Preparing for Closure at Cerro San Pedro: Providing Access to Relevant Training and Implementing a Sustainable Development Plan
We integrate social responsibility into our operations, as we see it adding real value to our company. We work hard at building trust and being a good neighbour. We collaborate with our communities to enhance sustainability and maximize the benefits of our presence, by promoting entrepreneurship and providing capacity building.
As we approach our phased mine closure at Cerro San Pedro, we want to ensure that our legacy is a positive one concerning the environment and the sustainability of the communities surrounding our site. In 2015, we implemented a detailed plan for workforce reductions and redeployment, as we draw closer to the cessation of mining activities. To ensure the effect on our people was minimized during this difficult transition, we implemented several initiatives, including training programs and workshops developed by local public and private institutions. Our objective is to maximize the creation of opportunities for our employees and local residents in order to minimize any negative impacts as we transition to a post-closure phase.
The workshop “Yo Emprendo”, a partnership with the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, is a good illustration of our collaborative work. This capacity-building component of our Community Entrepreneurship Development Program delivers training designed to develop entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation and business education. Over 70 local residents attended the workshop during 2015, including members of our workforce and surrounding community who were considering starting new businesses.
Another part of our Community Entrepreneurship Development Program is the establishment and support for the “Desarrollo Cerro San Pedro” – a team whose sole aim is to assist in the development and support of small business activities within the communities. This group was formed by volunteers from within the communities surrounding the mine site and was facilitated by New Gold with guidance from Sustainable Economic Futures (SEF) Canada. In its first nine months of operation, this project has been responsible for the creation of at least one new business, four business expansions, the provision of 17 jobs and assistance to over 100 local people. This is just the start!
Other education courses and workshops provided training in budgeting and financial planning, computer skills, automotive mechanics, and electrical and plumbing certification. Community members and employees have also developed new skills and knowledge as they learn about conflict resolution through mediation and human rights training.
For our employees, our outplacement plan has offered a set of preparation courses to assist in expanding aptitudes for job searching, interviews and leadership, as well as exploring different employment sources for opportunities.
We are proud of our achievements to date and confident that our activities will play a role in cultivating a legacy of long-lasting positive impact.
In 2015, Cerro San Pedro was honoured with two significant and prestigious awards:
- Outstanding Business Award, for our Corporate Social Responsibility performance in 2015, from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (CANCHAM); and
- Socially Responsible Company of 2015, awarded by the Mexican Centre for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) for the sixth year in a row.
These are particularly impressive as the nominees come from all industry sectors, and are of all sizes. They represent recognition of our good corporate practices, including the safety and well-being of our workforce, corporate ethics, relationships with surrounding communities and environmental stewardship.