COMMUNITIES

Through learning, dialogue and collaboration, we seek to strengthen our engagement with communities and build a common vision of future regional development.

CONTEXT

Developing mining for a better future implies conducting our activities in a prosperous social environment and the wellbeing of our neighbours is key for the sustainability of our business. However, we know that our activities affect communities and we strive daily to prevent the adverse impact of our activities and to show that mining can provide unique development opportunities for the regions where it takes place.

Our operations are located in areas with different social and environmental contexts. We coexist with a variety of communities in Chile, mainly located in Antofagasta and Coquimbo Regions. Los Pelambres operates in the largely agricultural Choapa Valley and interacts with several communities. Our mining operations in northern Chile are located in desert areas near small communities with a longmining tradition.

The experience of cohabiting with communities in different geographical and social contexts has taught us that each region has its opportunities and challenges and that dialogue and collaboration among the different players that inhabit the region contribute to people’s development and provide creative and relevant solutions to local problems. Through different dialogue mechanisms, we seek to make a significant contribution to the development and wellbeing of our host communities, respond to their expectations and concerns, and embed lasting capabilities to promote their productive activities, culture and tradition.

MANAGEMENT

In 2018 we launched a new Social Management Model that will be gradually implemented from 2019 in our operations and in the Group’s other operating companies.

The objective of the Social Management Model is to have a single, integrated way of operating at Group level to enable the application of common engagement principles, methodologies and practices, guarantee excellence in project execution, measure impacts and have a socio-territorial risk management system that offers the quantity and quality of information needed to make evidence-based decisions.

The Social Management Model consists of four components and includes standards for the application of each one.

In 2018 we worked on the conceptual development of the Model, the Engagement Standard and the Initiatives Management Standard. The latter includes the development of an online platform containing all the information regarding each project or social programme’s physical and economic state of progress.

The Model was launched at the end of the year with all our operations’ regional teams, together with the standards and online platform. In 2019 we will prepare the Impact Measurement and Socio-Territorial Risk Standards, as well as reinforce the Model’s implementation at operations.

  • Engagement mechanisms: dialogue with local people is crucial for aligning views on the region, resolving disputes and addressing concerns. To strengthen such dialogue, we use different engagement mechanisms: citizen dialogue, round tables, community meetings, participatory environmental monitoring with the community and community visits to operations, as well as communications in the media, on websites and social networks.

  • Formal complaint mechanisms: each operating company has a formal system to monitor its commitments to the community and to investigate and respond to queries and complaints.

  • Disputes: engagement mechanisms based on the Somos Choapa and Dialogues for Development design have allowed community concerns to be aired, creating opportunities to resolve possible issues sooner and avoid high conflict levels. However, there are communities that are not yet part of Somos Choapa, with whom other dialogue mechanisms have been used. One example is the Cuncumén community, close to Los Pelambres, with whom dialogue was established to address the inconvenience caused by unusual levels of dust from Los Quillayes tailings storage facility. This led to an agreement to strengthen preventative measures when elevated levels of dust are detected.

  • Water availability: water scarcity, mainly caused by long periods of drought, has been a constraint on the development of various productive activities. This is especially evident in the central region of Chile, where the majority of agricultural activity is concentrated and coexists with different activities, such as mining. This is one of Antofagasta Minerals’ greatest challenges as Los Pelambres operates in the mainly agricultural Choapa Valley. For this reason, Los Pelambres has put in place operational measures to protect water quality and ensure efficiency of use.

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    In addition, initiatives designed in conjunction with the community and public agencies have improved the structure and efficiency of local irrigation systems for small and medium-sized farmers, as well as the availability and quality of drinking water in communities. Good examples of this are the Confluye and APRoxima programmes.

  • Culture and heritage: communities cherish their identity and cultural heritage and this has led to the creation of programmes that work with the communities to recover cultural traditions, public spaces and places rich with local history. Los Pelambres has carried out various activities to contribute to the recovery and/or improvement of public spaces for the community. In 2018 the most popular initiatives were the Recreo Programme, to improve communities’ public spaces and green areas, and the Gran Mateada initiative encouraging neighbours to drink mate (a traditional hot drink) together in communal areas.

    Protecting natural and cultural heritage is also part of Antofagasta Minerals’ history. In 2018 we supported the opening of the Monte Aranda Rock Art Park in Choapa Valley, which protects and displays archaeological pieces belonging to the local indigenous culture.

Our social contribution comprises our portfolio of social management projects and programmes containing all our community commitments including mandatory and voluntary initiatives as well as donations and programmes implemented by Minera Los Pelambres Foundation.

While the origin of these social projects and programmes may be different, they all correspond to commitments we have with communities.

Economic Social Contribution1 2018 2017 2016
Millions of $ invested in the community 33.7 12.5 24.3

1 Figure for 2018 includes mandatory and voluntary social projects and programmes, donations, social agreements and programmes managed by Minera Los Pelambres Foundation. In 2017 only voluntary social projects and programmes were included.

Shared resources and community impacts have been a source of friction and our response has often been reactive. The learnings in the Choapa Valley are driving us towards a genuine search for long-term development plans, contributing to the prosperity of local communities through dialogue conducive to a shared vision of regional development and moving the relationship from one of competition to one of coexistence.

In 2014 we developed a new and innovative local engagement framework called Somos Choapa (We are Choapa). Four years later, this framework has been established throughout most of Los Pelambres’ area of influence and successfully replicated through the Dialogues for Development initiative at our operations in northern Chile.

This innovation has resulted in a redistribution of power among the different stakeholders, as well as alignment towards a shared vision of a sustainable future in the areas where we operate.

With the participation of more than 22,000 people, a portfolio of 131 initiatives has been developed, of which 41% are complete, 28% in execution and the remainder in the conceptual or feasibility stage. Focused on economic, social and environmental development, the following initiatives stand out: employment, productive diversification, education, road safety, city, community, local identity, health, and waste and water issues.