November 9, 2012
Update on Earthquake in Guatemala
The major impact of Wednesday's 7.4 magnitude earthquake was felt in San Marcos and neighboring regions, located close to Goldcorp’s Marlin mine. To date, the aftermath includes an estimated 50 fatalities, many injured and missing as well as damages to highway infrastructure, phone, cellular and electrical power lines. The mine’s major infrastructure remained intact and a preliminary assessment noted that both the spillway and the Tailing Storage Facility (TSF) did not sustain any damage – both are of critical importance for maintaining the quality of any water outputs from the site. Monitoring to ensure the safety and integrity of these two important structures is ongoing. Goldcorp is doing its part to support relief efforts in Guatemala in partnership with the national and local governments: Goldcorp has partnered with the National Commission for Disasters Reduction and Control (CONRED in Guatemala) with the objective to coordinate search parties in several...
November 1, 2012
Going greener at Red Lake
Natural gas conversion is the latest sustainability initiative at Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines is making final preparations to start up a newly constructed natural gas line that will not only benefit production at its operations, but people in nearby communities and the planet.
The conversion to natural gas at Goldcorp’s Red Lake operations in northern Ontario was made official with a “Red Lake Flame Lighting” ceremony hosted by Union Gas yesterday. Red Lake Gold Mines employees were on hand to celebrate the switch to greener, cleaner natural gas, alongside the Mayor of Red Lake and representatives from the provincial and federal government and Union Gas.
The event celebrates the partnership between Goldcorp, Union Gas and all three levels of government in helping to create, finance and construct the 43-kilometre pipeline that was built from a historic northern Ontario mine site along Highway 105 into the Red Lake region. Natural gas will become...
October 18, 2012
World Gold Council Publishes Conflict-Free Gold Standard
The World Gold Council (WGC) today published its Conflict-Free Gold Standard, a common approach for gold producers to assess and provide assurance that their gold has been extracted in a manner that does not fuel unlawful armed conflict or contribute to serious human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. The standard, which would apply to conflict-affected areas globally, was developed in collaboration with the council’s member companies including Goldcorp, supply chain participants such as refineries, governments, leading NGOs, academics, investors, and civil society organizations. The standard is designed to increase trust and transparency in the gold supply chain and provides further confidence that responsible gold mining is an important source of social and economic development. Gold mining firms who apply the standard would be required to publicly disclose their conformance. Conformance with the standard will be externally assured via an auditable...
October 16, 2012
Goldcorp's Red Lake Gold Mines Donates $5-million to Red Lake Medical Clinic
Earlier this month, Goldcorp Red Lake Gold Mines (RLGM) presented to the Municipality of Red Lake a cheque in the amount of $5 million to go towards enhancement and expansion of the Red Lake Medical Clinic. This donation represents the culmination of several years of ongoing efforts of numerous stakeholders and partners to understand the dynamics of health care delivery in the Red Lake area and requirements to improve access to medical services and retention of medical professionals well into the future. "Goldcorp's highest priority is the safety and wellness of the people in communities in which we operate and this gift is consistent with that commitment," said Chris Cormier, RLGM Mine General Manager. "RLGM believes in sustainable projects that benefit the community during the life of mine and beyond. The Red Lake Medical Clinic will create just such a lasting legacy for the members of this community." Goldcorp's RLGM has taken a leading role in analyzing and addressing the health...
September 21, 2012
Goldcorp added to Dow Jones Sustainability Index
Last week it was announced that Goldcorp was added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). This is the second time we have been added to the DJSI, which includes 340 global companies identified as leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance. Goldcorp was among the 13 mining companies name to the index this year. The final results from the DJSI showed that Goldcorp scored well in indicators related to environmental management, social impacts on communities and mine closure. The company also scored well in indicators related to transparency and compliance/code of conduct. The DJSI follows a best-in-class approach and includes the top 10% of companies across all sectors, with companies ranked on a relative basis following an annual review. An independent third party (SAM Research) undertook the evaluation of Goldcorp’s performance with an in-depth analysis of economic, environmental and social criteria. The final rankings also took into...
September 12, 2012
Setting World Standards
Goldcorp helps create new global guidelines for conflict-free gold. When Ounesh Reebye was seconded to the World Gold Council (WGC) to help develop its Conflict-Free Gold Standard, he couldn’t have predicted the contrast with his regular duties as Manager, Treasury and Risk Management at Goldcorp. Instead of poring over spreadsheets and running numbers at his desk in downtown Vancouver, Reebye travelled extensively: visiting mines in remote regions of Ghana and Mexico; consulting banking executives and jewellery makers in some of China’s largest cities; and strategizing with industry professionals, government officials and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in London boardrooms. Reebye’s intense six-month secondment was part of the WGC’s goal to develop new guidelines to ensure gold does not contribute to armed conflict, human rights abuses or breaches of international humanitarian law. Along with a team of WGC professionals, industry peers and stakeholders, Reeybe helped...
July 31, 2012
Case Study: Fernando Perez - A journey of progress
Before he got a job at the Marlin Mine near his hometown in Guatemala, Fernando Perez would travel two days by foot into Mexico to find work picking corn and coffee. The long journey meant being away from his family for months at a time, a sacrifice he made for years to put food on the table. Life has changed considerably for Perez since he began working at Marlin almost 10 years ago. Not only has his commute been cut to just a 15-minute walk to work, but Perez has created a number of spin-off businesses over the years using money he earned at the mine. Aside from his planting job at the Marlin nursery, Perez owns two water trucks used to mitigate dust on the nearby roads, as well as two 40-seater buses to take mine employees to and from work. He also built a house that he rents out to the mine to be use by students from the local universities that come to Marlin to study the operation as part of their schooling. Perez also employs other people in and around his hometown of Nueva...
July 20, 2012
Gold and Medicine – Fascinating Past, Exciting Future
Dr. Trevor Keel of the World Gold Council is back as our guest blogger on Above Ground for the second in his series on the uses of gold.
A few weeks ago I wrote a short blog describing the important, often hidden, role that gold plays in technology. It is a vital electronic component found in most devices we now take for granted and the rise of nanotechnology has re-invigorated research into the metal with exciting breakthroughs being made in a range of fields including clean technology and chemical catalysis.
Nano-gold is a material which can be seen as the very essence of sustainable value – small quantities of gold being used intelligently and efficiently helping to answer some of the world’s biggest challenges.
One other field which often generates a lot of interest is gold’s use in medicine; however, perhaps understandably, linking the two is not necessarily an intuitive step. In fact, the use of gold in medicine and dentistry dates back...
July 13, 2012
Dispelling the Myths of Marlin
Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine has been the source of much discussion amongst activist groups and others. Misinformation has surfaced on a number of internet sites recently, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to once again set the record straight. This is a long post, so grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable – we’ll be together for a while! MYTH: Marlin discharges contamination into the local water supply. Routine water discharges have been approved by the Guatemalan Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), and the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mining (MEM). Unlike most discharge situations, at Marlin the water is drawn from the tailings impoundment, treated in the treatment plant, then discharged back to the tailings impoundment. This means that all the water in the tailings impoundment must meet the discharge standards before water is ever released from the tailings impoundment. It also means that Marlin can and does sample the water prior to discharge to...
June 28, 2012
Goldcorp participates in 8th Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference focused on Leadership and Sustainable Communities
Red Lake’s Mine Operations Manager, Don Burke, remembers clearly the day he was accepted into one of Canada’s most prestigious leadership programs. It started off like any other another cold, December day in northern Ontario when Burke reached into his mail slot at the Red Lake office and pulled out an unfamiliar-looking letter with a stylized maple-leaf logo. It was from organizers of the 8th Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference (GGCLC), and arrived two weeks after he was interviewed as a potential candidate for the exclusive event. Burke tore open the envelope and quickly read the letter inside, his smile grower wider with each word. With that letter, the 42-year-old, long-time Red Lake resident became one of only 230 Canadians chosen to participate in the 2012 conference, which takes place once every four years. “The first thing I did was call my wife. I was so proud,” recalls Burke with a smile. The father of two was born and raised in Cape Breton and moved to Red...
June 21, 2012
Celebrating Collaboration on National Aboriginal Day
Of the many benefits coming out of the Cree community’s historic partnership with Goldcorp to develop the Éléonore Project in Quebec, there is one Gilbert Georgekish can hear daily: Chatter on the construction site.
Instead of silence, which the President of Cree company Tawich Construction has experienced at previous work sites, Éléonore has employee banter and laughter.
To Georgekish, it’s the sound of progress.
“I see a big improvement on the site. It’s non-native working with native. Before, they wouldn’t speak to each other,” Georgekish says. “It’s a like a community at work.”
Georgekish sees Goldcorp’s unique collaboration agreement with the Cree Nation of Wemindji, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Cree Regional Authority as transformative, both economically and socially.
The partnership, signed in February 2011, has created dozens of jobs for the local Cree people and led to the awarding of profitable...
June 6, 2012
Building Healthy Families
A new medical centre funded by Goldcorp and operated in partnership with the Guatemalan government brings a Presidential welcome and leading-edge care to Guatemalan communities. In the municipalities near the Marlin Mine, Goldcorp is involved in initiatives that are providing jobs and vocational training, improving community water and sewage systems, small business development, agricultural extension and helping build schools, sports fields and roads. Goldcorp is proud to announce that its latest contribution to the families and communities living near the Marlin mine is a brand new and much-needed medical centre. On land provided by the municipality, and with the provision of healthcare staff and operational support from the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, Goldcorp funded the Centro de Atención Permanente (CAP) facility to address the increasing need for accessible health care in the township of San Miguel Ixtahuacán and the state of San Marcos, Guatemala. Historical rates of...
May 25, 2012
Gold’s Hidden Role in Technology
Dr. Trevor Keel, Technology Project Manager at the World Gold Council explains why gold remains the material of choice in high performance and safety critical electronics and shares some of the exciting nanogold applications emerging in green technologies. Whenever I tell someone the story of gold and technology, they are almost always surprised and fascinated in equal measure. People associate precious metals such as silver and platinum with industrial uses automatically, but, perhaps understandably, gold’s significant jewellery and investment markets dominate perceptions of the yellow metal. Gold’s industrial demand is not as large, but at around 450 tonnes per year it still represents ~11% of overall demand. The largest proportion of this 450 tonnes finds its way into the electronics sector. Gold is in many day-to-day objects and devices we take for granted. The computer you are reading this blog on contains gold. The braking system in the car you drove to work in...
May 23, 2012
2011 Sustainability Report on Economic, Environmental and Social Performance now Available
Goldcorp released its seventh company-wide Sustainability Report, entitled One Company Thousands of Opportunities . Based on the disclosure requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact and the International Council for Mining and Metals, the Report includes management approaches, performance metrics and progress across five key areas: Climate Change, Water Management, Human Rights, Safe and Healthy Workers and Sustainable Community Development. The 2011 Report is available online at www.goldcorp.com . A printed summary report is also available upon request via email@example.com. We are seeking dialogue about our performance as detailed in the report and encourage your feedback. We are committed to developing greater transparency in our reporting and improving the quality and quantity of the data reported. Feedback may be sent via the blog’s comment area or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highlights from the 2011...
May 8, 2012
Free, Prior and Informed Consent
Our blog post Understanding Mine Closure (Posting date: April 24, 2012) sparked a lot of interesting discussion on Twitter and other social media outlets, notably from CAMIGUA and Amnesty International Canada. We’ve also been having the conversation with several stakeholders in other forums for some time, and continue to welcome and appreciate the feedback. To continue the dialogue, we are providing this response to the broad themes discussed, including comments around Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). For those who may not be familiar with FPIC, it is an international principle that seeks to ensure that indigenous peoples have a meaningful role in evaluating development projects that may affect the indigenous peoples’ traditional lands or lifestyles. At the core of FPIC is the duty of the state to consult with indigenous peoples with the objective of obtaining their consent1. However, at present there is no accepted process for consulting with indigenous peoples, nor is there...
May 3, 2012
Update on Shareholder Resolution
Last week, Goldcorp held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Timmins, Ontario at the Northern College of Applied Arts & Technology. The event was well attended by shareholders, employees, and community members who heard from CEO Chuck Jeannes on the company’s accomplishments and plans going forward, as well as from Timmins City mayor, Tom Laughren, who described the importance mining has played in the development of the city. You can view a playback of the presentations here . In the weeks leading up to the AGM several NGOs wrote articles and blog posts about the proposed shareholder resolution asking Goldcorp to ensure full independent financing and disclosure of closure plans for the Marlin Mine. At the AGM this shareholder resolution was overwhelmingly voted down by Goldcorp’s shareholders and their proxy holders (~97% of votes cast against the proposal). Goldcorp opposed the proposal for two reasons: the company disagrees with the closure cost estimate prepared by the...
April 24, 2012
Understanding Mine Closure
Within the last two weeks, a new campaign has emerged against Goldcorp on the topic of mine closure in Guatemala. Activists use statements such as “Guatemalans should not have to pay for Goldcorp's Mess” and “Canadian mining company could leave impoverished Indigenous community with multi-million dollar bill to pay.” Anyone who works with Goldcorp as an employee, vendor, partner or stakeholder would know, that’s just not the way we do business. In order to understand more on this hotly debated issue, it is important to know how closure is embedded into overall mine planning. From the earliest stage of a mine’s lifecycle, companies must design how to open and close the mine in a feasible and responsible way. As a legal prerequisite for mining, companies must demonstrate that they have sound technical, environmental and social plans for mine closure as well as the funds set aside to complete the full closure project. All of Goldcorp’s operations have closure plans in place which are...
April 12, 2012
Peace by peace
In partnership with the Fund for Peace, Goldcorp will launch step-by-step human rights training for 11,000 employees and contractors worldwide. As part of our commitment to respect the rights of employees and citizens in every country where we operate and our aim to exemplify best industry practices across our business processes, Goldcorp is launching an extensive human rights training program in eight nations. In the past year Goldcorp has worked with the Fund for Peace (FFP), a nonpartisan, non-profit organization founded in 1957, based in Washington, DC, and recognized as a leader in mitigating company-community conflict through education and engagement. “We sought out FFP based on their expertise at making human rights meaningful for business and turning regulatory phrases into motivational, individual action. They know how to bring human rights home to people,” says Goldcorp’s Dina Aloi, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility. The core philosophy of FFP is shared by...
March 26, 2012
Swedish Pension Fund Lends Their Eagle Eye to the Golden Eye Review
I recently had the privilege of participation in one of Goldcorp’s Golden Eye Reviews when we kicked off our 2012 schedule of Golden Eye Reviews by heading to the highlands of Guatemala. Introduced in 2005, the Golden Eye Review is a unique approach to safety that focuses on the practical aspects of our operations and conducts an in-depth review of our safety processes, programs and activities through the eyes of our peers, from all parts of the organization, not just safety experts. Team observations and findings are put through a risk-ranking exercise and profiled as extreme, high, medium or low-risk depending on the likelihood, exposure and result. The review aims to analyze and improve behavioural and safety implementation at the site, and also highlights a number of good practices. Although the Golden Eye Review is designed to be an internal process, the review at Marlin this year added an element of external participation, further demonstrating the strength and independence of...
March 19, 2012
Let's be Partners: Creating Shared Value in Partnership with Local Indigenous Communities
In January 2012, Chief Rodney Mark of the Wemindji Cree Nation from northern Quebec travelled to the highlands of Guatemala to visit our Marlin mine, to meet with local Indigenous leaders and witness first-hand the positive benefits to his community he can expect when partnering with Goldcorp. While there, he also met with Goldcorp employees, municipal government representatives, local community members and non-governmental organizations. See Chief Rodney's impressions on Goldcorp's approach to partnerships and our respect for Indigenous cultures, based on his visit to the Marlin mine and his experience working collaboratively with Goldcorp over the last 4 years. View Video. Goldcorp is developing the Éléonore project in Cree territory, and signed a ground-breaking participation agreement [ link ] with the Cree last year. Goldcorp is committed to working in collaboration with local communities, governments and non-governmental organizations to achieve Sustainable Prosperity...
March 2, 2012
$1 Million invested into community organizations and nonprofits near Wharf Mine Not every conversation results in a million-dollar community investment, but for Bill Shand, Wharf’s Mine General Manager and I, the journey started about two years ago, when Shand and I started working on long-term planning. We wanted to create a sustainable legacy for Lead that the employees of Goldcorp and Wharf could be proud of. Although recent investment has extended the Wharf mine’s life by ten years or more, post-mine planning is an ongoing activity at Wharf Mine and every Goldcorp operation. Our concern went beyond environmental reclamation. We were very aware of the negative socio-economic legacies left by some historical mines, and were determined that Goldcorp would do better. The largest single contribution ever made to the South Dakota Community Foundation After discussions with the First Interstate Lead-Deadwood Community Foundation, we devised a million-dollar Sustainable Prosperity Fund,...
February 27, 2012
Goldcorp & WWF chart new waters
In 2010, Goldcorp financially supported the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) North American Water Footprint Study. The report explores the embeddedness of water in the economies of Canada, the US, and Mexico, and the resulting interdependencies on external freshwater resources that occur through international trade. In 2011 the partnership grew when Goldcorp seconded an expert employee to assist the WWF with an in-depth North American study on the water footprint of gold and also financially supported the WWF Panda Ball. A long-time general supporter of WWF Canada, John Allan, Goldcorp VP Sustainable Development, says "I thought there may be an opportunity to do something more specific by way of a joint project, and this water initiative was ideal." Ripple effect The aim of WWF's gold study is to determine the North American average for how many cubic metres of water go into producing one ounce of gold, then work with the industry to mitigate water impact and apply findings across sectors....
February 20, 2012
Collaborative approaches to designing projects that respond to community feedback
High in the Andes, Goldcorp’s El Morro mine overlooks the Atacama Desert, dotted with goat and cattle farms, rare pockets of vegetation, and the various communities of the Huasco Valley. Rainfall is scarce here – averaging less than .004 inches per year – so just as gold resources are precious, fresh water is too. Despite mountain snowfall and glaciers, more water is lost through evaporation than gained. From a very early stage of consultation with local communities, the issue of water scarcity has been a main concern of the residents of the Huasco Valley. Key economic activities in the valley are focused around agriculture, including wild grapevines, olive trees, fruit, and vegetables, and cattle including goats, horses and sheep. In response to this local concern around water quantity, El Morro began searching for alternate sources of water. And there, directly west, lay the Pacific Ocean. Lisa Wade, Goldcorp’s Director of Environment, says “After consulting with the community and...
February 20, 2012
Welcome to Goldcorp's Above Ground Blog
You might ask: why would Goldcorp want to host a blog?
It’s simple - transparency. Time after time we’ve told our stakeholders that our door is open and we mean it. We are willing and open to talk about issues, concerns, opportunities and ideas with people who share an interest in having those discussions with us. So, we wanted to provide people with another effective avenue for enhancing transparency, engagement and dialogue. People may assume Goldcorp is a giant, faceless gold mining company, but in my opinion, it’s not. It’s a vibrant culture made up of thousands of people. Innovative, hardworking people. People who have families. People who care about other people. People dedicated to changing lives for the better. And through the eyes of these people, we will share the stories, challenges, and successes that we experience while striving to be the most responsible, respected and welcomed mining company in the world. Our first “story” is about one of our most important values...