Investing in our communities and aligning our focus with community-identified needs and priorities is one way we are working to making a positive and lasting contribution.
To achieve this, we are conscious of the need to deliver respectful social investment plans that are created in consultation with the communities we live and work in. This ensures our programs align with each community’s needs and priorities and supports social and economic development in a manner that avoids dependencies over the long-term.
Primarily, our social investment programs contribute to:
- Education, training, and employment;
- Community health;
- Local business support and/or development; and
- Community infrastructure.
A positive contribution can be made in many ways. One way we try to add value is through Sponsorships and Donations, either monetary or in-kind. Each of our operations have specific Sponsorship and Donation programs to support the surrounding communities, developed through a participative process that reflects the key needs of the local context.
Funding requests for specific activities within the local communities can be applied for in writing, using the stated process at each operation. The application is then measured against key criteria to monitor sustainable actions and move away from creating dependencies. A stringent due diligence process is also incorporated to promote transparency and uphold our organisational values.
Partnerships play a key role in supporting sustainable development by integrating the core values from both parties to work towards a common goal.
At OceanaGold we are committed to making a positive contribution to the communities who host our business activities, while ensuring we are leaving a positive legacy every day. We achieve this by forging innovative and sustainable partnerships with our local suppliers, governments, community groups, industry leaders, education providers, technology partners and NGOs.
In 2019, OceanaGold implemented an increased participative approach into engagement practices, resulting in opportunities to partner with various stakeholder groups across the globe.
Didipio Mine, Philippines
At Didipio we seek partnership opportunities wherever possible. An example is the creation of DiCorp, one of our most successful enterprise developments where a community-owned corporation generates revenue for the area through long-term contracts with the Didipio Mine. DiCorp has progressively grown over the years, becoming one of the largest businesses in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, and providing services external to our operation. The services it provides to OceanaGold includes camp administration and catering, transport and trucking, sales and distribution, engineering and projects, wholesale and retailing, waste management, and infrastructure development. Our continued partnership is focused on DiCorp’s capability development, to support their sustainability, even after the life of mine.
Some other key activities include:
- Supporting local agriculture, including funds to 13 cooperatives, micro and small enterprises;
- Partnering with the Department of Agriculture to support Kasibu coffee farmers. In addition, we engaged 34 local farmers to promote organic farming and another 92 local farmers to improve market opportunities for coffee production.
- Forming partnerships with schools and universities to provide 246 local scholarships.
Haile Gold Mine, United States of America
Haile Gold Mine is very engaged with various community and conservation initiatives. Our local team actively engages with community conservation efforts relating to endangered species protection, land preservation, and wildlife habitat enhancement in South Carolina. Here we are also actively engaged with cultural educational initiatives at the Catawba Nation and Native American Studies Center.
Haile has been recognised by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation for our corporate responsibility and efforts to ensure the protection of wildlife and critical habitat through on-site accomplishments and initiatives with schools and neighbouring industries. We also recently received accolades by the U.S. Military National Guard for our commitment to the United States.
As part of our social investment activity, Haile also partners with, and is represented on the Boards of:
- The Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce;
- Kershaw Chamber of Commerce;
- South Carolina Mining Association;
- Lower Lynches River Conservation Fund;
- Mt. Calvary Outreach Community Center;
- Kershaw Youth Serve; and
- Kershaw Heart and Soul.
Macraes Operation, New Zealand
Our Macraes Operation has developed several important partnerships with local organisations including:
- Fish & Game – in collaboration with the Macraes Trout Hatchery, which liberates over 8,000 rainbow trout fingerlings to DoC-approved reservoirs around Otago; and
- The University of Otago – conducting research on aspects associated with the mine including biodiversity, social, and geological research.
Further to this, our team at Macraes recently signed a Protocol of Engagement with the Tangata Whenua in which the Macraes Operation operates. The Protocol sets a platform for engagement between the Te Runanga o Moeraki, Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki, Te Runanka o Otakou and OceanaGold, with the aim of working collaboratively on areas of interest.
Waihi Operation, New Zealand
Our Waihi Operation is focused on three key aspects of community partnerships including:
- School partnerships;
- Education outreach; and
- Tourism in partnership with Gold Discovery Centre.
Our Waihi team provides funding to local schools every year, totalling $183,000 NZD in 2019. Each institution can spend the funds as they see fit, our only request is that we are advised of where the money is invested. Each year the Martha Education Trust funds five scholarships for Waihi College students who intend to study at a tertiary institution. Our education officer also works closely with these providers to discuss the status of funding and their individual needs.
The OceanaGold Education Centre caters for approximately 6,000 students each year ranging from kindergarten, home school students, and high school students to postgraduate university students. The Education Centre is also used for adult education. Local residents, special interest groups, and overseas groups on educational tours are also provided for. All material is based on activities and concepts that relate directly to what we do at Waihi and is provided free of charge.
At Waihi we also partner with the local i-Site and Gold Discovery Centre. They are a key tourism provider in the township and attract visitors from across New Zealand and internationally to attend their mine tours. We provide them with regular access to our site and updated information about what we do.
Education, training, and employment
We are passionate about education and its capacity to reduce poverty and help build productive, autonomous communities.
Accordingly, investment in education initiatives is an integral component of OceanaGold’s sustainable development program. We have helped fund many different programs designed to give our host communities the opportunity to improve their education and equip them with the tools to facilitate learning. These education programs vary from each site.
Further to this, we are focused on the continuous improvement of our employees. We go to great lengths to ensure all OceanaGold employees have access to professional development and educational tools. We also ensure all employees are trained to behave in a way that is culturally appropriate and matches OceanaGold’s culture.
As a key component of Haile Gold Mine’s new hire orientation in the United States of America, all new employees are required to view the Haile cultural onboarding video and review OceanaGold’s Personal Code of Conduct, with acknowledgment by signature of each. The GM and VP/Country Director frequently engage with the Haile Team individually and collectively to reinforce how important cultural discipline is to Haile’s continued performance and sustainability.
At our Waihi Operation in New Zealand, every full-time staff member and contractor is required to participate in cultural awareness training. To date, more than 450 staff and contractors have participated in the day-long training provided by iwi. The training is highly successful in raising awareness of cultural issues and helps staff and contractors to better appreciate perspectives other than their own on all manner of issues – not just mining; and in fostering a greater sense of a shared story and journey between iwi and those working at the mine.
At our Macraes Operation in New Zealand we have focused on enhanced engagement with local iwi by providing an initial Awareness Presentation, which has provided insight into the Maori Worldview, facilitated by Pouroto Ngaropo (Tohunga, Spiritual leader).
In 2015, Didipio Mine in the Philippines invested US$1.4 million in a Site Skills facility in Clark, Pampanga, to provide internationally recognised underground mining training to residents of our host and adjacent communities. Graduates received an International Certificate II in Underground Metalliferous Mining Work Readiness Course, with many students graduating from the course and taking on roles with the Didipio Mine.