Communities

To us, communities aren’t just places. They are the people on whom our operations can have an impact, and with whom we strive to build long-term partnerships: Indigenous peoples, landowners, suppliers, neighbours and our colleagues.

Communities and Social Performance Commitments Disclosure Interim Report

We have been working hard to implement meaningful change in the way Indigenous cultural heritage within our operations is managed and protected.

In September 2021, we released our Communities and Social Performance Commitments Disclosure Interim Report. The report details progress made in areas such as partnering with Pilbara Traditional Owners in modernising and improving agreements; introducing a new Communities and Social Performance model across the company; improving our governance, planning and systems relating to communities; and increasing Indigenous leadership and developing cultural competency within Apro Mining SA Group.

How We Work with Communities

Mining by its very nature requires disturbance to the land and environment and can have impacts on surrounding communities. At the same time mining also delivers significant economic and social benefits to communities, including employment, small business development, tax and royalty streams and education and health programmes.

We try to prevent and minimise impact – social, environmental and health and safety – in part by conducting detailed assessments, in consultation with local communities, and by following robust internal standards and practices that are in line with – and often go beyond – domestic regulations.

Everywhere we work, through all stages of the life of our operations, we respect and support all internationally recognised human rights, in line with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Our teams – everyone from archaeologists and economic development experts to human rights specialists – work in partnership with our communities to understand how our work affects their lives, their culture and their heritage. By doing so, we can respond to community concerns and work to optimise benefits and reduce negative impacts, both for the local community and for the company.

Our communities and social performance (CSP) standard defines the way we engage communities, and outlines the steps we take to identify and manage social, economic, environmental, cultural and human rights impacts throughout the life cycle of our projects, from exploration, to project development, to operation and closure. It also outlines our approach for managing and responding to community concerns and complaints, as well as closing operational sites.

We consult and engage with our communities regularly, in good faith, and in ways that are transparent, inclusive, and culturally appropriate. For example, we often have community information centres in local towns and villages and toll free contact numbers community members can call with questions or complaints. We take local languages into account when developing materials, and regularly present to local councils. We also strive to ensure our engagement is participatory and representative of the community, including women, youth and vulnerable people.

We seek to ensure that our engagement practices respect human rights, that diverse voices are heard and that vulnerable and ‘at risk’ groups can participate in engagement processes. As part of this engagement, we address community concerns, needs and priorities.

In addition, we only award work to contractors who are able to comply with and deliver our Group and site-specific CSP requirements, as well as any local requirements. We also look for ways to increase our leverage to help our business partners respect human rights in line with international standards.

We measure, monitor and review our CSP performance against targets, to help us continue improving. This includes reporting and communicating on how we are addressing human rights impacts, both positive and negative.