Opencast mining can be hazardous to people living in the vicinity and since the minerals can’t be moved before extraction, the people must be resettled.
This is exactly what happened in rural Ghana when the Endeavour Mining Company sought to extract the gold ore located at Nzema. Given the geology of the region, the most efficient means of extraction was deemed to be open-cast mining, which would be hazardous to those living in the nearby Salman village.
Negotiations for resettlement were integral to mining approval and were conducted over a two-year period, beginning in 2008 and culminating in the signing of the Resettlement Agreement in May 2010 and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding in October 2010.
These documents, in addition to the Resettlement Action Plan, became the blueprint for the resettlement of the new Salman township, which involved resettling 2 200 people at a new 250-acre site a kilometre from the mine.
Endeavour elected to use Hydraform brick technology because the building blocks are cooler and stronger than more commonly used cement blocks. In addition, as the purchase price of the blockmaking equipment includes training, locals were instructed in the process of brickmaking as well as in maintenance of the blockmaking equipment, thereby helping to create a sustainable local industry. Naturally, the equipment was donated to the community after the construction project was completed.