Tanzania First, Local First
Walkabout operates under the company philosophy “Tanzania First, Local First.” This is better described through the practical application of “Local First, National Second and International Third” when it comes to employment and engagement.
On its entrance to Tanzania, Lindi Jumbo LTD – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company – was structured to function as a fully autonomous local mining and exploration company with an independent accountable board, designed to keep mining input such as materials and labour in Tanzania and build strong community ties.
Testament to this, in early 2021, Lindi Jumbo was successful in securing a USD20m project loan facility from CRDB Bank PLC – the largest, wholly owned private bank in Tanzania – meeting local content requirements and aligning with the company spirit as well. Walkabout persisted with negotiating this funding facility for more than a year, seeking the relationship benefits for Tanzania in growing its services sector and reducing significantly the Company’s terms of sovereign risk premiums.
Of note, with this company commitment firmly embedded in every aspect of the operations, Lindi Jumbo was in a great position to rapidly adapt the company structure to accommodate unexpected amendments to the mining act in 2017. These amendments saw the government requiring a 16% Free-Carry Interest (FCI) in the distributions of mining companies and obligations to involve local companies in the project.
Local procurement aligned with extensive due diligence examining safety, experience and capabilities
As construction continues in 2021, the Company executed the first Material Project Development Agreement for the Bulk Earthworks and Civil Engineering works with TNR Engineering Ltd, a local Tanzanian contractor. 51% of TNR is owned by local Tanzanian shareholders. TNR had already successfully completed a project at Lindi Jumbo in 2019.
The value of this first key mobilisation Agreement is approximately US$5.6 million and its award is aligned with Walkabout’s ‘local first’ policy and extensive due diligence process examining safety, experience and capabilities.
The camp, catering and site logistics contract has been tendered to two Tanzanian Companies with the capacity to Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) the accommodation camp, catering, health and training functions. The preferred supplier here will engage with locals in setting up micro-farming and services businesses to localise the food, fresh vegetables and other supply chains into the modest accommodation camp.
Engaging with Tanzanian contractors directly benefits small Tanzanian businesses. Contractors will be engaging with local suppliers and industries to fulfill their obligations. Contractors will be directly and indirectly employing and upskilling local Tanzanians with various skill sets and levels, which will in turn financially and socially enrich local communities.
Lindi Jumbo is committed to training and developing local skills for the prosperous future of the project and the next generations of Tanzanians.