We actively work with the Government of Eritrea to continually enhance preferential hiring for local candidates for the Bisha Mine.
Local Eritreans made up 89% of our 2014 employees in Eritrea (2013-91%) and 37% (2013-42%) of our onsite senior management is Eritrean. This is slightly down from 2013 but primarily due to the fact that we required international expertise for a specified period of time during our zinc capital expansion project. Our Eritrean workforce primarily hails from Asmara and other parts of the country (69%), while the remaining local workforce (20%) is from nearby stakeholder villages in the Gash Barka Zone.
We support a great deal of local diversity at the Bisha Mine. There were eight different Eritrean ethnic groups (out of a total of nine in the country) represented at our operation in 2014. This has increased from 2013 in which we had seven out of nine Eritrean ethnic groups represented at the Bisha Mine. Our expatriate community comes from locations far and wide, including South Africa, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Tajikistan. These overseas specialists support these roles while training local personnel with the intention of eventually replacing expatriate personnel and independently sustain operations using local expertise.