GETTING CLOSER

in the
far North

How a Canadian mining company is using stakeholder management software to make a positive difference to local communities and its social license to operate

Challenges

  • Multiple users and different work methods
  • Ensure continuous improvement based on data integrity Weekly reporting to operations management

Main Goals

  • Make local employment and training/ business opportunities
    accessible to the Inuit population
  • Protect Inuit values, culture and language, as well as land, water and wildlife

We act in a socially responsible manner and contribute to the communities in which we operate in order to make a difference in their everyday lives. We are committed to working with our employees and other stakeholders to create growth and prosperity, which allows all stakeholders to benefit from our mining experience.

Source : Agnico Eagle’s 2017 Sustainable Development Report

Nunavut is the Northernmost territory of Canada

– and one of the world’s most remote areas –with a population of 35,000, most of which are Inuit. The Inuit are classified as a distinctive group of Aboriginal Canadians who are not included under the First Nations designation.

Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreements (IIBA) are part of Nunavut legislation in order to ensure that Inuit have input on what is happening on their land. Inuit use these agreements to ensure that their voices are heard, that benefits go to their community and that any impacts are mitigated. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (AEM), headquartered in Toronto, has been operating in Nunavut since 2007. 

The organization has always been committed to making a significant and positive difference in the communities where it operates. To ensure success, the AEM team needed to apply the same rigor to evaluating their social performance as applied to all other aspects of the business, easily link community outcomes and business value to create shared value.

Managing and measuring

To help with their more rigorous community relations reporting approach, they needed a software solution to help with the management and measurement of their community relations program and data. The solution would help them leverage information to:

  • Drive improved strategy: with direct and specific feedback on what and where they need to strategically focus and how to improve existing programs.
  • Better engage: provide a focal point for quantitative measurement of risk and performance.
  • Develop KPIs: provide the basis to develop achieveable targets (leading and lagging).

The Boréalis Stakeholder Engagement software was a natural solution to help the Community Relations team successfully improved its strategy while tracking external complaints and following up on past issues. They were able to build a stronger relationship with the communities and to optimize their stakeholder engagement activities.

Operations in Nunavut since

2007

(other operations are in Quebec, Finland and Mexico)

Number of people managing daily activities related to the Impact and Benefit Agreements

3

Senior Canadian gold mining company operating since

1957

Number of people dedicated to community relations and stakeholder engagement

8

Overview

Through these agreements, both AEM and the KIA are intent on ensuring that business opportunities, employment and training opportunities arising from the projects will benefit the communities of the Kivalliq. As a long-term goal, Agnico Eagle and the KIA are working toward a rate of at least 50 percent Inuit employment.

The company also needs to be compliant with the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) requirements; this requires a set of tools and indicators to drive performance and ensure that key mining risks are managed responsibly.
Before activating Boréalis, the team had managed follow-ups with emails and spreadsheets – a very challenging task. It was hard to find information rapidly. People were not used to tracking what they were doing and some key information was often missing. Furthermore, it was impossible to track issues and improve community engagement.

In July 2015, Agnico Eagle and the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) signed the Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the Meliadine project in Nunavut. The Meadowbank project already had an IIBA, which was renewed in 2017. The same year, Agnico Eagle also signed the Whale Tail IIBA.

AEM needed a stakeholder
engagement system offering:

Solution

  • Reporting and analytics
  • Configuration options
  • Offline capabilities
  • High security

The AEM team analyzed and assessed 10 systems before choosing Boréalis. According to the project manager, the Boréalis stakeholder engagement platform quickly stood out with a high score because the solution responded to most of their requirements.

Most of all, the AEM team thought the software was the most user-friendly. This was important due to different levels of team-member computer knowledge. Furthermore, change management has been one of the biggest threats to success while implementing new business software.

Indicators of performance in Community Relations Engagement, within the framework of our Responsible Mining Management System (RMMS), were developed and implemented with the aid of Boréalis, our community relations software. The ability to clearly communicate and provide more concrete examples of how our community investments, programs and engagement translate into measurable social outcomes is essential to validate our efforts to create shared value and reflect what matters most to the organization and its key stakeholders.

Source : Agnico Eagle’s 2017 Sustainable Development Report

Outcomes

  • Capture and categorization of all emails regarding the communities
  • Identification and tracking of compliance issues
  • Strategy always aligned with community feedback
  • Better communications with external stakeholders
  • External complaint management
  • Stakeholder data now more usable
  • Better decision-making
  • Smarter analytics
  • Overall efficiently
  • Easy reporting
  • Internal task management
  • Monitoring of field meetings
  • Stronger engagement with the communities

Future outlook

Agnico Eagle will continue to use Boréalis to help them measure Social License/Social Acceptability and:

  • Relationships: evaluating the effectiveness of activities/ engagement programs and level of trust and acceptance within the community.
  • Community wellness: evaluating the success of community investment/development programs in improving overall community well-being.
The solution will be expanded to other departments, and by taking an integrated approach to Social Acceptability and improving information management, AEM hopes to use Boréalis as an Early Warning System for social risk management. This will allow them to develop a proactive approach to their relationships, and by having a better understanding of community irritants to mitigate or minimizing negative impacts and prevent social conflicts before they occur.

Boréalis is fun, useful and easy. We’ve all become Boréalis geeks! We have fun working with the application and are finding more ways to improve our work. We have just started to play with the software and the potential is huge; every day, we discover a little more how it can make our work easier and more impactful.”

Candace Ramcharan - General Supervisor, Community Relations at AEM
Agnico-Eagle case study