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By committing to active engagement with all relevant stakeholders, including local government and community leaders, BlackEarth Minerals NL (‘BlackEarth’ or ‘the Company’) aims to sustain its Social Licence to Operate, which it considers critical to its long-term success.
For social investment to be effective, it must be driven by the needs of the communities and regions in which a mining company operates. With this in mind, BlackEarth addresses local community needs and priorities by way of various programmes.
Mada-aust SARL (‘Mada’), the Company’s 100 per cent owned subsidiary in Madagascar, has established meaningful and effective engagement with community stakeholders over many years. Since 2008, for example, it has provided sponsorship and logistical support for Australian Doctors for Africa (‘ADFA’).
An Australian non-government organisation (‘NGO’), ADFA is a team of Perth-based doctors who provide practical medical training and services in the region of Toliara in southwest Madagascar. In 2011, ADFA became the first Australian NGO to be accredited in Madagascar, in recognition of the team’s valuable work at Toliara General Hospital and Clinique St Luc. BlackEarth is is proud to be associated with ADFA and their positive contributions to the people of southwest Madagascar.
Other contributions include the provision of practical assistance after a series of natural disasters in southern Madagascar. During 2010 and 2011, following a sustained period of drought, numerous small communities around the Ampanihy district suffered food shortages. Mada donated a significant quantity of rice to Madagascar’s National Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management, for distribution to affected villages. Again, in 2015 and 2017, Mada provided aid when the same communities were stricken by severe flooding.
Quality education enhances the prosperity of a community. In 2014, Mada partnered with a local company to fund the construction of a new public elementary school at Maniry, where the Company has its flagship graphite assets. In so doing, the Company has helped local children gain access to schooling in the Ampanihy Ouest district.
BlackEarth will continue its partnerships with the local communities in which it operates, to ensure positive and enduring impacts well into the future.