Preserve

Preserve

We strive to maintain the local habitat and culture of the areas surrounding our sites, from exploration through post-reclamation.

Every jurisdiction in which we have a presence has a unique habitat and culture that requires deliberate and thoughtful interaction. To better serve these communities, we are dedicated to finding innovative ways to preserve their local traditions and unique ecosystems.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Strategic environmental planning is incorporated in every stage from exploration through reclamation to protect indigenous plants and animals.

Like any form of industrial development, our mines impact the surrounding habitat. At each of our operations, we work with local environmental resource agencies to identify and assess conditions to help avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts and implement preventative measures to protect local wildlife and native plant species. We understand that for habitats to thrive, biodiversity must prosper.

At December 31, 2015, $82.1 million was accrued for reclamation costs relating to currently developed and producing properties.

Nurturing a Healthy Ecosystem

Located on the edges of Cerro Rico Mountain near Potosi, Bolivia, our San Bartolomé mine is characterized by grasslands and small wetlands. Vegetation within these landscapes is critical for controlling erosion and providing adequate resources for raising camel, a common practice in the area.

Over the course of the last three years, our San Bartolomé mine has collected seeds across seasons, evaluated different planting systems and tested numerous fertilizers to help reproduce key plants. Initially conducted at a pilot level, this research has allowed us to successfully revegetate 37 acres around Cerro Rico.

Going a step further, the team at Manquiri developed a study designed to remove the anonymity of many of the plant and animal species in the area. Thanks to these efforts, numerous new birds, lizards, insects, trees, cacti and ferns have been identified, helping us better accommodate native species during our operations.

Wildlife Monitoring a Must

Located within our Kensington site, Slate Lakes Basin is home to a plethora of creatures – below the water and within the forests. Developed in 2004, our annual Wildlife Monitoring Program is designed to gather information on these species. Leading the way are Coeur Alaska Environmental Technicians, who hike the expansive area once a week, when the area is free from snow, recording signs of black bears, porcupines, wolves and birds.

The basin is also home to our Tailings Treatment Facility (TTF), formerly Lower Slate Lake, where tailings from the mill facility are deposited. The goal of the TTF is to restore and improve aquatic productivity for two fish species – Three-Spined Stickleback and Dolly Varden Char – following mine closure. To ensure this happens, Coeur Alaska is conducting pilot studies to test the aquatic productivity of the lake when various levels of tailings remain present.

A Forest to Offset Impact

Keeping in line with environmental standards, our Palmarejo complex regularly measures its impact on the environment. In 2015, we contracted a team of experts to conduct a biodiversity study and help build out reclamation and conservation strategies. The results? We developed a plan for “Unidad de Manejo para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre,” or UMA, a protected area that will span approximately 900 acres of land identified in our study. Emphasizing conservation and habitat enhancement, the Mexican Secretariat for the Environment (SEMARNAT) deemed the upcoming creation of UMA an important step towards sustainability.

Coeur Mexicana also operates a reforestation program, raising young plants native to the region to help restore surrounding landscapes. Thanks to our efforts in 2015, approximately 3,300 acres were reforested with more than 700 different plant species.

Reclamation from the Start

Land is a valuable resource and so before we move a shovel of soil, reclamation planning begins. We draw upon complex science, innovative engineering practices, proven techniques, and state and federal guidance to ensure reclamation is an integral part of mine design and mine closure plans.

At our Rochester mine, we take a comprehensive approach to reclamation, using strategically placed covers and evaporation cells to sustainably manage heap leach pads and drainage. This protects the state’s ground and surface waters and limits the visual impacts of mining activity. To help re-establish biodiversity in the area, we reshape side slopes to mimic surrounding topography, seed the landscape with approved seed mixtures and protect indigenous species with a noxious weed management plan.

Keeping an Eye Out for Marine Mammals

Every spring in Berners Bay, Alaska, spawning season begins for the eulachon, a small fish that serves as a main food source for a variety of larger mammals. During this three-week season, hundreds of stellar sea lions, harbor seals and humpback whales migrate to the bay to feast.

To protect these animals from marine traffic, Coeur Alaska implements a Transportation Action Strategy. As part of this program, a marine mammal observer accompanies the Coeur transportation vessel on all crew transfers to help adjust the daily routing into the cove to avoid disturbing the animals.

Looking After Local Wildlife

We work closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife to ensure we keep up with evolving best practices to protect biodiversity. For example, we use “bird deterrent balls” to keep waterfowl from landing on process solution ponds. When placed by the thousands, these floating plastic balls camouflage the water surface and significantly reduce water landings.

Other efforts include the implementation of escape ramps in all solution/process ponds, the development of eight-foot-tall fencing and the burying of all process solution lines. We also provide a big game water guzzler that captures rain water, storing it in tanks so that animals will have a constant water supply during the dry summer months. Working together, we’re implementing practices that go above and beyond local requirements.

Local Traditions & Success

Local Traditions & Success

Through educational programs, trainings and service days, we support the growth of our communities so they continue to flourish after our mines are closed.

With such a large presence within each of the locations we operate, we believe it’s important to not only display utmost respect to local traditions, but to play an active part in their preservation and in the continued growth of the communities that uphold them. That’s why at Coeur, we make community pride days, education programs and technology training courses a top priority.

Skiing for a Cause

For four days each January, our Wharf site opens the trails that traverse its reclaimed mine to the South Dakota Ski for Light Event. Hosted by Ski for Light International, the event creates positive skiing experiences for the blind and visual/mobility impaired. With snowy trails and an inviting bonfire, the community unites to create a welcoming campsite for all.

Freshening Up Public Spaces

In 2015, Coeur worked with several community groups to organize Community Cleanup Days. Throughout the month of May, Coeur employees spent 139 hours painting the Lovelock, Nevada, courthouse, library and museum, giving the town a fresh face. In October, a crew of volunteers helped clean up historic parts of Unionville, Nevada, including preparing the Mark Twain cabin for restoration.

Attracting Students

Our San Bartolomé mine supported and financed the construction of an auditorium, kitchen and restrooms for the benefit of the Ayllu community’s students. We also donated musical instruments, a photocopier, library books, laboratory materials and desks to ensure students have access to the resources they need to succeed.

Thanks to these investments, student attendance has increased tremendously, from 66 students in 2006 to 251 in 2015.

Enhancing Education

We know that early education is a cornerstone for success, so in 2012 we teamed up with United Way, investing $75,000 to develop a Reading Tutor program to help ensure all students are reading at the appropriate level by 3rd grade. The program identifies students in need of assistance, solicits and engages volunteers, and provides tutor training.

Tutors provide students with reading practice, meaningful discussion on book content and confidence-building motivation. To date, 92 students in need have received assistance from the Reading Tutor Program. Coeur and United Way are continuing to expand the program, growing our group of dedicated volunteers and improving graduation rates.

In 2015, Coeur Alaska expanded the scope of its efforts, contributing $20,000 to the Coeur Alaska Kensington Mine Environmental Science Award Endowment Fund. Thanks to this donation, two $1,000 scholarships for local University of Alaska Southeast students were created.

Pioneering Silver Production

In Bolivia, we’ve made strengthening the skills of local silver technicians a top priority. For the fourth consecutive year, our San Bartolomé mine financed the Silver School, training new silver technicians. The program has grown to include numerous public and private organizations working together to transform the city of Potosi into a South American pioneer of silver jewelry production. In 2015, 66 students graduated from the program.

Developing Computer Skills

To promote computer skills in communities surrounding our Palmarejo mine, Coeur Mexicana worked with local contractors to support the renovation of a computer center at one of the nearby schools. In addition, Coeur partnered with the Technological Institute of Chihuahua Training to develop a computer training workshop. Together, these initiatives provide community members with the capabilities they need to improve their quality of life.