Bisha Mining Share Company (BMSC) is committed to ensuring its operations provide a comprehensive positive societal impact. We work with nearby communities to maximize local employment and training opportunities. We provide a constant stream of state revenue that assists in numerous community infrastructure projects across the country. We also fund numerous nearby projects related to making water more accessible to the nearby villages and irrigation improvements to enhance local food supply. We work towards ensuring all of our workers, contractors and subcontractors from our operations through to the supply chain are treated with dignity and respect. We employ high international health & safety standards to ensure all of our people can return home safely to their families each and every day. We employ evolving environmental management programs to minimize the impact of our operations and undertake regular environmental studies to ensure our decision-making is based on solid scientific facts.
BMSC operates the Bisha Mine (Bisha) providing tangible benefits to the people of Eritrea. Bisha is one of only two producing mines in Eritrea and plays a significant role in the Eritrean economy. Beyond employment, Bisha provides opportunities for training, community support, supply chain enhancements and improved infrastructure. Financially, Bisha provides significant cash flow to the State of Eritrea by way of income taxes, royalties, employment taxes and ownership dividends.
The Bisha Mine was developed in conformance with the 2006 International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards for Social and Environmental Sustainability as applied to non-IFC financed projects in accordance with the Equator Principles. The social and environmental policies adopted for the Bisha Mine reflect global standards. However, the State of Eritrea and BMSC have embarked on some local water and irrigation community infrastructure pilot projects that align with national planning priorities.
BMSC has embarked on a number of programs with the community and the local, regional and central government to ensure that the benefits of Bisha are widespread and that the community is fully and properly engaged in development and operations. This includes regularly updating and facilitating applications for employment and contracting opportunities as well as robust grievance mechanisms to address local concerns. The philosophy of the central government is to ensure the entire country benefits from resource development and to ensure no one particular region is the recipient of disproportionate benefits.
BMSC Worker Rights Policy
In line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, BMSC will undertake to:
- Develop a code of conduct and policy to support worker rights that also accommodates national Eritrean regulatory requirements concerning salient risks to the local workers and communities.
- Provide orientation on code of conduct and policy regarding rights for BMSC workers.
- Consider conducting additional, stand-alone worker rights impact assessments where circumstances warrant.
- Communicate our commitments and actions taken to support worker rights for BMSC workers with our stakeholders at the local, national and international levels.
- Develop accessible grievance mechanisms in order for BMSC workers to raise any concerns confidentially and without fear of reprisal.
- Work with our business partners, contractors and suppliers to promote respect for worker rights throughout our direct and controllable value and supply chain.
In the Workplace
BMSC is committed to fair employment practices. BMSC will not tolerate any type of discrimination, harassment or forced or child labour at any of our sites, and prioritizes initiatives to foster a safe, just and favorable workplace culture for our employees. BMSC supports the right of our workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
We are committed to avoiding negative impacts on the rights of local communities and vulnerable groups. We seek to build relationships, foster trust and demonstrate mutual respect by sharing information with local communities in a timely manner, developing channels for on-going consultation, and providing mechanisms to receive and address any stakeholder concerns. While respecting local and national development priorities, we endeavour to support rights and sustainable development outcomes in the communities in which we operate.
The security standard in BMSC operations is designed to assess risks and protect the Company's people and assets in a manner which avoids conflict and respects people’s rights. Our security standard and associated training at our operations is aligned with the Voluntary Principles of Human Rights and Security.
The mandate of our Safety, Health & Environment Committee includes oversight of the implementation of our Worker Rights Policy and addressing concerns raised through the Nevsun Whistleblower Policy. The BMSC Employee Services Manager leads in the implementation of our Worker Rights Policy with the support of Nevsun’s Vice-President of Corporate Social Responsibility.