Key Risks, Impacts and Opportunities
Our global operations create both opportunities and risks due to the nature of mining, exploration and development activities. They provide significant local employment and economic benefits. They also use water and energy resources and can have potentially significant environmental impacts if they are not designed and managed well. Our operations also affect community stakeholders, including indigenous peoples. These risks must be managed in order to maintain the Company’s ability to develop or operate its mining properties.
Kinross has focused attention on managing these issues by setting high performance standards, allocating the necessary resources, assigning responsibility and accountability for their management, and routinely reviewing performance, improvement opportunities and risks.
The Kinross Enterprise Risk Management program provides a framework for identifying risk across the Company’s operations and development projects. The Audit and Risk Committee of the Kinross Board of Directors reviews the principal risks affecting Kinross’ business on a quarterly basis. Each of our sites has a risk champion and, as a key element of each site’s strategic business management plan, site risks are reviewed and reported monthly and progress is tracked. At every Kinross site and project, we also conduct annual risk management workshops, which bring together corporate and local leaders to analyze and rank operational, economic, political, environmental and social trends and risks, including human rights and security risks, that could affect current performance or future plans.
While we strive to design and manage our operations to minimize our environmental impact, some effect is inevitable due to the nature of mining. Environmental programs, including routine inspections, monitoring, independent assessments, and audits, are in place at each operation to ensure that such impacts are controlled, and risks are mitigated and limited to the unavoidable on-site impacts allowed by permits. Beyond that, Kinross conducts Engineered Risk Assessments (ERAs) on a periodic basis at each of its operations and development projects. The ERA is a comprehensive review of potential environmental risks that could arise as the result of failures of engineered systems, such as pumps, pipelines, dams, and structures, and helps identify areas where system redundancies or other risk management measures are required. We also conduct these ERAs during the mine design phase, to ensure that proper safeguards are built into the projects from the beginning.
Water is an important area of risk at our operations, and management programs are in place at all of our operations. These programs include predictive water balance models, continuous improvement programs, and performance monitoring systems. Risks associated with water quality, title to water rights, access to usage permits, impact on local communities and cost are evaluated in water-sensitive regions. Corporate management policy is to minimize our water use in water-stressed areas and, in all cases, to not have a significant impact on water supply or quality. Maricunga, La Coipa and Tasiast are all located in water-stressed regions.
Upon mine closure, Kinross systematically reclaims land affected by mining for productive post-mining uses. Read more about our reclamation program in this report.
Specific risk factors are outlined in the Company’s Annual Information Form available on our website. The Company’s submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project addresses the question of potential risks related to climate change.