Running a large senior gold mining company comes with a tremendous responsibility to be a good neighbour to communities and to respect the environment. Kinross Gold, in accordance with their core values and principles, have made communities, and the environment, their top priorities.
Just north of the town of Paracatu in Brazil, Kinross operates one of the biggest open-pit gold mines in Brazil and the world. Here they have actually gone one step further and have become one more member of the town, acting as a neighbour, partner and supporter of the people of Paracatu.
Twenty-five years ago Paracatu fell behind in the Human Development Index compared to both their state, Minas Gerais, and Brazil. Today, however, Paracatu scores ahead of both, a remarkable achievement that shows Kinross’ positive effect in the community. Local development must be based on a long-term strategy, and in partnership with the mine, the Paracatu Sustainable Development Agency (ADESP) has launched the Paracatu 2030 initiative.
Founded by the passionate José Moraes, the agency’s main goal is to help the city become self-sufficient. José and his partners are very aware of the fact that mining is a finite activity. Paracatu 2030 is designed in such a manner that it coordinates all stakeholders in their drive for the development and sustainability of Paracatu, including the eventual closure of the mine.
Kinross also has its own set of social, skills and environmental development programmes aligned with Paracatu 2030. A skills-based entrepreneurial course has empowered, Lidiane Negredo to become an Environmental Monitor for the mine and city. The mine is located very close to the town which poses a set of obstacles; noise and dust from blasts to name but a few. Lidiane and her colleagues monitor these activities and report any inconveniences to the mine.
In the spirit of modern and responsible mining, Kinross Gold’s first two company values are ‘Putting People First’ and ‘Outstanding Corporate Citizenship’. It, therefore, immediately halts or adjusts mining operations and responds to community demands should a mining activity garner a complaint.
A key cog in their sustainability-wheel is the mine’s partnership with SEBRAE, a training institute for small and medium businesses. Here, employees and former employees are encouraged to start their own businesses, which can then become suppliers to the mine. Training further empowers them to grow into the larger market, helping to sustain the business even after the mine closes.
For Kinross, responsible mining is all about managing the daily impacts of operations while at the same time working with the community in its long-term development goals. The true legacy of a mining operation is an empowered, enriched, positive and vibrant community. Kinross is helping to empower the people in Paracatu.