BlackEarth – alright the name doesn’t have the same ring as Greenpeace – but it’s about time we had a progressive mining company making big moves when it comes to a commitment to the environment, a care for social issues and some bloody good governance practices.

Overnight the company was awarded a BB rating for both its corporate activities and its Maniry graphite project in southern Madagascar – that’s a great score for a miner and a high-rating from the ruthlessly independent, green-leaning platform Digbee ESG.

BlackEarth Minerals (ASX:BEM) told Stockhead the assessment was tailored for its own high standard and for the development phase of Maniry to serve the team as a baseline for future transparent ESG reporting.

BEM added that the process has generated a number of priority target areas to focus on as part of its corporate and project development plans over the next 12-24 months.

The company’s commitment to ESG is also timely given how much importance governments, investors and equity funds are  placing on compliance with ESG principles.

This is handily demonstrated by ESG equity funds on Calastone’s network gaining $32bn in new capital during 2021, or about $3 out of every $5 of new cash committed to equity funds of all kinds.

Highly rated

The assessment found that the company had a clear ownership structure, compliance with relevant ASX listing requirements and interactive stakeholder communication strategy.

It also found that BlackEarth has long-term positive interaction with communities at Maniry, industry bodies within Madagascar and general Government engagement.

Additionally, the company has positive current and future security, health and safety plans for stakeholders involved in the development of the Maniry Project while specialised independent companies are currently undertaking ESG related studies as part of its ESIA for the Maniry Definitive Feasibility Study.

“Over the last six months that we have been working with BlackEarth, we have found them to have a genuine focus and approach to ESG matters,” Digbee chief executive officer Jamie Strauss said.

“The BEM team developed clear actions which when implemented will contribute to an improved score.”

Near-term undertakings

The company will formally integrate ESG into its key policies and will  adopt the guidelines of the Equator Principles in the design, construction and operation of its Maniry project.

Recruitment of senior personnel to reflect greater diversity and ESG experience with remuneration linked to overall ESG performance is ongoing.

BlackEarth also intends to formally incorporate relevant stakeholder feedback into the managing director’s monthly report to the board for review.

Over at Maniry, the company will study the impact of the project’s proposed water use on local villages’ shallow water sources and other impacts..

“ Our plans are to develop our operating platform in a socially responsible way so that the standard of living for locals is actually improved. We propose to expand the communities access to water and this will have a massive development benefit to the region” MD Tom Revy said.




This article was developed in collaboration with BlackEarth Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.