Your Questions, Our Answers
Q: Endeavour Silver just released its Annual Review and Sustainability Report for 2014. You seem to do a lot more than what's required - with operating costs being a major issue these days, why spend more than you need to?
A: It comes down to our mission to find, build, and operate quality silver mines in a sustainable way to create real value for stakeholders. By continually improving what we do and how we do it, we aim to make a positive difference in people's lives. Our motto this year, Growth with Integrity, reflects our personal values of honesty and integrity, and our 'people first' business strategy. We embrace sustainability throughout our organization because it ultimately makes us more productive as an organization, it motivates employees and management, inspires governments and communities, and leaves behind a legacy of positive lasting benefits when the mines are gone.
We accomplished a lot with our sustainability programs last year. Notwithstanding two mine-site fatalities, to which we responded with rigorous safety retraining programs at each mine and the hiring of a new senior safety trainer, our safety performance did improve significantly as measured by other safety indicators. We reported a 45% reduction in the number of reportable accidents, and a 22% reduction in the reportable frequency rate.
We continued to expand and improve our social and environmental programs last year, for which we received multiple awards in 2014, including the "Socially Responsible Company" award for all three mines and a "Supporting the Environment" award for Bolañitos and El Cubo. Endeavour planted 40,000 trees and cacti in 2014 as part of its environmental reclamation program!
Contributions to education and employability remain one of our top sustainability initiatives. At Guanaceví, we signed an agreement with one of the top Mexican private universities to provide access to online education for people in the community. Self-employment initiatives at Bolañitos continue to grow, and the local women who have participated remain active, learning and benefiting from their small businesses.
Sustainability is really just recognizing what is needed to get the job done in the best way possible, so in that sense, it is not new in the mining industry. Over a century ago, prospectors and miners opened up frontier areas by not only finding new orebodies, but by doing what was needed to build and operate the mines. They brought in and trained the miners, built the towns and churches, installed the power and water supplies, provided transportation and recreation, basically built full community services because that's what was needed. Standards were certainly different in those days but our concept is the same: we do our best to maximize returns and minimize risks for all stakeholders.
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