In 2011, Kinross strengthened its corporate standards for biological resources management and all sites are developing Biodiversity Management Plans to provide stewardship and protection for biodiversity and biological habitats.
Understanding the ecosystems in the areas where we work is fundamental to our environmental and project planning. While our projects are located in very different environments, baseline studies provide us with critical information regarding diversity, populations, critical habitat and ecosystem services. With this information, we are able to avoid, minimize and mitigate our impacts. Our initial assessment and ongoing management plans are carried out in consultation with local stakeholders – governments, NGOs, indigenous peoples and other community members – who can best help us understand and protect local ecosystems.
For example, our Fruta del Norte project, located in Ecuador, is home to one of the world’s most diverse populations of animals and plants per square kilometre. Kinross is committed to monitor and protect the diverse populations of flora and fauna at Fruta del Norte. Monitoring is conducted every six months and has already resulted in the identification of 19 new species of flora and three new species of fauna in two of our concessions.
In order to protect sensitive habitats, we have developed a co-operative program with the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment and the Agency for Mining Regulation and Control. Its purpose is to identify and assist informal mining operations to normalize their activities and receive technical assistance in meeting their environmental obligations. Kinross periodically monitors their mining activities, provides training on Ecuadorian environmental compliance requirements, and assists them, where possible, in meeting those requirements. A group of informal miners recently received hands-on training from the Kinross Fruta del Norte Environmental team. See Case Study 8: Artisanal Mining in Ecuador.
We’ve sought out similar collaborative opportunities at our Lobo-Marte development in Chile. For example, the site’s scoping study will set out a biodiversity action plan, which is being developed with Chile’s National Forestry Service (CONAF). To learn more about biological resource planning and partnerships at Lobo-Marte, see Case Study 10: Ecosystem Protection at Lobo-Marte.
At our operations and development projects in Chile and Ecuador, there were 43 IUCN red listed species present in 2011. We are working with key stakeholders to account for these species during our activities.