Our OZ Minerals External Stakeholder Engagement Management Standard commits us to ensuring proactive engagement to manage risks and opportunities for OZ Minerals’ facilities and external stakeholders and to develop and maintain positive stakeholder relationships.
This standard addresses the systematic identification of stakeholders, understanding culture, interests and issues, planning for and proactively engaging stakeholders, documentation of the engagement processes and reporting on progress and status.
Before operations commenced at Prominent Hill, baseline social and environmental assessments were completed. Regular monitoring through engagement with local community representatives has occurred since then. During the reporting year, there has been extensive engagement with the indigenous Antakarinja community, mostly relating to employment opportunities.
There has also been ongoing engagement with local pastoralists. As Prominent Hill is a relatively isolated mine site, nearby pastoralists are our closest neighbours. We have a water sampling program to monitor water levels in some of the pastoral bores closest to the mine site and there have been some recent declines in the water levels of two bores. We are currently working with the affected pastoralist to address this issue. Water for our Prominent Hill operation comes from the Arckaringa Basin which is separate from the Great Artesian Basin. For more information on this water resource, refer to Water management in the environmental section.
During the reporting year, a scope for a formal community bench-line survey was developed and is to take place in 2010.
Prominent Hill Pre-employment Training Program
Prominent Hill runs a Pre-employment Training Program, which allows local indigenous and non-indigenous people who have never worked in the mining industry an opportunity to gain an understanding of, and attainment of skills for, a role in the mining industry. The program is one way in which OZ Minerals can help secure employees and at the same time achieve its aims of employing as many local people as possible at its operations.
Following satisfactory completion of the 60 day program, which includes three weeks of work experience onsite at Prominent Hill, successful trainees are offered permanent employment at the Prominent Hill Operation with OZ Minerals or one of our contractors. They also receive a Nationally Accredited Certificate II in Metalliferous Mining. Preference is given to people living in the local towns and regional communities near Prominent Hill.
Since the launch of the program in 2006, five groups of trainees, including 42 successful graduates, have completed the program and taken up roles at Prominent Hill. The graduates come from the local towns of Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Oodnadatta and Port Pirie.
The fifth Prominent Hill Pre-employment Training Program, completed in September 2009, was specifically organised for members of the Antakarinja community, who are the traditional owners of the land where the mine is located. Seven trainees successfully completed the program and have been placed in a number of roles at the Prominent Hill operation, including in the Environment, Exploration, Resource Development, Geology, Human Resources and Training departments.
The fifth Prominent Hill Training Program was a partnership between OZ Minerals Prominent Hill, TAFE-SA (Port Augusta Aboriginal Access Unit) and Complete Personnel.