PLENARY SESSION – 7

27.09.2014SRK

Plenary Session "Impact of mining on sustaining social and economic regional development" will be held on October 9 in the Main Conference Hall of of the Radisson Slavyanskaya hotel. The session will be moderated by Ekaterina Vershinina, Director, Head of Environmental Department, SRK Consulting (Russia) Limited.

Sergey Baykalov, Managing Director Tardan Gold, Auriant Mining, will make a presentation "The contribution of mining companies in the socio-economic development of the regions (example of the Republic of Tuva)".

Alexandra Masaitis, Research Assistant, Co – Investigator on a “Good Neighbour Agreement” project for the Newmont Mining Corporation, Nevada, USA., University of Nevada, USA, will tell about "Reduction of Conflicts in Mining Development Using “Good Neighbour Agreements”. Conflicts between mining companies and communities are now prevalent in many countries of the world, both developed and developing. These conflicts have often resulted in delays of mine project development as well as adverse effects to the communities. Reduction of those conflicts has been shown to be best accomplished by good communication, transparency and a willingness to each of the parties to both understand the positions of other participants, but also a willingness to compromise. One of the types of agreements that have shown success is termed a “Good Neighbor Agreement”, or GNA. In this case, an agreement is negotiated where good communication and frequent meetings are required, and the resulting agreement has sufficient penalties that if any of the signatories to the agreement fail to abide by that agreement, those penalties will be imposed. This process is often complicated, but ultimately has the potential to reduce threats of appeals or legal action, but at the same time may require elimination of certain practices. It also requires a commitment to see this process through to the reclamation phase and long term stabilization of the environment and the economies of the affected communities.

Gleb Kuznetsov, Director, Petropavlovsk Foundation for Support of Socially-Oriented Projects and Programmes, will make a report "A new social contract for the mining industry". Over the past years Russian mining companies have changed several approaches to social responsibility, from the Soviet to the Western approach. Under the Soviet approach, social responsibility had been an essential part of a company’s activity along with exploration or analytics. Mining companies performed city-forming role, with whole range of social infrastructure on their balance sheet. In the 1990s there this principle collapsed, Russian mining companies completely or partially abandoned the social infrastructure. Social responsibility for businesses has become a voluntary decision; it became necessary mainly for building relations with the authorities. Companies that started trading publicly had to learn the concept of sustainability as it became the required norm to conform to Western standards (to present company for investors and increase it’s capitalization). Now comes the moment not to deny, but to combine approaches to social responsibility . Synthesis of approaches can be carried out in the form of formal social contract. Formalized and clear requirements will create transparent working environment, thus allowing company to devote most of the time to the direct activity and thereby contribute the development of the territory.

Vera Pomortseva, Head of unit at Government Relations Department, Uralkali, will make a presentation "Social responsibility as a basis for sustainable development of the company".

 

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