National economic development
Our mines are based in some of the most economically challenged and remote corners of the world. But there is no rule that says our host regions must stay like that. We believe mining companies such as ourselves can and should have a transformative role in harnessing their abundance of potential from human talent to clean energy and arable land. At a national level we contribute in a number of ways including paying taxes, dividends and royalties, joint ownership of the mines with our host countries, the building of vital infrastructure and by support for local supply chains and local skills.
The same philosophy applies at community level where we seek to help empower our host communities to build thriving local economies, viable over the long term.
Issues such as economic development, community development and investment and skills transfer and training all appear as priority items on our Materiality Assessment and this section explores in more detail how we manage these issues.
NEW CUSTOMS HOUSE SAVES COSTS AND HELPS PUT COMMUNITIES ON THE MAP
Many of the materials required by the Loulo- Gounkoto complex in Mali are transported overland from Dakar in Senegal. In 2013 we worked with the Malian and Senegalese governments and other stakeholders to help fund a new border crossing at Koundan, about 30km from the mine. However, the border was without an official customs house which meant goods still had to be transported the long way round through Kayes before coming to the mines, meaning additional transport costs and time.
In 2015, in order to make the border completely operational, Randgold invested over $650 000 to build the Mahinamine customs office. The impressive new offices were officially opened in the last quarter of 2015 with a ceremony attended by a number of dignatories including the Malian Minister of Training, the National Director of Customs for Mali and the Mayor of Kenieba.
Having a fully operational border close to the mine has not just improved transport times and brought costs down for Randgold, it has also brought economic benefit for the local community. Local businesses now enjoy more efficient supply lines and a number of new businesses have sprung up along the road near the border, transforming Koudan into a thriving urban centre. Randgold and the local community development committee are currently investigating the feasibility of constructing a hotel to create a further economic boost to the town.