be allocated to projects identified jointly with community stakeholders. This is with the aim of enhancing grassroots communication with communities
  • In-depth stakeholder mapping and analysis at the Beatrix and KDC mine to improve clarity around our engagement activities

South America: Engagement through a formal framework to address community priorities around our Cerro Corona mine – including water quality, agricultural development and local employment. In addition, we participate in the ‘Mesa de Dialogo y Concertacion de Hualgayoc’ (a community-based, multistakeholder forum focused on regional development projects), as well as joint water monitoring with local communities

West Africa: Engagement in a number of well-established community forums in Ghana on:

  • Broad-based Mine Consultative Committees
  • Formalised, regular engagement with local chiefs
  • Regular Community Committee meetings
  • Direct Community Forums
  • Continuous informal engagement, including an ‘open-door’ policy

Relevant issues in 2012 included local employment (p142), resettlement, crop compensation, illegal mining and access to Gold Fields Socio-Economic Development programmes.