Ensuring a sustainable footprint in West Africa through Endeavour mining

Endeavour has set targets to achieve Net Zero by 2050 and a medium-term target of a 30% reduction in its Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity by 2030. President and CEO Sébastien de Montessus states that there is a huge opportunity for the gold industry to contribute to global decarbonisation goals.

“The World Gold Council (WGC) has found that 80% of gold greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from the power used in operations. Therefore, if we can decarbonise the production process, we can effectively decarbonise gold as an asset. At Endeavour Mining, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.”

In terms of renewable energy, Endeavour Mining has identified opportunities to introduce solar power at its Houndé mine in Burkina Faso and at Sabodala Massawa in Senegal, which have the tandem benefit of reducing carbon emissions as well as the mines’ power costs.

Furthermore, the company’s Ity mine in Côte d’Ivoire already benefits from hydropower and there are also plans to build a hydropower dam in Senegal, which could potentially be used as a future energy source, presenting further decarbonisation and energy saving opportunities for the site.

In 2022, the company also completed two digitalisation projects during the year to optimise the processing plants at its Ity and Boungou mines. At Ity, the digitisation of the blend management has improved gold recovery and thus energy efficiency. At Boungou in Burkina Faso, digitalisation helped to optimise the SAG mill’s performance by improving ore throughput, which also improved energy consumption.

Endeavour requires fuel for its fleet of onsite vehicles and for ore haulage. The fuel usage is monitored, and detailed fuel consumption is captured monthly across all the company’s sites which provides data to accurately calculate its GHG outputs.

To help drive energy efficiency, the company runs energy saving awareness campaigns and education sessions onsite. Site teams diligently ensure that all heavy equipment is regularly maintained to maximise fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency is also considered when making equipment purchasing decisions.

“These projects will have a significant impact on reducing our emissions, and they also have the potential to make a real difference to the communities around us. Our solar project in Burkina Faso is a good example of this – it won’t be limited just to our Houndé mine and will have a community element to it, thereby future-proofing the community’s energy needs,” adds de Montessus.

Endeavour Mining: Making a meaningful impact on the region

Endeavour’s sustainability initiatives are not just limited to its own mining operations; rather the company has also committed itself to being part of the global green economy.

As part of this commitment, in November 2022, Endeavour joined the African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), an initiative sponsored by the United Nations Global Compact. The coalition is committed to advancing sustainability and ambitious climate action across Africa.

“The effects of climate change are only becoming more apparent, and nowhere more so than in Africa. Endeavour is acutely aware of its responsibility to protect our surrounding environment, while also playing a key role in tackling climate change on a broader level,” de Montessus observes.

“We are delighted to be part of the ABLC and, alongside our fellow members, we believe we can help enable an equitable and just transition in Africa by addressing the social and environmental effects of climate change in the countries where we operate.”

In mid-2021 the company launched the Endeavour Foundation which is its primary vehicle for implementing regional and national initiatives. One such initiative that it is involved in is the Great Green Wall reforestation project.

In May 2022, the Endeavour Foundation signed a partnership with the Senegalese Agency for Reforestation of the Great Green Wall (ASERGMV) for the annual reforestation of 130 hectares in Senegal. The project spreads across Africa from Dakar to Djibouti to fight desertification, which brings environmental and socio-economic challenges to affected countries’ populations.

Once complete, the Great Green Wall will be the largest living structure on the planet, three times the size of the Great Barrier Reef.

Endeavour’s involvement in Great Green Wall is central to its purpose of producing gold that provides lasting value to society while protecting and promoting the places in which it operates, placing environmental protection programmes as a priority within its sustainable development strategy.

Commenting on the initiative, Aziz Sy, Vice-President: Public Affairs for Senegal, Mali and Guinea, states, “The Great Green Wall project goes beyond reforestation, but also creates eco-villages, builds ecosystems, and strengthens livelihoods.

“Our involvement is part of our broader biodiversity efforts across West Africa, which include a reforestation and conservation project at our Ity mine in partnership with Université Jean Lorougnon Guede of Daloa, as well as the creation and conservation of the Depka Forest Reserve, also in Côte d’Ivoire.

“Contributing to large-scale reforestation across the continent to combat climate change will protect flora and fauna and also has the potential to transform the long-term economic outlook for millions of people in these rural regions.”

Transforming plastic into a valuable resource

Plastic waste is a major scourge in Endeavour’s local communities and host countries in West Africa. As part of its ‘Towards Zero Plastic’ strategy, a core component of its ESG strategy, the company has already introduced reusable bottles at its sites and aims to have zero single-use water bottles across all operations by end of 2023.

The company is also conducting a baseline assessment for additional opportunities to reduce consumption of single-use plastic across the organisation.

Furthermore, the Endeavour Foundation has partnered with the NGO, Plastic Odyssey, a global project that aims to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean while creating a global network of local recycling initiatives. The project is supported by various actors who all share the desire to build a world in which plastic waste does not end up in the ocean.

As one of the world’s leading gold producers, Endeavour’s commitment to environmental sustainability should be commended as it continues to make a positive impact in West Africa.


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