Striving for the highest standards in health, safety and sustainability
From acquiring exploration rights to Saramacca in Suriname to signing an agreement to acquire Merrex Gold Inc., it has been a year of positive growth for IAMGOLD. We have been diligent in lowering costs and extending the life of our mines. In 2016, we achieved a number of significant objectives that have set the stage for future growth.
Yet 2016 brought its own kind of challenges as we lost an employee in a fatal bus accident in Burkina Faso, in which seven others were injured. The accident involved two IAMGOLD buses operated by Transcordec, which were transporting employees from the Essakane Mine to Ouagadougou.
Despite these challenges, we have achieved record health and safety performance. Across the board, our health and safety results have improved tremendously. We reduced our Total Recordable Incident (TRI) rate by 24% from 2015 to 1.18, beating our target of 1.28. In 2016, we reduced our Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Duty (DART) rate by 56% from the previous year. At the operation level, our Rosebel Mine in Suriname lowered both its TRI and DART rates by 20% and 31%, respectively, from 2015. A seismic event in 2015 presented a significant health and safety challenge for our Westwood operations in Quebec; nonetheless, the site worked extremely hard in reducing its TRI and DART rates by 40% and 88%, respectively, from 2015. Due to the bus accident at our Essakane Mine in Burkina Faso, the site’s TRI and DART rates both increased slightly, from 0.54 in 2015 to 0.56 in 2016 for TRI and from 0.16 in 2015 to 0.22 in 2016 for DART.
As members of the Mining Association of Canada, IAMGOLD participates in the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative. Our TSM performance continues to show results that meet or exceed a Level A ranking across all six TSM protocols (Aboriginal and community outreach, crisis management, safety and health, tailings management, biodiversity conservation management, and energy and greenhouse gas emissions management) for all three operations. In 2016, the Essakane Mine was selected as a finalist for the TSM Environmental Excellence Award for its involvement in a school groves project, which has enhanced biodiversity around schools near mines and taught students techniques in tree planting and care.
In 2016, at PWC’s Vision to Reality Innovator of the Year Award ceremony, Essakane was selected as a finalist for its visionary work in improving the recovery of gold from carbon fines. IAMGOLD was also ranked by Corporate Knights among the top 20 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada for the second year in a row.
In accordance with our corporate philosophy of building and preserving relationships with host communities, the “Eau et croissance economique durable au Sahel” – also known as the Triangle d’eau project – was officially launched in February 2016 in partnership with the Government of Canada and Cowater International. The $14 million, four-year project will accelerate sustainable economic growth through improved local livelihoods, support for market gardening activities by local women’s groups, improved access to markets, livestock support activities and microfinancing, increased drinking water availability and sanitation through the installation of a water treatment plant and sanitation and hygiene promotion activities, and reinforced local governance to better support economic development and service delivery in the project region. IAMGOLD contributed $2 million to the project. This project, which is the first phase of a larger endeavour, aims to provide access to safe water to approximately 60,000 beneficiaries in the town of Dori and a sanitation infrastructure to approximately 40,000 beneficiaries in the towns of Falagountou and Gorom-Gorom.
Another initiative we launched in 2016 was the Miner’s Lamp Award in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry. The annual gala raises funds to sponsor breakthrough research into the prevention and early detection of severe mental illness in adolescents and young adults. The gala also recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact in the fight against mental illness. The inaugural dinner raised more than $400,000 for the Miner’s Lamp Innovation Fund, which has been awarded to two promising studies at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. IAMGOLD is also a proud sponsor and supporter of Right to Play. Through our annual golf tournament, we raised over $200,000 for Right to Play in 2016.
On the research side, IAMGOLD has been a major partner of UQAT-Polytechnique’s Research Institute on Mines and Environment to support new development in environmental practices, including those related to tailings rehabilitation. This research has yielded positive results and may enable our Westwood mine to potentially rehabilitate tailings using a desulphurization circuit, thereby lowering costs and eliminating the need to bring in suitable cover materials from off site. With the approval from the Government of Quebec on our closure plan, IAMGOLD hopes to integrate some of these new practices.
The core values of health, safety and sustainability are ingrained in our corporate culture and are reflected in our community engagement and in the industry recognition that IAMGOLD received in 2016. While we have made significant strides in health, safety and sustainability in 2016, our work is far from over. I am proud of what we achieved in 2016 and am looking forward to continuing to push boundaries and strive for the highest standards in fulfilling our Zero Harm commitment.
Stephen J. J. Letwin President and Chief Executive Officer
Stephen J. J. Letwin President and Chief Executive Officer
I am proud of what we achieved in 2016 and am looking forward to continuing to push boundaries and strive for the highest standards in fulfilling our Zero Harm commitment.
Zero Harm is the vision that guides all operations and activities undertaken by IAMGOLD.
It is our commitment to continually strive to reach the highest standards in human health and safety, minimize our impact on the environment, and work co-operatively with our host communities.