Mining, Sustainable Development and First Nations, Our New Frontier – by Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British Columbia

Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British ColumbiaThis speech was given to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) – North Central Branch, Prince George, British Columbia on June 26, 2008 by Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia.

Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here to give what is, in fact, my maiden speech as President and CEO of The Mining Association of British Columbia. Actually, it’s a pre-maiden speech, because I don’t officially take the helm until next Monday.

I am also pleased that Prince George has reconstituted its CIM branch after a few years of dormancy – congratulations on this initiative. This is a trend we are seeing across the country and it reflects the strong period of growth we are in. But your resurgence is not just a good indicator of our good times. CIM and its many branches have a unique role to play across our country in getting the message out about our industry. You help to demonstrate to society that ours is a safe, dynamic, progressive sector committed to excellence, the sharing of best practices, technology and innovation.

I urge you to reach out and grow this branch and to look to play an active role in this community. One clear example of this is the leadership that our sector demonstrates in health and safety, with mining now the safest heavy industry in British Columbia – a tremendous accomplishment built on strong and respectful relationships between mine management, labour and government that we can all be very proud of.

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CVRD Opens its Doors to Local Communities in Brazil

Luana Andreza Ferreira took part in the CVRD Community Visits Program in Minas GeraisThe following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

Guided tours help bring together CVRD and local town residents

Ever since she can remember, Luana has looked out over the same intriguing landscape from her window. Every day the 19-year-old from Minas Gerais asked herself how it would feel to be there, inside the mine she sees day after day on the far horizon. Then, last November, she was finally able to satisfy her curiosity by taking part in the CVRD Community Visits Program.

The program started in 2003 with the aim of bringing CVRD and local communities near its facilities closer together, and covers the states of Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Pará and Maranhão. Bernadete Almeida, Communities Communication coordinator at CVRD, explained, “Surveys showed that we were perceived as being ‘distant’ by some groups. There was also concern as to the environmental impact of our activities. We realized that people were interested in learning more about what we do and that many would like to see a mine with their own eyes. That’s why we created the Visits Program, to open the Company’s doors to receive anybody living in the cities and regions where CVRD is present.”

The story of Luana Andreza Ferreira is a case in point. She lives in Gabiroba de Cima, a neighborhood of Itabira (Minas Gerais) and has grown up surrounded by CVRD. Of her nine uncles, eight work in companies that provide services to CVRD, as does her brother. Nevertheless, she never really knew much about the company. “I thought they only mined the ore. Now I know that they also replant the landscapes, re-cultivating the natural ground cover and forest in the places where the Company operates,” she explained.
The visits to the mines are always a good opportunity to make the public aware of how important a role iron ore plays in modern life.

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Caterpillar Funds Sustainable Mining Movie at Science North -by Nick Stewart

This article was first published in Northern Ontario Business, a newspaper that has been providing northerners with relevant and insightful editorial content, business news and information for over 25 years.

Students around the world may soon be viewing and discussing Ground Rules, an educational film detailing the positive side of mining, crafted by Science North and commissioned by equipment giant Caterpillar.

Dan Hellige, manager of safety and sustainable development with Caterpillar’s global mining group, says the movie was necessary so as to highlight the more positive elements of the sector. “I have a niece, who in the Fifth Grade, read
Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, in the classroom so they’re really only getting the one side of the story a lot of the time about what’s going on with industry and business,” says Hellige.

“We felt like it was a good time to tell the other side of the story, especially for the mining industry’s efforts and what they put in.”

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Vale CEO Roger Agnelli Sustainability Report Message

Vale 2007 Sustainability Report

Click here for the Vale 2007 Sustainability Report

Vale CEO Roger Agnelli

Sustainability is essential for the feasibility of mining activities and for regional and community development where we operate

It is with great pleasure that I present to you Vale´s 2007 Sustainability Report, prepared according to the GRI guidelines, in its updated version the G3. Communication of this information shows Vale’s commitment to transparency in our activities and the improvement of internal sustainability management, in which we will continue to aggressively invest in the coming years.

The last three years were exceptional for Vale. We exceeded all our objectives in production, investment and value generation to our shareholders. During 2007, we consolidated the acquisition of Inco Limited, which occurred in October 2006, and acquired AMCI Holdings Australia Pty, in February 2007, two leading companies in the nickel and coal industries, respectively. With our expanded product portfolio, Vale became the second largest diversified mining company in the world, with operations in 34 countries on five continents. These results were only made possible through the work and dedication of our employees, to whom I extend my sincere gratitude.

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Vale School Programs Pass With Honors – by Sergio France

CVRD School Program Almost Ten Years OldThe following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

CVRD school program approaches its tenth anniversary and celebrates its positive results

 “I now enjoy studying more.  Before the program, I felt embarrassed and had difficulty with some reading.  Now I’m not embarrassed about anything and can read without a problem. “Testimonies like this one by Layla Leite Soares, who is ten and a pupil at the Henrique Rodrigues de Barros Hall School, in the district of Penha the Capim, in Aimorés (MG), represent significant pedagogical advances.  And they reflect a host of similar reports in the 24 Brazilian municipal districts covered by the school that Vale (EQV), or “CVRD School program(1), set up in 1999 by the CVRD Foundation (FVRD), in partnership with the Municipal Departments of Education and the Center for Education and Documentation for Community Action (Cedac) (2).

The program was set up to improve public education sector by qualifying and training teachers and pupils.  Today the program covers 450 schools, reaching more than 90 thousand people.  Nearing the end of its tenth year in existence, the program has had significant results, such as in the case of Curionópolis, in Pará  “One of the effects of the project has been the drop in the numbers of students failing their exams in our local schools.  In 2001, around 43% failed – by 2006, this had dropped to 19.5%,” says Maria do Amparo Costa e Silva, the Secretary of Education for the district.

 Although the statistics speak for themselves, the real merits of the Vale School program that go beyond the rise in the numbers of pupils in the public system passing their exams.  The program’s methodology is geared towards the exercise of citizenship and encouragement.  The idea is that to be a citizen in school is to learn about local and universal matters, to be treated with dignity, to have access to up-to-date, quality materials and equipment; to have the opportunities to develop one’s capacities, and to share experiences and opinions. 

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Vale’s Brazilian Tree Factory – By Francisco Luiz Noel

Vale plants about six million native trees every year in Brazil throughout its mining operationsVale is a Brazilian mining company that is committed to the protection and scientific knowledge of Brazil’s globally significant biodiversity. Vale protects more than 1.3 million of hectares of primary forests in the Amazonian and Atlantic regions of Brazil and plants about six million native trees per year in its various mining projects throughout the country.  

The following article was first published in Engagement, Vale’s magazine for socially responsible and sustainable mining.

From the Vale Nature Reserve in Linhares (Espirito Santo) come 4.5 million seedlings per year for forest regeneration projects

From seedlings barely a hand’s width in height have come mighty trees that have helped to rescue the green of the Atlantic Forest in various parts of Brazil. This has also been happening in various parts of Espírito Santo’s capital Vitória: on the city’s hillsides and at the Vale Botanical Garden located in the Industrial Port Complex of Tubarão, as well as in the historic Convent of Our Lady of Penha, in neighboring Vila Velha. Natives of Espírito Santo, known as capixabas, have given their endorsement to this growth with the more than 450,000 visits paid to the park since 2004, while seedlings are also being planted in the states of Maranhão, Pará and Minas Gerais. With appropriate environmental technology and tropical silviculture, Vale is contributing to restoration of the ecosystem in the cities where it operates, for the sake of the quality of life and the conservation and safeguarding of biodiversity.

The source of this environmental undertaking is the Vale Nature Reserve, located in Linhares, in northern Espírito Santo. A national model for the planting of seedlings of species from the Atlantic Forest, it has a production capacity of 55 million seedlings per year, involving 800 species from some of the ecosystems of this biome. A great many of the seeds used for this production are gathered in the reserve’s 22,000 hectares – 40% of what remains of the old-growth Atlantic Forest in the state.

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Making Sustainability part of Vale’s DNA by Renato Amorim – Vale Director of International Public Affairs

Vale employees working at the seedling nursery in its nature reserveThe International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is a CEO-led industry group that addresses key priorities and emerging issues within the minerals sector. The following article came from the ICMM newsletter.

Brazil-based mining giant Vale is building sustainability into its long-term success. Vale Director of International Public Affairs Renato Amorim offers a snapshot of recent developments.

Over the past few years Vale has undergone a major process of expansion and diversification to become the second largest company in the mining and metals sector. Its approach to sustainability is evolving in parallel with this expansion, guided by the company’s mission to ‘transform mineral resources into sustainable development and prosperity’.

Vale’s 2006 acquisition of Inco for US$18.9 billion represented the largest ever made by a Brazilian company. Expansion has continued apace, and the company is now responsible for almost one-fifth of Brazil’s trade balance, as well as being world number two in the mining and metals sector. Such rapid growth has brought growing awareness of social and environmental issues.

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International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) – An Introduction

The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is a CEO-led industry group that addresses key priorities and emerging issues within the minerals sector. It seeks to play a leading role by promoting good practice and improved performance internationally and across different commodities. ICMM provides a platform for industry and other key stakeholders to share …

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Norilsk Nickel CEO Denis Morozov on Sustainable Mining

OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel General Director, Chairman of the Management Board Denis S. MorozovThe following excerpt by General Director, Chairman of the Management Board Denis S. Morozov is from the OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel 2007 Social Report which is available at: Norilsk Nickel 2007 Social Report

Dear readers,

OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel is pleased to present the social report for 2007 which represents another step forward by the company in disclosing information regarding various aspects of its operations and activities concerned with sustainable development. At the core of our development strategy and our everyday business is the belief that consistent observance of social responsibility principles is a prerequisite for sustained and effective development of business.

In 2007, the Company continued the successful implementation of the adopted development strategy, modernised the existing production facilities, provided for further development of the unique resource base and entry to the Russia’s new regions.

In 2007, the Company significantly expanded the geography of its operations. OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel successfully completed the transaction to acquire nickel business of OM Group Inc. and consolidated 100% shares of LionOre Mining International Ltd.1

The purchase of LionOre is the largest foreign acquisition in the history of Russian business. Today, MMC Norilsk Nickel is a leader of international metal markets with excellent outlook for further development.

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Barrick Gold and World Vision Fight Child Malnutrition in Peru

Photo-Philip Maher, World Vision

In the mountainous rural regions of Peru, malnutrition affects six out of every 10 children. Many children living in poverty subsist on a daily diet limited to basic starches like potatoes, while lacking other essential food groups. This daily diet may relieve hunger, however it fails to support proper growth and development or defend against diseases.

Barrick and World Vision Canada have teamed up with local residents in a collaborative approach to tackle these problems in communities surrounding the company’s mines in Peru. The project started in May 2003, when Barrick made an initial commitment of US$1 million over five years to help impoverished families near its Pierina mine. Building on the success of the first program, in 2007 Barrick contributed a further US$1.3 million to start up a similar project near its Lagunas Norte mine in northern Peru. World Vision has complemented Barrick’s funding thorough its popular child sponsorship program, which is supporting over 3,000 children in these areas.

“Our partnership with World Vision is based on a shared vision of children free from the dangers of malnutrition and illness, with access to clean water and education,” says Greg Wilkins, Barrick President and CEO, “Strong, healthy children are able to perform better in school and can go on to achieve their potential later in life.” 

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Barrick Gold/NGO Partnership Makes Dental Care in Tanzania a Reality

Dentist from Bridge2Aid in Rural Tanzania Photo Supplied by Barrick GoldOver 5,000 villagers living in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria area have received free emergency dental care, thanks to a unique partnership Barrick established with Bridge2Aid in 2003. Bridge2Aid is a British NGO specializing in providing dental care in Tanzania, where experts estimate 70 to 90 per cent of the population have no access to dental care.  

Barrick’s involvement began five years ago, when the company’s chief medical officer, Dr. Rob Barbour, recognized that dental problems were becoming increasingly serious at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania. In many cases, employees were experiencing significant pain and infection associated with oral health issues. At that time there was only one option: patients were referred to a dentist in Dar es Salaam, over 800 kilometers away. As a result, employees spent more time away from the mine site and productivity began to suffer.

Meanwhile, for other residents living in the Lake Victoria area where Barrick’s mines are located, oral health care was virtually out of reach. This lack of accessible dental services reflects a larger, country-wide trend. Today in Tanzania there is only one dentist for every 300,000 people, in contrast to the United States where there is one dentist for every 1,700 people. Moreover, many economically disadvantaged Tanzanians lack the income to pay for and maintain good oral health.

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