Los Cerros is committed to the principles and practices of sustainable development, and believes that an active and engaged approach to sustainability is essential in meeting its responsibilities to its shareholders, employees, the communities within which it operates, and the environment.
Further, the Company believes that a sustainable business process is essential in creating sustainable value for all its stakeholders. For both ethical and pragmatic business reasons, it is thus committed to the strict maintenance of internationally recognised standards as they relate to health and safety, the environment, society and economic and business management.
The Company is focused on copper and associated metals in South America, and aims to deliver superior returns to its shareholders by exploring, and developing, prospective projects while conducting related activities in such a way as to minimise their impact on the communities in which it operates, and the environment at large. Although there are different levels of exploration maturity across the Company’s projects, there is universal compliance in terms of legal compliance, maintenance of a safe and healthy work environment, minimisation of environmental impact, reduction of resource consumption and the maintenance of harmonious relationships with local communities.
Los Cerros recognises that the protection of the environment in the areas in which it operates is of paramount importance, both in terms of its business imperative and its moral and legal responsibility.
Although the Company is committed to complying with all relevant regulatory requirements applicable to the environment in which it operates, it strives towards meeting the World Bank and IFC guidelines with respect to environmental management.
Key aspirations in this regard include the following:
- Implement and maintain a structured Environmental Management System that drives continuous improvement;
- Minimise operational footprints, and develop and implement extensive and well researched Environmental Management Plans and programmes so as to minimise the negative impact thereof on the environment and its biodiversity;
- Identify environmental issues and assess and manage the associated risks;
- With the active involvement of employees, local communities, government organisations and other interested and affected parties, develop written procedures to ensure safe, acceptable and effective systems of work;
- Set environmental objectives on a regular basis to ensure measurement, monitoring, reporting and improvement;
- Reduce, re-use and recycle water to minimise consumption, and promote efficient use of natural resources;
- Prevent and reducing all forms of pollution by applying appropriate technologies;
- Ensure adequate financial provision for the rehabilitation of the environment and the sustainability thereof, on conclusion of operations;
- Comply with legal requirements (as a minimum) of the national and local authority in the jurisdictions within which the Company operates;
- Review the level of implementation of Environmental Management Systems, their objectives and targets on a regular basis, so as to ensure they remain current and effective; and
- Promote the effective use of energy resources to optimise consumption.
Health and Safety Management
Los Cerros recognises the importance of protecting the Health and Safety of persons involved with, or affected by, its operations. The Company is committed, as a minimum organisational requirement, to comply with all relevant regulatory requirements applicable in the jurisdiction within which it operates.
To effect this, a Safety, Health and Sustainable Development (SHSD) management system is being developed, which continues to evolve to achieve alignment with International Standards Organisation (ISO) standards and International Finance Corporation (IFC) EHS guidelines, whilst allowing flexibility to accommodate those variations that exist between jurisdictions to ensure compliance with local legislation, and to recognise and respect cultural differences. This includes the following:
- The host country's legislation on all matters SHSD is regarded as a minimum standard of compliance;
- Assessment of all risks associated with the health and safety of employees, contractors or other persons affected by the Company’s operations, machinery, materials, equipment, operating processes and procedures, and the management thereof;
- Eliminate any hazards which pose unacceptable risks to employees, and reduce all other risks to acceptable levels;
- Implement a Health and Safety Management System that adequately describes the Company's Health and Safety requirements;
- Comply with the ISO standards/principles for recording and reporting incidents;
- Set Safety and Health objectives on a regular basis to promote measurement, monitoring, reporting and improvement;
- Measure Safety and Health performance on a regular basis against specified objectives, legal requirements and industry norms;
- Maintain transparent, consultative relationships with all stakeholders through effective communication channels;
- Communicate Safety and Health issues and procedures to all affected parties on a systematic and regular basis in a clear, understandable, manner;
- Through the conduct of audits, and observation at all levels, ensure compliance with procedures and legal requirements for Safety and Health;
- Provide information and training to all employees in respect of Safety and Health in their particular working environment before the commencement of hazardous work;
- Promote a culture of Safety and Health awareness which is initiated by the Board and executive management and cascaded to all levels in the organisation;
- Regularly review the level of implementation of the Health and Safety Systems, its objectives and targets to ensure they remain current and to ensure continuous improvement;
- Due to the remote location of the Company's operations, maintain a fully equipped medical station and highly trained occupational medicine/medical personnel at each operation.
The SHSD Committee has the responsibility of formulating and recommending the Company’s Policy for Health & Safety to the Board, as well as recommended improvements.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Los Cerros recognises that a sustainable business process is of primary importance in the creation of sustainable value for all its stakeholders, and is thus committed to the development, implementation and management of internationally recognised standards as regards health, safety, environmental, social, economic and business related issues. Further, the Company has adopted the Global Reporting Initiative Version 3 reporting guideline as the framework for the Company's Social Responsibility programme.
Aspirations in this regard include:
- The sustainable creation of direct and indirect wealth for all stakeholders without compromising any other role players or future generations;
- Setting and achieving targets relating to resource use efficiency and optimisation, as well as waste and pollution prevention and reduction;
- The management of biodiversity, sensitive environments, land use and site remediation through the implementation of appropriate management and mitigation programmes to ensure the protection of the environment;
- Complying with, as a minimum, applicable legal and other requirements in the jurisdictions within which the Company operates;
- Providing a working environment built on principles of respect, fair labour practices and decent working conditions for employees and contractors alike;
- Promoting zero harm by promoting a safety culture and positive health;
- Upholding and promoting fundamental human rights, as well as the traditional rights of host countries and local communities;
- The development of a lasting positive legacy for host communities through regular, sustained and participative communication and collaboration;
- Ensuring clear, transparent and informative communication with all stakeholders, including regulators, local communities, and other interested and affected parties; and
- Eliminating bribery, corruption and anti-competitive behaviour.