Orezone's priorities are defined in part by the communities in which we operate.
Water & Sanitation: Limited access to clean water and sanitation services in parts of Burkina Faso contribute to many diseases. Establishing water points closer to villages helps reduce health risks and it also allows children to attend school and people to focus on other duties as they do not have to spend the bulk of their day transporting water. Building latrines in close proximity to villages or schools can also have a significant lifestyle impact on villagers, particularly girls and women.
Employment, Education & Training: In addition to relying on nationals in Burkina Faso to manage and execute our exploration programs and operations, Orezone makes every effort to hire and train local laborers and support staff and requests all contractors to do the same. Our exploration camps are built and staffed by locals, and we support these communities by buying local produce and related services. As we move towards developing our gold deposits into mines, we will help identify and train those individuals that are well-suited to different trades and occupations at the mine and mill, and we expect that about half of the employees will come from the local area where the project is located.
Health and Safety: Orezone works to minimize and manage any risks associated with our exploration and development sites. We provide health and safety information that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for the local population and take appropriate measures to prevent accidents, protect workers from hazardous materials, and ensure that equipment is in safe working condition. We communicate these expectations to the contractors we rely on, and take reasonable steps to verify that contractors meet the appropriate health and safety standards.
Environment: Orezone conducts its exploration and development activities in ways that minimize the disturbance to the environment and people. Baseline environmental studies and an environmental impact assessment study were initiated at Bomboré in 2009. Updated baselines studies were completed in February 2015 and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Relocation Plan approvals received in May 2016. The area of the project is characterized by lands with poor to modest agricultural potential. Subsistence farming and cattle breeding are the main activities of the local population, supplemented by artisanal gold mining. Indigenous vegetation and fauna have been largely destroyed due to the demographic pressure and the artisanal gold mining. A large industrial mining project represents a unique opportunity to improve the local farming techniques, improve the access to water resources, address the environmental issues created by the artisanal gold miners and revegetate the area as part of the mine closure and rehabilitation plan.