This post is stimulated around expatriates and geologists travelling to and from Africa for work purposes, but what are the positive gains for mining operations vs. what does the surrounding community get out of mining operations?
Africa is super rich in natural resources such and comprises of ore, minerals, precious stones, metals and so much more. This beautiful and economical aspect to the African continent tends to be disregarded by expatriates who are seeking job opportunities abroad. Economic, social and political problems often scare, intimidate and drive expatriates further away from Africa; leaving very few foreigners open to the possibility of relocating somewhere in Africa. Most published reports concerning Africa that are distributed around the world are damaging and revolve around civil war, insufficiency, political instability and the widespread aids epidemic.
Significant economic, social and environmental impacts (regionally and nationally) are important aspects to consider especially in the Mining industry. Throughout and after the life of the mine, companies, NGO’S, Governments and communities are more and more challenging the mining industry. Community objectives aim to ensure that the benefits accruing from mine development are completely sustainable and maximised and that the negative effects of mining operations are alleviated to the extent that communities are improved by the presence mining operations.
Locally, mines can be a massive influence for the better through the establishment of direct and indirect employment, skills transfer, enhancement of capacity health and educational services, upgraded infrastructure as well as small and medium business opportunities. With this said, it is inevitable that a mine will eventually reach its closure phase which can pose major threats to the local population such as infringement of rights and critically affecting their traditional way of life and their culture.
The purpose of environmental assessments and approvals is to ensure that the decision makers consider the resulting environmental impacts when determining whether to proceed with a project. The relationship between mining companies and local communities are undergoing a large and optimistic evolution.
If you are a mining expatriate seeking for a job within the mining industry and are completely open to adventure, then Africa is the place for you! There are plenty employment opportunities in Africa that cater for foreign professionals within the working environment.