Agnico Eagle Wins Again for ESG EffortsBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 05/04/2021 - 12:15
Agnico Eagle’s emphasis on social and environmental responsibility has again borne fruit. The company won the TSM Community Engagement Excellence Award for its project to bring water to Yepachic, Chihuahua, a community 45km from its Pinos Altos mine.
Agnico Eagle has been operating in Mexico for more than 10 years. During that time, the company has sought to go beyond its mining operations to make a difference in the lives of the people and communities close to its operations. In Mexico, it has three mining mine sites: Pinos Altos, Crestón Mascota and La India. It also has strong presence of exploration in different states.
In an interview with MBN, Luis Felipe Medina, Director General of Agnico Eagle Mexico, explained the company’s ESG efforts are based on four pillars. “First, respect for co-workers our people. We need people to trust us and choose us as their best work option. Second, being environmentally responsible. The third pillar is safety, a condition that must be guaranteed for the workers. Fourth, we have to understand our communities; that is, we have to be good neighbors. Even if we bring jobs and development, we must be humble and respect our communities,” said Medina.
Agnico Eagle says it is committed to communities and seeks to contribute to their economic development. The company's engagement initiatives during its mining projects include assigning staff for community relations, communicating with local stakeholders, conducting social impact assessments, monitoring its socioeconomic impact, having a social closure plan, and consultation with the communities.
In 2020, the Canadian Mining Association (MAC) awarded Agnico Eagle the Towards Sustainable Mining® (TSM) Award for Environmental Excellence, which is given to companies that go the extra mile to implement sustainable projects. The company won the award for its next-generation soil regeneration initiative through ultra-high-density grazing (UHDG) that allows it to grow its own topsoil.
TSM Excellence Awards recognize projects and initiatives that promote sustainable development within the mining sector. This year, Agnico Eagle again emerged a winner, taking the TSM Community Engagement Excellence Award, which is given to a mine for its outstanding achievements in community engagement in the past three years and for meeting some of these criteria:
- Innovative approaches to engaging with communities and ensuring they have a voice in important decisions.
- Collaboration with communities to address common goals.
- Initiatives to address a specific need.
- Initiatives in which a great impact is done with a strategic investment.
- Unique approaches to health and safety initiatives.
- Initiatives that provide lasting benefits to communities through self-sufficient programs.
- Collaboration with governments and communities to promote development programs.
Agnico Eagle is a major promoter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for which it recognizes the role the mining industry plays. For its project in Chihuahua, the company met the sixth goal of the SDGs, which is drinking water and sanitation. In 2018 and 2019, Agnico Eagle surveyed the Yepachic community to identify and understand its needs. The community requested water because its access was unstable and scarce, endangering the health of the inhabitants since their medical unit also did not have water.
The project required a pump that runs on electricity from 60 solar panels, the implementation of 6km of piping to create a new water network and more than 200 household accesses for water. Agnico Eagle’s success in ensuring clean water and implementing responsible water management in the community means Yepachic’s population of 1,120 now has direct access to clean water and with it, a better quality of life.