Sustainability and Our Business

Sustainability and our Business

Steve Busby  //  COO

How do the Pan American Silver operations approach sustainability?

As we mine a non-renewable resource, our approach to sustainability is to minimize environmental impacts, protect the ecosystems around our mine sites, ensure safe and healthy workplaces, collaborate with local stakeholders to create long-term economic benefits and foster the best possible conditions for local communities to thrive after our mine closes. Critical to sustainability is endeavoring to establish the honest, transparent and lasting dialogue that is necessary to address the diverse issues and opportunities that our various host communities face. This approach has enabled us to deliver positive community-focused programs over the years, resulting in tangible shared benefits with our host communities. 

What are Pan American silver’s strengths in addressing sustainability?

Our greatest strength is our people. We currently operate mines in four Latin American countries, each with its own unique cultures, perspectives, and expectations about our performance. As such, the breadth of our sustainability programs is vast with each program adapting to meet the diverse needs of our host communities. Pan American Silver’s personnel has demonstrated the considerable dedication, patience and persistence that is necessary to develop effective partnerships and collaborations. We recognize that it takes time to build trust with the communities, governments, and NGOs where we operate. We also believe our Company has something positive to offer, and that through collaboration and dialogue, we will be able to identify and create these opportunities. Our sustainability programs have generated positive outcomes for the regions where we operate over many years of development.

In 2017, each mine site created their own sustainability goals in the areas of production, health and safety, social, environment and operations. Overall, how did the sites perform against these goals in 2018?

In 2017, we ambitiously set out to enhance our safety programs, continue leadership development programs, expand participation in our annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) surveys, improve our host communities’ access to education and health care, complete the physical mine closure activities at Alamo Dorado, and complete self-assessments under our Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative, among many other goals. I am extremely pleased with the advances we made towards our goals during 2018, particularly considering we also commenced the process of acquiring Tahoe during the year. We continued our socio-economic development programs, such as a Nutritional Greenhouse Program in Bolivia, an Artisanal Weaving Project in Peru, and a Ranching Project in Mexico. As well, we provided wage support programs to teachers and student scholarships in our host communities.

What will be the operational focus for Pan American silver during 2019?

Our focus during 2019 will be to integrate the Pan American Silver and Tahoe teams, taking advantage of best practices from each and sharing them throughout the new organization. We will develop a common language and approach, and management framework and understanding of the delegation of accountability and responsibility, which will allow us to become successful in all aspects of today’s silver mining business. We will capitalize on lessons learned at both organizations and continue to improve our systems and approaches. As our CEO Michael Steinmann highlighted, we will apply the best practices that have evolved over our 25 years of responsible mining experience to effectively address the diverse issues and opportunities that face the newly-acquired Tahoe mines.