Abraham Tacho
Managing Director
WSP Mexico
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View from the Top

Deep Resources, Global Footprint Benefit End-to-End Advisory

By Paloma Duran | Wed, 02/02/2022 - 12:07

Q: Why should mining companies choose Golder, which has been acquired by WSP, for their transition to modern and environmentally friendly solutions?

A: Golder is now part of WSP, a 55,000-strong team of engineers, scientists and consultants in over 500 offices around the world. Around 14,000 belong to our world-leading Earth and Environment practice that can leverage a deeper bench of resources and a broader global footprint to better serve clients around the world.

Our industry-leading professionals share a common passion for technical excellence and innovation, delivering end-to-end environmental advisory and technical services to mining clients worldwide. We help our clients address the ever-evolving challenges that the Earth, environment and energy present to our client’s projects and operations.

Golder’s technical support for our clients covers the complete mine life cycle, from exploration, planning and design, development and operations, to closure. We have a special focus on key services, such as mine waste and water management, tailings storage, mine stability and geotechnical issues, environmental and permitting, mine closure and remediation.

Our mining clients can find the precise skill and knowledge their projects require to achieve and deliver the expected results.

Q: How is Golder helping mining companies drive productivity and operational improvement, while reducing their environmental impact?

A: One of our key objectives and that of the global innovation program of our parent company WSP, is to be Future Ready. With Future Ready, we analyze future trends through four key lenses, namely Climate, Society, Technology and Resources – all of which are relevant to our clients in the mining industry. We bring our clients solutions today to meet tomorrow’s challenges in their projects and developments.

Q: How can Golder’s solutions improve the performance of mining companies, regardless of the mine and market conditions?

A: The extensive knowledge and experience of our consultants, engineers and scientists can provide great solutions and value from the start of the design phase, which are then carried through development and on to operations and the optimization phases.

We are now positioned to play a pivotal role in the decades ahead in achieving a sustainable, equitable and prosperous future for our employees, clients, stakeholders and society at large.

Q: What aspects of the market are benefiting miners the most and how can miners take advantage of them?

A: Right now, we foresee that the market will continue to demand commodities to achieve and realize the desired greener future. Renewable energies, electric cars, smart cities and better public transportation require the minerals our clients produce. These requirements will increase as greener energies grow and are put in place, so we foresee continuous demand for commodities. The wider WSP is already working to design our sustainable communities of the future.

Also, our expertise is often called upon by mining industry organizations, like the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), and by international nongovernmental bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), that seek to inform and guide businesses with best-practice principles and approaches.

Q: What impact does incorporating the company’s engineering and environmental services in the early stages of the mine planning process have on the life of a mine?

A: There is a great impact for our clients because we can plan the most relevant aspects involved in a project’s approval and social licensing, from the beginning through the integrated work of multidisciplinary teams involved in the concept and development of our client’s projects.

Q: When do you recommend mines start to develop the social and mine closure elements of a project and why?

A: Our recommendation is to include the social license to operate and mine closure requirements early in the definition and design phases. This is the most effective way to include them. The later they are considered into the development stages, the more expensive that those considerations and the related project modifications are. Doing this earlier provides owners with full visibility of potential risks and mitigations. They also can allocate resources to cover the expenses related to those items. In a perfect world, the development, the social license to operate and mine closure considerations interact and influence one another to obtain the best results and reduce uncertainties.

Q: How much does the environmental and social impact of a company change if Golder’s closure and post-closure solutions are incorporated?

A: It could significantly change. It could be as important as defining the mining plans, water and waste management plans. For example, if we can design the mine from the very beginning, we can consult with our clients on the best way to manage all of those items to plan and design the most efficient route to a safe mine closure.

Q: How does Golder improve corporate accountability and transparency with host communities?

A: We are a global company, grounded in the communities in which we work and live. We are committed to contributing to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and have identified the goals that we contribute to the most through our client work and in our operations. We are connected to communities as individuals and as a company; we care, we conserve and we enhance community and natural environments. As such, we prepare and present sustainability reports in which we present our experience and ongoing efforts to achieve better communities with the projects we participate in.

Q: How well developed and enforced are Mexican standards regarding environmental and social responsibility and how is Golder helping its clients to go beyond them?

A: As mentioned earlier, our expertise is often called upon by mining industry organizations to inform and guide businesses with best practice principles and approaches. We apply those standards and best practices to our projects in conjunction with local standards, thus benefiting our clients and their project in the process.

Q: What challenges do you see in terms of efficient resource management, such as water?

A: There is no unique solution to this. We develop solutions to meet the present and future challenges of our clients. We have multidisciplinary teams that can investigate those challenges and offer the best possible solutions.

Golder is a global, specialized engineering and consulting organization with more than 60 years of experience. It provides engineering, remediation, regulatory and compliance, design, and environmental services for various industries, including mining. The company was acquired by WSP in 2021.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst