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Developing the next major nickel project in Brazil

The value of gender diversity in the mining industry

The areas of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are broad-reaching, and often a challenge. Creating a truly sustainable business is not easy, it takes great understanding of all the ESG issues affecting a mining business, a willingness to commit resources and perhaps most importantly, a willingness to act proactively.

Horizonte is committed to creating a next generation, sustainable mining company and is rising to the challenge. This month the Company took another small step in that journey by welcoming its first female director to the board.

As the recent S&P Platts Women in Metals and Mining report explains: “… from laws preventing women working in specific jobs, to stereotyping of gender roles and abilities, historically the metals and mining sectors were inhospitable environments for women to enter and progress careers. Long overdue change is now happening in the industry, but there is still much work to be done.”

Gender diversity in the mining industry remains a pressing issue. The report notes that “despite diversification efforts, fewer than 1 in 5 mining leaders are women”. Whilst the number of women working in the mining sector has increased significantly over the past 17 years -from 11 400 in 2002 to over 53 100 today - women still only represent about 12% of the entire global mining workforce.

We believe a holistic approach is needed to close the mining gender gap and we strive to maintain a gender balance, from the mine to the boardroom. 42% of our total workforce, and 22% of our head office in London is female.

We recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce, at all levels in providing a breadth of ideas, approach and strategy. It is proven that a diverse workforce results in better decision-making, stronger governance and an improved financial performance. As the Company continues its evolution from explorer to producer, we are committed to continuing this trend of deepening diversity and the team’s gender-balance.

Three of our core values are integrity, respect and communication. Through these values we have created a positive, female-friendly culture where, vitally, male colleagues understand the challenges women in the industry face and are able to actively support equality.

The Company runs a comprehensive performance development plan tailored to each employee, providing training to broaden and improve skillsets. Like the industry as a whole, Horizonte recognises that it needs to help women reach senior leadership roles to act as examples and mentors to other women, and to influence important company decisions.

Furthermore, with the Company’s commitment to ensure the health and safety of all its employees we ensure our female employees have female specific PPE. Women wearing ill-fitting PPE, because it is designed for men, compromises their safety, comfort and ultimately performance at work.

Our promotion of diversity and equality opportunities reaches beyond our employees. As part of Horizonte’s social investment initiatives, we have worked with our local communities to develop projects that empower women to go beyond the traditional opportunities that have existed for them in terms of employment and education. In 2019, in conjunction with a women’s association, Horizonte helped create “Casa de Farinha” – The Flour House. The Flour House is a project that allows the local women who work there to create their own self-sufficient cassava flour production business. The project goes beyond supplementing rural women’s income - it helps women develop autonomous roles away from the household, promotes leadership skills and strengthens community relations.

We must ensure that all gains made in recent years in this regard are not only retained but accelerated going forward. As most women will confirm and the overwhelming weight of evidence proves, there is still a long way to go in terms of achieving genuine and lasting gender equality. Our commitment to diversity is one of the aspects of our approach to ESG, as we build a modern nickel company in line with the needs of all our stakeholders.

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