Barrick’s operations can have both positive and negative impacts on the people and communities near our mines.
A mine can bring increased economic activity, create local jobs, and provide tax revenue that helps support local governments in delivering services. In 2015 alone, we contributed more than $6.3 billion in the way of payments to governments, purchases of goods and services, and investments in the communities and countries where we operate. Mining can also contribute to social change, use scarce resources and contribute to an unsustainable influx of people into a community.
We do not see the good things that we do as offsetting all the negative impacts we may have. For this reason, we work as hard at mitigating potential negative impacts as we do at leveraging mutual and sustained value for all of our partners.
At Barrick, we believe strong relationships with communities are about getting the simple things right: managing our impacts (such as dust, noise and traffic), doing what we say we will, resolving grievances, and buying and hiring locally.
To create this kind of mindset among our people, we have developed a Community Relations Policy, which is supported by a Community Relations Standard along with procedures, guidelines, toolkits and comprehensive assurance reviews. Together, these form Barrick’s Community Relations Management System (CRMS). The CRMS creates explicit performance requirements for community relations at Barrick projects and operations to ensure we get the simple — and important — things right and live up to our commitment of creating long-term mutual benefit in the communities where we operate.
Effectively engaging with local communities is as important to us as any other part of the business, as it helps us to protect and maintain our license to operate. We engage with local communities at all our operations and projects. Our community partners expect and deserve the opportunity to have a voice in decisions that affect them. This means providing them access to information about the operations, including their social, economic and environmental impacts, and access to company officials who will listen and act on community concerns. By showing respect to local stakeholders we can facilitate permitting and approvals, promote a more stable operating environment and form lasting partnerships.
100% of sites have stakeholder engagement plans.
Barrick’s Community Relations Management System (CRMS) facilitates the creation of strong partnerships by providing our sites with guidance and tools on engagement best practices.
These best practices include:
Embedding community engagement within a corporate management system gives us confidence that all our sites are working with communities in a consistent, comprehensive and transparent manner.
At the Alturas exploration camp in Chile, Barrick knows that direct, transparent, and consistent communication with stakeholders is essential to our future success. We know that a potential project can only succeed through strong relationships with community partners. This is why we started engaging and listening to community members even as we started drilling. As a result, Barrick has identified that local employment is the most significant concern to the local community and, as a result, we are working on plans to ensure the 2016-17 drill season maximizes job opportunities for people from nearby communities.
An effective grievance mechanism allows local communities to communicate their concerns and issues directly to Barrick so that they may be resolved. This allows our sites to take early action to resolve any issues before they grow into a serious social incident.
Since 2012, all our sites have had operating grievance mechanisms. We are now focused on strengthening and improving the effectiveness of these grievance mechanisms.
100% of our sites have a community grievance mechanism
In general, the types and number of grievances vary significantly between sites. At the majority of our sites, grievances are primarily related to employment and procurement opportunities, the mine’s potential impacts on water, contractor conduct in the community, and how sites treat local employees. At the Porgera Joint Venture in Papua New Guinea, there are a significant number of grievances related to land, driven by ongoing discussions about resettlement and compensation.
We have an opportunity to contribute significantly to social and economic development in the communities and countries where we operate.
We do this by creating local jobs, buying goods and services from local businesses, paying our fair share of taxes and partnering with governments and civil society on local priorities, such as education and economic diversification.
64% of jobs are filled by employees from the local area, across the company.
Communities and host governments rightly expect to share in mining’s benefits. When we live up to their expectations, we are partners with host governments and communities in their own development, contributing to a more stable and prosperous society and a more secure license to operate.
$1.1 billion spent on local goods and services in 2015.
Four of Barrick’s operations and three projects are located on or near the traditional territories of Indigenous Peoples. At Barrick, any site where Indigenous Peoples have rights over or special connections to the land where mining-related activities are located is required to develop and implement an Indigenous Peoples Plan that outlines specific actions to engage, address impacts and provide opportunities to Indigenous Peoples.
Considering the values, needs and concerns of Indigenous Peoples in site activities can support the development of long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. Developing partnerships with Indigenous Peoples can contribute to sustainable land management and a stable operating environment.
Barrick has endorsed the International Council on Mining and Metal’s (ICMM) Indigenous Peoples and Mining Position Statement. Sites will work towards obtaining consent from significantly impacted Indigenous Peoples for new projects and major changes to existing projects.
In October 2015, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Métis Nation of Ontario, to establish a mutually beneficial, cooperative; productive and ongoing working relationship between the Hemlo mine and the Métis Nation of Ontario.
Although many of Barrick’s mining operations are located in uninhabited areas, other operations are on or near lands already occupied or used by other people.
Our presence near these communities can bring potentially adverse impacts, including increased traffic and associated safety risks.
Where there are significant risks to the safety of host communities, the company requires sites to collaborate with local residents in developing a community safety program.
A community safety program identifies the activities required to mitigate all significant potential community safety risks, including, at a minimum, those related to road safety, emergency response and preparedness, and hazardous material transport. These programs are developed and implemented collaboratively with local external stakeholders, including the local community. In addition, obligations for community safety are often included in permitting and regulatory requirements.
The number of accidents on the main highway
near the Lumwana mine was reduced by 50% following the introduction
of a community safety plan.
All Barrick’s mines have a finite operational life. We know that the closure of a mine can have significant social and economic impacts on nearby communities. Furthermore, improperly closed mines can create harmful environmental legacies.
Barrick currently manages 34 closed sites.
We have therefore developed a Mine Closure Management System (MCMS) to help plan for mine closure even before beginning construction of a new mine. We integrate this planning into our decision making by embedding closure considerations into both our Community Relations and Environmental Management Systems.
Some economically disadvantaged people living in developing countries choose to move closer to large-scale mining operations, attracted by economic and social incentives, such as perceived opportunities for direct or indirect employment and increased accessibility and availability of basic services. It is extremely difficult to control this influx of people. The migrant population tends to concentrate in villages or towns in the immediate vicinity of the mining operation or project, resulting in crowding and often overwhelming the capacity of services in these communities. In-migration is of special concern at the Lumwana mine in Zambia and the Porgera joint venture in Papua New Guinea.
At the Lumwana mine in Zambia, Barrick has been working to manage and mitigate a significant influx of new people into nearby communities. Following an assessment of the drivers of in-migration, the site developed and implemented an Influx Management Plan. The plan includes a multi-stakeholder forum and capacity building for town planning; promotion of the increased presence of government and increased law and order; improved infrastructure, including access roads, water wells and functional bus stops; and the construction of a fence for the Manyama primary school. Key to these initiatives is that the plan is being implemented in partnership with the local government and local communities and is a part of the regional government’s integrated development plan.
At times, construction or expansion of mines may lead to land acquisition and resettlement of local communities, which can entail both the physical displacement of people and, at times, disruption of their livelihoods.
Poorly planned and managed land acquisition, including physical resettlement and economic displacement, can adversely impact communities. Minimizing the need for displacement, and effectively managing the impacts and risks where displacement is unavoidable, will limit negative outcomes, protect human rights and support our license to operate.
We seek to avoid resettlement whenever we can by exploring alternative project designs.
When resettlement cannot be avoided, our community relations teams work together with affected households, communities and host governments to manage resettlement in a manner consistent with local laws and international best practice. In 2015, Barrick did not engage in any resettlement activities.
Millions of people around the world maintain their livelihoods through artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). Barrick has operations that are adjacent to thriving ASM communities, primarily in Papua New Guinea and Peru. The individuals and groups engaged in ASM near our operations are important local stakeholders, and we work with them towards a safer, healthier and more profitable relationship.
Our approach is to support efforts to legitimize what is sometimes an illegal activity — often conducted in poor and unsafe working conditions — but which drives the local economy.
As part of our community engagement activities, we have supported the artisanal mining formalization process launched by the Peruvian government. The development and legalization of artisanal miners through this formalization process — including coal miners near our Lagunas Norte mine — will provide access for the ASM community to credit and markets, along with safer working conditions.
Illegal miners are people who enter a mine property without permission with the intention of stealing gold-bearing ore. This differs from artisanal miners, who generate income from labor-intensive mining activities, often alongside large-scale mining operations.
If not appropriately managed, trespass of illegal miners onto Barrick leases presents risks for employees, contractors and illegal miners themselves (particularly with respect to their safety); causes loss of production; and can create conflict that affects Barrick’s social license to operate.
Our response to illegal mining is primarily driven by safety concerns – for both our employees and the trespassers themselves. The level of criminal and violent behavior often displayed by illegal miners can threaten both the local community and our employees, the vast majority of whom are also from local communities.
When incursions by illegal miners occur, our security personnel, who have been trained in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, are the first to engage in a dialogue with them, to encourage them to leave for the sake of their own safety and that of our employees.
Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.
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© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation