Koidu Holdings provides suitable resettlement package for affected communities
Koidu Holdings S.A, the largest diamond mining company in Sierra Leone has provided a suitable resettlement package for communities affected by its mining operations in Kono District, as its expansion project gains momentum.
The Company is on the verge of completing the resettlement of hundreds of affected property owners in Tankoro Chiefdom in accordance with the provisions of the Koidu Kimberlite Project (KKP) Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) of 2009.
Over and above the good quality houses the Company is constructing for the project affected people, it has also provided the ‘Kimbadu’ Community, as the resettlement site is now called, with a number of social infrastructures like schools, pipe borne water supply, a market, a church and a mosque and most recently, a Community Health Centre. All of this is geared towards ensuring that the affected communities are better off in their new settlement than they were in their previous settlements.
Today in Kono District, Kimbadu has better roads and social amenities than any other community within the District. This thus serves to demonstrate Koidu Holdings’ commitments to improving the living standard of the people affected by its operations.
By completely taking over the sponsorship of two Premiership Clubs in their areas of operation; Diamond Stars of Kono and Gem Stars of Tongo Field. The Company has undoubtedly set a standard that other corporate entities should aspire to emulate. As part of its sponsorship, sport complexes are currently being constructed for the two teams to house their players and technical staff. At over five six hundred million Leones per team annually, this is by far the most lucrative sponsorship deal ever in the history of Sierra Leone. Over and above that, the Company is also responsible for the provision of Jerseys and all other relevant equipment for both teams.
During the presentation of the first consignment of jerseys, boots, track suits, footballs, training bibs, shin guards, dugouts etc. the Chief Communications Officer of Koidu Holdings, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, indicated that the donation is simply an attempt to feed the people’s passion for football in Sierra Leone. He said they consider the gesture a response to the yearnings and aspirations of its host communities. “Our objective is to contribute to the development of sport inSierra Leoneso this is just the beginning,” he added.
During the presentation of the newly constructed and furnished Kimbadu Community Health Centre, the Koidu Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer, Jan Joubert has disclosed that the Diamond Mining Company has a promising vision of helping to deliver a new era of economic prosperity to a country that has now fully shaken off the impact of the civil war.
The CEO said “we demonstrate responsible and sustainable diamond mining that will elevate and empower the people and the economy of this country.”
He said US$150 million has been secured to implement the Expansion Project, which commenced in 2011 and will continue right through 2016. This, he said, involves a five-year open pit mining phase of the two kimberlite pipes, transitioning to a 12-year underground mining operation on both pipes, as well as introducing a second underground mining operation in parallel to extract the kimberlite dykes and blows.
The company will ensure the Construction of a new 180 tonnes per hour Dense Media Separation processing plant capable of treating 1.2 million tonnes of ore per annum and the construction of new mine infrastructure scaled up to meet the requirements of the 500% increase in mining capacity.
The CEO stated that resettlement of the community living within the larger 500m safe blast envelope beyond the final open pit perimeters is in progress and this will be followed by the construction of a new road linking the Resettlement Village with the main road entering Koidu Town, to replace the section of road to be enclosed within the mining lease area.
The scale of the Expansion Project will increase the Company’s workforce from the current 778 permanent employees, 90.4% of whom are local Sierra Leoneans, to over 1,330 by 2016. The number of local contractors assisting in the construction of infrastructure and the community resettlement programme is presently 478, with 283 dedicated to the resettlement project alone.
The impact of the Koidu Holdings project on the local community and economy is huge. The company is currently one of the largest contributors to government revenues in terms of taxes, royalties and contributions to development programmes.
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