Because of their extraordinary biodiversity and of how they contain outstanding representation of on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution of ecosystems and species,, the Guinean and Ivoirian Nimba Mountains Strict Nature Reserves (SNRs) were inscribed as the Mount Nimba Natural World Heritage Site. In Guinea, the Guinean SNR is also a core area of the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve. The Nimba mining concession is adjacent to the SNR.
Environmental Requirements for SMFG – National Law and IFC
SMFG complies strictly with Guinean legal requirements for strict nature reserves, as well as with all relevant Guinean environmental legislation concerning pollution, protection of fauna and flora, environmental and social impact assessment, and related topics. However, SMFG goes beyond compliance with national law and follows leading international standards, most importantly the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC’s) Performance Standards of 2012. In particular, IFC’s Performance Standard 6 on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources’ is relevant. This standard and its associated Guidance Notes of 2019 give specific, often quantitative, guidance to implement it.
IUCN’s and ICMM’s Guidance
Because of the SNR’s status as a natural world heritage site, SMFG benchmarks against IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment and IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Mining and Oil/Gas Projects. These provide instructions on the process of environmental impact assessment when pursuing an extractive project in proximity to a world heritage site.
Furthermore, SMFG commits to the International Council on Mining and Metal’s Position Statement on Protected Areas which states that future operations adjacent to World Heritage properties will not be incompatible with the outstanding universal value for which these properties are listed and do not put the integrity of these properties at risk.