The Kamoa Copper footprint is home to approximately 40,000 people in 41 villages governed by two traditional authorities. Kamoa Copper therefore strives to ensure that the social and economic benefits from our mines are shared as widely as possible through its community initiatives, as well as the stakeholder agreements concluded with our host communities, local entrepreneurs, and employees, thereby validating our social license to operate. The various initiatives are strategically developed to contribute to the achievements of our priority SDGs – SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).
Kamoa’s Sustainable Livelihoods initiative, which promotes sustainable agricultural development in the host communities within Kamoa’s footprint, enhances the food security and living standards of local residents.
Kamoa Copper’s initiatives are contributing to successful food-production activities in nearby communities by uplifting small-scale farmers and enabling them to increase their production capacity, laying the foundation for increased commercial farming and setting an example for future generations.
The initiatives include maize production, fruit and vegetable production, fish farming, poultry farming and honey production.
As Kamoa prepares to take the Sustainable Livelihoods initiatives to the next level, an agronomy school, which will offer training programs to local farmers and serve as a research facility, has been constructed and equipped. Plans are also underway for a collaboration between the agronomy school and the University of Kolwezi, which will provide further practical training for the students.
The long‑term vision is to continue to expand all of these projects and to diversify into other business opportunities, such as agro‑processing.
In 2020, the various Sustainable Livelihoods initiatives produced 357,000 kg of maize, earning $152,000 for the 22 communities and 248 beneficiaries involved, produced over 228,000 kg of fruits and vegetables, earning about $312,00 for the 16 communities and 178 beneficiaries involved, produced over 203,000 eggs, earning about $2,500 for the two communities and nine beneficiaries involved, produced over 500 kg of fish, earning about $1,800 for the three communities and 10 beneficiaries involved and produced over 500 kg of honey, earning about $5,200 for the two communities and 10 beneficiaries involved.
Kamoa Copper, which employs people from its surrounding communities, is investing in skills development and has established the Kansoko Training Centre aimed at providing opportunities for its Congolese employees to gain skills in mining, concentrator, and engineering maintenance.
The plan is to empower new recruits through a clear career development plan to become Kamoa’s new generation of managers and leaders. By investing in its people, Kamoa Copper reaps the benefit of having a local, qualified labour force while reducing the unemployment rate in the area and boosting the local economy.
Kamoa also strongly encourages the growth of women in mining and aims to increase the number of trained Congolese women personnel in active underground mining work.
In 2020, the training centre successfully trained and deployed five operational crews for the Kakula Mine and two operational crews for the Kansoko Mine. A total of 194 trainees were successfully trained in 2020 on a variety of courses, including tele‑handler, agitator truck and utility vehicle training. At the same time, five cadets received underground utility vehicle training.
Kamoa Copper has answered the call to invest in improving the long-term future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In so doing, the company is underway with the construction of the Kamoa Centre of Excellence, which once in operation, aims to create a sustainable and community-centred learning environment in the heart of the DRC. Kamoa Copper’s leadership team hosted the ground-breaking ceremony in December 2021.
In a bid to retain and develop local talent and to create a situation where in-country higher education becomes the norm, the Kamoa Centre of Excellence will offer degrees, diplomas and short courses in collaboration with internationally accredited institutions.
The project will take place over multiple phases to allow for departments, as well as sports facilities, to be added over time. Initial curriculum offerings will be aligned with the mining industry i.e., mining engineering, French-English language courses, and much more.
Located on the outskirts of Kolwezi, once in operation, the Kamoa Centre of Excellence will be a future-ready learning environment and will create a legacy of collaboration, supporting local infrastructure and economic growth.
Phase 1 will include just over 100 students, with enrolment to commence in 2023.
Kamoa Copper undertakes training and education at a community level, helping to address historically low literacy levels in the area.
Kamoa’s skills development and education programmes focus on interventions that enable community members to improve their living conditions and socio‑economic status by developing either the skills required for employment at Kamoa-Kakula or for establishing and growing a successful local business.
Kamoa’s 2020 community skills development initiatives focused largely on providing 194 core-to-mining training opportunities at the Kansoko Training Centre, while other community skills development investments included 416 non-core-to-mining training opportunities, focused largely on agricultural and textile training.
In terms of textile training, Kamoa’s community sewing project, named Salamah – meaning ‘security and peace’ in Swahili, has successfully grown from a skills development initiative into a fully-fledged local enterprise.
Through continuous skills development, interested community members were trained on using semi-industrial sewing machines and then on using full-scale industrial sewing machines. Having developed the requisite sewing skills, the community members later established the Salamah sewing business.
The business, which aims to become a 100% independent enterprise, has employed 28 local community members, comprising 22 women and 6 men. Besides manufacturing and supplying personal protective equipment to Kamoa Copper for use at Kamoa-Kakula, the sewing project has ambitions to diversify its product range into school uniforms, affordable clothing, bedding, and room materials.
Kamoa Copper is committed to supporting localised procurement in its host communities by seeking to preferentially engage and support local community suppliers, and to create opportunities for community suppliers to partner with established suppliers for skills transfer and shared generational wealth.
Through its enterprise and supplier development programmes, Kamoa Copper invests time and capital to help people establish, expand, or improve businesses, often with a view to integrating these enterprises into Kamoa’s supply chain.
In 2020, Kamoa Copper provided training to 21 local enterprises and suppliers which covered business management and regulatory compliance practices.
Local suppliers who graduate the training are given the opportunity to enter Kamoa Copper’s supply chain.