The chief executive of OceanaGold Corporation (TSX & ASX: OGC) detailed to a major mining conference in London last week the importance of Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) in mining.
Wilkes told the Mines & Money conference that there was a growing importance of ESG in gold mining, particularly where there were clear issues of country risk.
OceanaGold found out what the country risks were in San Salvador, where it withdrew from a resource development project and, last year, it had issues with its Didipio gold-copper mine when an anti-mining official appeared to threaten this and other projects until she was removed by the Government.
Wilkes told Mines & Money it was important to develop a robust mining lifecycle, to plan for success and leave a positive legacy.
OceanaGold had environmental sensitive issues in New Zealand, the Philippines and the United States and had achieve socially-integrated operations at Waihi in NZ and at Haile in the US.
It was important, he said, to have comprehensive environmental management standards, mine planning and an interactive mine closure plan, linked to progressive rehabilitation and a robust waste and water management plan.
Wilkes quoted a statement of Dan Hanson of Blackrock: “ESG is a proxy for risk that is not priced in, and companies that better manage these risks can deliver returns with greater certainty.”