Land Use Categories
Goldcorp manages significant areas of land in and around our mines. Our operations span a range of ecosystems, from the Boreal Forest of northern Canada to the semi-arid shrubland of central Mexico. We recognize the value of services in these ecosystems. In all cases, we seek to design, construct, operate and close our operations in ways that minimize the risks to biodiversity.
We define productive land as that covered by our mining leases and/or land under our ownership and management. Only a small percentage of this land is disturbed as a result of our mining activities (see graph). The total area of land owned, leased and/or managed at our mine operations, including the closed sites Equity Silver and San Martin, in 2013 was 352,151 hectares (ha), compared with 348,014 ha in 2012, a difference of 1%.
After disturbance, we reclaim the disturbed areas as quickly as possible. However, the nature of hard rock mining means that large areas of disturbance, such as the pit, active waste rock dumps and tailings dams, remain throughout the life of the mine and are not available for reclamation until mine closure. Where possible, we execute reclamation concurrent with mine operations. Reclamation was conducted during 2013, although we did not conduct any habitat restoration or protection projects with third parties in 2013.
Of the 352,151 ha of owned, leased and/or managed land, 337,850 ha remain undisturbed or have been reclaimed.
|Total land area leased, owned, or managed (ha)||352,150||348,010|
|Disturbed and not yet reclaimed (ha)||14,300||10,520|
|Reclaimed or undisturbed land (ha)||337,850||337,490|
Goldcorp does not own, lease or manage any land in, or adjacent to, protected areas or areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas, other than the following:
The United States – The Black Hills National Forest is located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, and it encompasses rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, grassland parks, streams, deep blue lakes and unique caves. The area has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Spearfish Canyon is an area of approximately 4,650 ha lying predominantly within the Black Hills National Forest and to the west of Goldcorp’s Wharf mine. Designated as a scenic byway, Spearfish Canyon is a 32-kilometre route of 300-metre limestone cliffs and recognized areas of biological and cultural interest. The Wharf mine does not directly impact the Black Hills National Forest or Spearfish Canyon.
The total land area owned, managed or leased pertaining to Wharf is 607 ha. Of this total, 520 ha fall within the categories of “land in or containing protected areas, or areas of high biodiversity” and/or “adjacent to protected biodiversity areas”.
Mexico – In Mexico, a Land Use Change Authorization is required to change an existing land use to a mining land use prior to construction activities. The authorization identifies the areas in which operational activities and infrastructure will be located. Under Mexican legislation, the permitted area must include a buffer zone around the area of impact, and the operation is required to maintain this area as one of conservation. No mining activity may be undertaken in the conservation area unless a Land Use Change Authorization is sought from, and granted by, the relevant environmental authority. Both our Los Filos and Peñasquito mines have established conservation buffer zones around their permitted areas of operation and these areas will remain in force throughout the lives of the projects. No specific conservation requirements or management activities are required within the conservation area. However, both operations have implemented management plans to minimize impacts in these areas. El Sauzal was not required to establish this buffer zone when it underwent the environmental impact assessment phase.
The total land area owned, managed or leased by Goldcorp operations in Mexico is 25,380 ha, and of this total, 462 ha fall within the category of “land in or containing protected areas, or areas of high biodiversity” and/or “adjacent to protected or high biodiversity areas”.
Argentina – In Argentina, our Cerro Negro project is near the Pinturas River Valley, which is an area that has been identified as sensitive with respect to biodiversity and archaeological resources. The Cerro Negro project is not being constructed within this sensitive area; however, Cerro Negro owns a nearby ranch (20,000 ha), and a section of the Pinturas River Valley (1,771 ha) passes through a corner of this ranch. Currently, the Pinturas River Valley does not have an official classification but it is locally recognized as a sensitive and valuable area.
The total land area owned, managed or leased pertaining to Cerro Negro is 146,550 ha, and of this total, 1,771 ha fall within the category of “land in or containing protected areas, or areas of high biodiversity”.
Goldcorp’s previous position statement on biodiversity has been transferred to an environmental standard within the SEMS. The SEMS standard addresses land use, and biodiversity is included as a key aspect. Five of our nine operations are legally required to have some form of biodiversity management plan, all of which are currently in place (100%).
Biodiversity considerations are also integrated into analytical tools, specifically the environmental impact assessments that are required at all of our operations prior to their construction. The methodology used for determining risk exposure to biodiversity is determined during the preparation of the environmental impact assessment and is typically driven by regulations or discussions with the applicable regulatory authority.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. Each site has identified the IUCN Red List species that are in the area as well as species listed on national conservation lists.
In Ontario, a total of 204 flora and fauna species are listed under the IUCN as possibly being present in Ontario. This number is conservative since the IUCN list is for all of Ontario and does not necessarily reflect what species are present in and around our Ontario operations. In Canada, some of these same species have been identified as “species at risk” and are protected by federal legislation called the Species at Risk Act, 2003 (SARA). In 2014, our mines in Ontario will begin working with the local Ministry of Natural Resources to develop a species list specific to our mines. For now we are reporting the total number of species possibly present at our Ontario mines in the table below. This list also includes species present, or possibly present, at our other mining operations and all of our project and closed sites.
|IUCN Red List||Special status species (e.g., national endangered species lists)|
All of our sites pay particular attention to areas of the operation that could potentially harm wildlife. Precautions include:
- Minimizing disturbances to vegetation and waterbodies.
- Implementing programs to control pests and weeds.
- Maintaining cyanide levels in all open waters (including tailings dams) below levels that pose a threat to wildlife (consistent with the International Cyanide Management Code).
- Promoting employee and community awareness programs regarding wildlife.
- Reclaiming disturbed areas as quickly as possible and promoting habitat diversity within these reclaimed areas.