Finance: Lonmin-IFC Partnership wins Nedbank Green Mining Award
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A joint IFC-Lonmin supplier development program that is supporting sustainable growth in mining communities in South Africa has taken top prize in the socio-economic category at the Nedbank Green Mining Awards, which celebrates responsible mining.
The partnership between IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and platinum miner Lonmin is promoting social and economic growth in communities surrounding Lonmin’s operations in South Africa’s North West Province.
IFC and Lonmin are supporting local supplier and community development, and promoting the increased involvement of women in mining. A health component is implementing HIV/AIDS prevention for miners and their families.
Marinda van der Merwe, Vice President of Sustainability of Lonmin, said: “We are very proud of our partnership with IFC and the excellent work that we have been able to accomplish together. The Nedbank Awards recognizes Lonmin's commitment to social and environmental issues which are a key pillar of our operations.”
The Lonmin-IFC program has supported the development of 27 local companies, which have collectively been awarded over R225 million in contracts. As a result of the partnership, Lonmin has increased its spending on local suppliers by 742% over the last year. Among the newly-established companies is Little Rock Construction, which is 100 percent owned and operated by black women.
Through the partnership, Lonmin has increased its employment of women at its mining operations by 40 percent over the last year. Over 50,000 workers and community members have been reached by HIV/AIDS prevention activities.
Bernard Chidzero, General Manager, IFC PEP Africa, said: “This award is a testament to IFC and Lonmin’s commitment to sustainability and our shared, long-term approach to private sector and community development.”
In addition to an award for its partnership with IFC, Lonmin also received three other awards in the evening, including first prize in the Environmental category.
Lonmin is the third-largest and lowest-cost primary platinum producer in the world. Headquartered in London with operations based in South Africa, the company is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. In the financial year through September 2006, Lonmin produced over 1 million ounces of platinum in concentrate, with sales of over 950,000 ounces of platinum. In October 2006, Lonmin became the first platinum major to convert its old order South African mining rights into new order mining rights in respect of its Marikana operations.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
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