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 2020, Coeur developed a strategic framework and guidance, guided by our vision, to set the tone and direction for each site and form the basis for long-term, consistent, yet tailored implementation across our locations.
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 2020, we provided over 45 apprenticeships, over 140 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 2020 Responsibility Report.
Frankie Graham was born and raised in the farming community of Lovelock, NV, the closest community to the Rochester mine. In her youth, Frankie was active with the local 4H and sports and graduated from Pershing County High School. After graduation, she took college courses in business at the University of Texas at Arlington and Western Nevada Community College.
Frankie gained her first years of work experiences with a law firm in Lovelock, working during high school and then returning later in adulthood. In between, Frankie spent five formative years at the Rochester mine working in the geology, safety, and blasting departments between 1987 and 1993. During that time, she was featured as a member of the blasting crew in an article in the Lovelock Review Miner on women in non-traditional roles.
Frankie left the mine site in 1993 and spent 13 years with the local school district working in the middle school office and, for five of those years, as the girls high school basketball coach. In 2012, Frankie returned to the Rochester team to work for the Human Resources department, and she has been a valued member of the team ever since!
Currently, Frankie is an active member of the Nevada Mining Association Education Committee. When she’s not working or volunteering, Frankie enjoys time with her family, crafting and creating, cooking, outdoor activities, and photography. Coeur is proud to have Frankie as a member of the Rochester team and Lovelock community.
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.
Coeur Alaska (Kensington) demonstrated a renewed focus on building a legacy for local Alaskan students and its commitment to environmental education in Southeast Alaska by donating $300,000 to the Coeur Alaska - Kensington Gold Mine Environmental Science Award, an endowed scholarship at the University of Alaska Southeast. Coeur initiated the endowment in 1991 and has continued contributions since then. According to a 2017 scholarship recipient, this fund allowed her to “quit [her] job and focus on her studies.” The same recipient views the value from Coeur as helping “more students [to] begin to understand the complex relationship that exist[s] between the mining industry, economics, politics and the environment.
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.
Terri Szabo is the Kaska Liaison Officer for the Kaska Nation at Coeur Silvertip, which is located on the ancestral lands of the Kaska People. The Kaska Nation is one of the largest traditional territories in the southern Yukon Territory, and it overlaps into Northern British Columbia. The Nation consists of five bands:
Ms. Szabo was born and raised in the Yukon Territory and is the mother of two daughters, Zoey and Annette, and the grandmother of Kaia and Mackenzie. She has worked with various levels of government and non-profits in administration and restorative justice. Since 2007, she has worked in mining, across the mine life cycle from exploration to reclamation. Ms. Szabo has an Associate of Arts Degree and a bachelor's of Social Work. She spends time volunteering and is the current President of the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s council whose mandate is to fight for the rights of First Nation Women and Girls.
As the Kaska Liaison Officer, Ms. Szabo works closely with Coeur Human Resources in hiring and retaining Kaska Members. She developed and maintains a Kaska Human Resource Inventory used to recruit Kaska Members when there is a job opportunity. Ms. Szabo connects Kaska Members to Silvertip job, training and apprenticeship opportunities for the Silvertip Mine.
Additionally, Ms. Szabo facilitates the identification, communication and resolution of Kaska Member complaints and grievances with Coeur and the Advisory Committee. In her role, she provides reports to the Advisory Committee and to the five Kaska Communities, filling a vital need for communication and stakeholder engagement for the site.
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.