ICMM hosts CEO Panel at PDAC International Convention
On Tuesday 6 March, ICMM hosted its first CEO session at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) International Convention.
The panel, titled Linking Strategy to Sustainability, provided a forum for industry leaders to share knowledge on sustainable development and mining activities.
Five leading CEOs – Aaron Regent (Barrick), Donald Lindsay (Teck), Andrew Michelmore (MMG), Donald Bubar (Avalon) and Steven Letwin (IAMGOLD) – addressed an audience of over 300 delegates in a session moderated by ICMM President Anthony Hodge. Ross Gallinger, PDAC Executive Director, provided opening remarks at the session.
The CEOs discussed the complex range of sustainability issues facing their companies from an environmental, social and economic perspective. They placed particular emphasis on the top three sustainability issues their organizations face and how their responses to these challenges are linked to their business plans.
Issues discussed included the importance of water management and creating a long-term vision for sustainability within organizations. Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of building trust with local communities.
Donald Bubar of Avalon emphasized the importance of community engagement from the outset. He said “exploration companies are the ambassadors for the industry – if they fail, they make it more difficult for the companies that follow them.”
Donald Lindsay explained Teck’s approach. “We can't go to communities with a plan that we have already developed. To be successful, we have to sit down with them and develop a plan in partnership, right from the very start.”
Aaron Regent and Steven Letwin both focused on the importance of good communication. Aaron Regent said “maintaining open dialogue is critical to the success of Barrick’s operations.” Steven Letwin added “the communication issue is key – sitting down and talking with the communities where we operate is the key to success.”
The panel agreed that they have a responsibility to create a positive legacy for communities beyond the life of a mine. Andrew Michelmore of MMG concluded “we must leave an area better off than when we arrived - that is the challenge for all mining companies.”