CSR Abroad – Community Engagement

Community engagement refers to a company’s positive interactions with the individuals and groups affected by the company’s activities. Engagement might include, but is generally not limited to, local philanthropy, information dissemination, and/or consultations. Below are some examples of how Canadian mining and exploration companies have facilitated the participation of local communities and key stakeholders in the decisions that affect their wellbeing and livelihoods:

Responses by Company

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

We do stakeholder mapping and on a yearly basis and a communication/engagement plan is established for each site. We have a standard for grievance mechanism which leaves the local site the possibility of adapting the grievance mechanism locally. We have community relations personnel that take care of the complaints and they have guidelines as to when and how they respond.

American Potash Corp.

In conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the company developed an Exploration Plan and completed a comprehensive Environmental Assessment/Impact Report. Both products were vetted through the local communities (scoping periods, public comment periods). There will be ongoing community communication and presentations as the project advances.

American Vanadium Corp.

There is community and stakeholder engagement during all phases of project development and permitting. This will continue into construction and operations.

Angkor Gold Corp.

The company holds monthly meetings referred to as FPIC meetings for Free Prior Informed Consent. We inform the communities of the process of our exploration activities and they identify their concerns, their needs, and what participation they want to see to advance the project. We hold these monthly with each community.

Response continued

A grievance committee is established by representatives from the community, the company, and the third party, if appropriate. Grievances are heard, the committee makes recommendation for remedy and it is addressed at the FPIC meeting.

AuRico Gold Inc.

Each site has in place a site based committee who are in constant communication with members of the local communities and Ejido in the areas in which we operate or have exploration projects. Where exploration or developing projects are being undertaken, the company has established consultation committees to discuss aspects of the planned or proposed work.

Response continued

These committees meet on a regular basis to discuss the operations and allow for those in attendance to ask questions regarding operations or exploration sites.

Community personnel are encouraged to contact the site directly or raise issues through the site-based committees.

Banro Corporation

In launching exploration activities at each site, Banro also began consulting with and sensitizing local communities to its activities. Among the goals of this early consultation was gaining understanding of the social fabric of the community, including the composition of the indigenous and local migrant populations; two groups with very different interests and issues. In educating people about Banro’s activities, company geologists offer ongoing meetings and public presentations about exploration and mining activities, and host community open houses at the exploration camp.

Response continued

For example, community education about the mineral exploration process and the impact of future mining activities began in Namoya with the start of exploration in late 2004. In 2012, prior to construction activities at Namoya, community leaders and Banro created a new framework for community consultation built around a Community Repositioning Forum and supported by sub-committees. The Forum meets on a quarterly basis and is chaired by the chef de secteur, who is the senior local representative of the provincial government. Membership on the Forum is broadly representative of the community and includes traditional tribal authorities, civil society, artisanal miners, youth, women and religious groups. The sub-committees deal with outstanding resettlement and compensation matters and such issues as artisanal mining, employment and agriculture. 

In October 2013, the Namoya mine organized an educational trip for key representatives of the provincial administration and the local community to the Iduapriem mine in Ghana. The goal was to give community leaders an understanding of the impact on a community of a mature mining operation and a more informed perspective for representing their constituents.

Barrick Gold Corp.

Engagement with local communities helps improve our understanding of local cultures, priorities and concerns, and helps us identify the most effective ways to share the benefits of mining with our local stakeholders. As such, engaging with – as well as managing our impacts on – local communities is as important to us as any part of the business and is vital to the success and sustainability of our operations.

Response continued

Barrick has made community engagement a core part of our Community Relations Management System (CRMS). The CRMS requires our sites to develop formal Stakeholder Engagement Plans by defining expectations for planning, implementing and monitoring engagement activities. These plans must, at minimum, include: stakeholder identification, mapping and analysis; planned engagement and communication activities; objectives, responsibilities and monitoring mechanisms for effective implementation; among other requirements. Embedding community engagement within a corporate management system gives us confidence that we are taking a consistent, comprehensive and transparent approach in every community where we operate. Barrick also has in place specific guidance for community engagement for our exploration teams. Our Exploration Community Relations Guidebook provides the exploration teams with the tools and knowledge they need to engage with communities in a professional and transparent manner. Engagement activities vary between sites and over time. They may include town-hall meetings, participation in dialogue tables, informal door-to-door meetings, formal liaison meetings, newsletters, mine tours, and other culturally relevant and appropriate approaches.

More information:

Effective community engagement relies on communities having access to a culturally-appropriate way to voice their concerns directly to mine site personnel. Since 2014, all of Barrick’s operations have had a grievance mechanism in place. Our Community Relations Management System (CRMS) specifies a number of detailed mandatory requirements to help ensure the effective set up and management of grievance mechanisms. These mechanisms help ensure we can resolve a grievance and provide remedy to the satisfaction of the complainant. They provide community members with a predictable and accessible way of expressing their concerns, as well as enable our community relations teams to monitor local concerns and measure our performance in addressing them.

More information:

Brazil Resources Inc.

In certain cases the process for mutual exchange of information or communication with local communities is governed by processes instituted by federal, state and municipal governments.Footnote 1

Cameco Corporation

Cameco has a strong community engagement program which has formed positive relationships with northern communities. Community engagement is an iterative process –the company continues to improve its engagement practices while developing relationships of mutual respect in place of one-off consultations. This process is formalized in our recent collaboration, partnership and impact management agreements signed with key stakeholders, creating an engagement mechanism based in best practice.

Response continued

Building on our past experience, we can put proactive plans in place, with input from our key stakeholders, which will provide us with an engagement approach that meets their needs and some level of predictability for both the company and its key stakeholders.

Individuals from outside the company can use our website to submit grievances, which are then e-mailed to the respective individuals within the company. Internally, Cameco employees can access our Cameco Ethics hotline to begin the grievance process.

More information:

Delta Gold Corp.

We initiate contact very early in the process and make it a priority to develop effective lines of communication at both the leadership and grassroots level. Our communication and information sharing are very open. We seek direct community involvement in the evaluation, planning, development and operating phases of our activities. This is especially true of Indigenous communities.

We have a whistleblower policy and all our executives and Board members are easy to reach.

Goldcorp Inc.

All of our sites have stakeholder engagement maps to help identify whom we should engage on specific issues. Eight sites had engagement plans in place in 2013. Whether through formal or informal channels, representatives from our mines meet regularly with local stakeholders. These sessions help us to understand and address local issues and to communicate important information about Goldcorp’s policies and programs. Sites also track complaints, inquiries and requests. Receiving this type of communication can often be an important way to understand our stakeholders’ concerns and priorities.

Response continued

More information:

Commitments listed in Goldcorp’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy include the establishment of grievance mechanisms based on international best practices. Goldcorp acknowledges the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, which means that the company and its subsidiaries must act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others. In light of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, we also acknowledge that sound grievance procedures, particularly related to human rights, contribute to the “access to remedy” pillar included in the guiding principles. Grievances may come from both internal and external stakeholders. Examples of internal stakeholders include employees, former employees and contractors. External stakeholders are those such as local communities, civil society and government. At Goldcorp we have two formal channels for receiving complaints and grievances, and other informal channels, which are implemented on a site-by-site basis. The first of the two formal mechanisms is our Ethics from the Ground Up program, which includes a hotline, dedicated email address and mailing address to receive complaints, questions and concerns related to the implementation of our Code of Conduct. While any person can access this mechanism, it is most often accessed by our employees and contractors. We encourage employees to bring concerns and complaints to their supervisors and human resources staff on-site, but we recognize that often people want a degree of separation and neutrality. The initial complaint is received in confidence by an external third party, and the cases are investigated and resolved by the corporate Ethics Committee. Complaints raised through the system are not limited to human rights issues, and include a wide range of concerns such as fraud or theft. The most frequent potential human rights impacts raised through the system are from cases related to discrimination and harassment. The second system is the Community Response System, which is also accessible by anyone but specifically geared to local communities and other external stakeholders. While each Community Response System at our operating sites is tailored to the local context, they are all designed to comply with the Goldcorp Grievance Mechanism Framework. Goldcorp’s projects are at various stages of formalizing their Community Response Systems. Interim channels exist through their community relations teams. Éléonore and Cerro Negro finalized their systems in 2013 and will be implementing them in 2014. Some overlap may exist between these channels. Due to the confidential nature of grievance management, as well as the ability of a stakeholder to escalate their grievance through multiple channels, verifying at the corporate level the precise number by category has proven difficult.

More information:

HudBay Minerals Inc.

We do not have a uniform process across all our locations, but we do have a stakeholder engagement standard that requires all locations to have a plan for engaging with local communities based on assessment of the degree of connection between each community and the projects. The standard requires that the engagement process shares information regarding the impacts and opportunities of our activities and records and responds to feedback from community stakeholders.

Response continued

We have a corporate standard requiring each location to have an appropriate grievance mechanism, including requirements that the process is formal and structured, accessible, confidential, and the grievances and outcomes are tracked. Each site implements this according to local conditions which varies from the use of a "complaint" hotline at a Canadian operation, to a process facilitated by specific community relations personnel working out of community offices in Peru.

Kinross Gold Corp.

Our Site Responsibility Plans (SRPs) provide a framework for planning and implementing stakeholder engagement strategies that support our commitments to our host communities. Through active engagement and dialogue, our goal is to keep our neighbours informed about our activities, and provide them with opportunities to raise issues of interest or express their concerns. We seek at all times to respond to those concerns with promptness and clarity.

Response continued

Each Kinross site has established a formal mechanism for community engagement. By engaging with stakeholders, we identify strategic areas where our operations can support long-term community development. Across all Kinross sites, we engaged with over 84,000 stakeholders in 2013 and reviewed a total of 27 community grievances.

More information:

The key elements for engagement: stakeholder identification and mapping, an engagement and consultation plan, and tools for monitoring and measuring progress; are in place at all of our sites. Each Kinross site has standing mechanisms where community and site interactions can be discussed effectively with representatives of key stakeholder groups. In addition, community grievance mechanisms are in place at all of our operations.

More information:

To minimize the effects of the blasting on the neighbouring community in Paracatu, Kinross has taken a number of measures, including using the most technologically advanced electronic explosives available resulting in a 2 millimetre per second blast average, which is far below the maximum 15 millimetres permissible by law in Brazil. Community members participate in the daily monitoring of the ore blasting to ensure the Company is meeting its regulatory commitments in terms of noise and vibration levels.

More information:

MBAC Fertilizer Corp.

We have a Community Relationship department with time fully dedicated to engaging with the local communities. We also have several public hearings per year.

Nortec Minerals Corp.

It is important to the Company to cultivate, sustain and maintain good friendships, relationships and partnerships with the people that reside in the surrounding communities in the areas in which we conduct our corporate operations. It is paramount for Nortec to respect and honour the local customs and traditions of all people that live in the communities of each region within the Country where we carry out our day to day corporate activities. It is Nortec's intent to maintain social responsibility values.

NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.

Our projects are on Indigenous lands in the U.S. Through our agreements with these Indigenous landowners, we have formal requirements for ongoing dialogue and communication. Beyond this, we maintain informal communication with key stakeholder contacts on essentially a daily basis. Because our projects are on Indigenous lands, we must ensure that they are active participants in our decision- making processes.

Sherritt International Corporation

Some examples of community engagement include: Engaging regularly with committees that represent particular communities; undertaking public consultations, targeted and broad stakeholder outreach and communications, and formal and informal interactions that are documented in our stakeholder engagement database; and processing and responding to questions and complaints through a grievance mechanism.

Response continued

A grievance mechanism system has been put in place for reporting, assessing, and addressing all complaints; where a complaint is defined as “a claim or grievance filed by an individual or a group within the communities affected by the operations of the company.” Types of grievances include: physical or financial damage; risks linked to health, safety, and the environment; all forms of harassment; improper or immoral behavior.

Stans Energy Corp.

The company’s process for mutual exchange of information or communication with the local community includes regular meetings with village elders.

Suncor Energy Inc.

We seek to identify and enter into business development opportunities with community partners. We have a grievance mechanism and we have engagement plans with all key community stakeholders.

Our grievance mechanism was implemented corporate wide in 2014 and provides a well-documented and monitored forum for our stakeholders to use. It was also implemented in our international operation in Libya in conformance with the Ruggie principles.

Other Practices

A company has a whistleblower policy and provisions in its code of business and its anti-corruption and anti-bribery policy that provide a mechanism for submission of concerns. Concerns can be submitted through the chain of reporting authority or directly to an individual in upper management.

A company indicated that when a project has advanced with good technical results to the point where it may begin to impact the community in important ways it begins a series of town hall meetings where the project is explained to the community and all concerns are respectfully listened and responded to. By means of explanatory videos, tours of the work area and feedback to the community from local personnel receiving training and working on the project, the community gradually comes to understand the impact and benefits of the project.

A company explained that in situations where the local population has had no exposure to the mining industry, it works hard to educate the local population on mining, by making informed persons available to discuss potential impacts of mining activity and exposing the local population as much as possible to actual mining operations. Where the project is sufficiently advanced, the company would open an information office in the area which is open to the public on a daily basis. The office has trained staff to consider any grievance issues. The operating staff are also sensitive to such matters and are prepared to deal with these when they may arise. Questions are regularly dealt with and information sessions are held to explain operations as the project advances through various engineering phases towards possible production.


The following companies indicated that they have a process or plan for mutual exchange of information or communication with local communities and key stakeholders, but declined to include any further details:

  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Handa Copper Corp.
  • Unigold Inc.

The following companies indicated that they have a grievance mechanism in place, but declined to include any further details:

  • Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Unigold Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Memorandums of Understanding:

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • AuRico Gold Inc.
  • Banro Corporation
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Cameco Corporation
  • Canadian International Minerals Inc.
  • Foran Mining Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Gorilla Minerals Corp.
  • HudBay Minerals Inc.
  • Jiminex Inc.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • Mezzotin Minerals Inc.
  • Mustang Minerals Corp.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Sherritt International Corporation
  • Silvercorp Metals Inc.
  • Skyharbour Resources Ltd.
  • Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Tashota Resources Inc.
  • Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Exploration Agreements:

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • AuRico Gold Inc.
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Foran Mining Corporation
  • Gorilla Minerals Corp.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
  • MBAC Fertilizer Corp.
  • Mezzotin Minerals Inc.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Red Pine Exploration Inc.
  • Rhyolite Resources Ltd.
  • Skyharbour Resources Ltd.
  • Strata Minerals Inc.
  • Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Tashota Resources Inc.
  • Typhoon Exploration Inc.
  • Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Impact and Benefit Agreements:

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • AuRico Gold Inc.
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Cameco Corporation
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Foran Mining Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Gorilla Minerals Corp.
  • Great Lakes Graphite Inc.
  • MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
  • Muskrat Minerals Incorporated
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Red Pine Exploration Inc.
  • Sherritt International Corporation
  • Softrock Minerals Ltd.
  • Suncor Energy Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Community Development Initiatives:

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • American Vanadium Corp.
  • Angkor Gold Corp.
  • Banro Corporation
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Cameco Corporation
  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Gorilla Minerals Corp.
  • HudBay Minerals Inc.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • MBAC Fertilizer Corp.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.
  • Sherritt International Corporation
  • Softrock Minerals Ltd.
  • Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Unigold Inc.
  • Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Community Contracts:

  • American Potash Corp.
  • Banro Corporation
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd.
  • MBAC Fertilizer Corp.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Red Pine Exploration Inc.
  • Skyharbour Resources Ltd.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Landowner Agreements:

  • American Vanadium Corp.
  • Angkor Gold Corp.
  • AuRico Gold Corp.
  • Axe Exploration Inc.
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Cameco Resources Corp.
  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Dios Exploration Inc.
  • Endeavour Silver Corp.
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Great Lakes Graphite Inc.
  • HudBay Minerals Inc.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • MBAC Fertilizer Corp.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.
  • Sherritt International Corporation
  • Softrock Minerals Ltd.
  • Strata Minerals Inc.
  • Tashota Resources Inc.
  • Typhoon Exploration Inc.
  • Unigold Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Shared Responsibility Agreements:

  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Mezzotin Minerals Inc.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Investment Agreements:

  • Agnico Eagle Mines Limited
  • Banro Corporation
  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Kinross Gold Corporation
  • MBAC Fertilizer Corp.
  • Mezzotin Minerals Inc.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • Strata Minerals Inc.
  • Tashota Resources Inc.
  • Unigold Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Special Trust Funds:

  • Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Cameco Resources Corp.
  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Goldcorp Inc.

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Empowerment Agreements:

  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Delta Gold Corporation

The following companies indicated that they confirm commitments with the community(ies) through Community Joint Ventures:

  • Banro Corporation
  • Candente Copper Corp.
  • Delta Gold Corporation
  • Goldcorp Inc.
  • Nortec Minerals Corp.
  • NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.
  • Stans Energy Corp.

In addition to the above types of commitments:

American Potash Corp. indicated that it developed an Exploration Plan and completed a comprehensive Environmental Assessment/Impact Report in conjunction with the US Bureau of Land Management, in which both products were vetted through the local communities (including scoping periods and public comment periods).

Cartier Resources Inc. indicated that while not yet past early exploration stages, if and when projects graduate to a higher level of exploration development it anticipates MOUs and IBAs.

Casa Minerals Inc. indicated that it follows a permitting process for exploration work with provincial governments, and connects good relations with local First Nations.

Delta Gold Corporation indicated they have developed a “Cooperation Agreement”.

Suncor Energy Inc. indicated they seek to identify and enter into business development opportunities with community partners.