Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is as much a part of building a new mine in developing nations as is rounding up a top engineering team. Almost every mining company has such a policy. Implementing it at all operations is key.
Today's question for our readers is this: Do you know and practice your employer's CSR policy?
Go to the CMJ website, www.CanadianMiningJournal.com, and click on the Hot Topic box on the right hand side of the page to vote.
If you have a comment on this topic or a suggestion for a future question, please send it to the Net News editor, Marilyn Scales, [email protected].
Last week: We enquired whether our readers have reason to think investment risk is on the rise South America or not. Not many had an opinion, but of those that did, 58% said "yes" and 32% said "no".
PEng James Hogarth of Maple Ridge, BC, took the time to tell us why he thinks risk is on the rise. "The situation in Venezuela combined with upcoming elections in Peru concern us somewhat. We have been working in South America for 20 years and have seen a lot of changes. President Chavez aside, Peru is seeing more and more local and regional protests that affect the mining industry. Some of it is very misguided and more political than anything. Unfortunately, this is not the time to be imposing additional uncertainty on the mining industry."
Brad Bowman, senior environmental scientist at N.A.R. Environmental Consultants of Sudbury, ON, had this to add: "My company is currently developing two hydro plants in Peru (US$45 million in capital; 25+ MW of installed capacity). As such, I am continually asked this question [about risk] by potential investors.
"My typical responses are a) there are currently 200+ mines seeking development approvals in Peru, all needing hydro, and b) there are 150 branches of the Bank of Nova Scotia operating within the country.
"At a fundamental level, I find that Canadians don't know South American geography and can't differentiate countries that represent opportunity (Peru, Chile, Argentina) from those that represent risk (Venezuela, Ecuador). Risk and return need to be balanced," concluded Bowman.