This Frst edition of the Bisha magazine for Bisha employees and the wider community is a welcome development. So the first message is one of congratulations to Milena and her team in compiling and issuing this. I am sure it is of great interest to employees and others that our safety performance in an overall sense remains good, despite a total of 3 LTI’s in 2017 so far.
I thank you all for generally working safely and encourage you to do even more in this area so our results continue to improve but above all we need to avoid injuries; remember our safety statement: “Everyone going home safe and healthy everyday”. This is our guiding principle.
The zinc plant commenced operations on 7 June 2016 and after a dificult 6 months making bulk and zinc concentrates only we successfully made copper and zinc concentrates from late January 2017. While there is still some way to go to fully achieve the plant design we are moving steadily in the right direction and we have international consultants as well as Bisha teams working on these issues to ensure we examine all aspects to and a permanent solution. The need for specific ore to be fed to the plant has made life dificult for all the Production Engine departments and they have done well to deal with the problems of this orebody. More work is needed in primarily Technical Services and Mining to learn more about the zinc orebody.
In all areas, Production Engine (Technical Services, Mining, Processing, Metallurgical Technical Services, Engineering , Projects) FICTS (Finance, IT, Commercial and Supply, Employee Services ( Human Resources, Training and Development, Security, Medical Services, Village Services, PCR (Public and Community Relations), Safety, Environment and Exploration have all done an excellent job in meeting or exceeding their required performance targets safely and well. Of interest, no doubt, is the fact that we recently reopened the Erab camp as the main camp was becoming overcrowded. The occupants of this camp are Mining Load and Haul and Drill and Blast and some HME personnel.
In the social area, I was pleased to see the sporting efforts of all employees at the independence celebration competitions. Congratulations to the winners and to all competitors - remember it is much better to take part than not - and also many congratulations to Eritrea on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of her independence. Recently, we heard also that Asmara has gained international heritage site status. Congratulations to Asmara and Eritrea - this is also well deserved.
The recent major event of keen interest to national employees was the establishment of the Bisha Union, which is the first such Union in the Mining Industry. I look forward to the Union and Management working together for the future benefit of Bisha. Congratulations to all involved and in particular to the Services team under Chief Services Officer, Fesseha Ghebrehiwet, who worked hard to make this happen.
I trust you find this magazine interesting and useful and it helps you get a little more out of an association with Bisha.