World-Class Operator Thrives As Local Development EngineMon, 10/22/2018 - 17:12
An aware and vigilant society demands more socially responsible mine operations. Industrias Peñoles, a world class base metals producer, believes that miners’ commitment to CSR must be based on a collaborative approach that is inclusive of staff and local communities. Furthermore, it must be an extension of mining companies’ business models and underpinned by long-term relations with workers’ families, local leaders, authorities and institutions in the areas of operation. More than being preached, a CSR industry commitment must be quantified. In 2017 that of Peñoles amounted to a monthly economic revenue of MX$1.5 billion for the communities surrounding its mines.
The operator actively participates as a national economic engine for mining communities’ development, building a long trajectory for its education, health, culture and infrastructure investment programs. Besides promoting development around its operations, Peñoles' initiatives also intend to create community self-reliance after the closure of its mines. For example, in 2017 the company carried out 1,169 social programs across 59 communities in 10 states of Mexico and three localities in Peru. The entrepreneurship program has proven to be one of the most successful as it fosters business ownership in local communities. In 2017 alone, this program consulted on the creation of 31 startups in Torreon, which in turn boosted economic growth with 78 new jobs to date.
Health issues derived from mine operations is another industry stigma to be addressed to prove mining can be socially responsible. Peñoles, in alliance with Fundación UNAM, promotes Health Workshops in its mines. In 2017 these workshops carried out 2,165 dentist appointments, 2,312 optometrist appointments and donated 2,138 pairs of glasses. Also, the Healthy Lifestyle Program was designed to promote a prevention culture based on a nutritious diet and exercise to anticipate and control chronic degenerative conditions.
As for education, the ultimate engine of any population, the Centro de Estudios Tecnológicos de Laguna del Rey (CETLAR) has been a training alternative for low-income youth over the last 20 years. Once their CELTAR studies are completed, graduates are offered the chance to work for the company and continue pursuing professional and academic growth. Peñoles’ educative institution has had over 543 graduates up to date. Its community centers in Coahuila are another alternative for children and teenagers to develop life skills. These currently have over 464 students enrolled and aim to regenerate the social tissue of the communities.