Barrick’s Hemlo Operation leads the way with Towards Sustainable Mining honour

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

Barrick Gold’s Hemlo Operation in Northwestern Ontario was presented with the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Leadership Award at a Mining Day on the Hill event in Ottawa last month.  Other Ontario Mining Association members to receive TSM accolades were De Beers Canada, Teck Resources and Xstrata.

“Whether in Canada or abroad, Barrick strives to meet high standards for corporate social responsibility,” said Kelvin Dushnisky, Barrick Executive Vice President Corporate and Legal Affairs.  “We are proud to see our Hemlo Operation recognized as a leader in responsible mining by Canada’s mining industry and congratulate everyone involved in this great achievement.”

“Barrick is only the second company to win a Leadership Award since the TSM Awards were inaugurated in 2006,” said MAC President Pierre Gratton.  “We are honoured to be receiving this special award,” said Roger Souckey, Superintendent of Employee Relations at Hemlo.  “At Hemlo, we place great value on our relationships with First Nations, local communities and on environmental stewardship.”  Mr. Souckey has been a member of the OMA Education and Outreach Committee since its inception in 2006.

Hemlo Operation received an “A” ranking in all TSM performance categories, which include tailings management, energy use, external outreach and crisis management planning.  The gold mining operation’s performance was independently monitored.  TSM categories have been expanded to include biodiversity conservation management, safety and health and Aboriginal and community outreach, which replaces the former external outreach category.

While Hemlo’s scores reflect leadership across all TSM categories, external outreach is a critical part of the operation’s – and Barrick’s – ongoing commitment to responsible mining.  Hemlo works with a wide range of communities of interest, including two local First Nations – Pic River and Pic Mobert – three municipalities and a national park.  About 10% of Hemlo’s workforce comes from local Aboriginal communities.

De Beers Canada’s Victor Mine, Ontario’s only diamond producing operation, was recognized for its achievements in the areas of tailings management, external outreach and crisis management.  “This is an excellent achievement, especially in light that 2010 was the first year our young Canadian mining operations formalized their participation in TSM and experienced their first independent third party assessment,” said Tony Guthrie, President and Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Canada.  “We are working together to make sure we are responsibly mining and making a difference for the communities close to our mines. 

Xstrata and Teck Resources along with Diavik Diamond Mines, the Iron Ore Company of Canada and Syncrude Canada were presented TSM awards for performance excellence in a number of categories. 

TSM was developed by MAC in 2004 to improve the mining industry’s performance by helping companies to manage their corporate responsibilities for social and environmental sustainability.  The industry has adopted a common set of measurable sustainability guidelines and performance indicators that provide a way for the sector to find common ground with communities of interest in order to build a better mining industry today and for the future.  Participation in TSM is a condition and responsibility of MAC membership.  The OMA congratulates all TSM winners.