How an ambitious mining project in Madagascar is using real-time information to ensure compliance


Providing a broad team with access to up-to-date information
Working with a team of over 100 social workers was one of Sherritt International’s biggest challenges. Accessing real-time information, taking the situation’s pulse, identifying influencers and the most impacted stakeholders, and following up on commitments were among the social workers’ needs.

Managing stakeholder engagement activities in a multiethnic context
Madagascar evolves in a multiethnic context. Dealing with stakeholders from different cultures, with varied beliefs and backgrounds was an extra factor to bear in mind for communications with communities. Concerns differed and although the message had to be consistent, each group required a specific approach.

Strict reporting on activities
The team had to report on various stakes on a weekly basis: stakeholders, commitments, grievances, environmental parameters (biodiversity – fauna, flora), etc.


  • Social acceptance
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Compensation and resettlement
  • Rich endemic biodiversity
  • Poverty
  • Compliance (lenders’ regulations)
  • Cultural heritage sites

The project

The Ambatovy project is estimated to produce 60,000 tons of nickel and 5,600 tons of cobalt per year over its operations lifespan (30 years). This ambitious project – one of the largest lateritic nickel mines in the world – faces many challenges throughout its lifecycle

Stakeholder engagement activities are at the heart of operations. With the Borealis application, Sherritt International was able to take proactive rather than reactive actions in its stakeholder engagement activities.

The Borealis application is becoming an essential tool for any CSR Department. It’s helping to improve the way we work and brings a planning culture to the engagement with our stakeholders. As the Boréalis application is the institutional memory of the project, it allows us to efficiently monitor our management plans to ensure that we meet our lender bank obligations.”


Using the Borealis application, the Ambatovy team was able to successfully manage, plan and carry out community relations activities and maintain social acceptance.

Mine operations began in




Pipeline built
throught a series of

fragile ecosystems

Teams of

100 + social agents

during project development

220 km

pipeline connects mine site to processing plant and refinery

More than

20 000 people



From reactive to proactive
community relations.

Given the impressive number of social agents
working on the project, it’s no surprise that tracking of communications with stakeholders and consistency of message were challenging. Thanks to the Borealis application, the team could track communications and ensure their message is consistent. It also allowed them to plan and structure meetings and consultations with the community rather than just reacting to grievances or negative situations.

Identifying influencers and
generating institutional memory.

One thing that saved a lot of time for social workers was the mapping of Ambatovy project stakeholders. At a glance, they could identify who was more impacted by the project and who the influencers were. Plus, the information entered into the system ensured institutional memory. If new social workers came or if others left the project, all the information about stakeholders and traceability of communications remained available in just a few clicks.

Structured follow-ups and compliance to lender requirements

The grievance mechanism the Ambatovy field team put into place did not only allow better complaints management, it ensured that right actions and follow-ups were happening. Assigning tasks, grievances and follow-up actions with specific dates to team members meant nothing slipped through the cracks. Availability of transparent information about stakeholder engagement activities made reporting simple and structured. This was a key factor to meet IFC and other lenders’ requirements to access funds to carry out operations.

Download the Sherritt Case Study

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