Torex Gold Leads ESG Mining Efforts, Sets Ambitious 2022 GoalsBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 07/07/2022 - 14:50
Torex Gold has released its 2021 Responsible Gold Mining Report, the most comprehensive ESG disclosure it has provided to date. The latest report highlights Torex’s excellent performance in its environmental, social and governance areas last year. In addition, it outlines its new goals for 2022, which are expected to continue to position Torex as a leader in responsible gold mining.
Importantly, the Report is the first disclosure of its new organizational purpose statement, which is “To transform finite mineral resources into lasting prosperity by positively impacting all the lives we touch.”
Responsible mining is the foundation of Torex's business philosophy; it is central to every decision the Company makes. Since arriving in Mexico, the company, whose operations are located in a remote, underserved area, has prioritized promoting a strong culture and creating favorable conditions to improve the lives of its workers and host communities.
“From our earliest days, we built our operation in Guerrero with a view to running a business that was certainly about generating profit but also about minimizing our environmental footprint, building trust and partnership with local communities, creating prosperity for those who share stakes in Torex and fostering lasting economic development through community infrastructure and improvement initiatives,” said Jody Kuzenko, President and CEO of Torex.
Last year, Torex established high standards and clear metrics to improve its ESG management and performance in areas such as health and safety, environment, community, human rights and transparency. The company had 15 goals set for 2021 and successfully achieved 13, including the launch of a new website with a dedicated ESG Reporting Portal and a self-assessment against the World Gold Council Responsible Gold Mining Principles, which was independently assured. The remaining two goals — the implementation of human rights management systems aligned with RGMP requirements and digital systems for ESG data management — are in progress and the company expects to make significant headway this year.
In its 2021 Report, the Company stated that its main environmental achievements were obtaining environmental permits for the early construction work at the Media Luna project, zero reportable environmental spills, the signing of the International Code for Cyanide Management (ICMC), the adoption of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management and 100 percent compliance with environmental regulations.
With respect to social matters, the company achieved industry-leading safety performance with a lost-time injury frequency (LTIF) of 0.14 per million hours worked. For the fourth consecutive year, Torex received the ESR 2022 distinction from the Mexican Center for Philanthropy and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility in Mexico, and the Company was also the recipient of the 2021 Safety Award from Mining Magazine. In addition, the company successfully negotiated Community Development Agreements (CODECOPs) with 11 communities, directly invested US$4.1 million in community developments, spent US$74.7 million on purchases in Guerrero and reported that 99 percent of its employees were from Mexico, with 61 percent coming from Guerrero.
Regarding governance, for the third year in a row Torex earned the honoree status in the Globe and Mail's 2022 Report on Business’ “Women Lead Here.” It had 43 percent and 44 percent female representation on its executive team and the board of directors, respectively. In addition, Torex achieved its highest ISS corporate governance quality score and revised guidelines to improve share ownership among Directors and its executives.
The Company reported that compared to 2020, it significantly improved its ESG ratings in 2021, primarily due to continued improvements in its CDP Climate Change Questionnaire, as well as its disclosures in ISS, MSCI, Sustainalytics, Refinitiv and S&P Global.
In the Report, Torex also announced its goals and objectives for 2022, which include no lost-time injuries, continuing to implement SafeStart and SmartCap to build on safety excellence, and implementing a new Contractor Safety Management System. The Company will also seek zero reportable spills, continue to develop its climate change and energy management strategy, fully comply with its CODECOP commitments and carry out socioeconomic benefit studies. Torex will also develop an action plan to address its human rights recommendations and update its comprehensive human rights policy.
The Company said that although it made great progress in 2021, there is still room for improvement in many areas. Torex emphasized that with the greater development of its projects it hopes to generate an increasingly positive impact in Mexico.
“While we have come a long way in our ESG journey, we know there is a lot of good work to be done as we continue to live our organizational purpose. With big growth ambitions ahead of us, we will increase the positive impact we are making in Mexico and beyond, and continue to demonstrate what responsible gold mining looks like. That is the Torex way,” said Kuzenko.
Torex is the second-largest gold producer in the country and owns 29,000ha at the Morelos Gold Property in the Guerrero Gold Belt. Its assets include the El Limón Guajes Mining Complex (ELG), which began commercial production in 2016, and the Media Luna deposit, currently in an advanced stage of development. The Company has significant opportunities in Mexico, having only explored 25 percent of its highly prospective Morelos Property.