Supporting local ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT
Equinox Gold’s objective is to leave a positive legacy of improved infrastructure, skills development and healthy, sustainable communities. The Company conducts social/community impact assessments prior to working in new areas and when major expansions are planned. Throughout the mine life, we meet regularly with local community leaders and interest groups to discuss common issues, seek solutions and implement collaborative strategies with the aim of improving the quality of life for community members. All sites have philanthropic programs to support local community initiatives, and most sites have community development programs and partnerships with local organizations and/or governments dedicated to supporting sustainable development in our host communities.
For example, we recently completed construction of a new school for the Aurizona community (Brazil) and assisted in the construction of a community centre for the Mezcala community, close to our Los Filos mine.
Also at our Aurizona Mine in Brazil, Equinox Gold has partnered with both local and federal governments to support a number of initiatives that have improved the quality of life for local communities, such as the installation of a new potable water treatment plant and access to the mine site’s urgent care and emergency clinic.
At Aurizona we have implemented the Integrated and Sustainable Agroecological Production program, which promotes entrepreneurship and training in agricultural practices, and provides access to markets to provide income and revenue alternatives for artisanal miners.
Our Partnership Program at the Fazenda mine in Brazil supports local associations by supporting community development projects. More than half of the projects supported so far are employment and income generation projects, contributing to the diversification of local economies and development of productive activities other than mining.
Equinox Gold also supports health campaigns, sports programs and cultural events. At our Los Filos Mine in Mexico, Equinox Gold has contributed to community health infrastructure and supported health care services, and promotes education by providing scholarships for basic and university schooling.
Equinox Gold recognizes its responsibility to comply with applicable laws and regulations as well as internationally recognized standards to protect the rights of workers, Indigenous peoples and communities across its business activities.
The Company is committed to respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and internationally recognized human rights and to taking adequate measures to ensure we do not cause, and are not complicit in, human rights abuses either directly or through our business relationships. We also work to ensure the rights and needs of landowners are identified and properly addressed and have established grievance mechanisms to deal with rights-related concerns at all operations.Our commitments and expectations of employees, business partners and those in our supply chain (including security providers) regarding Human Rights are described in our Code of Conduct and Social Responsibility Policy. In 2021, we started the process to develop a Human Rights due diligence framework. This process has included training for senior leadership at corporate and operational levels as well as a risk assessment. Two site-based assessments are planned for the last quarter of 2021.