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Sierra Rutile staff newsletter 6

  • Text
  • Rutile
  • Programme
  • Succession
  • Mining
  • Survey
  • Communities
  • Njala
  • October
  • Respondents
  • Condoms
  • Www.ftinsight.net

OCTOBER 2013 2013 Q4

OCTOBER 2013 2013 Q4 RUTILE PRODUCTION VERSUS TARGETS - THRESHOLD, BUDGET AND STRETCH SURVEY SHOWS SRL’S COMMITMENT IN FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS RUTILE, MT 40,000 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 32,726 31,145 36,118 12,008 12,008 11,629 10,048 10,558 10,028 10,537 11,070 11,632 12,837 11,652 Q4 Totals Oct Nov Dec Actual Threshold Budget Stretch In October we produced 12,008 mt of Rutile which exceeded the stretch target. SGR product quality for the month was 95.1% TiO2 IT’S GOOD TO TALK According to research by global management consultants PriceWaterhouse Coopers, communication within companies is a good thing. Their research into how companies communicate with their employees shows that those that are highly effective at both communication and change management are two and a half times more likely to outperform companies which are less effective in those areas. IMPROVING TEACHING IN LOCAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS In a move to improve education in the mining communities, Sierra Rutile and examiners from the West African Examination Council recently held training sessions for local secondary school teachers in physics, chemistry, biology, maths and English language. The training was considered very successful and attending teachers have asked that it be extended to teachers at Junior Secondary school level and that SRL conduct annual refresher courses for teachers at the start of each academic year. Sierra Rutile’s internal communications encompasses a range of channels - the monthly communications meeting, departmental toolbox meetings, notice boards, email, suggestion boxes, letters and memos, and this newsletter to name just a few. We use these channels to tell each other what is happening in the company, share the information we need to do our jobs, and keep up-to-date on business strategies, market information, policies, initiatives and changes. As the company moves from its turnaround to its transformational phase, everyone needs to be united behind a common goal. To this end, we will be conducting an internal communications audit. This will involve analysing what we presently use to communicate internally and how well it works. In addition we will be asking you to take part in a staff survey to get your opinions and views, and make sure that the way we presently communicate works for you. Prince Cotay, CAD manager and the architect of the scheme says: “Sierra Rutile has a tradition of supporting education – we fund scholarships, build and refurbish schools, provide learning materials, support a roving library. It is no secret however that the standard of teaching in schools is often a serious impediment to a career in the mining industry. By investing in improving the skills and knowledge of teachers, we are building sustainable educational opportunities, which we hope will lead to long term change to the benefit of Sierra Leone and Sierra Rutile.” To mark World Aids Day on 1 December, Sierra Rutile, the first mining company in Sierra Leone to develop an internationally recognised workplace programme on HIV/AIDS, is releasing research by the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat in Sierra Leone (NAS) which highlights the programme’s success to date. The research is based on a survey of 334 SRL, SSGI and ATS staff conducted last year, with additional information from focus groups and interviews. Results show that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among SRL and its contractors (ATS and SSGI) has stabilised at 2.4% since 2007, indicating that the programme is paying off and has increased knowledge and awareness of the disease. Abdul Rahman Sessay, deputy director of NAS says: “The stabilisation of the SRL prevalence rate at 2.4% is a big achievement. SRL has invested its own resources beyond its workplace confines to target the community. This has helped in stabilising the disease. With additional interventions in place to contain the disease, such as workers’ education and provision of HIV/AIDS services, not only to its workforce but the community, infection rates will continue to drop.” The survey shows that respondents are well informed about the transmission of HIV with 97% identifying unprotected sex as a major cause of infection; 49% also know that injections with non-sterile needles or contaminated sharps can transmit the virus; 47% identified transfusion with infected blood, and 14% know that the virus can be transmitted from infected mother to child during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. The majority (77%) of respondents were aware that correct and consistent use of condoms during sex with multiple partners can prevent infection, being faithful to an uninfected partner (55%), and the use of sterile instruments (33%). The SRL clinic is the main source of information on HIV/AIDS for 69% of respondents; 25% acquired their knowledge from the media and 6% from friends. Underscoring the SRL clinic’s pivotal place in the programme are results which show that almost three quarters (74%) of the respondents are aware that confidential HIV testing is available from the SRL clinic, and 84% trust the SRL clinic for its strict adherence to confidentiality. The clinic’s importance in providing condoms is also highlighted; 58% say it is easy to access condoms at the workplace and 81% of the condoms used were obtained from the work place, with the clinic accounting for 69% and the offices 12%. Encouragingly discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS was in the minority. Two-thirds of the respondents believe that HIV positive employees should be reassured of continuing employment while keeping their status confidential, and over two-thirds (69%) of the respondents are willing to shake hands, hug and share a meal with a person known to have HIV. Disturbingly however, 31 % reported that they would have nothing to do with a person with HIV. Commenting on the survey results Ansu Jabati, EHS manager, said: “Businesses like ours can play an important role in combating HIV/AIDS. This survey shows how Sierra Rutile’s co-ordinated response to HIV/AIDS in the workplace is having a positive effect. It is encouraging to note that there is increasingly widespread awareness and understanding of HIV and AIDS among our staff and contractors. This knowledge needs to be translated into positive behaviour change. Condoms are easily accessible and provided free by the company; and the clinic is an invaluable source of HIV and AIDS information as well as treatment. Our goals are zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths; we all have a part to play in getting to zero at work.” Since initiating the programme in 2006, Sierra Rutile has been committed to ensuring it reflects present and future needs and remains at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS. On 1 December 2011, the company signed a revised version of the policy with the United Mine Workers Union, which further reinvigorated the programme. Sierra Rutile has also already started implementing recommendations from the 2012 HIV/AIDS study, including extending its HIV/AIDS programme to the mining communities, and the purchase of equipment which is critical to the programme’s success - such as the CD4 (cluster of differentiation 4) count machine.

Rutile Programme Succession Mining Survey Communities Njala October Respondents Condoms www.ftinsight.net

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Rutile Programme Succession Mining Survey Communities Njala October Respondents Condoms www.ftinsight.net