|May 28, 2013|
World Class Operational Standards and Commitment
|Cosigo is committed to socially responsible development. We are of the firm belief that, in order to be viable, exploration and exploitation projects must benefit not only Cosigo shareholders, but also offer economic and social benefits to all stakeholders including local communities, citizens, businesses and the federal government. Benefits include taxes, royalties, skills training, employment and improved local infrastructure. |
Cosigo's community relations team maintains active and regular communications with local communities and native groups in the Taraira Gold Belt area of Colombia and Brazil. Overall, there is very strong support in the area for exploration and the benefits that exploration and exploitation projects may bring. This support was evidenced at four Prior Consults and a Public Audience held in the town of Taraira. During these events, people from all over Vaupes province gathered to voice their overwhelming support for Cosigo's exploration efforts.
Our Canadian, Brazilian and Colombian management teams have demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to corporate social responsibility since initiating business in Colombia in 2005.
Our commitment to building and executing an effective Corporate Social Responsibility Policy to guide our presence within local communities is based on open communication, consultation and accommodation. This same process has been very successful in Canada in building relationships between the exploration and mining industry and First Nations.
As part of our consultation process, we invited First Nations Chiefs and Elders from Canada and Alaska, along with managers from the British Colombia Aboriginal Mine Training Association to be our guests at Taraira. These leaders shared their experiences of successful and beneficial resource development on traditional native lands and visited with government leaders in Bogota and Brasilia. Details of these visits have been previously recorded in the Cosigo Journal.
Cosigo's approach to corporate social responsibility has been successful as evidenced by the recent signing of an exclusive agreement with the Jose Mormes indigenous people of northwest Brazil to explore 166,000 hectares of their reserve lands.
Our company is active in an area with very limited employment opportunities. The company's overriding philosophy is to improve the opportunities and economic development of the communities in which we work. To that end, we make every effort to source field staff, accommodation and transportation from the local community. We also sponsor various community projects and initiatives including health improvement programs such as doctor and dentist visits to remote communities, setting up bee-keeping projects, welding, first-aid and food-safety courses, and donations of equipment for community groups and team sports.
Cosigo is committed to meeting or exceeding all the environmental and mining regulations, and safe-guards set in place by the Colombian and Brazilian governments.
e3Plus Framework for Responsible Exploration
The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a highly respected and progressive organization with a broad based international membership. Established in 1932, it has become a strong voice for the international exploration community. The PDAC commitment states in part that: "The PDAC will encourage the highest standards of technical, environmental, safety and social practices in Canada and internationally."
One of the PDAC's recent achievements is e3 Plus - A Framework for Responsible Exploration. The e3 Plus framework took several years of collaborative effort to develop. It is a 750-page evolving document containing toolkits to help companies continuously improve in three main areas:
1. Corporate Social Responsibility
The Excellence in Social Responsibility (ESR) toolkit helps promote governance, project due diligence, community engagement, community development, ethical conduct, boundaries of responsibility and human rights.
2. Environmental Stewardship
The Excellence in Environmental Stewardship (EES) toolkit promotes the advancement of environmental stewardship in the exploration stage of mineral development worldwide.
3. Health and Safety Performance
The Excellence in Health & Safety (EHS) toolkit addresses general safety principles, emergency response, survival, weather & environmental risks and much more.
A second phase of the Framework for Responsible Exploration currently underway will generate performance objectives, reporting criteria, and verification processes.
World Vision Canada: Preventing Conflict in Exploration for Explorers and Developers
A "Preventing Conflict in Exploration for Explorers and Developers"-toolkit has been developed by the PDAC, World Vision Canada, and CDA Collaborative Learning. This toolkit was designed to help exploration companies establish constructive relationships with stakeholders at the community level and to reduce the risk of conflict at their sites of operation.
Cosigo has committed to implementing the e3Plus program. These toolkits are now being integrated into operational policy and will assist us in our goal to meet or exceed global best exploration practices.
A primary goal for Cosigo is to minimize our environmental footprint through the use of low-impact technology and environmentally friendly exploration methods. For example, the company's innovative light-weight percussion drills require little or no water for drilling. The very small footprint of these drills significantly reduces the size and impact of drill sites and drill access trails. The drills are a modular design with light-weight components. These components are connected with hydraulic hoses and air hoses and can be placed around and interspersed within the foliage.
As with any exploration activity where boats, ATVs, tractors, drills and aircraft are in use the safety of our personnel is paramount. To meet safety objectives Cosigo is designing training and operational manuals that are specifically suited to our operational environment.
On the environmental side, Cosigo has recently acquired and is currently evaluating two mobile gravity separation units in the hope that such systems could be provided to local artisanal miners in the Taraira Gold Belt as a viable alternative to the environmentally unsafe methods currently employed.
Over the past seven years in the Taraira gold belt area, Cosigo has built a strong and trusted bond with the people of Vaupes. We feel that our commitment to communication, consultation and accommodation, as well as our dedication to improving every aspect of our operations will set new standards for exploration in the area. This will bring economic and social benefits leading to a better quality of life for all people in the areas where we explore.