ESG certification for Gabon iron-ore producer

28th July 2023

ESG certification for Gabon iron-ore producer

GREENER ORE Genmin, an emerging iron-ore producer, aims to sustainably produce a greener, higher value iron-ore from its Baniakaoperation to advance lower carbon intensity iron making.

Emerging African iron-ore producer Genmin advised last month that it was awarded environmental, social and governance (ESG) certification by independent, transparent assessment platform Digbee ESG.

Genmin corporate, and its wholly-owned Baniaka iron-ore project, are located in south-east Gabon, in Central Africa.

Genmin’s objective is to sustainably produce a greener, higher value iron-ore from Baniaka to advance lower carbon intensity iron making.

Genmin owns a pipeline of projects in the Republic of Gabon, in western Central Africa, with a 100% interest in three projects, comprising six granted exploration licences that cover about 5 064 km2.

Genmin’s flagship Baniaka, and nearby Bakoumba iron-ore projects, represent an emerging iron-ore hub near the Haut-Ogooué provincial capital city of Franceville.

The hub is favourably situated adjacent to existing and operating bulk commodity transport and renewable-energy infrastructure, to which Baniaka has secured long-term access for commercial operations.

The company has an extensive footprint and controls all acreage prospective for iron-ore, with 2 445 km2 of regional landholding that hosts 121 km of interpreted iron-mineralised strike, with only 16% of the mineralisation tested with diamond drilling.

Genmin has additional exploration tenure prospective for iron-ore, gold and base metals at its Bitam iron-ore project in north-west Gabon, which is within the Woleu-Ntem province, near the provincial capital of Oyem.

“Genmin has demonstrated a clear integration of ESG through its business. It has clear policies, procedures and relevant committees of the board in place,” says Digbee founder and CEO Jamie Strauss.

He applauds Genmin for recognising the shift in mindset of stakeholders, shareholders, governments and financiers around the world to implement, measure and report ESG within businesses.

The Baniaka project benefits from existing nearby infrastructure, with the company intending to hire a substantial local workforce.

“At Digbee, we look forward to seeing this important project for Gabon and the local community develop further with best practices at the heart of its development,” Strauss enthuses.

“I am delighted that Genmin has achieved ESG certification and an overall, inaugural score of BB through the independent and rigorous Digbee process,” says Genmin MD and CEO Joe Ariti.

He adds that the commitment to independent assessment, and transparent reporting of ESG performance, has become increasing important of late, as investors and customers look for sustainable, responsible and good governance business attributes in companies.

Ariti points out that Genmin is now well positioned to be assessed against these criteria.

Digbee certification is awarded to mining companies that have satisfactorily disclosed their ESG activities at both corporate and project level to an independent and impartial assessment by ESG specialists, thus demonstrating a serious commitment and internal culture geared towards ESG.

The company undertook and submitted its first Digbee disclosure in March and was awarded an overall BB score for Genmin and Baniaka.

The assessment comprised the completion of a set of comprehensive corporate and project questionnaires, which are mapped to global standards and assessed by relevant ESG specialists.

These questionnaires required the provision of relevant data, narrative and supporting evidence, and are approved by the board prior to submission.

In addition to becoming ESG certified, Genmin has been advised that its trademark application for its Baniaka Green brand has been registered.

“Genmin’s trademark registration of Baniaka Green is an excellent outcome that enables the company to build a market brand conveying the greener nature of its iron-ore products,” says Ariti.

The brand will provide a mark of distinction and make it easier for customers and the iron-ore market generally to identify with Genmin’s products.

He concludes that the trademark will be the identifier for all the company’s iron-ore products sourced from Baniaka.