US$6 million in Voluntary Support

Since signature of the original mining convention in 2003 until early 2020, SMFG provided approximately US$6 million in voluntary contributions to local development and environmental conservation in the following areas:

  • Education

    Construction and equipping of local schools, provision of supplies and teaching materials, adult literacy and numeracy courses for certain villages

  • Health

    Malaria control, construction, renovation and equipping of clinics, donations of medical equipment to Lola Hospital and other local clinics and health centres, support to the responses against the Ebola virus and COVID-19

  • Clean drinking water

    Provision and repairs to safe water wells and boreholes

  • Sanitation

    Construction of latrines, support to public hygiene and waste-removal initiatives

  • Roads and bridges

    Repairs of laterite roads between Lola City and the Liberian and Ivoirian borders, construction of steel bridges over key watercourses

  • Micro-projects

    Support to small-scale producers of vegetables, and pig-production by former hunters

  • Culture, sports and community life

    Sponsorship of cultural events like theatre and dance festivals and sports tournaments, screening of World Cup football and African Cup of Nations, support to victims of floods or other disasters, support for celebrating national holidays, contributions to funerals of local VIPs

  • Environmental conservation

    Support to the Nimba Mountains’ management authority (known as CEGENS) for patrols of the World Heritage Site and installing firebreaks around it, participation of CEGENS’ staff in ESIA-related research, facilitation of transboundary collaboration between the management authorities for the Guinean, Ivoirian and Liberian Nimba Mountains, training and material support to CEGENS, assistance to UNESCO, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to conduct periodic visits to the Nimba Mountains

Criteria for Receiving SMFG’s Development Support

An initiative that SMFG chooses to support must:

1. Represent a local priority which is as widely shared as possible.

It must:

  • Meet a priority need of local people,
  • Be endorsed by a body representing the community, preferably through an officially endorsed, local development plan,
  • Benefit the maximum number of people in the community,
  • Discriminate in no way, and
  • Promote gender equity;

2. Have lasting rather than temporary effects.

It should:

  • Strengthen the capacity of local people to develop themselves,
  • Encourage a spirit of enterprise among local people and reward those who mobilize for their own development,
  • Be accompanied by inputs from local people, and never encourage aid-dependence, and
  • Support the systems and structures already in place (governmental, traditional and others);

3. Respond to a shared interest and strengthen good relations.

For example, it may:

  • Prepare local communities to benefit from the opportunities brought by the mining project,
  • Meet a need of SMFG,
  • Reinforce relations between SMFG and local people,
  • Reduce pressures on the core areas of the Biosphere Reserve and on biodiversity; and

4. Be reasonable in terms of cost and timing, and have a high chance of success.

Future Support

Future Support

In future, SMFG intends to support village-level participatory land-use planning around the mountains, as well as agriculture and other catalytic investments in the development of Lola Prefecture. See Equitable Sustainable Development.

Because the mechanisms for redistribution of revenues from mining will increase the resources available for local development considerably in Lola Prefecture, SMFG will support capacity-building of local development-planning structures so that they are able to use future resources effectively.