Orion Minerals, the JSE-ASX dual-listed diversified green metals explorer and developer, who is fast tracking the development of two base metals hubs in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, has received the AAMEG’s Emerging ESG Leader Award at the Africa Down Under conference in Perth, on 7 September 2023.

The winners of the AAMEG Africa Awards were announced by AAMEG (Australian – Africa Minerals and Energy Group) at an awards ceremony at the conference. The awards, which carry standing and status with governments and industry peers, identify the recipients as Australian companies performing exemplary work in line with the ESG principles of AAMEG on the African Continent.

Orion is starting trial mining at its flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine (PCZM), with the award of a six-month contract announced this week. Its second hub is the near term Okiep Copper Project (OCP), where it has just announced upgraded Mineral Resources at the Flat Mines Area and the addition of five new copper and tungsten areas to the existing portfolio of prospecting permits. A third project – the Jacomynspan Battery Metals Project – also in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, could produce advanced battery precursor products and create an integrated value chain of future facing metals.

This is the second award Orion has received from AMMEG. Orion received AAMEG’s inaugural Emerging ESG Leader Award in 2020. This year’s award recognises Orion’s pioneering approach to community participation in its projects, particularly its Community Participation Framework which was developed at PCZM. The framework, evolved through a year-long series of in-person meetings with representatives from local businesses and resident groups, commits Orion to proactively encourage host community involvement in its operations through targets of 50% of employment, 30% of the procurement of goods and services and 40% of subcontracting opportunities.

“Since its inception, Orion has focused on partnering with the communities which host its operations with the aim of supporting and developing communities in parallel with its transition from exploration company to developer and through to production,” said Orion executive of Sustainability and Business Support, Marcus Birch.

“We consider our relationships with local communities to be as equally important as the technical and commercial needs of our organisation, and we are one of the few junior mining companies who have implemented ESG practices from the start,” said Birch.

Orion has demonstrated that ESG is imperative regardless of size.