Environment, Social and Governance
One of the things that drew me into the mining world was the obvious potential for not only working to create benefits to our shareholders but all stakeholders through the creation of local wealth in communities impacted from exploration and mining. With proper planning and execution, I do not see a better sector in Canada, that can have meaningful, positive impacts on rural communities and the people who live there. The mining cycle from discovery to development through production and into reclamation offers the potential for local wealth creation, business development, tax revenue, training, education and meaningful careers with good wages and transferable skills.
The commitment to adhere to high environmental, social and governance principles comes from the top, the Board and management, then it flows through the whole company creating a culture, a way of thinking and being. At Golden Predator we constantly strive to do things in a progressive way starting earlier, trying harder, pushing farther, always doing more as a Company while motivating our committed team to seek to bring the community along with us. This culture ensures we respect and uphold the community’s care of the land and the First Nation citizens’ intense, spiritual relationship to the land. Good operators working with rural communities can make positive change possible when working in partnership, it is our goal to be a great operator and set the standard for a new and better way of conducting business.
Chief Executive Officer
The long-term success of Golden Predator Mining Corp. requires the integration of sustainability into all aspects of our business. Leading environmental, social and governance performance is strongly correlated to strong financial performance and creation of long-term value for our shareholders and other stakeholders. This includes striving to meet the highest standards, contributing toward sustainable development and serving as responsible natural resource stewards to ensure we make positive and lasting impacts on the communities and nations where we operate. Golden Predator Mining Corp is responsible to its shareholders, governments and community stakeholders as we advance projects forward
Golden Predator considers appropriate innovative and progressive methods to meet and exceed these responsibilities, within our financial means, to best serve our shareholders’ interests and align our Company with the communities where we live and work.
Environment: Brewery Creek Mine
The Brewery Creek Mine provides Golden Predator with the opportunity to work in the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation (“THFN”) and at all times we seek to uphold environmental standards and protect the environment. The Brewery Creek Mine was the first sub-arctic heap leach operation in the world, designed to a high standard. When the mine was put into temporary closure in 2002 following the gold price collapse of 2000, it took less than a year for the heap leach field to be detoxified. Reclamation was award-winning and during the temporary closure period both flora and fauna have flourished. Golden Predator took over this responsibility in 2009 and this high standard will be maintained as we restart operations. The Brewery Creek Mine operates with zero water discharge from operations and there are no environmental legacy issues or liabilities from the previously operating mine.
An invasive species management program has been implemented to remove small amounts of red clover utilized during reclamation which is not indigenous to the Yukon. This program is operated in cooperation with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation. A bee colony was established at Brewery Creek Mine due to the abundance of fireweed and dandelions on site and an interest from Elders for bees and potential harvesting of honey at the project site. With the pesticide-free environment and abundance of fresh water and food source, we work to offer our assistance on a project of community interest. We work with a 100% Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizen-owned environmental monitoring company which conducts all our water and compliance sampling.
We are considering and evaluating economic mining methods to improve the already high environmental standards at Brewery Creek, including reducing our carbon footprint, as we respect the concerns and interests of our shareholders, stakeholders and partners.
Environment: 3 Aces Exploration Project
At our 3 Aces Project we have the opportunity to work in the traditional territory of the Kaska Nation, where we seek to find innovate ways to work on an exploration project with high grade, free-milling visible gold. One such example is the collection of fireweed seeds by Kaska Nation citizens in Kaska traditional territory for use in ongoing reclamation and remediation at both 3 Aces and Brewery Creek. We believe in continuous and ongoing remediation during the life of our projects.
The 3 Aces project is permitted exploration that includes a bulk sample program, allowing us to test alternative methods for potential mining practices within the context of our exploration program. The bulk sample, historically an under-utilized exploration tool in the Yukon due to its remote location, is processed at the Company-owned test plant in Watson Lake - the first in the Yukon. The test plant allows the Company to better understand the metallurgy of the various types of mineralization at 3 Aces and to test better and more environmentally friendly ways to process the mineralized rock.
The first stage of processing uses water and gravity to produce a gold concentrate. The Company has built a secondary recovery unit which recovers gold on-site from our sulphide concentrate utilizing a cyanide-free, environmentally safe solution. This is the first time this new technology has been tested in the field, and the positive results at 3 Aces indicate that it has significant commercial potential. We operate at the test facility, in conjunction with the Department of Environment, having established water wells and water sampling to provide necessary baseline information on our activities.
We conduct wildlife monitoring, water quality sampling, sediment management and seed harvesting at our projects.
We are strong advocates for engaging with the community, governments and indigenous communities in progressive and innovative manners - early and often. We believe in bringing the community along with us and creating spin-off benefits locally from our exploration and mining activities. Our activities must leave a positive lasting legacy, allowing for the opportunity for the creation of wealth locally. A strong local business community, healthy community and labour force is important to our Company and project.
As we work in the backyards of our communities, we employ a good neighbor policy - reaching out to communicate, engage and bring along communities with our developments. We hold regular community meetings, operate community offices and communicate in different ways to assist with the understanding and awareness of our projects while being able to listen to the comments and issues raised within our communities.
Golden Predator believes in operating with legal agreements in place with First Nation governments to ensure we provide socioeconomic benefits during exploration and mining. We view these legal agreements as simply a starting point and work to exceed the minimum standards outlined in the Agreements. Our socioeconomic agreement with THFN provides a solid foundation for mutually beneficially working relationships with the community and local governments and provides for profit sharing in the Brewery Creek project. It also provides for business, employment and training opportunities. Our proximity to Dawson City provides us an alternative to a complete fly in/fly out camp environment which contributes to the overall health of the community. And we have respected and incorporated spirituality and ceremony at the request of the First Nations.
Golden Predator was the first company operating in the Yukon to enter into a Kaska Nation Exploration Agreement which governs all Golden Predator’s Yukon projects within the Traditional Territory of the Kaska Nation. The Agreement provides for contract and employment opportunities while also providing a protocol to enter into discussions for a socioeconomic agreement should a project proceed to the mining stage. The Agreement also includes the first community development fund in the Yukon which is based on the amount of our spending activity in the region.
Our many innovative programs include the highly recognized Elders in Residence program which saw Elders from the Kaska Nation living with us at our work site, similar to an expert in residence program. This program positively impacted our work site through the better understanding of the culture in which we work while also creating a more positive work environment for our employees, both Kaska and non-Kaska. Elders were able to better understand how we work, and our Company benefitted from their guidance in human resources, training and cultural awareness. We were honoured to present this program at the PDAC conference in 2019 along with four representatives from the Kaska Nation, including Elder Mary Caesar (?a Gedeni? Nedesti? Aho?l - Strong Woman Walking) who was awarded the Women in Mining Canada 2019 National Indigenous Trailblazer Award for her role in establishing the program.
Golden Predator operates a business incubator model to help with the creation of small business in our communities of interest. Golden Predator enabled the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in business arm to form a catering company in 2010 which operates to this day. We are now employing this model, including assistance and support from our staff and management, to train a locally owned environmental monitoring company. We have trained environmental monitors from a number of Yukon First Nations and also provide other innovative training opportunities for youth. We support local business across the Yukon after supporting local community businesses helping to create jobs, tax benefits and local wealth retention.
Golden Predator owns the The Yukon Mint™, formed in 2017, It is a wholly owned subsidiary which uses green gold from our 3 Aces bulk sample to create unique gold coins. The Yukon Mint™ is focused on creating coins that represent the Yukon in almost every aspect, from raw material to design, and works in partnership to ensure local communities benefit from mining and exploration projects. In 2018, the Yukon Mint commenced sales of its first gold coins. The collection of Yukon and Kaska coins continues to expand.
Other important programs include incorporating indigenous language into the workplace, assisting the community with water quality testing in homes, taking on road maintenance on behalf of the Yukon Government and participation in community and industry organizations.
We have created videos with First Nation communities to ensure their voice is heard regarding mining activities in their traditional territory. And at all times we seek to create spin off benefits from our operations as a means of ensuring greater economic and social benefits from our activities.
Golden Predator has corporate, health, safety and environmental policies in place to ensure a safe workplace that is respectful of our employees. Our health and safety policies are reviewed with regulators to ensure compliance and to protect our employees, communities and shareholders. Our progressive environmental policies address important issues including sediment control, invasive species management and water quality.
We seek a diverse and inclusive work force and our employment of women and members of indigenous communities is above the industry average. Our pay scales are competitive and meant to be equitable and fair for all employees.
Executive compensation is managed by an independent compensation committee with pay structures designed to reflect industry averages, but without guaranteed bonus packages and free stock plans. Under current management and over the past 5 years the Company has elected not to provide bonuses to executives of the Company and would only consider bonuses based on performance of the Company in a healthy financial market for the sector. Management is one of the largest shareholders and motivated to make strategic business decisions designed to create benefit for all our shareholders.
Corporate governance policies range from a Code of Conduct and social media guidelines to the prevention of insider trading and sharing of confidential information. We have policies in place to ensure we do not expose the Company to bribery, extortion and money laundering.
At all times we strive to conduct ourselves in a respectful, professional, accountable manner.