Kinross Tasiast and the neighbouring Dawass Cooperative, recently inaugurated a brickworks factory – an initiative that further cements the strong partnership between the mine and local Bedouin residents.
The brickworks in production
Kinross senior management and local government officials at the inauguration event.
The Dawass Cooperative for Agriculture and Development, represents the ~70 households living within a 30 kilometre radius of Tasiast, and in August they were awarded a US$55,000 contract to supply and lay paving bricks for the mine’s main gate – an area spanning 1,000 square metres and requiring 50,000 bricks. The project is expected to be completed in December.
The paving contract is the fourth to be awarded to the Cooperative over the past two years, and is an important source of revenue for the remote community, which has very few employment opportunities and relies largely on livestock – goats, camels and sheep – for subsistence. Part of an initiative launched by Tasiast’s Community Relations and Supply Chain teams, the contract supports our goal of working with the local community to build sustainable businesses.
“We now have a permanent brick-making factory – one that creates jobs for the people living near the mine. We are also benefiting from various stages of training, as Tasiast has brought in qualified trainers to elevate the cultural and professional levels of our members,” said Dah Mansour Ebeid (President of the Dawass Cooperative).
Members of the Dawass Cooperative receive Technical Training Certificates from Warwick Morley-Jepson (Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer)
The Cooperative also has contracts with Tasiast to provide camel herding, camp maintenance and litter collection, as well as transportation services to bus people from remote villages, to Mauritania’s urban centres of Nouadhibou and Nouakchott. Community members have also been given training in business management.
Looking ahead to 2015, the goal is to diversify the Cooperative’s client base by 30%, so that its members can develop business beyond the Tasiast operations. In addition, more skills training will be provided in the areas of ground levelling, marketing, and organizational development.
From Vision to Reality: Creating the Cooperative
Identifying the Need
Tasiast needs thousands of bricks for paving both pedestrian areas of the mine site, and areas where dust can become a problem.
Seeing the Opportunity
Teach members of the Dawass community how to produce and lay the bricks, and employ them at Tasiast.
Making it Happen
1. We organized the Dawass community into a “Cooperative”, whereby at least one member of each household was represented.
2. We hired a local NGO to help register the Dawass Cooperative for Agriculture and Development with the Mauritanian government.
3. The NGO provided more than 1,000 hours of soft skills training to the Cooperative, spanning organizational skills, conflict resolution, administration, basic literacy and numeracy.
4. A brick-making machine was shipped to Mauritania from South Africa, and a 375 square metre production site was constructed.
5. Tasiast partnered with a local technical training team, and the team provided the Cooperative with more than 3,200 hours of training in machine operation, quality control, basic business processes, inventory management, health and safety, and more.
“The Dawass Cooperative was set up to help establish long-term, sustainable economic development opportunities for the local communities that surround Tasiast,” said Fabiana Illescas (Community Relations Manager, Tasiast). “We understand that this is a learning experience for the Cooperative, and we are committed to providing them with ongoing support in the areas of skills training and social development.”
Members of the Dawass Cooperative with Tasiast management employees
The Brick-making Project Team celebrates inauguration