Located in the high Andes, our Chilean operations are accessed by public roads that cross traditional lands of indigenous peoples, the Colla. Over the years, our relationship with the Colla communities has evolved from informal ad hoc meetings to formal dialogue defined by signed agreements. In February 2014, we reached an important agreement with the Colla community, pertaining to property rights (see Key Stakeholder Issues section of this report). Against this backdrop, we have continued to work in parallel with the Colla in other communities to collaborate and partner on a range of initiatives such as the Lobo-Marte project and other matters in the region.
In 2012 and 2013, as part of the pre-project work for the permitting of Lobo-Marte, four formal technical Working Tables were established with four indigenous communities in the vicinity of Lobo-Marte, and included the participation of the CONADI. Several initiatives were undertaken with the communities, including an “ethno-mapping study” to identify areas of special interest and historic use. Through the working tables, the indigenous communities had a significant opportunity to influence and improve socio-economic, cultural, and environmental aspects of the project. A consensus was reached between Kinross and each Colla community and formal agreements were signed by the parties. Kinross’ work at Lobo-Marte was recognized by the Chilean Mining Council as a best practice in community relations. Although we have subsequently suspended permitting and development of the project due to strategic considerations, we continue to maintain our relationship with the four Colla communities through engagement and dialogue.
In 2012 and 2013, we supported a range of ongoing capacity-building activities, which included:
- Continued financial assistance and scholarships to Colla elementary and high-school students who must travel a substantial distance to attend classes. In 2012, we supported 122 Colla students and their families; in 2013, support was provided to 135 students;
- Continued veterinarian and other program support for rural water management and animal husbandry methods;
- Provided ongoing financial and in-kind assistance to the Multicultural Native Association.