Large scale mining is inherently destructive to the environment and certain communities as well. This could be in the form of destruction of the natural environment or displacement and loss of sources of revenues to local and indigenous communities. All mining operations are expected to deliver sustainable benefits for the local communities. The “social license to operate” is critical for all mining operations. This has been largely been done successfully through the use of Foundations, Trusts and Funds (FTF’s) as a vehicle for investments in the local communities.

Foundation,Trusts and Funds are largely managed by the mining companies and in some cases, by the local government as a tool to bypass local influence as well as keep it transparent.

Most of the countries with large mining operations have various types of Foundation,Trusts and Funds.

According to a World Bank Report titled “Sharing Mining Benefits in Developing Countries”, Countries with strong policy and regulatory approaches include Chile, Papua New Guinea, and South Africa. In addition, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Yemen have recently introduced community development regulations, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Namibia, and Tanzania are reportedly seeking to embed community development initiatives within their policy framework.

The system was built to ensure not just the availability of information online, but also create workflows, track the progress of projects being funded by the Foundation,Trusts and Funds and provide reports to all stakeholders. The details captured through this system include:

  • The details of the Foundation,Trusts and Funds, including its governing body and their contact details.
  • Details of the beneficiaries of the Foundation,Trusts and Funds. This includes the geographical area, the headcounts and their details.
  • A quarterly data of all contributions received. This has two variables:
    • The monies received from the mining of minerals ( the quantum can also be directly fed via the Mines & Minerals management System ( read about it here), or the audited report can be entered by an operator.
    • The other miscellaneous contributions/credits from banks, NGOs or individual contributions.
  • All documents pertaining to the Foundation,Trusts and Funds can be uploaded, including Minutes of Meetings, Action Taken Reports (ATRs) and agendas.
  • The Project Tracker Module. This is the most critical component in providing transparency in the system. All projects funded by the Foundation,Trusts and Funds can be tracked and real-time details can be extracted from the system
    • Geographical details of projects underway.
    • Financial transactions, including any award of tenders for the projects are captured.
    • On ground progress of the various projects, including pre-determined stages of completion are also mapped and tracked.
    • Allocation, fund release, management of expenditures, uploading Utilization Certificate & Hand Over Certificate, inspection across project lifecycle can be managed through the portal.

The Foundation,Trusts and Funds management system is critical for the stakeholders to show transparency and efficiency of the projects. The system is devised to provide accountability, on the stakeholders to plan, manage and utilise the Foundation,Trusts and Funds efficiently.

The need for transparency, accountability & proper utilization of these funds is the core behind the Foundation, Trusts and Funds Management System developed by CSM. This enables the mining companies and the government to achieve complete transparency in the management and utilization of funds for the holistic development of people in mining-affected areas.

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