JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Canadian miner Tahoe Resources recorded no fatalities during 2016 and reduced hand-related injuries by more than 75% in both Peru and Guatemala by implementing a hand-safety programme, according the the company’s 2016 sustainability report, which provides comprehensive information about the company’s economic, environmental and societal impacts, according to the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards.
Highlights of Tahoe’s 2016 sustainability performance include the company’s strengthening social and environmental management with the addition of an environmental affairs director and a sustainability director, who support the company’s operations teams in identifying and managing environmental, social and sustainability-related issues.
Tahoe Resources started environmental audits at all operations to monitor environmental compliance and address material environmental challenges.
The company also contributed about $6-million to local communities and charitable causes, the details of which are discussed throughout the report. The report points out that the company generated $667-million in economic value distributed throughout its operating regions, including over $422-million spent on goods and services provided by in-country suppliers, about $103-million in wages and benefits, and about $87-million in taxes and royalties.
Additionally, in 2016, the company signed an impact benefit agreement (IBA) with the Wabun Tribal Council First Nations of Matachewan, Mattagami, Flying Post and Wahgoshig to establish a framework for continued consultation on Tahoe's existing and future operations in the Timmins, Ontario area. This would also facilitate education, training, employment opportunities, environmental care and collaborative business opportunities for First Nations members.
Meanwhile, the company received recognition from the Technical Institute for Training and Productivity at the institute’s Awards for Productivity and Competitiveness in 2016, which recognised Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary Minera San Rafael’s (MSR’s) “excellence” in supporting the development of Guatemala and the communities surrounding its operations.
Moreover, the company also received the Workplace Safety North Workplace Excellence Award in recognition of Tahoe Canada’s strong safety performance and ongoing commitment to improving occupational health and safety.
The report also discusses challenges that Tahoe addressed during the past year, including the residents of La Cuchilla, Guatemala who blocked the Escobal mine gate for several days while MSR worked to address their concerns related to land subsidence and structural instability in their community.
The company pointed out that, despite “overwhelming scientific evidence” that the property damage was not caused by mine activities, Tahoe developed a La Cuchilla home purchase programme to support the community in relocating homes to safer ground. The protest reached a voluntary and peaceful end following discussions among community stakeholders, MSR representatives and the protestors. Tahoe continues to support the programme.
Tahoe sustainability director Dost Bardouille said that the company embraced sustainability as a way to conduct honest and ethical business, work to the highest standards of environmental stewardship and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees and communities everywhere the company operated.
“We see time and time again that an integrated approach to sustainability in all aspects of our business not only results in a responsible and well-managed mining operation, it brings significant value to those directly invested in the success of our operations – our shareholders, employees, suppliers and communities.
“A fundamental aspect of our sustainability programme is transparently providing information about all aspects of how we conduct our business. As Tahoe grows, our continued and future success depends on it,” Bardouille concluded.