We recognize the importance of establishing sound relationships with our host communities. Robust relationships built on a foundation of trust are critical throughout the entire mining cycle, from exploration and development through to operations and closure. We view them as an essential part of securing our social license to operate.
Our Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors provides oversight for community relations. As part of its duties and responsibilities, the Committee reviews and monitors the community relations systems, policies, and activities of the company on behalf of the Board. This helps ensure compliance with applicable laws, legislation, and policies as they relate to community relations issues.
Community engagement is key to our approach to community relations. We aim to engage local communities as early as possible in the mining life cycle to build a strong foundation for the development and operations stages of our projects. All of our development projects and operations have local community engagement processes for stakeholder consultation. We base the programs on regular and open dialogue to establish trust and obtain feedback from stakeholders.
Similarly, all of our operations conduct EIAs for major projects and expansions. The EIAs cover a comprehensive range of issues and potential impacts, including environmental, social, and economic issues. We manage potential impacts through corresponding management plans.
All EIAs have stipulations for establishing extensive ongoing monitoring programs to measure, track, and manage impacts. As part of the EIA process, we identify affected stakeholders based on the potential and severity of impacts – both positive and negative – and develop an engagement plan for consultations. This helps ensure the participation of local stakeholders in the approvals process.
At our Puna Operations, we have six local communities defined as ‘direct impact’. These communities are closest to our operations and associated infrastructure. We define a further eight communities as ‘indirect impact’. Although these communities are also an ongoing focus of our engagement efforts, our operations are less likely to impact them.
At our Seabee Gold Operation, we define five communities as ‘local’ based on their proximity to the mine. We focus our engagement and outreach efforts on these communities.
At the Marigold mine, we do not have a formal definition of ‘local community’ for engagement purposes. Rather, we identify communities for consultation as part of the EIA requirements. Throughout 2019, we will work to further define ‘local community’ at the Marigold mine.
In 2019, we will continue the development of an enterprise-level community relations management system and standard. As part of the system roll-out, all development projects and operations will develop a formal community relations strategy and plan. Formal grievance mechanisms will also be a key component of the system.
Lastly, we will further engage our host communities as part of our 2019 materiality assessment. This will help ensure that our public reporting and disclosures are reflective of issues that are most important to them.