Plexus was contracted by a mining sector client to provide urgent assistance regarding an ESHIA for a planned mining development prepared by another contractor. Plexus reviewed the client’s stakeholder engagement approach and advised on the measures needed to comply with the IFC Performance Standards and the Equator Principles. This input was critical to ensuring the project’s licence to operate and access to project finance.
Following a detailed review of the existing ESHIA, Plexus designed the consultation strategy for the project’s development phase and provided strategic support on social performance planning and social risk management. Plexus also rewrote the social and health assessment sections of the development project’s EIA due to be submitted to the Ministry of Environment.
Plexus mobilised a bespoke team of international experts to advise the client on social baseline data collection, community health, stakeholder engagement, social investment, resettlement, relations with artisanal miners and compliance with the IFC Performance Standards.
Plexus reviewed available data relating to the project area and carried out a series of focus group meetings with local communities, alongside key informant interviews with regional and national governmental stakeholders and NGOs to evaluate stakeholder awareness and understanding of the project. Plexus also prepared the terms of reference for the social baseline and reviewed and commented on the project’s existing resettlement action plan and related issues regarding compliance with IFC standards and the Equator Principles.
Particular emphasis was placed on designing the development project’s stakeholder engagement and social risk management strategy, the plan to meet international standards as well as advising the client on delivery of benefits to local communities, water resource management and social investment. Following preparation of the SIA/HIA sections of the EIA, which were based on available data and prepared within a tight schedule designed to meet the project’s permit application deadline, Plexus carried out a gap analysis outlining the steps needed to fully comply with the IFC Performance Standards and the Equator Principles.
Plexus delivered strategic advice on social risk management, good stakeholder relations, and strategic social investment. Plexus also integrated the social and health aspects of the EIA with the environmental issue analysis and, on this basis, provided timely recommendations for the project to proceed and comply with IFC and Equator Principle requirements.
The project demonstrated the importance of an early start and of carefully selecting consultants with the right capabilities. It also demonstrated the need for active and on-going supervision and/or for hiring an independent social performance expert to advise the project manager, particularly in socially complex project settings.
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