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Investments in health, education and infrastructure build a strong socio-economic legacy.

Quick Facts
Location Western Guatemala
Ownership 100%
Mines Closed 2017
Status Reclamation in progress

Marlin, Guatemala’s first large-scale gold mine, operated from 2005 to 2017. Mining was from an open pit and an underground mine. Ore was processed using a conventional milling circuit, and facilities included tailings and rock storage areas.

Our goal at Marlin was to create a sustainable legacy for communities and families that would last long after are we are gone. Of the mine’s 1,582 employees, 97% were Guatemalan residents, and one of our goals was to help develop a local workforce with a set of transferrable skills that would be relevant after the mine’s closure.

We provided training in safety, operations, maintenance and other trades throughout the life of the mine. In addition, nearly 1,000 people participated in our voluntary, individually tailored transitional training programs before the mine was shut down.

Another goal was to improve education and literacy in the region. We focused on providing resources that would increase a student’s chance of completing primary school, and awarded over US$7 million in community scholarships. This initiative earned Goldcorp the National Prize for Community Contribution in Education from the US-Guatemala Chamber of Commerce. We also worked to improve the literacy rate of our employees, and in 2012, the first 70 graduates from Marlin mine received government diplomas.

Over the life of the mine, we spent more than US$130 million on infrastructure projects in the region, including tailings filtration systems, an award-winning flood protection spillway, miles of paved roads and clean water for communities. We also established the Sierra Madre Foundation to help plan and implement sustainable, community-based development and capacity building programs in San Miguel Ixtahuacán and Sipacapa.

In 2015, we transferred responsibility for managing and running the Centro de Atención Permanente to the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, a modern medical clinic in San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos, financed by Goldcorp. The clinic opened in 2012, serves about 55,000 people, and is staffed as much as possible from the local community. In 2017, a new state-of-art pediatric oncology centre opened in Quetzaltenango. Funded in part by Goldcorp, the centre allows to children with cancer in western Guatemala to receive treatment closer to home.

All of these investments will continue to provide value to the surrounding communities long after the mine has closed.

Integrating Human Rights into our Business Practices: Our Journey

Our experience at Marlin affirmed our commitment to human rights, which we have explicitly integrated into our business management processes through our Sustainability Excellence Management System (SEMS).

Human Rights Assessment

In 2008, Goldcorp launched an independent Human Rights Assessment (HRA) at the Marlin Mine to study whether the human rights of the local population had been affected by:

  • Marlin Mine and its activities
  • the policies, procedures and practices of Goldcorp’s subsidiary Montana Exploradora.

The assessment was guided by the tenets of transparency, independence and inclusivity. It was directed by a Steering Committee made up of one representative from Goldcorp, one representative from a group of socially responsible shareholders that own shares in Goldcorp and one representative from Guatemala. The final HRA report was dated May 2010.

Goldcorp carefully considered each of the report’s recommendations, and began a multi-phase process of developing and implementing business management practices to ensure a “broader due diligence for human rights” consistent with John Ruggie’s “Protect, Respect, Remedy” framework adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

As part of this process, Goldcorp published an initial response to the report on June 30, 2010. To ensure a transparent and collaborative process, this response included details about how interested stakeholders could submit ideas, provide feedback and monitor progress.

Goldcorp also adopted all the HRA report’s recommendations for communicating its progress on revising its human rights policies and practices, and published updates in October 2010 and April 2011.

In 2014, Goldcorp launched SEMS, which integrates respect for human rights explicitly into the company’s business management process – a key recommendation of the HRA report.

Human Rights Assessment (HRA)

The documents are also available in English and Spanish at the HRA report website.

Human Rights Assessment of Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine Commissioned on behalf of Goldcorp by the Steering Committee for the Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Marlin Mine – May 2010 (English)

First update, October 18, 2010 (English, Spanish)

Second update, April 29, 2011 (English, Spanish)

Third update, June 2017 (English)

HRA May 2010 Executive Summary (English, Mam, Sipakapense)

HRA May 2010 Report Appendices:

A: HRA Marlin Project Timeline (English)

B: HRA Interview Guides (English)

C: HRA Data Collection Activities (English)

D: HRA Stakeholder Issues Matrix (English)

E: HRA Table of International Standards Related to Human Rights at the Marlin Mine (English)

F: HRA Overview of Legal Cases Involving the Marlin Mine (English)

G: HRA Summary Table of Findings by Human Right (English)

H: External Environmental Review of the Marlin Mine, prepared by KPC Consulting for the HRA, March 2010 (English)

I: External Hazard Assessment of Chemical Constituents at the Marlin Mine, prepared by Intrinsik for the HRA, March 2010 (English)

News Release from the Steering Committee for the Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Marlin Mine (English)

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Our responses to public comments on Marlin Mine

In the interest of transparency, we have provided the text of our responses to submissions of public interest on operations at Marlin Mine.

Letter to David Suzuki Foundation – April 21, 2015 (English)

Reply to Amnesty International – August 2014 (English)

Letter to Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians – September 2011 (English)

Final Statement of the Canadian National Contact Point – May 2011 (English)

Follow-up to March 2011 contractor incident – March 2011 (English, Spanish)

Marlin Public Opinion Study Intro – December 2010 (English, Spanish)

Marlin Public Opinion Study Final – December 2010 (English, Spanish)

Letter Mayor SIPA TO CIDH – October 26, 2010 (English, Spanish)

Letter Mayor SMI TO CIDH – October 26, 2010 (English, Spanish)

Acta SMI Rechazo a Loarca SMI – April 21, 2010 (English, Spanish)

Sipacapa Acta ILO Petition – April 5, 2010 (English, Spanish)

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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

On May 20, 2010, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) asked the Government of Guatemala to adopt precautionary measures to prevent irreparable harm to the life, physical integrity and environment of indigenous peoples in communities in San Miguel Ixtahuacánand Sipacapa. The measures, which included suspending the operation, were connected to alleged environmental contamination resulting from activities at the Marlin Mine. On June 23, 2010, the Guatemalan Government advised the IACHR that it would initiate the applicable administrative process under its laws to determine if suspending Marlin’s operations was warranted.

On July 8, 2011, the Government of Guatemala issued a resolution declaring that the Marlin Mine was in compliance with the law, and that there was no basis for suspending mining operations. Its investigation demonstrated that the mine had not damaged the environment or health of the local communities. These findings were supported by independent analyses of quarterly water samples collected by Goldcorp and the Asociacion de Monitoreo Ambiental Comunitario, the local community monitoring committee. Three days later, the Government of Guatemala petitioned the IACHR to declare the precautionary measures to be without further effect.

In December 2011, the IACHR amended the precautionary measures and lifted the request to suspend operations at Marlin.

Ministry of Energy and Mines Report (Anex 8) – May 27, 2011 (English, Spanish)

Director of Mines Resolution 104 – July 8, 2011 (English, Spanish)

COPREDEH Report from the State of Guatemala to IACHR – July 11, 2011 (English, Spanish)

Letter from MARN to Montana Exploradora regarding Hydro-Geological Report – July 20, 2011 (English, Spanish)

COPREDEH Submission – February 21, 2011 (English)

COPREDEH Update – February 21, 2011 (Spanish)

de Valle letter to IACHR – February 21, 2011 (Spanish)

IACHR Letter mc-260-07 al peticionarioguatemala – January 20, 2011 (Spanish)

Informe de Actualizacion COPREDEH – September 21, 2010 (Spanish)

Medida Cautelar MC-260-07 – July 23, 2010 (Spanish)

MEM Update to IACHR – March 18, 2011 (Spanish)

Nota_audiencia ALCALDE smi – October 20, 2010 (Spanish)

Solicitud de audiencia – August 31, 2010 (Spanish)

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