Shortlisted for prestigious ESG award for Ethiopian gold exploration project
Akobo Minerals is delighted to announce it was shortlisted as ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Explorer/Developer Mining Company of the Year at this week’s Mines & Money London, the premier European forum for mining investment and capital raising.
Every employee can be proud of the part they have played in helping to build our world class ESG program – one that is already benefiting the local population on the ground in Ethiopia where we are successfully building our exploration and mining activities. ESG will always be at the heart of our corporate philosophy.Jørgen Evjen, CEO at Akobo Minerals
Organisations were considered based on how well they have developed a long-term sustainable ESG strategy, and the nominated companies were recognised as having successfully integrated ESG into this strategy in a meaningful manner. The shortlist of those companies was decided by a panel of both ESG and mining industry experts.
Commenting on being nominated for the award, Jørgen Evjen, CEO at Akobo Minerals, stated: “We are proud to have been one of only six highly regarded companies from around the world shortlisted for our ESG activities by Mines & Money London. Akobo Minerals, in its present guise, has only been operating for little over one year and despite not winning the award, to even be shortlisted for such a prestigious honour speaks volumes about the great strides we have taken in this time – in general as an exploration and mining operation; and specifically, in developing our ESG activities.”
He concluded: “After a period of rapid growth, this shortlisting shows that we are considered to be within an important peer group of respected and forward thinking exploration enterprises. Every employee can be proud of the part they have played in helping to build our world class ESG program –one that is already benefiting the local population on the ground in Ethiopia where we are successfully building our exploration and mining activities. ESG will always to be at the heart of our corporate philosophy.”
ESG will always be at the heart of our corporate philosophy.
Background on Akobo Minerals’ ESG program
Akobo Minerals is building the capacity of its corporate and operations team to place ESG issues at the heart of the development of its Gold Project.
The Akobo Minerals mining licence includes a number of ESG obligations that it has negotiated, including a designated proportion of royalties coming to the Gambella region and a commitment to support sustainable development initiatives in the project woreda(district).
Akobo Minerals, as an ethical exploration company is seeking to turn the complex ESG challenge into an opportunity. At the beginning of 2021, Akobo Minerals embarked on a partnership with Sazani Associates (Sazani), a UK-based not-for-profit organisation specialising in natural resource governance to undertake a rapid appraisal of natural resources use in the project area, and a local community analysis of needs, and is presently preparing a sustainable natural resource management plan (SNRMP). This will be in addition to environmental and social management plans resulting from an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), the company is undertaking.
The SNRMP is being designed as a parallel self-sustaining initiative to the development of
its gold mining project and will incorporate the following:
- Capacity building in environmental and social safeguarding and technical capacities of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) activity as well as improved regulation;
- Alternative sustainable livelihood opportunities that support food security and technical vocations; and
- A payment for ecosystem services scheme, to generate income, from carbon credits, for our host communities, through rehabilitation and conservation of degraded areas.
These initiatives are in addition to a program of local community initiatives, including purchasing equipment for local schools, football clothing for local junior soccer teams and healthcare support in local health centres. Akobo Minerals has also helped to ensure the only local road is of sound quality by making general repairs to its surface. And during 2021, it made a significant upgrade to a landing strip near to its camp, so light aircraft are now able to land and take-off – a boon to support community emergency situations.