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Volume:
June 27, 2017

Strategy overview

Agnico Eagle is determined to make a significant and positive difference in the communities where we operate and in the lives of our employees.

This commitment is founded on our core values – to operate safely, protect the environment, and treat our employees and communities with respect:

  • Respect for our employees: We aim to maintain a safe and healthy workplace that is based on mutual respect, fairness and integrity.
  • Protect the environment: We aim to minimize the effects of our operations on the environment and maintain its viability and its diversity.
  • Operate safely: We believe that all loss due to accidents/incidents is preventable. We aim to operate a safe and healthy workplace that is injury and fatality free. We believe that if we all work together, we can achieve zero accidents in the workplace and enhance the well-being of employees, contractors and communities.
  • Respect for our communities: We aim to contribute to the social and economic development of sustainable communities associated with our operations.

We integrate health, safety, environment and social acceptability into all aspects of our business strategy and management principles. Our strategy and reporting program targets five areas: health and safety of employees and contractors; environmental issues related to waste and water management, tailings and mine closures; employee and stakeholder engagement; direct economic value to key stakeholders; and governance matters.

Sustainable Development at Agnico Eagle – The Nunavut Experience

Agnico Eagle is determined to make a significant and positive difference in the communities where we operate and in the lives of our employees. This video is the first in a series will highlight our activities in each of our operating regions and provide a first-hand perspective from members of the community as well as our employees.

Sustainable development – health, safety, environment and social acceptability – is integrated into our business strategy and our management principles. For Agnico Eagle, it is a non-negotiable item of good management.

At the core of our Sustainable Development program we are committed to creating value for our shareholders while operating in a safe, and socially and environmentally responsible manner, while contributing to the prosperity of our employees, their families and the communities in which we operate. This has translated into the four fundamental values of our Sustainable Development Policy: operate safely, protect the environment, and treat our employees and communities with respect. These values have helped us build a solid foundation from which we can continue to grow our business.

We measure our performance using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 sustainability reporting guidelines, to a self-declared A Level. To learn more about our overall sustainability performance, click here to see our 2016 performance details.

Click here to learn more about our in-house Responsible Mining Management System (RMMS) and the many standards Agnico Eagle adheres to.

Keeping our people safe is our most important priority

We aim to operate a safe and healthy workplace that is free from injury and fatality (zero harm). We believe all lost time due to incidents and accidents is preventable and that by working together, we can achieve zero accidents in the workplace and enhance the well-being of our employees, contractors and communities.

2016 was the safest year in Agnico Eagle’s history.

Our combined lost-time accident and restricted work frequency rate was 0.97 (excluding Canadian Malartic), a 21% reduction from our 2015 rate of 1.23 and substantially below our target rate of 1.40. Three of our operations – Creston Mascota, La India and Lapa – contributed strongly to this improved performance. La India and Creston Mascota both achieved perfect years with 52 weeks worked at triple zero performance, no lost-time accidents, no light-duty assignments and no fatalities and our Lapa mine registered only a single light-duty assignment with no lost time during the year.

Our long-term goal is to strengthen our health and safety culture with more individual accountability and leadership and this will be accompanied by a shift to aspirational zero harm safety targets and leading performance indicators. We are also committed to improving overall employee awareness of health issues, including work-life balance and stress awareness and management. To learn more about our health and safety performance and priorities, click here.

Did you know?

  • 2016 is the seventh year in a row Agnico Eagle has posted our lowest ever combined lost time and restricted work frequency rate.
  • Each of our operations has its own Emergency Response Plan, equipment and personnel trained to respond to safety, fire and environmental emergencies. Site teams train regularly and undergo simulation exercises in order to be ready for an emergency.
  • Following an extensive period of testing at our Goldex and Kittila sites, we made a decision to fully implement the Mineprox™ system, which is designed to improve underground pedestrian safety in hard rock mines. Mineprox is a proximity warning and collision avoidance system that uses radio frequencies to detect individuals, vehicles and hazards underground.
  • As we mine deeper into the LaRonde orebody, we are employing automated equipment to improve overall safety and productivity at the mine. For example, mechanized bolting machines which allow employees to work from the safety of their machine's cab instead of right at the rock face and scoops which can be operated from the surface – 3 km above the workplace.

Building a path toward sustainability

With the goal of being an industry leader in sustainability, we strive to be at the forefront of change, constantly evolving and seeking new ways to maintain our social license to operate. We focus on limiting our environmental impacts by using natural resources efficiently, by preventing or limiting emissions and by reducing waste. Each of our operations is required to manage its environmental risks and work in a transparent manner with local stakeholders, building a foundation of trust and cooperation.

In 2016, we continued to reinforce our in-house capabilities and we worked with external consultants to conduct ongoing and independent reviews of our tailings and water management practices.

We also embarked on a project aiming to enhance our data management so that information is accessible, transferable and easily shared across the environmental team. And, we established a Corporate Environmental Council – consisting of a cross-section of internal experts and our environmental leaders in the company – which is helping us step up to this challenge.

Did you know?

  • Agnico Eagle considers tailings and water management as a core business activity. We use a mix of best available practices and technologies in mine waste management, integrating them from the start of our activities and adapting them to each site’s local conditions.
  • As part of our continuous improvement efforts all of our sites undertake initiatives to reduce their fresh water consumption and minimize environmental impact. In 2016, we reduced our water use intensity by 14%.
  • Our Pinos Altos mine maintains a tree nursery on-site and annually harvests more than 100,000 seedlings to meet the needs of its progressive reclamation program.

Making it work

Agnico Eagle’s people and culture has always been our competitive strength and advantage. It is critical to our current and future success that we maintain our corporate culture where every person is treated with dignity and respect, and people interact on the basis of collaboration, commitment and dedication to excellence.

As our organization prepares for further growth, we are enhancing our leadership development program, providing employees with increased opportunities for career development, and expanding training and development opportunities at all levels of our organization to help our employees succeed in this increasingly complex and exciting industry.

We place a particular emphasis on health and safety training, to ensure that our employees are achieving Agnico Eagle’s workplace health and safety standards. And, our long-term goal is to hire 100% of our workforce, including our management teams, directly from the local region in which each of our global operations is located.

To learn more about our employment performance and priorities, click here.

Did you know?

  • The Paul Penna Award is awarded annually to Agnico Eagle employees who best exemplify the philosophies of our founder, who was deeply involved in his local community. We have established this award to ensure his values and legacy lives on in our organization, and in 2016 the award was given to Norman Ladouceur, Nunavut Health and Safety Superintendent, for an initiative he led in Haiti, including the construction of a school and the implementation of a food program that feeds 1,500 children twice a week.
  • Our award winning “e-learning” program has helped to address the training challenges we face at our Fly-In-Fly-Out Meadowbank operation. Following the program’s successful launch in 2013, additional lesson plans have been created and updated in order to improve the quality and consistency of training available.
  • Agnico Eagle has also made a major investment in Mining Matters’ Aboriginal Education and Outreach Programs to help demonstrate to young people that there are interesting jobs, careers and a future for them in the North, and that the mining industry can be a key source of those opportunities.
  • Our goal is to hire 100% of our workforce, including our management teams, directly from the local region in which each of our operations is located. And, in northern Canada, we remain focused on creating sustainable jobs and careers in mining for the Inuit population with an overall objective of obtaining 50% Inuit employees for all of our Nunavut operations.
  • We actively measure employee engagement levels in each of our operating regions, and we take specific actions to support and improve our engagement scores.
  • In 2016, 7,080 people worked for Agnico Eagle, either as employees or as contractors, at our sites worldwide (excluding Canadian Malartic).

Building trust and understanding

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 activities.

Social acceptability is key for all our projects.

In 2016 each of our operations updated their stakeholder mapping exercise, which is used to develop site-specific community engagement plans. The main objective of these plans is to engage in a respectful dialogue with key stakeholders and ensure that as early as possible to assess any impacts of our project on social acceptability and use, in order of preference, an approach of avoiding, reducing or mitigating those impacts. In addition, we also implemented an Indigenous Peoples Engagement Policy in order to define the consultation practices and mitigation strategies we will use while engaging with Indigenous groups impacted by our presence.

Throughout the year our sites managed a variety of community response mechanisms and also participated in Community Liaison Committees. These mechanisms and committees are now part of our RMMS standard and we have developed guidelines to help new operations implement these best practices.

Our community investment program also continues to target initiatives that enable each of our operating communities to benefit from economic development in their region, even after mining ceases. Our goal is to provide both Agnico Eagle and our host communities with optimum returns on our community investments. In 2016, we invested over $6.6 million in strategic health, education and capacity-building initiatives.

To learn more about our community performance and priorities, click here.

Did you know?

  • Since 2009, Agnico Eagle’s community investments have totalled almost $28 million.
  • Our new Nunavut website (aemnunavut.ca) not only provides regular updates on our activities, it also serves as the primary "point-of-entry" for hiring new Inuit employees and to provide maximum opportunities to Inuit-owned businesses to pre-qualify for contract opportunities with Agnico Eagle. Each year our operations host Open Houses, often bringing neighbours, employees and their families underground or using new technology to give them a virtual below-ground experience.
  • In Mexico, Agnico Eagle has worked closely with the Tamaulipas Cd. Madero Lions Club and the Municipality of Ocampo to provide hearing aids to 18 people suffering from hearing impairment and deafness. This is the second year for this “hearing assistance” campaign, which has a long-term goal of including people with this disability into society and improving their quality of life.
  • In Nunavut our team has been working closely with the Nunavut Literacy Council to help deliver “outside the box” training experiences for Nunavut youth, with a goal of encouraging them to consider a career in the mining industry and in 2016 the Niqitsialiurniq Program helped 11 youth to gain new literacy, food preparation and workplace skills – as well as traditional and cultural skills that will serve them well in their futures.

Building on solid ground

At Agnico Eagle, we believe the biggest contribution we can make to the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate is through the creation of long-term employment opportunities and the provision of economic development opportunities.

Our operations contribute to the social and economic development of our host communities and countries through the wages and benefits we provide to employees and the taxes we pay to all levels of government.

We also strive, where feasible, to buy from locally-based suppliers as a way of supporting the economic vitality of our communities, stimulating the local economy and at the same time minimizing the environmental impact of transporting materials from distant locations to our sites.

Agnico Eagle is a strong supporter of the Canadian mining industry’s disclosure of payments to government initiative, which is a direct response to increased public demand for more transparency. And, we will continue to increase our level of disclosure on tax payments to governments in order to highlight our economic contribution to public finances.

To learn more about the economic value we generate click here.

Did you know?

  • In 2016, Agnico Eagle provided over $404 million in wages and benefits to our global workforce and paid $297 million in taxes, royalties and fees to all levels of government (including Indigenous groups).
  • In 2016, our mines spent $661 million on the procurement of local goods and services. This represents 64% of all procurement spending in 2016.
  • Over the next two years Agnico Eagle will complete the construction of our new Meliadine mine, which is located in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, about 25 km north of Rankin Inlet in Canada’s Low Arctic. Building a mine in such a remote location takes extensive planning and preparation. In 2017 alone, over $350 million will be spent to complete the underground development, surface infrastructure and the construction of a camp complex.
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