With the life of our Paracatu mine in Brazil projected to extend to 2040, Kinross recognizes the importance of supporting local economic and social development. In 2011, we introduced a new social investment policy designed to strengthen dialogue and community investment decisions in partnership with local stakeholders. We profile this initiative in our Case Study 3: Supporting Community Sustainability at Paracatu.
In 2010 and 2011, we provided $1.5 million and $2.7 million respectively in financial support for a variety of community initiatives, including:
- Partnered with the municipal Education Office, the regional Superintendent of Teaching, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais to improve local education outcomes through student tutoring and teacher training in the INTEGRAR – Education Line program. In a 2011 pilot, 141 students in Grades 5 through 9 at three Paracatu schools received educational support. Kinross will invest $250,000 annually in the Education Line program, and approximately 1,400 students are expected to benefit. The effect of the program will be measured by the country’s Index of Basic Education Development (IDEB). A 14% increase in the participation rate in annual standardized testing was realized in 2011, one of the items considered for the IDEB. The IDEB is conducted every two years and will take place again in 2013;
- Partnered with Paracatu’s Culture, Education and Environment offices to deliver environment-focused instruction at three local schools. In 2011, more than 1,200 students took part;
- Continued to fund the Partnership Seminar, developed over 15 years ago, to strengthen local organizations and create jobs through community partnerships. In 2011, the Partnership Seminar undertook a review focused on strengthening the credibility and success of the program. Among the improvements identified, the project cycle was extended to every two years to give more time for project implementation and to give the Partnership Seminar more time to monitor and evaluate the results of funding recipients. Eight of 25 projects were selected for sponsorship. A committee formed by representatives of private companies, government and NGOs helped determine which projects to support. Programs funded in 2011 include, an education program provided by the Paracatu Commercial and Industrial Chamber to build capacity for more than 200 young people from 16 to 29 years of age, and a program deployed by the Esther Siqueira Tillman Association to benefit about 80 socially vulnerable women through the production and commercialization of regional craftworks; and
- Launched the Culture Project in August 2011, with the goal of strengthening community-led cultural initiatives by encouraging effective business practices, fundraising activities and professionalism. As part of INTEGRAR, more than 20 cultural groups representing the traditional and new modalities of dance, music, Capoeira (Brazilian traditional mix of dancing and sport), gastronomy, handcraft, and others participated.
In 2011, our team in Chile began implementation of our new community investment strategy. It is designed to align our community investments with the Company’s business objectives by building and strengthening partnerships and supporting initiatives that create long-term capacity. Through it, Kinross supports a variety of programs, from education, employment and the environment to health care and local culture.
In 2010, we also provided significant financial and in-kind resources to support relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in southern Chile and the dramatic rescue at the San Jose mine near our operations in Maricunga and La Coipa.
In 2010 and 2011, we supported a number of educational, apprenticeship and employment initiatives:
- Certificates of Completion were awarded to 10 apprentices at our La Coipa operation in 2010;
- The Fernando Llanos Briceño educational excellence scholarship was given to a student in each of 2010 and 2011 to help finance the recipient’s university studies. Since the scholarships were first awarded 20 years ago, they have supported 20 graduates, from doctors and dentists to metallurgists and mining engineers, who work in the region and around the world; and
- Under a new alliance with the Corporation for the Promotion of Production (CORFO), a government agency, and the Corporation for the Atacama Development (CORPROA), a development agency, Kinross invested $60,000 in 2011 to support the growth of 200 small businesses in Copiapó and Tierra Amarilla.
In our discussions with stakeholders, one recurring theme was a lack of cultural programs in Copiapó and Tierra Amarilla. In 2011, in partnership with Chile’s Ministry of Culture, we invested approximately $180,000 to support the Copiapó and Tierra Amarilla Cultural Season, provided multi-year assistance for the Multicultural Native Association, and helped fund capital improvements for the reconstruction of the Cultural Centre in Tierra Amarilla.
Kinross’ Fruta del Norte project is located in Zamora-Chinchipe, one of Ecuador’s poorest provinces. Working with government agencies and local communities, we support capacity building in education, economics and skills development. In line with the country’s development policies, our work is co-ordinated within the overall context of government plans for development in the southern region of Ecuador. Since 2007, we’ve also worked under a special framework agreement with the Shuar indigenous community. For more on our engagement with the Shuar, see Case Study 7: Working with the Shuar Nation.
Through this framework, we provided support for education, community infrastructure, as well as sports and cultural programs. Among the programs we supported in 2010 and 2011 were the following:
- Partnered with the Ministry of Education and the local government of Los Encuentros parish near our FDN project in the renovation and development of 17 educational centres, benefiting 800 children and youth. Kinross invested approximately $141,000 in this co-operative agreement, established in 2011 under the country’s Accelerated School Equalization Program. The initiative aims to increase access to education by giving children an opportunity to learn the formal skills they need to enter technical and industrial mining training programs. The renovations and school improvements are being carried out by local tradespeople and are scheduled to finish in October 2012;
- Provided funding to support the training of children and young entrepreneurs to help them develop their leadership and decision-making abilities in partnership with Junior Achievement Ecuador. In 2010, 185 schoolchildren benefited from a program reinforcing the advantages of an education. In 2011, 400 youth participated in a program focusing on the creation and development of a small business. In total, Kinross invested approximately $62,000;
- Supported the implementation of an education-levelling program for adults. The levelling program aims to raise the average level of education for people in the region from Grade 6 to 10, the minimum required to attend technical schools. In 2011, about 120 participants registered for classes, which commenced in June 2012. Kinross also has a levelling program for its employees, which we discuss in the Workplace section of this report;
- Provided funding to help about 200 local youth develop leadership, teamwork and decision-making skills, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ecuador. In a related program, Kinross supported an incentive program that facilitated the participation of four Los Encuentros high-school students in the 2011 International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) in Mexico. The IEF, a Junior Achievement Foundation program, brings together young people from Latin America to attend educational workshops, group discussions and other activities to promote entrepreneurship;
- Helped more than 4,100 children and youth from Los Encuentros Parish participate in a program called “Brilliant Vacations” in August 2011. The four-week event took place throughout 20 neighbourhoods and included recreational games, educational discussions about human rights and responsible mining, and values-based learning through the use of traditional games; and
- Developed two projects to support capacity building for adults. The first, in partnership with Junior Achievement, provided entrepreneurial skills training to 60 people to develop businesses in Los Encuentros. Kinross awarded seed capital to assist four graduates in their new enterprises. The second program was developed with O Trade and Market Access, a firm that helps companies build local capacity. Through their Local Community Procurement Program, 20 people successfully completed a business development pilot program, where they learned the skills to become competitive suppliers in their local economies. Nine of the 20 participants formed small businesses, and all nine are food suppliers to Kinross. Another two participants are completing business plans for dining establishments in Los Encuentros.