Case Study

Paracatu – Responding to Neighbours’ Concerns

With the mine life at Paracatu expected to extend until 2041, it is paramount for Kinross to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with our neighbouring communities, some of which lie in close proximity to our mining operations. The Paracatu Stakeholder Committee has proved an effective forum for hearing community concerns and working together to find mutually acceptable solutions.

When area residents raised concerns about the impact of increased blasting activities, we undertook a consultation process, consisting of 14 community meetings. Technical experts were brought in to carry out a Technical and Social Impact Assessment, including a structural assessment of 207 houses in neighbouring communities to establish baseline assessments of the impact from noise, vibrations and dust. Area homes were examined to determine if there was a relationship between blasting and structural cracks.

In June 2009, Kinross convened a meeting with the Stakeholder Committee to examine the results of those assessments and develop an action plan to minimize impacts and maximize social benefits. The result was a formal agreement that catalogues several positive outcomes:

  • The mine has modified explosive charges according to the proximity of blasting to neighbouring communities, established agreed-to timeframes during which blasting can occur and provided training and wages to support community monitoring. We continue to explore technological options to minimize blasting impacts;
  • A tree line is being established to mitigate dust and noise, additional water spraying systems are in place to reduce dust at the mine and on the roads, and noise monitoring points are being reviewed to ensure they are appropriately placed;
  • Through a joint planning session with local residents’ associations and city officials, a buffer zone has been discussed. The assessment to define Kinross’ plan for acquisitions of the identified homes and the relocation of residents according to a mutually-agreed plan will begin in 2010;
  • While no correlation was found between blasting and cracks in the 207 homes examined, homeowners wanting further assurance were given the option to have their reports independently reviewed. We are continuing to monitor the impacts; and
  • Kinross is continuing to support local economic development by giving neighbouring residents priority for jobs and educational opportunities, qualifying as local suppliers, and, beginning in 2010, providing social investment funding to neighbourhood associations.