CSR ABROAD – Vulnerable Groups

Vulnerable groups, such as women, children, ethnic minorities, the elderly, or land users without formal rights, often face higher risks from a mining operation.  Children for example are more susceptible to the emissions and pollutants associated with large mining projects. Companies have developed CSR practices that involve directly consulting and addressing the needs of these groups when operating abroad. Below are some examples of Canadian mining and exploration companies’ CSR practices that target vulnerable groups:

Responses by Company

Angkor Gold Corp.

The company trains and implements projects that bring women into the mining sector - making our sample bags, teaching and training the youth in exploration practices, etc…   We established a training centre on our property for educational programs in mapping, English, GPS, computer skills, water testing, agricultural skills, etc…

AuRico Gold Inc.

Sites are encouraged to work closely within the communities in which they operate. As such, they are very aware of any local issues such as those mentioned elsewhere.  Examples include our operating mine in Mexico which works closely with a local school and together have established a farm which now produces products for sale and exporting. The site has also worked with the local women of the Ejido and assisted them in developing a sewing workshop which now produces clothing for the mine site and other businesses in the area. The Mexican operation recently received recognition from the Mexican Government for being an example of a good Gender Equity employer.

Barrick Gold Corp.

Proactive community engagement helps us identify potentially vulnerable and marginalized groups in local communities, with the aim of mitigating potential impacts and helping ensure we invest in initiatives aimed at addressing their interests and needs.

Response continued

More information:

Delta Gold Corp.

A primary focus for us is Indigenous communities, youth, and women.

Goldcorp Inc.

Goldcorp provides specific guidance in our Stakeholder Engagement Tool to identify vulnerable populations and implement targeted and appropriate engagement. We recognize that groups considered as vulnerable populations are context specific and will vary from site to site.

Response continued

More information:

HudBay Minerals Inc.

Our corporate standards for stakeholder engagement and grievance mechanisms require the identification of vulnerable groups and specific rights holders within the local stakeholder population.  The standards require that engagement and grievance processes reflect the needs and rights of these groups.

Kinross Gold Corp.

Our stakeholder engagement programs specifically identify individuals or groups who may be particularly vulnerable to project impacts due to circumstances (e.g. individuals whose livelihood may be impacted by the project; people in small hamlets with limited representation by official authorities; retirees or others living on fixed income; etc…)

More information:

MBAC Fertilizer Corp.

The company develops, in accordance with the requirements in its own policies and the IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles, plans and programs that target land users without formal rights.  Such plans and programs include Social communications, Continued consultation, Stakeholder engagement, Community risk management, Community grievance management, Social issues, a Land acquisition framework, Resettlement planning, Socioeconomic monitoring, Community development, Public health, etc…

NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.

In all of our CSR activities, we reach out specifically to youth, women, and elders in the communities.  For example, in Alaska, we have specifically made significant region-wide investments of time and financial resources towards youth education and self-development.  We also strive to emphasize elder participation and knowledge sharing in our project planning and outreach efforts.

Sherritt International Corporation

Targeted engagement with vulnerable stakeholders occurs regularly. We have also developed specific programs for youth, women and indigenous peoples. One example: we partnered with UNICEF to address child exploitation issues in Madagascar.

Stans Energy Corp.

Contributions towards pension-less veterans, the rehabilitation of a local school and school supplies, and the repair of a village water supply.

In addition to this, we responded to a national call for medical assistance to a minority population in the south of the country that had been attacked in riots fomented by a political faction. Here we donated some medical supplies, food and diapers to an orphanage, about $10,000.

Other Practices

A company indicated that it has made efforts to give youth an appreciation of protection of their environment. It has given women job opportunities and has financed expansions of, and equipment for, a village clinic for the health of mothers and infants. All of the company’s CSR activities on its main project include activities with women and youth.

At a company’s information module, people of all ages can participate in dancing classes, music, theatre, knitting, reading club, soccer, and other activities. One of the company’s main working areas focuses on the preservation of social traditions, and so it works in coordination with the women and youth to promote important historical dates, and religious as well as traditional celebrations.


The following companies indicated that they have CSR practices that target vulnerable groups such as youth, women, elders, indigenous peoples, ethnic or religious minorities, or land users without formal rights, but declined to provide any further details:

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