Mining, as a deliberate human activity, requires a high level of organization, engagement, professionalism, alertness and preparedness. A mining operator must be ready to undertake necessary tasks at the appropriate time and to respond with appropriate solutions in real time. Any actions today have impacts well into the future.
In a labor-intensive industry, success is largely dependent on people. None of Bucim’s successes would have been possible without our people. It is their commitment, energy and hard work that have helped us get to where we are today. It is through our present and future employees that we can look forward to a strong and prosperous future.
Our staff is comprised of people from different cultures, mentalities, customs and traditions, but united with the same goal. Management and governance are carried out transparently and responsibly.
Bucim aims to hire and train employees from the local areas where it operates. Bucim is proud to provide local families with secure employment and a reliable source of income.
Our primary responsibility is to promote and protect the health, safety, and well-being of all of our employees, contract personnel, and the residents of our local communities.
Professional and personal development
Bucim’s employees regularly receive professional training and are encouraged to develop their skills through a diverse set of practical and theoretical courses.
Education, training and professional development, professional qualifications, seminars, participation in educational programs and trainings, and obtaining the necessary licenses all ensure that our employees are continuously improving their professional development.
People are the decisive factor for the success of every enterprise. This is Bucim’s primary motto.
Our top priorities include: the ethical relationship between employer and employee, creating safe working conditions, preventing threats and risks at the workplace, high labor productivity with full compliance with safety and security requirements, staff development, improving the living standards of employees and their families, improving social conditions for staff, and supporting our local communities.
Benefits, guarantees and compensation for the employees in the organization are governed by the legislation of the Republic of North Macedonia and the regulatory acts of the organizations: the Staff Agreement, which significantly extends the social guarantees of the employees in comparison with existing legislation, and the Employment Contract, which regulates the rights and obligations, “employee-employer”.
The social package includes: material assistance for employees (one-off payments / retirement), material aid for workers and their families in the event of a difficult life situation (serious illness, loss of housing, etc.), provision of work clothes and safety equipment (performed in accordance with regulations and safety requirements). Food is provided in a comfortable cafeteria, transport is organized from the place of residence to the workplace, and compensation is provided for business trips.
Safety & Health
Regular monitoring of the international requirements for improving occupational safety and health performance are guided by the Solway Group’s corporate policy to contribute towards implementation of the international standards for safety and health at work, including IS0 45001.
Safety is our number one priority and the essence of everything we do. Our goal is that every one of our employees returns home safely, every day.
In addition to technical measures, such as the further development and modernization of production sites, internal and external training on health and safety are standard across all management levels. These trainings ensure that employees have extensive knowledge of the health and safety requirements.
One of our main goals to reduce injuries at work, and for this purpose, trainings for employees are organized regularly.
The improvement of the engineering staff is a priority for the company, and with this in mind, we have a team of 26 devoted experts who have passed a professional exam on the topic of safety at work.
In 2014, the company obtained authorization with ID No. 207 from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy to perform occupational safety work. With the decision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Bucim has permission to assess the safety risk and implement training programs for employees on the safe performance of their work, with regular testing and control of the working equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Service organizes and conducts trainings for employees so that they may carry out their work safely. When hired, new employees are immediately (prior to commencing any work) required to attend safety training at work, and after completing the training, employees are awarded certificates confirming that they have completed occupational safety and health training. Trainings are repeated every three years for all employees according to the requirements by law.
Licensed occupational safety professionals are responsible for teaching trainings in the field of occupational safety and health.
This is primarily attributed to strong leadership in safety and compliance, as well as our rigorous enforcement of safety rules and regulations and secure work practices.
We assess the pre-employment suitability of workers for the activities they will need to perform, and we support them in leading healthy lifestyles that contribute to fitness for work and minimize occupational exposures.
We support sports and the healthy lifestyles of our employees. Every employee has the opportunity to participate in athletic events and compete in sporting activities and cultural events. All employees are provided the opportunity for sport and active rest in equipped sport facilities.
Bucim has its own medical ambulance with specialized medical personnel in which employees can receive ambulatory and emergency medical care. There is also a personal ambulance vehicle.
Regular medical examinations for all employees are organized by the authorized health organization.
Personal Protective Equipment – PPE is provided for everyone (masks –respiratory protection, helmets, safety shoes – boots, safety glasses/eye protectors, gloves, protective clothes – jackets, pants).
Human activities and our current use of the earth’s resources are unsustainable. Balancing economic growth and environmentally sustainable development is perhaps the key challenge of our time.
Our license to operate rightly depends upon the quality of our environmental stewardship. We respect the value of the natural resources of our host countries. We consider the environmental impact of all of our activities, and we have developed means of reducing air and dust emissions, managing water responsibly, and reducing waste.
The materials we produce are essential to human progress. We must produce them responsibly.
This process is constantly being optimized in order to diminish the impact on the environment.
A key investment focus has been the implementation of a new water management plan to minimize water contamination in the surrounding area, minimize dust emission, improve ambient air quality, implement and improve environmental management systems which meet the requirements outlined in Solway Group’s corporate policy.
The improvements made by Solway Investment Group have done much to improve the environmental regime and performance of the mine and to meet the required standards.
The mine regularly monitors all aspects of the environment, and these reports are regularly submitted to the competent environmental authority.
Regular environmental monitoring plays a key role in determining any potential impact Bucim has on its surrounding environment. Regular monitoring of the environment is carried out according to the law:
- Air monitoring
- Monitoring of emission sources
- Wastewater testing
- Noise monitoring
- Soil monitoring
- Monitoring of underground and surface waters
In order to influence the improvement of the environmental conditions around Bucim mine, enhanced re-vegetation was performed between 2006 and 2010 under scientific surveillance, carried out by a state university institution. The forest cover was improved on the lowland slope of the Bucim mine TSF tailing dam. Trees planted stabilized the ground surface and prevent dust emissions.
Tree planting is an ongoing activity.
A mine waste management plan met the 2015 IPPC permit conditions, which covers the elements required and has been implemented around the site.
The management of various waste streams in Bucim is carried out in accordance with the Waste Management Program for 2019 – 2021. Bucim mine has concluded contracts with licensed contractors for waste removal for further processing or disposal. There are several assigned operational employees at Bucim who have received certificates having passed the national exam for performing waste management activities.
The mining waste and flotation pulp (tailings), produced by the processing of the ore are distributed in accordance with the waste management plans. The excavated mining waste is separated in special waste rock piles for further use, and the flotation pulp collected in the tailings storage facility (TFS).
TFS is operated according to North Macedonian regulations and is subject to regular inspections by site and state authorities. Bucim mine’s TSF performance was successfully audited by a reputable international consultancy, Golder Associates, in 2016.
Solway Investment Group implemented a new water management plan to capture quarry water and waste rock piles drainages. With the full implementation of the plan, the Bucim mine has no uncontrolled water discharges. All waters which drain through the waste rock piles are collected and diverted into the technological process for obtaining cathode copper.
The commissioning of the SX/EW plant was a key part of the implementation of the water management plan. This facility has enabled the mine to treat drainage wastewater to provide groundwater resource protection.
The atmospheric waters from the mine circle are collected and taken to an earthen precipitator under a guard, where they mechanically evaporate and are discharged into dry land that ends in the Topolnicka River.
Reasonable measures are applied within the processes to reduce water consumption. The water used in the flotation system is regularly recycled within the process to minimize the demands on the use of water resources.
By successfully overcoming challenges in recent years related to the collection and treatment of technological, sanitary and atmospheric waters at operational facilities, the Bucim mine has demonstrated excellent results in nature protection and environmental remediation of water, soil and groundwater regionally.
Air and Dust Emissions
We try as much as possible to minimize air pollution. Dust suppression techniques are applied, including wetting down of the haul roads within the mine, irrigation systems are installed at the ore transfer points, and production premises exhaust outlets are equipped with rotoclones, cyclones and bag filters.
The re-vegetation of the Bucim mine TSF dam has also significantly reduced dust emissions.
Air emissions are regularly monitored by measuring the emission limit values from stationary sources, as well as continuous measurement in the areas surrounding our mine in order to prevent negative effects on the environment.
Environmental noise monitoring is conducted by an external contractor at six measuring points. Noise levels comply with the applicable national and international requirements.
Bucim implemented ISO 14001: 2015. In 2008, it passed certification of the environmental management system (EMS) by an international certification body. In 2018, it recertified into new standard ISO 14001: 2015.
On the basis of fulfilled conditions, the Bucim mine received the national A – Dzovola (IPPC permit) for Bucim mine operation, including mine, process plant and TSF # 11-7015 / 2 on 1 September 2015.
Following successful implementation of the state environmental inspectorate’s action plan by the Bucim mine, an additional national A-Dozvola (IPPC permit) for SX/EW facility operation (processing of leaching copper ores and obtaining cathode copper) was obtained – # 11-4275 / 3 from on 13 July 2018.
Bucim recognizes the importance of contributing to its local communities. Our goal is to partner with initiatives and organizations to strengthen the overall quality of life in the communities in which we operate and where our employees live and work. Local residents should feel that the company working near their homes is socially engaged and working in their interests. Our history and development has been to walk hand in hand with society. We are the largest private employer in the region, and our employees and families are essential if infrastructure, public services and other activities are to function properly.
Just as we and our employees are important for the development of society, society is important for us. Maintaining an ongoing, open dialogue with local residents and other interested parties is an absolute must, as is collaborating with local operators and sponsoring various associations and events.
Bucim prioritizes its support in the following four core areas:
Sports and promoting active lifestyles are a top priority for Bucim’s social policy. As such, the company continuously invests in supporting the development of all sports clubs based in Radovish. We provide assistance in maintaining and equipping sports stadiums, playgrounds and sports halls.
Bucim supports many local sports clubs in the region, including: football, wrestling, handball, volleyball, karate, basketball, table tennis, the bicycle club, and triathlon.
Culture and traditions
The region has rich cultural traditions and many talents in this area. The development of the local community and community involvement are important to us. Bucim recognizes and takes into account the characteristics of the community, as well as the history of the community, and its cultural, religious and other traditions. Bucim is a partner of all cultural organizations in the region, supporting local amateur groups, folklore ensembles, ballet studio and cultural events of all kinds in the local municipalities.
Healthcare is a priority for Bucim’s social policy. The company provides essential equipment for healthcare institutions, supports them and contributes to their development. Bucim supports the local hospital whenever it is in need.
Bucim has a full partnership with the Red Cross of Radovish.
People with disabilities
The care of people with disabilities is a priority for Bucim.
Bucim supports a day center for people with intellectual disabilities, Poraka in Radovish, as well as a state secondary school for education and rehabilitation, Iskra, in Shtip.
Education is part of Bucim’s social policy and the company continuosly invests in its development. Bucim supports the activities of local schools in order to help young people develop and receive an education. It provides support to schools whenever they request it, on several instances over the past several years.
Solway Music Fellowship Program
The Solway Music Fellowship Program provides talented young people with access to the arts. This fellowship program offers young talents from economically challenged regions where Solway Investment Group operates a chance to experience the world’s most renowned classical music festival by participating in the Salzburg Music Camp for Children and Youth. The camp is an educational program designed to integrate young creatives, between 14 and 17 years of age, from the local communities into modern life by learning English, experiencing the arts, and adapting their cultural traditions to the realities of the new world. The Solway fellowship is offered to young members of the Group’s employees’ families in Ukraine, North Macedonia and Guatemala. As a result of a two-step application process, the winning talents are awarded the opportunity to participate in the music camp’s international environment in Salzburg.