Dragon Mining (the “Company” or the “Group”) is an established gold producer with operations in Sweden and Finland. At these operations, the Company maintains a focus on Safety and operating responsibly within the community and environmental legislations of the countries in which it operates. With regards to safety this is delivered through the development of a strong Safety Culture and effective safety management systems that involves all personnel including contractors. Internal bench marking and a centralised operations management group encourages inter-site collaboration further enhancing the Company’s safety performance.
Responsible environmental practices are another key aspect of Dragon Mining’s Operations. Environmental compliance is monitored and reported as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) alongside Safety, Productivity, and Costs. By ensuring operating sites perform to a high standard, Dragon Mining is able to demonstrate its commitment and ability to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. The Company considers the performance of existing operations is vital for the successful permitting and development of its future operations. It is management’s objective to add value through reducing risks to the environment, which in turn reduces risks to shareholders and all other stakeholders of Dragon Mining’s operations and projects.
A copy of the Company’s Environmental, Social and Governance Report can be found here.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Safety is the Group’s number one priority, and we make every effort to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, and communities. The Group goes above and beyond what is expected to comply with local health and safety legislation. This is not just because we care for the people we work with, but also because a safe business is operationally sound. The Group’s Code clearly communicates its attitude and commitment towards protecting employee health and safety including conflict resolution and fair dealings.
The Group strives to maintain its safety culture through its leadership team, which delivers a clear safety message to all employees. The Group has well documented safety procedures and visible safety boards located at its operations. Safety inductions to new employees and service agreements for suppliers of goods and services promote the Group’s safety culture.
The Group maintains a significant number of health and safety measures, which are implemented upon commissioning of new equipment and monitored by way of periodic inspections. Prior to commissioning, each piece of equipment and machinery is subjected to a start-up check to ensure it meets the safety requirements.
The Group reports the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (“LTIFR”) to measure workplace safety and track the efficiency of safety managemeny systems. Lost Time Injuries (“LTI”) are injuries that have occurred in the workplace and where an employee requires time off to recover. Calculating the frequency provides a key metric to track over time and compare against peers within the mining industry. The LTIFR is the number of LTI’s during a specific period, divided by the total work hours for the same period. This frequency rate is then displayed as the number of LTI’s per 1,000,000 work hours. All personnel are included including contractors.
The Group has not sustained any work-related fatalities at any of its operations since its incorporation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals, communities, and business globally. Employees at all levels of the Group’s business were asked to change the way they work, and how they interacted professionally and socially. In line with the various Government health measures, the Group implemented significant controls and requirements at all its sites to protect the health and safety of its workforce, their families, local suppliers, and neighbouring communities, while ensuring a safe environment for operations to continue.
The Group’s COVID-19 response protocols reinforce, and operate concurrently with, public health advice. They include:
- social distancing protocols;
- suspension of large indoor gatherings;
- cancellation of non-essential travel;
- flexible and remote working plans for employees;
- access to site restrictions and temperature screening;
- self-isolation following international travel, development of symptoms or interaction with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
- increased inventory of hand sanitiser and hygiene supplies; and
- increased focus on cleaning and sanitation.
Approach and Performance
The Group values responsible environmental management, seeks continual improvement of their environmental performance, and aspire to be effective environmental stewards.
The Board retains the overall responsibility for the Group’s Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) management and is committed to operating in a manner that contributes to the sustainable development of mineral resources through efficient, balanced, long-term management, while showing due consideration for the wellbeing of people; protection of the environment; and development of the local and national economies; in the countries in which the Group operates.
The Group recognises its responsibility for minimising the impact of its activities on, and protecting, the environment. The Group is committed to developing and implementing sound practices in environmental design and management and actively operates to:
- work within the legal permitting framework and operate in accordance with our environmental management systems;
- identify, monitor, measure, evaluate and minimize our impact on the surrounding environment;
- give environmental aspects due consideration in all phases of the Groups mining projects, from exploration through to development, operation, production, and final closure; and
- act systematically to improve the planning, execution, and monitoring, of its environmental performance.
The Group’s performance is reported annually and reviewed by the Audit Committee and Board, details of which are outlined in our “Risk Management and Internal Control” section contained in the Corporate Governance Report included in the Company’s published Annual Report.
Sustainability and Commitment
Central to Dragon Mining’s ESG approach is our commitment to creating sustained value for all our stakeholders, shareholders, investors, and employees. This vision reflects our beliefs that business development is inherently intertwined with delivering ESG value. As such, we strive to carry out business activities while creating a positive impact on the community.
Environmental monitoring and reporting forms part of the Group’s proactive approach and includes:
- biodiversity studies;
- dust emission levels;
- noise levels;
- ground, surface, and discharge water quality; and
- sediment analysis.
Ensuring environmental compliance is integral to the Group’s operations. The Group implements robust environmental management systems and practices, from which we assess and identify potential environmental risks; conduct routine monitoring; and report the performance results to mitigate the impact of our operations on the environment. At every stage of the Groups operations, we strive to promote the efficient use of resources and the reduction and prevention of pollution. As a responsible miner we seek to meet, and where possible exceed, the regulatory requirements governing our environmental performance.
The Group complies with all applicable environmental laws, regulations, and standards. The main laws are set out in the Swedish Environmental Code and the Finnish Environmental Protection Act.
A number of management plans are in place to provide a framework for the Group to effectively manage its environmental impact and responsibilities. Site specific management plans are reviewed regularly and include the following:
- Waste Management Plan;
- Tailings Storage Facility (“TSF”) Management Plan;
- Safety Seveso Management Plans;
- Mine Closure Plan; and
- Environmental Monitoring Plans.
The principal environmental incidents that could potentially occur at the Groups operations include water substance levels exceeding permit limits; noise and dust levels exceeding permit limits; hydrocarbon spills; improper use and storage of chemical substances and hazardous materials; the destruction of local wildlife habitats; improper disposal of waste; the structural failure of storage facilities; acid rock drainage from waste rock and tailings; and other incidents that negatively impact the environment. Any environmental incidents are reported, investigated, remedied, and monitored by the Group’s Environmental Specialists and, where appropriate, reported to the responsible authorities.
The Group is clear on the need to earn the respect and support of the communities in which it is located by operating within its permit levels, and by demonstrating a tangible commitment to environmental sustainability.
The Group operates in four national regulatory environments and the supra-national regime of the European Union. While compliance with these regulatory environments and specific operational license conditions are the basis of the Group’s environmental management procedures, the Group is committed to the principle of developing and implementing appropriate practices in environmental design and management and works actively to:
- protect the environment surrounding its operations;
- give environmental aspects due consideration in all phases of mining projects, from exploration and evaluation through to development, production, and final closure; and
- act systematically to improve the planning, execution, and monitoring of its environmental performance.
The Group is committed to operating in a way which contributes to the sustainable development of mineral resources through efficient, balanced, and long-term management, while showing due consideration for the wellbeing of people, protection of the environment and the development of the local and national economy and of society in general.
The Group’s Sustainability Policy seeks to ensure it is a constructive partner to advance the social, economic, and institutional development of the communities in which it operates. Permitting in the Groups operating regions requires an extensive phase of community consolation. The Group carries out its activities recognising the interests of any affected landowners and other stakeholders. The Group fully acknowledges the rights, cultures, customs, and values of people affected by the development and exploitation of mineral resources.