Case Study Pages:
Starting from scratch in Mozambique
Key focus - Employee, supply and economic contribution in action
From its earliest days, the Mozal aluminium smelter project in Mozambique presented BHP Billiton with a number of significant challenges. One of the world's poorest countries, there was poorly developed infrastructure, limited numbers of people with training and skills, and malaria and HIV/AIDS were prevalent.
With the motto 'Together we make a difference' BHP Billiton instigated a wide-ranging program of health, safety, environment, community and socio-economic initiatives including:
- Setting up health-related programs and facilities for malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health
- Improving educational facilities in the region with the rebuilding of the primary school, the provision of the first-ever secondary school, support for training of school teachers, funding for new facilities in an agricultural school and the donation of exercise books to disadvantaged children
- Establishing various training programs and facilities to maximise the number of local people in the workforce, e.g. mechanical and electrical maintenance, and construction workers. Other training opportunities, e.g. degree and post-graduate education and overseas assignments are arranged for employees to prepare them for promotion. 93 percent of the 1105 permanent staff at the mine is Mozambican
- Developing houses within the vicinity of the smelter
- Providing infrastructure such as roads and bridges, water and electricity supply, and telephones
- Assisting local SME's to successfully compete for contracts by offering training in tendering for and carrying out contracts. Some work packages are for the exclusive tender of Mozambican SME's and an SME Development Centre was established to train SME's in best practice in the supply of goods and services to the smelter and to assist with staff safety
- Providing families with income-earning activities, e.g. training women in chicken raising and providing the chicks; and training farmers in cashew nut production and providing the cashew trees. And then it's off to the local market; the market being created with assistance by the smelter.
The Mozal aluminium smelter project in Mozambique is a model for sustainable long-term investment based on sound business principles that encompass the recognition and effective management of social and environmental responsibilities. People are employed directly by the smelter, in the supply chain process and economic benefits are generated.