Bauxite mining and refining operations offer significant economic benefits to local communities through:
- Provision of well paid-employment under conditions that comply with accepted labour standards;
- Provision of education and training programmes;
- Development of local industries and businesses;
- Investment in local schools and hospitals, roads and other infrastructure;
- Provision of compensation for those disadvantaged or displaced by operations;
- Federal, state and municipal tax payments.
Almost eighty percent of the bauxite mines surveyed by the International Aluminium Institute in 2008 reported that they pay wages equal or higher than the national average. The mine workforce tends to be recruited locally (66% of reported employees) and at the national level (20%), with only 14% being expats.
Most mines are located in areas that are sparsely populated prior to commencement of mining. Hence mining and refining companies have a crucial role to play in developing local communities, so that they are able to meet the long term skills, human resources and support services needs of the industry.
Investment in schools, youth support, scholarship and apprenticeship programmes ensure that a skilled workforce is available to the industry but also that other local industries and businesses are developed, which will sustain the community post mine closure. Training programmes maintain the skills of the workforce and allow for continuous improvement in performance.
Mining and refining operations often exchange knowledge by conducting site visits and sharing best practice on operational and environmental management and rehabilitation.
Bauxite miners are investing in measures to provide social and economic benefits to local, regional and global communities. They aim to ensure that the wealth generated by mining is shared throughout the community and will also benefit future generations.