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Mine expansion cultivates positive community sentiment

UIS OPERATION AfriTin Mining is implementing the expansion of its Phase 1 Uis tin mine operation in Namibi

POSITIVE SENTIMENT AfriTin aims to cultivate a positive community sentiment to maintain its social licence to operate

25th February 2022

By: Anna Moross

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Aim-listed mining company AfriTin Mining is implementing the expansion of its Phase 1 Uis tin mine operation, in Namibia. The expansion will result in a 67% increase in monthly tin concentrate production, from 720 t/y to 1 200 t/y.

While this represents growth for the company, AfriTin Mining CEO Anthony Viljoen highlights that AfriTin also aims to cultivate a positive community sentiment to maintain its social licence to operate while ensuring a positive partnership with local companies and regional stakeholders.

AfriTin intends to foster this positive community sentiment in various ways, of which the first is to empower community-based support services in its contracts using local and regional procurement, explains Viljoen.

“AfriTin aims to employ 30% of its workforce directly from the Uis and Dâures constituencies, 30% from the Erongo region, and the remainder Namibian citizens from the rest of Namibia.”

Moreover, AfriTin currently procures 90% of its goods and services from Namibia, including the company’s mining, load and haul, drilling, blasting, medical, environmental, engineering and IT contractors.

In addition, t

he Uis Tin Mining Company senior management consists of 75% previously disadvantaged women, says Viljoen.

To further support the community, AfriTin has implemented various measures to ensure a positive partnership with local companies, as well as local and regional stakeholders.

“The company engages with the Settlement Development Council (SDC) on a quarterly basis,” says Viljoen.

The SDC represents local and regional stakevholders and affected parties surrounding Uis. The council’s role is to ensure that all interested and affected partities within the area have a ‘seat’ on the SDC.

These include the local traditional authorities, local government services like police, and clinics, large businesses, and local residents. The SDC is the platform which facilitates communication between these interested and affected parties.

“This is all put in place to ensure all issues are dealt with efficiently and effectively; grievance mechanisms are in place for employees and stakeholders to raise concerns,” says Viljoen.

This positive partnership is also achieved through the formation of a corporate social investment (CSI) committee in 2021, which facilitates the investment of funds in selected community projects that are proposed by the local SDC, Viljoen explains.

Current Programnmes

AfriTin’s ongoing community development programmes include a monthly sponsorship of the weekly feeding schemes at the Brandberg Primary School and the Tatamotsie soup kitchen, which feeds primary and preprimary school children in the Uis and Tatamotsie communities.

It also provided stationery packs comprising pencil cases, maths sets and workbooks for 374 learners of the Petrus Ganeb High School located in Uis in January 2022.

Another programme, undertaken in partnership with AfriTin’s contractor Nexus-Ino and its engineering contractor Metal Mill during November 2021, included the clean-up of rubble and waste in the Uis community, says Viljoen.

Owing to the location of the town rubbish dump being located outside the town limits, building rubble and waste is often dumped within town. “The SDC requested the assistance of the company in clearing this waste and, together with our contractors, a clean up of this waste took place in November 2022 and the rubble from public areas around town was transported to the town dump and properly disposed of,” says Viljoen.

AfriTin has also ensured that the wildlife in the area is supported and through the sponsoring of the drilling of a borehole in the Ugab river to ensure that the desert elephants and other wildlife like game and birdlife have access to water.

While these development programmes have shown progress, the CSI committee is committed to identifying long-term initiatives to implement in the Uis community, adds Viljoen.

He

concludes that, as AfriTin continues to grow, the company looks forward to continuing it partnerships with its stakeholders and furthering the development of communities near the Uis mining operation.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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