Rosebel Gold Mines NV (RGM), on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, held consultations with the Brokopondo Traditional Authority Platform and District Commissioner (DC), Ludwig Mendelzoon, of the Brokopondo District. During these meetings, the traditional authority and the DC were officially informed of the agreement made by parent company IAMGOLD with Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (Zijin) to sell its interest in RGM. The management team of RGM also responded to questions from the traditional authority and provided assurances about the current agreements for various community projects in the district.
Since the start of RGM operations, the company has always sought to contribute to the sustainable development of the surrounding communities through the implementation of projects related to education, healthcare, socioeconomic development and supporting entrepreneurship, among others. To further implement RGM's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, two community funds were established: the Suriname Environmental and Mining Foundation (SEMiF), established in 2008, and the Rosebel Community Fund (RCF), established in 2019. With the advent of the RCF, a number of projects initiated by representatives from the Brokopondo communities were launched. The traditional authority particularly wanted to know what can be expected regarding the progress of these projects.
"All agreements and existing commitments made regarding the community projects will be honoured by the new shareholder. This has been discussed with Zijin and they have guaranteed the continuation of the current projects," said Michiel Fleischeuer, General Manager of RGM.
Jerry Finisie, Manager of Community Relations and Development at RGM, conducted a review of previous transition periods of RGM. "This is the 3rd time the traditional authority of Brokopondo has had a similar meeting with RGM's management team. The 1st was at the transfer from Golden Star to Cambior. The 2nd from Cambior to IAMGOLD. Today we discussed the transfer to Zijin. And also in this transfer, we have ensured with Zijin that the agreements with the traditional authority will be respected," he said.
Both the DC and traditional authority representatives expressed understanding for the announced transition, and their gratitude for the great cooperation with RGM so far. "We also know that there are employees at RGM coming from the communities of Brokopondo and of course we would have liked to continue with IAMGOLD. But who knows, this change could also be positive for the district. So, my advice to the community of Brokopondo is to wait patiently until everything is settled," said DC Mendelzoon. The DC also has the same message for the employees at RGM: "No matter who takes over the company, the process will first have to be completed to have a clearer picture of the new shareholder. I therefore also advise, especially the workers from Brokopondo, not to approach the situation with prejudice."