Best Practices to Improve PerformanceBy Paloma Duran | Mon, 01/25/2021 - 13:51
Q: Coeur Mining reported its highest quarterly results in nearly a decade. What is Palmarejo’s role in the company’s overall performance?
A: Palmarejo is the largest contributor of gold production for the company. In 3Q20, it contributed 35 percent to the company’s production. The Palmarejo project began in 2009 and the original life of the project was forecast at seven years. However, thanks to our exploration team, we have extended the life of the mine. In the future, we will require specific analysis and a greater collaboration with the government to obtain the environmental permits we need to extend our presence in the area. Due to its geological and mineral potential, Palmarejo is a significant asset in Coeur Mining’s portfolio.
Q: What are the main pillars of tailings management at Palmarejo?
A: Coeur is highly committed to ESG practices and our mining perspective is oriented toward sustainability. Of our four operations, only two produce tailings. One factor to highlight is that the construction of the dam in Palmarejo was executed under Canadian parameters, which are considered to have higher standards. When the construction of Palmarejo began, we negotiated with the families who lived near the dam to relocate them out of the potential risk area. In addition, we determined that the dam would be built downstream and on solid rock, which provides greater stability and reduces the threat of a failure. Moreover, we monitor the stability of the rocks and walls in real time. These are connected to a system that reports everything that is happening. Every week, a report is sent to the person who designed and oversaw the dam’s construction so that he can analyze the data and inform us if there are any risks in order to implement any necessary measures.
Q: For how many years will Palmarejo operate?
A: Our exploration team is constantly working to extend the life of the mine and we are planning to implement an aggressive exploration program that will be Coeur’s most important exploration in Mexico. Coeur has high expectations for Palmarejo and we are excited to unlock its great potential.
Q: How does Coeur’s governance structure promote ESG practices?
A: Our purpose statement is We pursue a higher standard, which is supported by three fundamental principles: to protect the environment and people; to develop the company and our people; and to provide optimal results related to our social, environmental and operational performance. At Coeur Mining, we have an active and involved executive team that questions and monitors our daily performance and recommends best practices we can implement to improve our performance. Monitoring and analysis are embedded in our daily activities and much of our success is due to the congruence between our internal governance and our results.
Q: How is Coeur innovating management practices and technology related to water management and energy and emissions policy?
A: The Federal Electricity Commission powers our operations; we do not use generators, so our emissions are only those from CFE. Of course, the company has generators in case the electrical systems fail; however, these are not part of our daily operations. Moreover, the company constantly monitors and reports its results to the governmental authorities, which is part of our obligation to maintain our equipment, especially those that impact the environment. Regarding water, in 2020, we implemented a closed-circuit system in which there are zero discharges to the environment. Our tailings go to the dam, which previously underwent a neutralization process that allows us to lower the content of the solution below what SEMARNAT requires for tailings dams. The company has four water treatment plants that are responsible for treating the water for domestic consumption, which is used in our internal services. Coeur constantly seeks to reuse this water, allowing us to reduce our footprint. Moreover, the company carried out a study to understand the maximum scope in the event of a spill and elaborated an emergency management plan. The company takes several measures to reduce this possibility; however, this plan allows us to be prepared in case a spill occurs. In addition, the team that responds to these emergencies is in constant communication with state authorities to ensure a quick and effective response if an incident occurs.
Q: What are Coeur’s gender equity policies and how do you measure their results?
A: We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or inequality. We constantly promote an equity policy that increases the number of women working in the company. Coeur launched a program that employs people from nearby communities as trainees in several projects. With this plan, we sought to increase women’s participation; however, most of the applicants were men. As a result, we are now focusing on promoting gender equity not only in the company but also in the community. We do this so that people are aware that both men and women can work in any area of mining. Coeur Mexicana is also planning to implement a standard automotive program only for women. These programs seek to strengthen the presence of women in the mining sector.
Q: What is Coeur’s approach to community development and indigenous rights in Mexico?
A: One of our main values is to be good neighbors for the communities that are near our projects. There is not a specific indigenous community within our area of influence, only small groups. However, when we hold assemblies with the communities, we have an interpreter available so everything we say is translated into their dialect. This is unique to Coeur. These actions allow us to protect their right to be informed. Our company is constantly looking to strengthen our relationship with communities and our commitment to their well-being.
Coeur Mining is a mining company engaged in the production of precious metals and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It operates five mines located in North America. It employs 2,200 people and in 2012 was the ninth largest silver producer in the world. In 2013, the company moved its headquarters from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to Chicago.