Eldorado Gold Corporation has operations and projects in Brazil, China, Turkey, and Greece. Our corporate head office is located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We take great pride in the work we do and the talented people who work with us. We look for highly skilled, driven people who value a collaborative and professional culture when recruiting for employment opportunities within the Company and its subsidiaries.
For us, being a responsible corporate citizen means investing in infrastructure, economic development, and health and education in the communities where we operate so that we can enhance the lives of those who work and live there.
Over the past decade, we have operated mines in Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and China. We continue to grow our operations in Turkey, China, Brazil and Greece. We are proud of our record of implementing industry best practices that minimize environmental impacts while maximizing social and economic benefits.
In the following paragraphs, we describe our commitment to responsible operations throughout all stages of the mine cycle, and then highlight our community development initiatives in Turkey, China and Greece.
Responsibility Throughout the Life of a Mine
We bring new opportunities to our stakeholders at all stages of the mining cycle, from initial exploration through to mine closure and reclamation.
During exploration, while we conduct geological surveys and sampling to determine the existence and location of an ore deposit, we initiate dialogue and meet with local community members to identify their main social and environmental concerns and better understand their needs.
During the development stage, we complete a feasibility study that outlines the economics, optimal mining method and mineral recovery process for the project, including closure considerations. We conduct extensive environmental testing and studies to firmly establish baseline data and characteristics for air, water, soil and biodiversity. All this information becomes part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that we file with the appropriate authorities.
We also begin infrastructure development initiatives that include improving roads, building sewage systems and drilling water wells, according to the needs of the communities.
Construction and training
We make it a priority to hire local residents, training all employees and instructing construction contractors in the best environmental, health and safety practices, procedures and controls. Based on our dialogue with the local community, we identify gaps in skills, provide on-the-job training and work with local technical schools and universities to enhance their mining-specific programs to help increase employability.
Mining and processing
All our mining operations comply with local and international environmental standards. We implement the practices described in our EIA to mitigate any potential environmental impact of a mine's construction and operation.
As part of our commitment to protecting the environment, we continually monitor the quality of air, water and soil. We also implement programs to preserve biodiversity, monitor noise and dust levels and implement waste reduction and recycling programs throughout our operations.
To ensure a healthy and safe work environment, our employees are trained on an ongoing basis, both in theory and in practice. These training programs have helped to minimize accidents and occupational illnesses.
We employ approximately 2,600 employees and contractors worldwide, the majority of whom are from the local communities near our operations. The competitive salaries and benefits we pay our employees and contractors improve their families' standard of living.
In addition to creating jobs in local communities, we promote many sustainable economic development initiatives. Since the life of any mine is limited, we encourage and work with local communities to create new opportunities for economic development, even after the mine is closed.
Reclamation and closure
During the mine's operation, we conduct research to establish best reclamation practices. These reclamation activities are concurrent with mine operations.
Once a mine is no longer profitable to operate, we close the mine site and conduct reclamation activities so that the physical environment can successfully transition to a productive ecosystem.
We have an excellent record on mining closure and reclamation. In October 2000, we were the first company to receive a final full regulatory environmental release from the Mexican government for reclamation activities at our La Trinidad mine near Rosario, Mexico. The former mine became a lake capable of supporting fish
Over 4,500 employees and contractors worldwide make Eldorado what it is today. Wherever possible, we hire from local communities. We pay competitive wages and help contribute to building lifelong skills, which provide social and economic benefits to the nearby area.
Eldorado employees publish two internal magazines each quarter: one for our Turkish operations and one for our Chinese operations. Each magazine highlights various aspects of the operations, including community initiatives, employee profiles, and various achievements.
Health & Safety
Health and safety is our top priority. When an employee's health is affected or they are injured, the effects extend from the employee to his or her family and community, as well as mine production. We have set ambitious objectives for health and safety standards, and we believe that by continuously improving our training and other safety initiatives, we can achieve a culture of safety with zero fatalities and lost-time incidents (LTIs).
LTIs are any work-related incidents that require an employee to take time off work; the frequency rate (LTIFR) is the number of incidents per million man-hours worked. Occupational diseases result from workplace exposure to a chemical, physical or biological agent; examples include lead poisoning or heatstroke. The lost-day rate is the average number of work days lost per million man-hours worked.
Environmental issues are a key influence in Eldorado's decision-making process. Employees and contractors for each project and operation are required to uphold the highest environmental standards through all stages of exploration, operation and closure. During development, we conduct extensive environmental testing and studies to determine firm baseline data and characteristics for air, water, soil and biodiversity. This becomes part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). All of Eldorado's mines also have closure plans, which are created as part of the permitting process.
Most of the mining waste at our operations consists of overburden, waste rock and tailings. When overburden and rock can potentially pose toxicity risks, we carefully plan how and where it is placed. For example, at Ki┼člada─č, sulphide waste is encapsulated within an oxide layer in a designed waste dump. In open pit mines, the topsoil will eventually be used during rehabilitation and decommissioning. It cannot be stored over two metres high or the seeds and active microbes in the soil are no longer viable when the material is placed on stockpiles or dam walls for revegetation. If required, tailings are stored on a lined pad, and during rehabilitation will be covered with soil to prevent any residual toxins from causing harmful environmental effects.
Water is emerging as an increasingly important global issue in our world. Eldorado has set goals to assure the quality of discharged water and to recycle water wherever possible. Jinfeng, White Mountain and Efem├žukuru all have access to more water than they require, and have treatment plants for the excess water to be discharged. The Ki┼člada─č mine has built a rainwater catchment area as an additional water source.
Eldorado strives to maintain strong relations with its neighbours to earn and keep the social licence to operate in a given area. We seek to improve the standard of living through added economic activity in local areas, increased job availability, added infrastructure, enhanced medical and educational services, and by teaching skills to improve employability. Eldorado's sites practise transparency by communicating with nearby communities about mine activities.
Local communities are benefiting from job, health and safety skills development, which will create employment opportunities well beyond the life of the mine. For example, Eldorado has provided training to community members employed in Efem├žukuru's vineyard and agricultural project to provide income for future generations.
Eldorado's direct economic contribution to local communities is extensive through:
wages to local employees,
charitable donations, and
taxes and royalties to governments.
In 2010, T├╝prag, Eldorado's wholly owned subsidiary operating Ki┼člada─č and Efem├žukuru, was ranked the 30th highest
corporate taxpayer in Turkey.
The village of Efem├žukuru is located two kilometres south of our newest gold mine in Turkey. As part of our commitment to the communities we operate in, we are excited to help create a new sustainable industry in the region: wine production.
The area's climate is ideal for grape cultivation, and locals have been growing table grapes for many years. We have retained experts who have suggested that the region's conditions are also suitable for wine production. We have made a multi-year commitment to work in partnership with the local community and to provide resources to diversify land use. Following the purchase of land surrounding the mine, we employed villagers to cultivate the soil. Initially, the villagers planted 2.5 hectares with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay vines.
Ki┼člada─č has multiple ongoing programs to improve the livelihood of locals living around the mine site. Many improvements focus on infrastructure such as paving roads and constructing water supply pipelines, sewage systems and buildings.
We fund scholarships, donate buildings and supplies, and make charitable donations to teachers and students in the area, in addition to granting internships to mining students. Many teachers, students, local villagers and government members visit the site to learn about the industry.
Eldorado funded a public health bus for the province of U┼čak in 2004. The bus continues to travel around the province providing immunizations, basic medical check-ups, eye exams and x-rays to villagers: generally the elderly, women and children.
Tanjianshan is in a very remote and isolated area of China. While there are no local communities surrounding it, we still make an effort to improve the communities throughout the province, despite the mine not having a direct impact on them. Each year, Eldorado sets aside US$200,000 for donation to charity projects in the Qinghai province. This is part of a five-year charity agreement with the provincial government.
Tanjianshan's community initiatives are focused on education and medical improvements. We have donated money, school supplies, uniforms and computers, and have granted scholarships to students in the province. We upgraded the Mahai Village Medical Clinic and supplied medical equipment and training for the staff.
In addition, we have donated food, water, cash, and other essential items to families in the province affected by natural disasters. After the 2010 Qinghai Yushu earthquake, employees were encouraged to donate money for aid. The total sum collected was matched by the mine, in addition to the initial US$100,000 cash donation.
White Mountain is located seven kilometres from the town of Baishan. Eldorado staff work closely with all levels of government in the area, who recognize the mine as a model operation. Government members frequently tour the mine site to monitor environmental and safety standards, speak with staff and stay up to date with the operation.
Before we began mining, a community had to be relocated. White Mountain built a modern 37-home village for the community families. Residents from this and other local villages are given priority for employment, as well as for purchasing and project contracts.
White Mountain also has community development projects to improve education and provide water supply to nearby towns, road access from major cities to the mine and surrounding areas, and medical care.
Jinfeng has established a strong community development program, providing funds, training and supplies to improve the local education systems, infrastructure and health care. Jinfeng routinely sends its International SOS (ISOS) Clinic staff to surrounding communities to provide free check-ups, x-rays and medicine.
Jinfeng has also provided relief to communities affected by natural disasters. Money and essential items were donated to victims of a large fire in Lihuai village, and water was supplied to multiple villages for drought relief.
Jinfeng also supports the local economies through hiring practices. For example,
- 38% of employees come from the local villages,
- the local community is given priority for small contracts (valued at US$15,700 or less and that do not require specific expertise), and
- casual labour is always hired from the local communities.
Jinfeng has entered a cooperation program for community development with the Zhenfeng County Government, the first program of its kind in China. It includes:
- inspection and guidance from the Provincial Safety Bureau,
- updates and project information provided to governments via newsletters and monthly reports, and enhanced by periodic visits,
- government assistance in promoting awareness and support for the mine,
- government assistance in providing power to the area and paving the mine access road, and
- a county work group.
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