Our mines at Fort Knox in Alaska, Kettle River-Buckhorn in Washington and Round Mountain in Nevada, as well as at our reclamation sites, are an integral part of their respective communities.
Kinross’ Fort Knox mine delivered a range of socio-economic benefits in Alaska in 2013, including jobs for approximately 620 employees and 170 contractors, approximately $229.5 million in Alaska-based procurement from suppliers in Alaska, and approximately $26.1 million in Alaska in taxes, royalties and other payments to governments.
Throughout 2012 and 2013, and based on consultation with the community, we focused our community investment program on developing partnerships with local schools and post-secondary institutions to provide support for a number of important educational and skills training initiatives. We also made investments in health care. Our community investment strategy reached over 230,000 beneficiaries in 2012 and 2013.
Program highlights for 2012 and 2013 include:
- Made a second three-year/$1 million endowment, (i.e., $330,000 per year) to the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), for a total contribution of $2 million over six years. Students and faculty at UAF collaborate with our Fort Knox mine on research projects, and Fort Knox employees regularly volunteer as members of UAF advisory boards.
- Developed partnerships between a group of technical employees from the mine and local high school teachers to develop curriculum using real-world mining data and models. This partnership will extend into 2014 with continued curriculum development and relevant tours.
- Mine employees taught a distance education course directed to high-school aged learners in co-ordination with the group “Pathways to Mining”. This University of Alaska program links mines with potential future workers. A similar course is being developed for the interior of Alaska.
- Sponsored first Arctic Innovation Junior Competition, in partnership with the UAF School of Management and local high schools. This competition encourages school-aged children to submit innovative and energy savings products/projects to be judged during a full day of competition. Mine engineers and managers participated in the full-day event, culminating in an awards ceremony.
- We created classroom and field programs to teach students of all ages about opportunities in mining. As part of our outreach to younger students, we hosted 567 grade school students and 165 chaperones to the mine in 2013. In addition, several geotechnical employees visited local elementary schools to teach about exploration, we hosted a group of high-school-aged students interested in careers, and co-hosted Alaska Resource Education for two programs: a conference teaching 22 teachers (“Teach the Teacher”) the basics of mining and a day camp for 300 children focused on resources.
Our Fort Knox mine donated a D10 CAT dozer to UAF’s Career and Technical College (CTC).The CTC hopes to train more specialized mechanics in the state of Alaska, in turn reducing recruitment and relocation costs for companies such as Kinross which currently bring qualified mechanics from other areas. Shown here is Eric Hill, General Manager, Fort Knox.
Kettle River-Buckhorn generated a range of socio-economic benefits in the local region in 2013, including providing employment for approximately 230 employees and 160 contractors (of whom 85% lived in the region), purchasing goods and services from about 145 local suppliers generating $22.7 million in local procurement, and contributing about $9.4 million in Washington State taxes, royalties and payments to governments. Our community investment strategy reached over 96,000 beneficiaries in 2012 and 2013.
At Kettle River-Buckhorn, our community investment program is focused on encouraging local businesses, conservation and education.
Program highlights in 2012 and 2013 spanned a number of key areas.
- In 2012 and 2013, we continued our support for schools in Ferry and Okanogan Counties by contributing a total of $140,000 directed primarily toward science, technology and infrastructure improvements as well as vocational programs and scholarships. In 2013, our donation to the Republic School District completed Phase III of its elementary school playground project, a successful and collaborative partnership with long-term positive impacts.
- Through a business partnership with a local microbrewery, initiated in 2013, we helped to bring live musical and cultural performance to local students and the community, with a number of bands visiting local area schools.
- In 2012 and 2013, we continued to support a “good neighbour” donation program, where each December we donate $1,000 to multiple local businesses in the area. Business owners use the funds at their discretion to provide store credit for customers who they know are suffering difficult times. This not only provides a boost to the local economy, but also directly helps local people in need. The program continues to be extremely well received and successful.
We continue to engage employees in the Kettle River-Buckhorn annual Haul Route Litter Cleanup day. Initiated in 2010, each year during Ferry County Pride Month, some 50 employees volunteer to clean over 96 kilometres (60 miles) of roadside along the haul route from the mine to the mill. We collect over 2,000 pounds of litter and separate the aluminum cans for donation to a local youth group to recycle as a fundraiser.
Each year, we also work to educate the community on responsible mining and conservation practices at various community events, including Arbor Day, Conservation Fair, Earth Day, Prospectors Days and local county fairs.
Kinross is the leading employer in the Big Smoky Valley, the remote rural region where our Round Mountain mine is located, and our financial and volunteer support provides essential resources for educational, health and youth initiatives. The Round Mountain expansion and Gold Hill are expected to extend the life of mine to 2019, with production expected to continue from stockpiled ore until 2021 and from the leach pad until 2025.
Socio-economic benefits to Nye County from the mine include providing jobs for approximately 870 employees and 130 contractors (of whom approximately 90% lived in the area), approximately $123.0 million in procurement of goods and services from about 533 Nevada suppliers, and $7.9 million in taxes, royalties and other payments to governments in Nevada. Our community investment strategy contributed to over 20,000 beneficiaries in 2012 and 2013.
Our in-kind donations of time and materials are a significant part of our contribution to the community, bringing skills and expertise to the community.
- Round Mountain employee volunteers play a leading role in providing emergency volunteer services to the community. To help meet the pressing need for emergency medical care in our rural community, we increased our support by providing Company time for new volunteers to successfully complete a 120-hour training course. In addition, we continued to provide monthly training sessions to help Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) maintain their certifications. Twenty-nine Round Mountain employees are Mine Emergency Response Technicians, and 18 employees are EMTs. These employees are allowed to leave their shift to respond to an off-site emergency on company time.
- Initiated a mentoring program for high school students, delivered by Round Mountain employees, emphasizing the importance of post-secondary education, as well as teaching essential career skills including resume writing and interview techniques. Employees also continue to contribute their time to coaching football, basketball and track and field.
- As the highest private sector taxpayer in Nye County, Round Mountain remained a significant contributor to funding of schools, road maintenance, and libraries, and supports grants for parks and recreational facilities.
We provided extensive in-kind support to the high school to help teach electrical, construction and welding skills. Over $60,000 was provided in time and materials to support the welding program in the high school. Quarterly meetings are held with the leadership team at the mine to track the progress of in-kind donations for each department. Employees are encouraged to provide ideas for in-kind donations to foster a mix of projects in the community.
Supporting Small Community Services
Given the remote location of the Round Mountain operation, our employees and their families living in the community need to travel 64 kilometres (40 miles) miles to the nearest hospital. The hospital is privately owned and has declared bankruptcy. In 2013, we initiated discussions with Nye County officials to explore ways of keeping the hospital running and viable. To help address the issue, we have extended access to our on-site medical clinic to local school teachers living in the community. Emergency services provided by the Kingston Volunteer Fire Department were also threatened due to a lack of funding which prevented vehicle maintenance and a lack of adequate protective gear for volunteers. To address concerns, we provided $10,000 in financial assistance to help the Department restore operations and get back into service.