We are committed to creating positive legacies and supporting shared value and opportunities across our business.
This approach delivers benefits to our employees and our diverse range of external stakeholders, including consultants, contractors, and communities. We put this into action each day at a corporate, operational, and business unit level to ensure we continue to achieve the expectations we aspire to as a leading organisation, and those of the communities we live and work in.
Our approach is outlined in more detail in our External Affairs and Social Performance Manual.
We are committed to engaging with the communities we live and work in through meaningful dialogue, respecting local cultures, and acting in good faith ensuring transparency to create a positive legacy beyond the life of the mine. In doing so, we strive to be a good neighbour and leave a positive legacy. This is fundamental to our values and our vision, from early exploration, to project development, operations, and the transition to closure.
The concept of ‘community’ is normally used in the mining industry to indicate the geographic community in the operation’s area of interest. ‘Affected community’ applies to any group who is impacted by our activities. Within a community there is always diversity of values and interests; therefore we are mindful not to approach our engagement activities as if they were with one homogenous or static entity.
OceanaGold depends on the support of local communities to secure our business for the long-term. To be successful our social performance with communities is based on;
- Respectful and durable relationships;
- Consideration of community interests and expectations in the way we operate and manage our impacts;
- Respecting cultural heritage, traditional livelihoods, and community connections to land, water, and natural resources;
- Partnerships to enhance positive economic, environmental, and social outcomes;
- Culturally appropriate and respectful behaviour of employees and contractors; and
- Continuous improvement of our social performance.
We strongly believe the health and vitality of people is integral to creating happy and productive communities. We have invested extensively in community health to improve access to quality medical care at some of our locations, aiding and improving the standards of health care in the relevant host communities.
We are also committed to engaging with communities and incorporating their thoughts and innovations into, where possible, aspects of project planning and design. Likewise, broader community support is fundamental to ensure our operations continue to develop and extend into the future.
How we strive to be a good neighbour
Investing in innovation is important to alleviate impacts we may cause as a result of our operations, and in turn how we uphold the principles of social performance and interact with our communities. As an example, at our Waihi Operation in New Zealand we have implemented two programs from community feedback:
Blast vibration is an issue that has the potential to cause concern among residents. To address this, we provide residents with daily updates of our blasting activities, including details of the location and depth of the planned blast for that day. We also post these details on our website each morning. This website also features an interactive map which provides blast monitoring results within a few minutes of initiation. Residents can also request a Blast Notification Device (BND) which alerts the resident of a blast by playing a musical tune.
We have also introduced a program known as The Amenity Effects Program (AEP). AEP aims to offset a perceived loss of amenity from blast vibration and is mandatory for our underground operations. The AEP establishes an arrangement between OceanaGold and the residents who are identified as experiencing some effect on amenity, despite the mining operations being conducted within consent compliance limits. An initial, one-off enrolment payment of $500 is made to qualifying residents who join the program, with additional payments made each six months for the life of the mine if the property continues to qualify. The payment is calculated based on measured effects as monitored and recorded by OGL during the preceding six months. Monitoring results identify properties where the AEP qualifying criteria have been triggered.