The Population And Aboriginal Communities
The times, and the world around us, are changing. The mining industry is aware of this, and places the peolple at the heart of its priorities. To get the green light, every mining project must obtain broad-based social acceptance. As a result, mining companies are careful to maintain a dialogue with the general population and with the Aboriginal communities concerned in order to understand their concerns, needs and expectations. Various channels of communication can be developed to ensure community support for the development of mining projects.
The mining industry must continually renew its approach, since the concept of social acceptability today is not the same as in the past. Requirements change, and the industry must adapt its methods. It is important to remain aware of new trends, in order to establish a relationship between citizens and companies based on trust and respect.
« Mining companies understand the need to meet governments and local community requirements to operate mines. Those requirements, however, have escalated considerably in recent years. Today, corporate social responsibility extends well beyond meeting the minimum legal requirements associated with conducting an environmental impact assessment. It involves understanding localcommunity and governments expectations, addressing the demands of […] relevant stakeholder groups, and committing to a higher level of transparency and operational sustainability. »
– Tracking the trends 2013 - The top 10 issues mining companies will face in the coming year (Deloitte)
Mining Industry Initiatives
The establishment of a trust-based relationship with communities is a long-standing practice for mining companies, since the social acceptability of their projects constitutes their licence to operate. A range of initiatives have been launched, including project monitoring committees, regional liaison offices, information meetings, open-door days, and so on. Below, the Québec Mining Association presents some of the initiatives developed by its members.
Establishment of the Community Relations Committee
The Québec Mining Association has set up a Community Relations Committee to identify the issues influencing social acceptability and promote best practices throughout the lifecycle of each mining project. The committee looks at the issues affecting both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Establishment of the Fonds Essor Canadian Malartic
The Fonds Essor Canadian Malartic has been set up to enhance the long-term development of the town of Malartic by promoting and supporting initiatives with a lasting impact on economic, social and cultural development. The agreement stipulates that Canadian Malartic donates $150,000 per year and 325,000 shares in the company to provide financial support for community projects once the mine reaches the end of its lifespan. To find out more about the philosophy and commitments of Canadian Malartic in the area of community relations and various other initiatives and programs, click here.
Impact and Benefit Agreements With First Nations
Impact and benefit agreements (IBAs) with First Nations are specific to the mining sector. They are voluntary contractual agreements which, in general, cover cash payments, scholarships, and job, training and business opportunities for Aboriginal communities. (source: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
« Stornoway has been really open-minded and has been ready to adapt the project in a way that ensures respect for the Crees of Mistissini; our interests, our values, our culture and our lifestyle.” – Chief Richard Shecapio »
Investment in the Community
To become genuine partners in the communities where they establish their mines, mining companies are willing to finance various infrastructures and projects that will benefit the general population: social housing, daycares, sports centres, schools, etc.
Glencore's Raglan Agreement - Raglan Mine
The Raglan Agreement was signed on February 28, 1995 by Raglan Mine and five Inuit partners: Makivik Corporation, the two neighbouring communities of Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq, and their two respective landholding corporations (Qaqqalik LHC and Nunaturlik LHC). The Raglan Agreement, in addition to numerous provisions focusing on mining and the environment, contains a chapter designed to provide permanent job opportunities within the company and help Inuits develop individual skills, in addition to support economic development throughout Nunavik. The agreement was the first true IBA (Impact and Benefit Agreement) signed in Canada by a mining company and Aboriginal people. It marked a historic moment that entirely redefined the idea of a mining company’s social responsibility.
- Facilitate the development of Raglan Mine in an efficient manner and preserve the integrity of the environment.
- Ensure that the Inuit directly enjoy the social and economic advantages throughout the active life of Raglan Mine.
- Make sure that the impacts of Raglan Mine operations on the environment are measured and that unforeseen impacts are managed.
- Facilitate the involvement of the Inuits in the activities of the Raglan Mine.
- Provide a good work environment to all parties.
- Update the results of discussions concerning environmental and social impact studies.
- Retain the support of Inuit stakeholders for activities at the Raglan Mine.
Objectives pursued by the Raglan Agreement: