Our Sustainability Journey & Priorities

We are committed to meeting—and going beyond—regulatory requirements in pursuit of responsible and sustainable mining, sharing value with neighbouring communities and Indigenous groups, and minimizing our impact on the natural environment and climate. With the continued operation of the Brucejack Mine, we are advancing and strengthening our approach to sustainability at Pretivm. In 2020, this included an update to our materiality assessment, setting goals to extend our sustainability work and establish targets, and first steps in developing an overarching corporate sustainability strategy to guide our efforts over the coming years.

Our Approach

Our Board of Directors and the senior management team drive Pretivm’s sustainability program, and all staff contribute to its successful execution. Ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities and stakeholders including local communities, local businesses, and governments, provides the foundation for our sustainability program and supports our efforts to be a leader in sustainable mining. We designed and built the Brucejack Mine to have a small footprint, no tailings dam, and one of the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity ratings for gold mines in the world. We are proud of what we have achieved to date and look forward to the next steps of our sustainability journey.

Our Strategy

In accordance with the precautionary principle and best environmental and social management practices, Pretivm’s operational planning and decision-making is supported by science and engineering, as well as consultation with Indigenous partners and other stakeholders. Before constructing the Brucejack Mine, we undertook comprehensive baseline studies and impact assessments and we have collected years of site-specific baseline data pertaining to meteorology, glaciology, flora and fauna, water quality, hydrology, land use, and other topics. The outcomes of those studies, our management plans, and ongoing Indigenous and stakeholder engagement directly inform our activities today, and we continue to build on this body of knowledge through environmental monitoring programs, socio-economic evaluations, and site-specific investigations.

In 2020, we initiated the development of a comprehensive sustainability strategy for our business, aligned with our corporate strategy and including specific environmental, social, and governance goals. Strategy development continues in 2021, but we are pleased to report on progress to date including our updated materiality assessment, and near-term goals for our priority topics.

Pretivm’s Sustainability Strategy Development Process 

Understanding Our Priorities

In 2020, we updated our materiality assessment, which helps us understand and prioritize the sustainability topics most relevant to our business. We commissioned external sustainability professionals to facilitate this process and ensure that best practices for materiality assessments were applied. Topics related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors were examined as they related to the Brucejack Mine, its supporting infrastructure (including the transmission line, Knipple and Wildfire camps, and access road), ongoing exploration activity, and Pretivm’s corporate operations.

Materiality Assessment

Our business intersects with a wide range of ESG factors through our physical activities at the Mine, our relationships with workers, and our interactions with communities, regulators, investors, and other stakeholders. To address internal and external interests, and provide high-quality reporting and disclosure, we need to understand which topics matter the most to Pretivm and to the people we interact with. We understand our priority (“material”) topics to include those that have a significant environmental, social, and/or governance impact, or those that substantively influence the assessments and decisions of our stakeholders.

Our materiality assessment included a series of interviews with internal and external stakeholders, including representatives of our management, Board, human resources, Indigenous partners, and key investors. We also reviewed the issues considered material by our peers of varying sizes and geographical scopes. We reviewed our corporate risk register, past materiality assessments, investment reports, and our annual socio-economic monitoring results. Industry guidance such as the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Towards Sustainable Mining principles and protocols, the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Mining Principles, and the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles was also considered. 

After compiling and analyzing the initial inputs, we convened leaders from across our business for a validation workshop to review, prioritize and confirm our understanding of our material topics. Participants included our CEO, VP Environment and Regulatory Affairs, and representatives of human resources, health and safety, environment, community and Indigenous relations, and investor relations.

Our Approach to Materiality Assessment

The materiality assessment helps us understand the topics that matter most to our internal and external stakeholders and where we have the greatest impact. This prioritization informs our management efforts, resource allocation, reporting, and disclosures. The topics outlined below also provide the basis on which to define meaningful goals and KPIs as part of our evolving corporate sustainability strategy.

Our Priority Topics

We identified 12 topics of varying levels of importance to our business and our stakeholders. We report on the management of all these topics, with a focus on those of highest priority (Tier 1 and Tier 2). Below we include a description of each priority topic, its boundaries, and where further information is available within this report. Information about how we manage these topics is presented within the relevant sections of this report.

ENVIRONMENTAL
ENVIRONMENTAL
SOCIAL
SOCIAL
GOVERNANCE
GOVERNANCE
Climate
Change
Water
Effluents
and Waste
Environmental
Compliance
Biodiversity
and Ecosystems
Reclamation
and Closure
Local Communities
and Indigenous Groups
Safety, Security,
and Health
Workforce Development,
Diversity, and Inclusion
Socio-Economic
Impacts
Emergency Response
and Preparedness
Ethics and
Integrity
Importance to Pretivm
Significance to Our Stakeholders
Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
Materiality Matrix
Click on Pretivm’s material topics to learn more.
Click on Pretivm’s material topics to learn more.
Click on Pretivm’s material topics to learn more.
Click on Pretivm’s material topics to learn more.
TopicDescriptionTopic BoundarySection
ENVIRONMENTAL
Climate
Change
Climate change is one of society’s most pressing challenges; the threat of rising global temperatures has implications on weather patterns, water security and other climate-related risks. The extractive industry has historically been a climate change contributor, and Pretivm is committed to purposeful action to manage emissions and expand utilization of green energy sources. We have a responsibility to run our operations as effciently as possible.
  • Brucejack Mine1
Water
Water is a key interest of Indigenous groups and other stakeholders. Through a comprehensive management plan and water stewardship, we prioritize the preservation of local water reserves and downstream water quality.
  • Brucejack Mine1
Effluents
and Waste
Mining operations have associated wastes and effluents, including tailings, the management of which is an important component of our design and operation. We ensure environmental and social risk mitigation by employing waste management programs that go beyond environmental and industrial waste regulations to subscribe to industry best practices and expectations set out by global and national mining sector organizations.
  • Brucejack Mine1
Environmental
Compliance
To ensure the continuation of our operations as planned, we seek diligent management and ongoing compliance with environmental regulations. Compliance with these strict regulations also ensures minimal environmental impact and a preserved social reputation.
  • Brucejack Mine1
Biodiversity
and Ecosystems
Protecting the natural landscape and its biodiversity is a significant part of our environmental management approach. It is also key to our long-term stewardship of the area around the Brucejack Mine.
  • Brucejack Mine1
Reclamation
and Closure
The environmental and social responsibilities we carry extend beyond the period of ore production and into the closure phase. We commit to minimizing land impacts by our operation through ongoing reclamation of disturbed areas and planning for closure.
  • Brucejack Mine1
SOCIAL
Local Communities
and Indigenous Groups
We value the input and involvement of nearby communities and First Nations. We invest in regular and meaningful engagement with these groups to collect feedback, identify economic opportunities, and collaborate towards mutual benefits. In all our activities, we uphold respect for cultures, customs, and values of people with whom our operations interact.
  • Brucejack Mine1
  • Regional and corporate offices
  • Northwest BC communities and Indigenous groups
Safety, Security,
and Health
Safety is our top priority. Protecting the holistic wellbeing of our workers (including physical and mental well-being), as well as the safety, security, and health of nearby communities and people who may use areas around our operations is of utmost importance.
  • Brucejack Mine1
  • Regional and corporate offices
Workforce Development,
Diversity, and Inclusion
Our people are essential to our business. Beyond simply attracting and retaining workers, we make efforts to encourage diversity and equal opportunity, and to provide meaningful professional development and capacity building opportunities for our employees.
  • Brucejack Mine1
  • Regional and corporate offices
Socio-Economic
Impacts
The Brucejack Mine is part of the regional economy of Northwest BC, with direct and indirect socio-economic impacts. It supports economic development and growth by providing employment to the regional population, opportunities for regional businesses, developing skills of the workforce, and supporting socio-economic benefits for Indigenous groups and local communities.
  • Brucejack Mine1
  • Northwest BC communities and Indigenous groups
Emergency Response
and Preparedness
Protecting our people, neighbours, and the regional environment is key in the unlikely event of an emergency, such as significant spills or a communicable disease outbreak. We manage emergencies that may arise at our operation through intentional planning and preparedness measures, including training, drill practices, diligent monitoring, and prevention practices.
  • Brucejack Mine1
GOVERNANCE
Ethics and
Integrity
Ethics, integrity, and good governance are critical to the long-term success of our business. Through our compliance and high internal standards on corporate governance, human rights, and ESG practices, along with transparent and regular engagement with our key stakeholders, we ensure concidence among our stakeholders and shareholders.
  • Brucejack Mine1
  • Regional and corporate offices

1 Brucejack Mine inclusive of the underground mine, surface mine site, access road, camps, transmission line, and related activities, and in our selection of suppliers and contractors.

Stakeholder Engagement

Engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders informed the materiality assessment, this report, and our sustainability strategy more broadly. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 put an emphasis on virtual engagements with external stakeholders and required physical distancing at the Mine. It also showed the importance of ensuring clear and consistent communications about how the impacts and implications of the pandemic were being addressed.

Our activities are informed by many years of engagement with Indigenous groups, communities, provincial regulators, education and training institutions, and other interested parties. More information about our engagement with Indigenous groups and community stakeholders is provided in Community Relations and Indigenous Involvement.

Key stakeholder groups and related topics of engagement in 2020 are summarized below.

Workers
All direct employees and contractor workers at the Brucejack Mine
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and continued safe operations at the Mine
  • Pretivm's values and Courage to Care
  • Visible Felt Leadership and building corporate culture
Indigenous Groups
Nisga’a Nation, Tahltan Nation, Gitanyow Nation, and other Indigenous groups in Northwest BC
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and safe continued operations at the Mine
  • Project planning and regulatory referrals
  • Recruitment, hiring, and training of Indigenous workers
  • Career fairs and school engagement
  • Community investment, including pandemic-related support to communities
Local Communities
Communities including Terrace, Smithers, Stewart, Nisga’a villages, Tahltan communities, and other Northwest BC communities
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and safe continued operations at the Mine
  • Recruitment, hiring, and training of workers
  • Career fairs and school engagement
  • Community investment, including pandemic-related support to communities
Contractors and Suppliers
On-site contractors including underground mining, as well as off-site contractors and suppliers
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and safe continued operations at the Mine
  • Indigenous and local hiring opportunities
Investors
Shareholders, institutional investors, other equity/debt holders, banks, and credit rating agencies
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and safer operations at the Mine
  • Reduction in carbon emissions
  • Relations with local First Nations and communities
  • Health and safety performance
  • Governance policies and standards
Government
Provincial and federal regulators and other government agencies
Engagement Topics:
  • COVID-19 and safe continued operations at the Mine
  • Project planning and permitting processes
  • Compliance with permits and regulations
  • Indigenous engagement

 

Our Sustainability Goals

Beginning in 2020, we are setting annual goals to help evaluate our performance and progress. These goals are intended to support Pretivm in minimizing our environmental impact, ensuring the safety of our workers, and supporting benefits for neighbouring communities and Indigenous groups. Our goals for 2021 are summarized below. Many of these goals are intended to support the advancement of our sustainability program by establishing baselines to support future planning and goal-setting efforts. We will report on our progress, and updated goals, where relevant, in our next Sustainability Report.

Topic Goal for 2021
Environment
Climate Change
  • Maintain industry-leading emissions intensity, and remain below CleanBC global emissions intensity benchmark
  • Establish baseline emissions intensity and energy consumption metrics for future reduction planning
  • Submit Pretivm’s first CDP report
Water
  • Maintain the proportion of process water recycled in the mill year-over-year
  • Establish baseline water use intensity for freshwater process water make-up and potable water for future reduction planning
Effluents and Waste
  • Zero effluent non-compliances
  • Zero Level 3 spill events
  • Establish baseline for off-site waste removal for future reduction planning
Environmental Compliance
  • Achieve zero material non-compliances
Social  
Local Communities and Indigenous Groups
  • Develop contract policy that supports objectives within formal agreements with Indigenous partners
  • Develop an overarching Brucejack Mine engagement plan
Safety, Security, and Health
  • Zero fatalities
  • Improve year-over-year Lost Time Injury Frequency rate
Workforce Development, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Develop a formal compensation framework that supports the Company’s commitment to fair wages (equal pay for equal work)
  • Prioritize regional and Indigenous participation in workforce, to achieve at least 50% of workers from Northwest BC, and at least 33% of workers who identify as Indigenous
  • Implement formal supervisor and leadership development program to support workforce development
Socio-Economic Impacts
  • Develop contracting policy that prioritizes local and Indigenous suppliers & service providers
  • Contribute 0.5% of 3-year average EBITDA to support community investment projects and initiatives by 2024
Governance
Ethics and Integrity
  • Implement company-wide education about our whistleblower platform
  • Enhance ESG disclosures within Pretivm’s Management Discussion & Analysis and securities reporting

Topics where Pretivm aims to show leadership within the mining industry.