Cosigo is committed to sustainable development. In order to be viable, exploration and exploitation projects must benefit not only Cosigo shareholders, but offer economic and social benefits to all stakeholders. These benefits may include taxes, royalties, skills training, employment and improved infrastructure. Our stakeholders include the local citizens and businesses, regional communities as well as provincial and federal governments.
Cosigo maintains active and regular communications with local communities and native groups in the Taraira Gold Belt area of Colombia and Brazil. In general, there is strong support in the area for exploration and the benefits that exploration and exploitation projects may bring. This support was verified at four Public Consults and a Public Audience held in the town of
Taraira where people from Vaupes province gathered to voice their overwhelming support for Cosigo's projects.
The Prospector and Developers Association of Canada
(PDAC), of which Cosigo is a corporate member, is a highly respected organization with a broad based international membership. Established in 1932, it has become a strong voice for the international exploration community. Their 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 publishing recommendations in e3 Plus - A Framework for Responsible Exploration
. This living document was created through several years of collaborative effort to help companies continuously improve in the three main areas of exploration leadership: 1) corporate social responsibility, 2) environmental stewardship and 3) health and safety performance.
The e3Plus program is currently being reviewed by Cosigo's Safety Committee in order to integrate it into our operational policies and to assist us in our goal to meet or exceed global best industry practices.
Our Canadian and Colombian management teams have demonstrated leadership and commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)since commencing business in Colombia in 2005.
Cosigo's commitment to building and executing an effective CSR policy within regional communities is based on open communication, consultation and accommodation. This is the same process that has been used successfully in Canada between the exploration and mining industry and indigenous peoples.
Cosigo invited Chiefs and Elders from Canada and Alaska along with managers from the British Colombia Aboriginal Mine Training Association to be our guests at Taraira and to share their experiences about the impact of resource development on traditional native lands. These visits have been recorded in the Cosigo Journal section of the corporate website.
The successes achieved by Cosigo have not gone unnoticed on the Brazilian side of the border. The indigenous people of northwest Brazil have invited Cosigo to build a mutually-beneficial working relationship in the area that covers the Brazilian side of the Taraira gold belt.
Cosigo works with the communities by hiring and training field staff from the local workforce in an area that has limited employment opportunities. Cosigo also sponsors various community projects and initiatives. These include Cosigo-funded health improvement programs such as doctor and dentist visits to these remote communities, setting up bee-keeping projects, providing first-aid and food-safety courses, and donating equipment and supplies for community groups and team sports.
Cosigo is committed to meeting or exceeding all the environmental and mining regulations and safeguards required by the Colombian and Brazilian governments.
Cosigo aims to minimize environmental impact through the use of environmentally friendly exploration methods and low-impact technology. As an example, the company's light-weight reverse circulation drills require little or no water for drilling. The very small footprint of these drills significantly reduces the size and impact of drill pads and drill access trails.
In a further effort to assist local communities in the protection of the environment, 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 an alternative to the environmentally unsafe methods currently employed which involve the use of cyanide and mercury.
In all of our exploration activities, particularly where boats, quads, tractors, drills and aircraft are in use, the safety of our personnel is paramount. To maintain the highest safety standards, Cosigo is designing comprehensive training and operational programs that are specifically suited to our operational environment.
Over the past seven years in the Taraira Gold Belt area Cosigo has built a strong and trusted bond working with the people of Vaupes. We feel that our commitment to communication, consultation and accommodation and our dedication to improving every aspect of our operations will set new standards for how modern exploration can bring economic and social benefits creating a better quality of life for all people living in the areas we explore.