Coeur is helping to contribute to the long-term economic viability and legacy of the communities surrounding our mining operations across all locations where Coeur maintains a presence. We have built positive relationships with the communities near where we work and live, and our efforts, together, create lasting positive impacts beyond the life of our mines.
In 2021, Coeur developed a stakeholder management system which will be fully implemented in 2022.
We provide competitive wages and benefits that contribute not only to our employees’ well-being but also to the economic strength of the communities near where we operate. Hiring local people enhances local knowledge, spurs economic growth and helps to build community support.
Our investment in education and training within the communities near our operations helps create a pipeline of workers from the local communities. We partner with local schools, universities, other mines and other organizations to provide education about the mining industry as well as relevant skills training.
During 2021, we provided over 88 apprenticeships, over 147 scholarships and worked with organizations such as By the Hand Club and My Block My Hood My City in Chicago and The Lowry Foundation in Winnemucca, NV. Additionally, a new workforce training initiative supported by Rochester graduated nine students. Other youth opportunities include internships encouraging students to study in mining-related fields and a summer work program at some sites that is open first to employees’ children and then to the wider community of high school students.
These initiatives not only support the development of a local workforce but contribute to the sustainment of our multigenerational workforce. Additionally, providing educational and career opportunities to local community members and participating in community initiatives creates a closer connection between our operations and local stakeholders and communities.
For more information on our strategies and performance, please refer to our 2021 ESG Report.
In addition to investments in education and local hiring, we contribute to long-term community and economic development through donations, partnerships and employee volunteerism to help communities flourish. With a large presence in the areas surrounding our operations, we believe it is equally important to display utmost respect to local traditions and to play an active part in their preservation and continued growth.
We find that engaging proactively with community members can help foster positive long-term relationships. Engagement includes providing transparent and timely information on the operations while also listening and responding to feedback and concerns. Through our community relations strategy, we will also enhance the engagement process that identifies their needs and long-term priorities.
One of our long-term commitments is The Wharf Fund a million-dollar endowment fund established in 2012 based on an identified need to create a long-term social and economic benefit and to leave a long-term legacy for Lead, South Dakota and surrounding communities. The fund has donated over $300,000 since 2012 in the areas of community development, education, arts and culture and health. Coeur Wharf continues to donate to the fund annually with the goal to grow it to $2 million by mine closure.
Coeur supports indirect economic development in the communities in which we work and live by striving to use local suppliers when available. Another positive economic impact to communities comes through tax and royalty payment to local governments. Coeur paid over $45.8 million to governments (including Indigenous governing bodies) in taxes, royalties and fees globally in 2020. This figure does not include payroll taxes or consumption (e.g., sales and use) taxes.
The Palmarejo mine is located in a remote area in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and surrounded by 28 host communities.
Our Coeur Mexicana team has a long history of engaging and working with the host communities through investing in education and skills training, offering employment opportunities, providing free medical care and completing infrastructure improvements, including its Dignified Housing Project.
In 2021, the Coeur Mexicana team launched its Dignified Housing Project and partnered with communities to provide support and services to help improve living conditions for local families.
The scope of the project ranges from providing substantial house improvements for the most vulnerable families in the region to providing orchards and backyard farms for sustainable food supply.
To date, 13 families from the communities of San José de Guazapares, Santa Clara and Cinco Señores benefited from the project, including from the:
Programs like our Dignified Housing Project enhance our ability to positively impact the communities where we operate and help contribute to the long-term economic viability and quality of life of host communities beyond the life of our mines.
Coeur respects and promotes the rights of the indigenous groups in our communities. We foster open and honest communication in all aspects of stakeholder relations and establish long-term mutually beneficial relationships with local indigenous communities.
Coeur Silvertip is committed to fostering strong relationships with and providing employment and business development opportunities to First Nations and local communities around the mine site. As part of this commitment, we have a socio-economic participation agreement with the five First Nations of the Kaska First Nations and an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Tahltan Nation.
Coeur has the highest regard for the dignity, well-being, and human rights of our employees, the communities in which we work and live and other stakeholders affected by our operations. We do not tolerate any human rights abuses at our operations, with our business partners, or within our supply chain. We do not tolerate child labor or forced labor of any kind and respect our employees' voluntary freedom of association. We engage with local communities, indigenous people, government agencies and other stakeholders to identify, understand and address potential impacts of our operations on human rights.
Coeur's asset platform is North America-focused and U.S.-centric, with a low geopolitical risk profile and not located in or near areas of conflict. Though human rights, security and indigenous rights are important to consider at every site, the lack of conflict and low risk profile mitigates the risks.
Human Rights topics are included in our ethics and compliance trainings to facilitate employee awareness of the Human Rights policy and their involvement in its implementation.
In 2021, Coeur reviewed, refreshed our Human Rights Policy, and identified enhancements to the due diligence and risk assessment process to be implemented in 2022.