RSK has secured a project with Tembo Nickel Corporation Limited (Tembo Nickel) to prepare a resettlement action plan, including a livelihood restoration plan, to support the communities surrounding what has the potential to become one of Africa’s largest nickel mines. The underground mining site, the Kabanga Nickel Project, is located in Ngara District in north-west Tanzania, where RSK has been providing project support since April 2022.

The Kabanga Nickel Project is owned by Tembo Nickel, with the government of Tanzania holding a 16% share, in accordance with current mineral legislation for the mining, processing and refining of Class 1 nickel with cobalt and copper co-products. Refining of these metals and full beneficiation will be carried out in the nearby town of Kahama, using a hydrometallurgical refining process that has a much lower carbon and sulphur dioxide footprint than traditional smelting. The nickel produced will be used to support the growing demand for rechargeable batteries, of which nickel is a vital component.

The RSK team will work in collaboration with local communities to ensure their livelihood after relocation is at the same or a better level than before the project. This will include optimising local employment and the local supply of goods and services to the mine.

As part of the project’s remit, RSK teams will prepare resettlement action and livelihood restoration plans as per Tanzanian legislation and in compliance with the requirements of the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards (IFCPS). Through this work, RSK will provide support to all elements of the mining project, including the development of a resettlement-specific stakeholder engagement plan (SEP) and associated components; will conduct consultations with local government authorities, project-affected communities and project-affected households; and will develop a resettlement action plan, a monitoring and evaluation plan and a livelihood restoration plan.

Basil Shio, RSK’s resettlement lead on-site, said, “Resettlement is a challenging process, but it is possible to do it right and it is an opportunity to create positive and sustainable impacts. RSK’s Kabanga field team is pledged at this early stage to plan and carefully ensure we undertake the whole process with the informed participation of affected people and other stakeholders. We are making sure key resettlement steps, such as stakeholder engagement, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation, are all followed, while we also work to the IFCPS.”

Anna Lennartsdotter, Tembo Nickel Social Performance Manager, added, “Our communities within the location where we operate are a key part of our shared value creation. We believe in early, ongoing and collaborative engagement. The resettlement project is a very important part of the Kabanga development and we are glad to have RSK’s expertise on board.”

The resettlement project is expected to run for a number of years, during which time the RSK team, together with the Tembo Nickel Community Relations team, will provide continued social and stakeholder engagement support to the communities around the site.