Rob Doyle // CFO
How do you view the place of mining in the world economy?
I see mining as critical to everyday functions. Our modern lifestyles are dependent on metals – from our cell phones, to our vehicles, to our buildings. Mining also has a role to play in the future energy transition away from fossil fuels. Large amounts of metal will increasingly be required for electric batteries and to provide the renewable energy infrastructure for wind and solar energy production. In fact, silver is a key component of photovoltaic cells in solar panels.
How have investors’ demands for greater accountability on topics related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance affected the mining industry’s performance in sustainability?
We’ve seen a growth in the importance institutional investors place on ESG issues, and I hope that it triggers the same trend for mainstream investors in the future. An increase in investor focus on ESG performance would translate into improved performance by companies. I welcome more diligent ESG standards as these would differentiate the good companies from higher risk ones. Pan American Silver has long held ESG performance as a fundamental part of our business. Through sustainable initiatives, we are able to manage risk and share benefits for all stakeholders, and we are always open to learning and improving. We are proud of that. Ultimately, this is what investors should be looking for.
What do you see as the role of finance in sustainability?
Finance is an integral part of sustainability. Being a financially healthy and stable company allows us to directly and indirectly contribute towards meeting our sustainability goals in the regions where we operate. We pay taxes to local governments that can be invested back into community infrastructure and services. We provide our employees with competitive wages and benefits. We procure the vast majority of the products and services we need for our business from local suppliers and we invest directly in our host communities.
At the end of the day, everything we do has a financial basis and must make financial sense, including community investments. For example, investing in capacity building of local businesses helps those businesses improve their business practices, while helping us build community relationships as well as a more cost-effective and resilient supply chain. Working with host communities to identify, create and support sustainable development programs helps us to better understand the needs and priorities of our host communities. Both these initiatives help us to improve quality of life, build trust, and maintain the community support necessary to operate in the long-term.
How does Pan American silver’s business impact local economies and communities?
What gives me the most satisfaction and pride are the positive economic impacts our company has on the communities and areas around our operations. Our need for skilled labour translates into jobs and business opportunities for our host communities. We hire locally and, whenever possible, we procure goods and services locally for necessary mine operations and maintenance. We also provide the training and capacity building to support long-term employment opportunities. In 2018, we supported the continued development of 72 local companies providing services and supplies to our mines. It’s my hope that these economic benefits extend beyond the life of our mines.