TSX: EQX C$
NYSE-A: EQX US$
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The Q&A below includes the most frequently asked questions about Equinox Gold’s properties, business plan, and capital structure.
Our approach to project development and operations is based on the philosophy that strong financial, health and safety, and social and environmental performance are all equally important to our success. Responsible mining is our core focus, and sustainable practices are integral to the success of our business strategy. ESG principles and standards are incorporated into every decision we make.
“As our company has grown, so has our team and our ability to assess and track ESG performance, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to achieve our objective – to become an industry leader for responsible mining and sustainable development.”
– Christian Milau, Former CEO, Equinox Gold
Performance and Targets
At the start of each year, the Board of Directors Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee reviews and approves the Company’s ESG targets, and then evaluates performance at the end of the year. These targets are set to guide Equinox Gold’s ESG strategy through the year and also form the basis for future improvement.
Commitment to Responsible Mining
Our commitment is to implement best-in-class governance frameworks, demonstrate best practices in safety, environmental and social performance, and continually improve.
Equinox Gold is committed to achieving excellence in environmental performance. We implement international standards, principles, and best practices to prevent and mitigate the environmental impacts of our activities, and look for opportunities to contribute to environmental stewardship initiatives and scientific research.
A core element of managing our environmental impact is tracking the frequency and nature of environmental incidents. Our Incident Reporting Guidelines ensure appropriate reporting, investigation, level of control, and response are applied to all incidents.
Energy Management and GHG Emissions
In 2022 we published our inaugural climate change strategy with the objective of reducing our energy consumption and GHG emissions. We have identified the main sources of energy use and consequent GHG emissions at our mine sites, and use these data to set reduction targets and review and report on progress. Concurrently, we are investigating potential alternate energy sources for each site.
Water is an important resource in mining and a critical resource for our host communities and for the flora and fauna surrounding our mines. We work in collaboration with local stakeholders to address concerns and water-related challenges for both the Company and communities and strive to reduce our freshwater use and reuse water where possible.
Waste Rock and Tailings Management
Two core elements of our responsible mining strategy are to protect the health and safety of our workforce and local communities, and to minimize and mitigate our impact on the environment. That includes ensuring mine waste, such as waste rock and tailings, is safely managed, and that all of our waste rock and tailings storage facilities (TSFs) are properly designed, physically and chemically stable for long-term storage, and routinely inspected and audited.
Equinox Gold is committed to protecting the species and habitats of the areas in which we operate and promoting conservation of local biodiversity. Our biodiversity management plan includes monitoring and reclamation of habitats for local species, maintaining plant nurseries to grow native species for progressive reclamation, and purchasing and protecting undisturbed land to protect natural ecosystems.
Reclamation and Closure
While mining has an inevitable impact on the land, we strive to minimize our impact by performing progressive reclamation activities during the life of mine and having robust closure plans with the goal of returning the land as closely as possible to its original state.
Protecting the health and safety of our workforce is our greatest responsibility. We protect our workforce by implementing best practices and international standards for health, safety and emergency preparedness, and encourage our team members to strive for continuous improvement and excellence. This risk-based approach helps prioritize our focus and resources so we can mitigate potential incidents before they occu4.
Health and Safety
Our health and safety objective is zero harm. We ensure our workforce has the knowledge, skills and resources to operate safely, and encourage a culture of shared responsibility, where everyone is responsible for their own safety and also the safety of their co-workers.
Our ability to attract and retain top talent is anchored in our ability to provide a workplace that is positive and inspiring. We make significant efforts to be an employer of choice, offering fair pay and benefits and fostering a culture that is welcoming and inclusive. Teamwork is one of our core values.
“We strive to have a highly talented workforce with ethnic and gender diversity that reflects the regions and communities in which we operate.”
Inclusion and Diversity
Our objective is to create a diverse and inclusive culture that solicits multiple perspectives, free of conscious or unconscious bias and discrimination. We believe a workforce with diverse backgrounds and experiences promotes innovation, improved performance and more effective decision making.
We understand human rights as those defined in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, and are guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.
Our approach to human rights focuses on identifying areas where our activities could have a potential adverse impact so that we can avoid or mitigate those risks, and also identifying areas where we can have the most positive contribution. Through this assessment, the area’s most relevant to our activities are the following:
– Labour and working conditions
– Community environmental health, including access to clean water
– Community health and safety
– Community cultural, social and economic rights
– Indigenous peoples’ rights
– Land rights and security
– Ethical business practices
The foundation of our community engagement strategy is frequent and transparent dialogue with local leaders and community members to build a relationship based on mutual understanding and trust. We believe that mining projects should breathe new life into communities, bringing significant economic benefits and social development opportunities that can endure well beyond the life of the project, and collaborate with our community partners to implement projects that add value in our communities.
Working with Indigenous Communities
We believe active consultation and engagement with local Indigenous communities fosters positive relationships and partnerships that will enhance the sustainability and profitability of the mine and create long-term value for all stakeholders.
Our success as a company, in both the public markets and the communities in which we operate, is based on sound corporate governance and ethical business practices. Strong governance of ESG issues flows from the highest level of the organization, creating clear accountabilities across multiple reporting lines.
Equinox Gold’s executives and directors have established governance policies that provide the framework for the Company’s corporate culture and business practices. All of our employees, consultants and representatives are expected to act responsibly and in accordance with laws and regulations, and undergo annual Code of Conduct and Business Ethics training to ensure they are aware of and in compliance with the Company’s expectations.
We carefully consider director nominations to ensure our Board has the skills and expertise required to oversee our activities and advise on corporate strategy. We also ensure the majority of our directors are independent to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
All of Equinox Gold’s directors, officers, employees, contractors and third parties with whom we do business must comply with applicable laws when acting on behalf of Equinox Gold, and we encourage these individuals to report any known or suspected breach of this policy or the Code of Conduct and Business Ethics.