Deep Insights #47 Voices of Africa

Episode 47 September 16, 2022 00:39:25
Deep Insights #47 Voices of Africa
Deep Insights with Mining Review Africa
Deep Insights #47 Voices of Africa

Sep 16 2022 | 00:39:25


Show Notes

In this episode, brought to you by Africa Practice, Hilaire Diarra, head of sustainability at Barrick Gold talks about initiatives to groom more Africans for leadership positions in the industry; Barrick’s progress towards decarbonising its mining operations; measures to preserve and restore biodiversity in Mali and the DRC; and the critical role of copper in the energy transition. 

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to our voices of Africa podcast brought to you by Africa practice, a strategic advisory firm, supplying insights and advocacy solutions to corporations, investors, governments, and foundations in Africa, in a world with complex and interdependent challenges. We take the guesswork out of business engagement. We enable our clients to see more clearly in order to drive sustainable and equitable development. Speaker 2 00:00:29 Hello, and welcome to this edition of voices of Africa. It's been a few weeks now since we produced our last edition. And I'm delighted that we have with us today. Hile Diallo, he's the senior vice president for sustainability and environmental management at Barack gold. Barrack gold, as many of you will know is one of the biggest mining companies in the world listed in Canada, I think, but maybe jewel listed Hele may be able to confirm that for us in a moment Hilaire spent getting onto 20 years in the mining industry, he has occupied the role of environmental and community development manager first at ran gold resources. And then when ran gold merged with Barrack, he assumed the portfolio there. He was for a short period country manager in Tanzania, also for the group. And he's now based, I think I'm right in saying Hile. You're now based in Marley. Speaker 2 00:01:30 Yeah. Um, but you oversee the Africa and middle east portfolio for, uh, Barrett gold, which comprises both gold assets as one might imagine, but copper assets too. The portfolio extends from Tanzania to a gold mine in DRC to the operations in Mali, where you are to the Lamana mine copper in Zambia. And I think you've got a gold asset also in Kova and some operations too in Egypt. So a big portfolio, a big footprint. I know that we've, we've struggled to schedule a time to get you for this podcast, but I'm delighted that we finally have the day has arrived. And I have the pleasure of speaking to you. Good morning, Hiller. Speaker 3 00:02:13 Good morning, Marcus. Speaker 2 00:02:15 So I'm gonna start if I may, by just asking you to introduce yourself where you grew up, what studies you pursued a little insight into your career, where you find yourself now, the position that you occupy at at Barrack and your responsibilities there. If I Speaker 3 00:02:29 May thank you, Marcus. Thank you for having me here. It's really a privilege and a pleasure for me to be here. I was born in ma and I spent the first part of my education Inso 15 years there, and then came back to Mali, spent my high schools after metric. The country selected the 10 best people, and they were sponsored by ran resources to go to South Africa, to complete other university studies. I was lucky to be part of that group. And we went to Victoria, uh, where I studied in environmental engineering geology. Uh, I completed my owners there before being employed by the same company run resources in is Mai Lulo mine Lu Koto mines, where I started my career after two, three years with ran gold resources. They again sponsored a master studies in the Netherlands where I completed a master in resource engineering at the Delta university of technology in the Netherland. Speaker 3 00:03:41 Really? That was a very good experience because I was also there part of Themus program, uh, where we would go in European countries, mining focus, uh, universities. So I, I was delighted to meet a community of Europeans youngsters, my age. And then, uh, I completed that in two years, spent one year in Europe and then the other year I spent it while, uh, back on my job. So in a nutshell markets, that's my career. And obviously as you've rightfully say at started as an environmental officer and mine manager in environment, and then grew up into the corporate role today. Speaker 2 00:04:23 So you've spent entire career in the mining industry. Um, yes. And with the, the same group, which is a novelty, I, I might imagine, but perhaps not so rare. Speaker 3 00:04:32 I would say the company has been good to me because since my I've been into the company care and really every day, I'm delighted to keep working with the same company with the, the type of leadership we have and the openness and the learning and the experience, I think every day is a new thing, you know? So, um, I I'm keeping going, I don't intend to change now. Speaker 2 00:04:58 Oh, interesting. I wonder, was there a cabal of you that started at the same time after matric and have stayed with the group? Or are you unique in, in that respect as it relates to the year in which you graduated and joined? Speaker 3 00:05:11 Well, we were 10 people, some sort and some during the studies obviously decided to do other things before they even started the group. Today, we are two people that follow the same program with the group because the other part of the bursary was Anglo gold. So it was ol and Anglo sponsoring. And I started straight after we've run gold and the rest are with GL. Then they're still there. You know? So it's, uh, was a personal choice. Speaker 2 00:05:40 How interesting we've touched on this subject in a conversation. I think we had a couple of years ago about leadership in the sector in Africa, the industry would benefit for more African leadership, more examples of Africans at the helm of business and the industry on the continent. There's been definite progress over the last years with many more examples today of African leaders, men. Yes, but women too occupying senior roles in the industry. But my observation is that we still have a long way to go. Would you agree with that? You are a product of being taken after a trick and groomed for leadership role within what was ran gold. Now, Barrack you've given examples of a, a few others who graduated with you. I wonder what your observation is about how the industry has, has developed and deliberately groomed African talent for leadership roles, how that's working, whether it's delivering the sort of desired results and what more you think could be done, not specifically from the vantage point of your employer, but from the industry more generally. I'll just say my observation is that in particular young, African talent that I'm exposed to is interested more in financial service and, and the tech industry than they are gravitating towards heavy industry and mining. So there's a challenge, I think, to get the best African talents into the industry and occupying our senior roles, Speaker 3 00:07:03 I'll say that, uh, the, the industry has done very poorly in that aspect. And I don't think there is a resistance from young Africans to go into mining. There is somehow a lack opportunities for this young African talent. If you look at the mining industry, I mean, it's recently there is a big push to have locals employed in mining position, but in the past, you know, it was an industry, uh, reserved to, you know, mining, Aries, you know, people that contract mining. Yeah. And, uh, the locals, the host country national didn't have an opportunity. It makes sense for a local young talent to go into mining because it's the highest paying job in the country. So I wouldn't say that people don't really want to go in mining. They just weren't given the opportunity. And you see, from my employer perspective, he started this young talent employment, let's say 20 years ago, at that time, it wasn't the same in other companies. Speaker 3 00:08:08 And today in the management or in the executive role, you've got so many people in that role from Africa. And we can see the result because there is real partnership with these country governments and our company. And that's the role, uh, we play, but it's not a quick, it's not a quick game. You know, it, it has to go through processes. Now we see companies trying ING to hire, uh, locals who don't necessarily share the DNA of that company or the vision of that company. And it's not working, you know, and it's not the same efficiency and it's not the same passion as if you had started 20 years ago. Speaker 2 00:08:48 Well, thank you for that observation. You referenced there, the importance, or perhaps just the, the fact of the partnership that exists between you and, and host country governments. I want to touch on that if I may, because I think it's central to the industry's, um, value proposition on, on the African continent, specifically, as you say, most of the assets that you manage and develop are co-owned with, with host governments, national governments are joint owners of these assets. And yet we know that there's a lot of friction that exists in that relationship. You just referenced real partnerships. I wonder if you could give us a perspective on your observation, I've categorized friction on one hand, you've referred to real partnerships on the other hand, perhaps take us a little bit through that spectrum of relationships and how you view that in your role at Barrack. You mentioned that you were in Tanzania for two or three years. Speaker 2 00:09:42 I think as the country manager, that was just after a very well publicized tension between Barrack and the administration there, John mag administration. So you've been exposed really to the, the really rough side of a relationship. And I know that in other jurisdictions, and I'm assuming now in Tanzania, you, you do have strong relationships and those relationships are delivering real value, not just for, for your business, but for the communities and for the national economy. Just give us a little bit of a perspective on the importance of that relationship with host country governments and how you manage it. Speaker 3 00:10:17 I think the, the frictions or the accusations there is different perspective to it. You know, you can look at it at the, the lens of an investor. You can look at it through the lens of the mining operator, the mining company itself, or you can, uh, look at it to the lens of the society, you know, the community and where there is crisis, or there is dispute. You'll see that there is a high level of uneducated population and also a high level of populous politics, because for a mind to be constructed, there is a contract, you know, there is a convention between the mining company and the government, and most of the time the rules are clear from the beginning. You know, it's clear to the government, what shares you're going to get. And it's clear, the assurance is given to the investor that if you put X amount of USD and this is X amount of money you get, you know, because that's how the game is played. Speaker 3 00:11:21 And now in the middle of the game, as a mining company, you run the risk of government change of populous politics of people coming in and the youth growing and people demanding more. I, I must say, in the mining industry, that's something we expect. I mean, people are changing. There is more information. There is social media. There is, there's a lot of things happening, a lot of changes happening in the world and it's happening also in the communities, in our host countries, but say that, and, and they claim some of the people make in terms of having little benefits. I would say that speculation, you know, that speculation because that little benefits, I don't know, what's the measure of that. You know, it could be little, I don't know, in terms of the money, but the positive of impact of mining cannot be underrated or underestimated because in mine, what he does not only create jobs, it brings a lot of knowledge into the country. It brings a lot of direct investment into the country. It creates massive business opportunities in the country. And most of the time government in power, the party in power would really bet on the social benefits to bring in the mining company in the country. So the, the, the changes or the complaint we seeing happening and the push to review the mining laws, I think some of the time are unjustified. Speaker 2 00:12:51 Thank you for sharing those insights. I'm going to challenge you. If I may. The contribution of the, of the mining industry to African economies is significant as you point out, you know, the industry generates billions of dollars of revenues for African X checkers, millions of jobs and, and millions of indirect, um, employment created as well. There are many examples of community development initiatives. I know within your Barrack portfolio, you have some outstanding initiatives in, in schools, in biodiversity conservation, in water and sanitation impacting tens of thousands of people in communities and positively uplifting communities in the environments of your operations. But, and here's the challenge. You know, the scale of the industry is so big and it's economic contribution so significant that it has the potential to go well beyond this in some people's views. And to be generally transformative, not just for the communities in the environments of your, of your projects, but for whole economies and societies. Speaker 2 00:13:59 And yet there are very, very few examples of where the industry has genuinely contributed to transformation on the scale that, you know, we've often talked about in terms of its potential. I have a theory of my own, and that is that the industry is, is ghettoized to some degree. It exists in, in isolation from the broader economy. It's been too much of an extractive industry, creating infrastructure to evacuate or, and quite a lot of that or unprocessed or, and too little efforts is placed on thinking through what is required to integrate the industry into the broader national economy. And in some cases, the region economy in ways that would make it really embedded into the society at large and would help create value chain linkages that are much broader than the direct, um, economic contribution than you can supply alone as an industry. I'm going to, to touch a little bit on, on the announcement that was made just earlier this year in between the Zambian president and, and president in Congo, where they agreed to establish a partnership for cooperation in battery value chain on the face of it, it looks like a really progressive thinking and seems to be backed by a political commitment to I haven't studied it. Speaker 2 00:15:21 And I dunno what the enabling policies are, but it's the example of a sort of collaboration in this case between two governments and industry and measures that are being put in place to make sure that value is added to raw materials and to integrate the mining industry into sort of reimagining the region's industrialization. And I come back to the point I made earlier, and that is governments are joint owners of these assets with you, the opportunity to work with them collaboratively, to think through how to reimagine industrial policy may not be part of your contract, but it is a part of creating sustainable economic development and making these economies future fit and your industry also. And I wonder to what degree you feel able to have these conversations, or you are thinking about sort of developments in the context of your own operations in this way, Speaker 3 00:16:17 Marcus, I think when we come in in a country, our responsibility, what we agree to the government is to optimally mind the resource have to apply our best knowledge so that every ounce of gold, every pound of the cup is mine, is extracted efficiently without polluting the environment so that we generate the best value for all the stakeholders. And when we talk stakeholders is the shareholders, the risk, the capital, the host government, because we, in our philosophy, the minerals belong to the country. It's a national assets and we have been entrusted to come to optimally, uh, mine. It, so it that's our responsibility, our first responsibility. And we have to make sure we employ people, uh, locally. We train people and upskill upskill them, and then they can go into the broader economy into the, into the country. The point you raised in terms of us having a contract, not just a financial aspect of things, but we need to also be mindful of that integration into the, into the country, into the wider economy. Speaker 3 00:17:30 That's a discussion we having and you are right. If you look at the performance of the industry over the past, uh, decade or, or so few decades, the industry hasn't been doing great, you know, the blame can be shared. You know, there is the government responsibility because the capacity institutional capacity of the, of the government also varies. And then we also have the minors that, that focus solely on mining that Goland sometime is not done efficiently, but from my experience and in the, in the company I'm operating, the policy has always been clear. Actually, we have always been open. We are doing our best to integrate into the, uh, national economy. And I can say that our limiting factors is how capable is this public institutions or even the private sector to tap into the opportunities that we created. The fact that I am here today as the head of, uh, sustainability for African middle east, I'm an African, and there is no barriers between me and an African government. Speaker 3 00:18:41 When we talk, honestly, how do we integrate all these opportunities into the economy? I think our government have to do a bit more in upscaling people, and that is investing in universities. Marcus, I'm not a professional educator. All I can do is, is translate the vision of the CEO that want to see Africa develop and put in some fund in place. And I take that fund and I go and see the university or the government and say, look, we can invest this and that into this sector, but the expertise and the willingness to transform that sector, be it educational health, food security, that responsibility I'm afraid is the government responsibility. And we, we have to talk, frankly, and that has been the biggest limiting factors in this whole integrations of mining and the whole country economy. And don't put me wrong. Some mining companies have not doing greats in that openness and willingness to integrate into the economy. Speaker 3 00:19:50 But my experience is that we are open and we have tried, we've got success stories where we are doing great in terms of integrating, uh, with the government, you've quoted the Tanza experience. I think we are the first company that led some shares to the government before us, none of the company operating there as their own hundred percent of the assets. And then with our partnership, you know, we've engineered so that we have a 50 50 benefit from the mining operations we have. So that's again, highlight the willingness, you know, because if you have a CEO that wants to do things, the rest is the capacity of the team you delegate as your sustainability or as your economic team, their willingness, their professionalism. And also on the other side, it depends on the capacity institutional capacity of the receiving. Thank Speaker 2 00:20:46 You. You Hiller, you talked about the capacity within African governments, and I think more broadly within African industry. I wonder if you are seeing African governments be genuinely more awake to the opportunity that exists today, given the global energy crisis, given the imperative that there is to decarbonize the global economy and the critical role of minerals and metals and other natural resources in that decarbonization effort. I wonder if you see whether African governments are genuinely more awake to the opportunities to become part of these global value chains and to ensure that Africa's natural resources are placed to these new uses new forms, rather than the sort of the historic position where African nations would by and large just supply exports of unrefined, raw materials to the global markets. Are there indications now that you see that African nations are genuinely awake to the opportunities that this global energy crisis and the decarbonization imperative affords for African nations? I'm thinking I was reading an article just yesterday by Carlos Lopez who you'll know it was in new African magazine. And he'd said specifically, he said, African nations have a fundamental role to play in the solutions of tomorrow that suggests, and he, he does more than suggest in his interview that actually African nations are critical to the world's efforts to decarbonize and, and digitize. And I wonder how you see that playing out in your markets and in particular, in your conversations with governments in Africa. Speaker 3 00:22:32 Yeah. Africa has a big role to play. And I think they've been, you know, involving all the debates, you know, the Paris agreement, I'm aware of African delegation going, they're being part of the debate since the beginning, you know, and most of the 55 states in Africa have submitted the nationally committed contributions to that agreement, you know, and they all have, yeah. And they all have the, the action plan, national action plan. And, uh, I think they they're aware of the opportunity that this whole climate change discussion is offering. But I think they're also very aware of limited capacity in terms of tapping in all these opportunities offered by them. One. I also was listening to the ovarian presidents, you know, when the European union says they will not buy cocoa from ivory cost. If the product doesn't demonstrate a certain environmental standard, the reaction of the president, he was really pissed off, you know, and he didn't appreciate that comment. Speaker 3 00:23:42 He said, well, if they don't wanna buy, we'll go and sell to other markets because the whole climate change issue we are facing today has been caused by the developed nations and the impact, the collateral we Africa is now experiencing the collateral damage from years and years of industrializations. And that's not surely from Africa. And by that speech, I've seen that from many president and a lot of officials from the government and in that they expect more investment and more honesty from the developed countries, you know, in terms of investing in that, the carbonization or this climate change efforts, and also bringing in technologies into Africa. And that's the major gap. All the African countries have identified, you know, finance, there is very little on finance coming in and, uh, there is very little on technologies, but from the day to day operations, I see there is a big change in the private sector because I see a lot of energy, renewable companies, Africans, you know, there is a lot of push to have solar panels and, and the big drives of our industry mining companies to install renewables in energy productions is also being seen really as an opportunity from this young entrepreneurs and all these solar panel initiative. Speaker 3 00:25:04 And the fact that the battery cost is going down. And then there will be more mining companies willing to change, switch from fossil fuel to renewables. And that's the reality in our company. Now we run 80% of our energy from hydro in the Congo. And, uh, we have 20 Meg solar installed in Mai. And then we, we increasing that to 60 and that's about 85% of the mind demand in, uh, energy. So there is, I think there is a, a realizations of the opportunity and I believe there is even, uh, committees put in place by the African union and also, uh, nationalists to tap into those different opportunities. But if you look at a country like Nigeria, they, or Kenya, they're benefiting more in energy transition discussion, but you don't find a lot of extractive industry like, you know, gold mining co and whatever. Although there is petrol in, in Nigeria, which is not welling in the eye, but anyway, they they're still investing a lot in renewable stay as well. Speaker 2 00:26:14 I dunno if you had the opportunity to review the recently launched new us Africa strategy, it was launched last month and by the white house and shortly afterwards, sexually blink was in DRC and, and visited a couple of other countries, I think Rwanda. And I forget the other shortly after that, but, uh, there was one point I noted in that it's a relatively short document in which the us commits to, well, it it's acknowledgement that African countries must determine how best to meet their specific energy needs. It represented to my mind, a very stark change of tone emerged from Glasgow last year at the co there. And I'm hoping it's the tone that will be taken by more and more of Africans partners, bilateral and multilateral partners. As we approach the negotiations for cop 27 in Charel shake a recognition that African nations must determine their own energy mix, which is, as I say, different from what we were hearing this time last year as a secretary, Blinken also gave supporting evidence to this. Speaker 2 00:27:14 When in DRC, he committed to helping the Congolese government in, in restoring biodiversity. But recognizing that the country wants to exploit its fossil fuel reserves as well, a number of oil licenses that are being tendered there. So I, I see a change in tone, certainly there, which hopefully will be well, I think is being welcomed amongst many African leaders, as we approach co 27, it'll take place in channel shake in November. How does a, a company like Barack participate in that forum? What are you doing? And, and specifically you within your role, can you tell us a little bit about that? Speaker 3 00:27:49 We haven't in the past participated as a, as a company, but we do have the government, you know, host countries that always go in, we walk through them. So we, we always come in as a national, you know, if the ma government is going and they do go every year response of them, and also we give them climate reports in terms of what are we doing in valley, and same goes in the DRC and same goes in another, in another country, but we haven't really participated directly in the, Speaker 2 00:28:19 I'm assuming a number of your projects sort of contributors to the NDCs of these national Speaker 3 00:28:25 Exactly countries. Exactly. So you'll see the national, most country government would even present our initiatives there as a mining company, you know, but we physically don't participate. We haven't so far participating, but I think it's definitely something that we could look into in future. Speaker 2 00:28:44 And tell me, you've touched briefly on the transition you're making to the renewable energy across your portfolio of projects in Africa, the use of hydro in DRC, what you're doing to expand solar in Marley. And I'm assuming across all of your footprints on the continent. I know also from previous conversations I've had with you, that you are, you're investing heavily in biodiversity conservation as well. I wonder if you could tell us more about your motivation for that and, and, and what that involves. Speaker 3 00:29:15 Yeah. Thanks Marcus. I think one thing that the African government also are, are pushing the world to realize is the vast opportunities that the forest offer in terms of offset opportunities. You know, because if you look at Africa, we've got, you know, one of the best forests in the world and Africa intends to be recognized for that financially, actually, you know, so we've realized that, you know, that's also a very underdeveloped area areas in Africa, the forest conservation biodiversity conservation, when you are in Europe or America, you people, you ask people about Africa. What comes in the mind, usually apart from, you know, that image of a, of a famine hungry boy, it's usually lions and those forests and, you know, safari and all of that. So that's been Africa positioned in the world can be strengthened if we invest more in biodiversity, because that's how Africa also will attract the rest of the world to come to Africa. Speaker 3 00:30:22 So we've realized that, and, and the fact that our minds also, when you open a pit or an underground, it's a land lost forever. You know, usually you don't backfill that diarrhea and you can't rehabilitate it to a hundred percent. So that residual biodiversity impact we've decided. And that was also led by the CEO initiative is we've decided to invest in conservation areas in our host country. And that we've been doing it now for the past 15 years, we started with the Garamba national part in the DRC. It's not very far from our Kali minds when we had started investing in that. And, and then we see the big benefit that is creating. And then we recently even signed a, an agreement with the African parks that is managing the park to reintroduce the white rhinos in that ecosystem, because in Africa that's ecosystem, that habitat was the only place where you could find a white rhinos, but they've been accents for a number of years now due to poaching and everything. Speaker 3 00:31:27 So we've signed a 2 million contract USD contract with them to bring in 50 white rhinos across from South Africa to that thing. So we've started in Congo. We are currently doing a, a big offset project in the, in Luana in the eco forest. That's also a forest around our mind that we saw being degraded by charcoal logging and all this community growing and this impact. So we've decided to launch a big conservation project and generate carbon credit out of that in ma also as I've you and I spoke before is our fi project's in the book of the ballet. It's a world heritage site that has almost been abandoned, you know, by the forestry guys, no one is there and is being left to intensive logging. And it's, it's, it's a PR it's quite a, a nice forest. It's got a, a huge history in the, in the cultural hunting, you know, this local hunters history in the country, it's tourists holds a magnificent heritage in the country story. Speaker 3 00:32:33 So we've decided to spend money into that conservation area. Not only because it's the world heritage side, but it's represent quite a valuable asset to the country. So we've now train Rangers and they're being technically supported by the African parks. The government has agreed to give a piece in that big forest where we would conserve and demonstrate that we can reverse the trends of degradations. And once that is established, I think we would extend our footprint to cover the whole book of de ballet and save the whole footprint because it's a, it's a, it's, it's a 1 million Hector forest. So it's, it's quite big, huge and huge. Yeah, it's, it's, it's a huge place. And that's something we, we like to do in the next five years. Speaker 2 00:33:22 I'm putting on the spot here. And, but when you combine these areas of land it's acreage, what does it total, roughly? I, you mentioned a million in, in Marley, a million hectares there Speaker 3 00:33:33 For the heck of forest is about half a million, 600,000 Hector in Zambia. And then the, the Garba national park in, in the DRC, it's almost the same. It's around half a million Hector, if my memories plays right. Speaker 2 00:33:50 And you've spoken about the, sort of the value to cultural heritage preservation to wildlife protection with the rhinos in DIC, you've touched on carbon credits, but I wonder this is a big expansive land. At what stage are you at in terms of being able to monetize this biodiversity and these ecosystem services that these forests are joining land provide. Speaker 3 00:34:13 Initially, we, we were doing it before this whole discussions about carbon credit. We were doing it because it's the right thing to do, you know, because we have a passion of giving back and investing. And we, we really, we driven by seeing the change we make in our society, in our host countries, in our host community, we didn't link it necessarily to any, uh, carbon credit tool, but lately in the past two years from run gold, then we merged with Barack. We, we are now looking at how do we account for the change we are bringing about to this natural habitat? And carbon crediting is one of the things that, uh, we decided to try at Luana and we are at the beginning stage, we just completed the visibility. So it's, eligibility's visibility. Now we implementing this conservation project we expect in the next four years to start being able to monetize it in terms of Speaker 2 00:35:13 How exciting, Speaker 3 00:35:15 Exciting, very exciting in, yeah. Speaker 2 00:35:17 Can I touch briefly before we end on Mar it's a country that my team and I observe close interest, it's a country that's faced with significant challenges at the moment. I know that ECOWAS sanctions were, were lifted in July, which must be welcomed to industry operating there, but that is sort of very precarious state of development. And the international community is in the process of dialogue with the government there around maintenance of security support, or withdrawal, a number of countries with withdrawn troops. Um, how does it feel operating a big mind in, in mile in the current environment? Speaker 3 00:35:54 Honestly, nothing has, has changed. Obviously we are monitoring the situation, but from the beginning, I think this whole thing started in 2012 up to now we've been operating fine. We haven't had any incidents, uh, related to what's happening there. Of course, when we had that echo sanctions was a bit difficult to, to bring in good. So we had to change to, to Guinea cause now Dakar and ivory cost were closed and then we had to shift to, to Guinea, but that went fine. We actually saved cost because it's a, it's a much shorter distance to bring in the product. I think the Ukrainian conflict is impacting us more than currently what's happening in, in Mao, in the region. Speaker 2 00:36:37 Oh, that's interesting to hear. I traditionally also, I guess, to tell us what they're reading or, or what they're listening to, and to give us little insight into that. So are you reading anything at the moment and what are you listening to either podcast or, or music? Speaker 3 00:36:51 Um, now listening mostly to the ancient religions lately the past week, I was reading a lot about a Jewish culture. I've done indu, I've done Muslim and lately I was listening more about the Jewish culture, how it's started and the principle, the practices, uh, religious practices. Yeah. So currently that's what I'm, I'm, I'm busy with in terms of reading. I'm, I'm reading, uh, a book of Daniel Kaman thinking fast and slow reading that at the moment, but not any podcast, unfortunately, Speaker 2 00:37:28 No, no time for podcast, but I wonder, what's interested you to pursue this interfaith exploration or reading that you're doing. Speaker 3 00:37:35 I think it's, I was being over overwhelmed by what's wrong and right. And after I decided to go to the source myself and trying to make up my mind, you know, we live in a, in a world now with a lot of Mai, the history of Mai you you've heard this. Yes, yes. A couple of incident with terrorists and people claiming to be a following a religion. So that's really pushed me to start loot and making my own mind because it's quite overwhelming for me. Speaker 2 00:38:03 Yeah. Oh, well, it's great to hear people like you, uh, exploring and exploring the other faith. If only more of us did that looked at the prison through which others pursue their faith and see the world. It's been such a pleasure to speak with you Hiller, thank you for your time. We started off with your reference to the legacy of mining mercenaries. And we ended up talking about the contribution that progressive modern miners, such as yourself are making to supporting African nations in becoming natural capital superpowers in the role that you are playing in, helping develop critical mineral assets and metals assets, but also in preserving biodiversity. Thank you for that. It's been a, a bit of a tour to force. We've discussed many different subjects and I I'm really grateful to you for being open and amenable to sharing your insights with us and, and our audience. Speaker 3 00:38:55 Thank you Marcus, for having me here. Thank you very much. Speaker 0 00:39:02 Thank you for tuning into a voices of Africa podcasts. This week, voices of Africa is a forum where Africa's leading experts way in on cross sectional topics, affecting the continent experts, share their views on how we can unlock greater value that will benefit industry government and communities for more of our insights, visit our website or subscribe to a weekly newsletter views on Africa in the description.

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