Corporate Social Responsibility in Canada
Using Our Resources to Build Better Communities, Infrastructure and Futures
- Community Engagement
- Economic Development
- Water quality treatment
- Local hiring and education initiative
- First Nations education and training
- Mine Closure and Reclamation
- Infrastructure Improvements
As the Bralorne Mine moves toward operating status, Avino has been working closely with government representatives at local, provincial and federal offices to ensure that we maintain an open dialogue with all stakeholders while adhering to regulations. There are many ways that we can use our resources to build better communities, infrastructure and futures for local residents.
The Bralorne property is located in the heart of the St’át’imc First Nation’s traditional territory, over which the St’át’imc maintain title and rights. Since acquiring the Bralorne project, Avino’s management has made it a priority to forge a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship with the St’át’imc Chiefs council, the Lillooet Tribal Council and the four St’át’imc communities (Xwisten, N’Quatqua, T’it’q’et and Tsalalh) directly affected by our activities.
Education and Training
In conjunction with North Island College, the BC Provincial Government, St’át’imc First Nations Communities and Sandvik, Avino has delivered 3 underground mining fundamentals cohorts for members of the St’át’imc communities in 2016 and 2017 and 2018.
The 3 month program, which has been delivered in Lillooet, Pemberton and at the Bralorne Mine site, has thus far produced 30 graduates. This unique program offered support and access to the mine site for hands-on training in addition to 3 months of classroom instruction.
As part of the program, students earned the following certifications:
- Occupational First Aid Level One (OFA)
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG)
- Construction Safety Training Systems – 09 (CSTS)
- Red Cross Standard First Aid with CPR Level C
- H2S Alive
- Aerial Lift Safety
- BC Surface Mine Rescue
- Confined Spaces Pre-entry
In addition, Avino is working with the Center for Training Excellence in Mining, Thompson Rivers University and a number of other mining companies and educational institutions within the province to develop an accredited underground mining training program aligned with the Mining Industry Human Resources Council’s Canadian Mining Certification Program. This program is being designed to leverage off the North Island College certificate program.
Click below to view:
In May 2017, Avino signed an LOI with St’át’imc Eco Resources (“SER”), which recognizes the opportunity for collaboration and the establishment of joint ventures to allow the St’át’imc First Nation communities to economically participate in the development and ongoing operations of the Bralorne Gold Mine project. St’át’imc Eco-Resources Ltd. is owned by nine of the eleven St’át’imc communities.
The desired outcome of the LOI is to develop and maintain profitable businesses opportunities with the St’át’imc that will support the Bralorne mining operations, allow Avino to focus on activities directly related to mining, and allow St’át’imc communities to participate economically in the Bralorne mining operation through service and supply agreements, and create employment opportunities for St’át’imc members.
The LOI is intended to create a consensus, recognizing both parties shared desire for discussions to progress relating to the specific initiatives outlined below:
- Explore options with SER for ownership/operation or joint ownership/operation of a mining camp and or other housing solutions to provide room and board to Bralorne Mine workers, and other workers as may be required on a for profit basis for SER at competitive market rates.
- Explore the options with SER for ownership/operation or joint ownership/operation of an assay lab to support the Bralorne Mine and other business purposes, on a for profit basis for SER at competitive market rates.
- Explore opportunities to develop other independent contractor services or supply agreements between the St’át’imc and Avino for the purchase of required services and supplies for the Bralorne mining operation.
- Explore opportunities to collaborate for the rejuvenation of the local Bralorne community.
- Any other mutually beneficial opportunities that may come about as the result of ongoing discussions.
Recognizing the need for improved infrastructure and more amenities to make the Bralorne area an attractive location for future employees, Avino has begun working with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, St’át’imc Eco-Resources, Bralorne Community Advisory Committee, Bridge River Economic Development Committee, and Thompson Rivers University to develop a plan to rejuvenate the surrounding communities, provide housing options for employees and their families, as well as to protect existing facilities crucial to the community’s future growth.
Environmental Monitoring Board
The Bralorne Mine Environmental Monitoring Board was created to keep affected St’át’imc and provincial regulators up to date concerning all developments at the mine. The board meets quarterly to review Annual and Quarterly Environmental Monitoring Reports and is comprised of representatives from T’it’q’et, Xwisten, Tsal’alh, N’Quatqua, BC Ministry of Mines, Ministry of the Environment and Avino / Bralorne.
Topics of discussion include:
- Water treatment, water quality monitoring
- Operations summary
- Mine Closure and Reclamation / Environmental Remediation
- Permit Referrals
- Education and Training
- Job postings
- Community Engagement and upcoming events
Water Quality Management
Avino recognizes the importance of clean water and thriving ecosystems to the St’át’imc way of life and has been working to address legacy issues created over the mining camps long history. Water quality related management at Bralorne is focused on two primary areas:
- the management and treatment of Arsenic associated with the 800 Level Adit drainage to the Cadwallader Creek; and
- The management and monitoring of seepage discharges from the tailings management area to Cadwallader Creek.
Water Quality and biological assessments are carried out up river from the mine, from the mine portal and again after treatment in the lower Cadwallader Creek.
In 2016, Avino installed a state-of-the-art Pal Microfiltration water treatment plant which has been very successful at removing arsenic. The plant is capable of treating 35 L/s, giving it more than enough capacity to treat all of the mine drainage water even in extreme conditions.
Mine Closure and Reclamation
As part of Avino’s permit amendment conditions with the BC Provincial Government, Avino was required to produce a Mine Closure and Reclamation Plan which was reviewed and approved by the government and St’át’imc communities. The Plan will be paid for by a reclamation bond, which Avino has settled with the province.
Reclamation involves revitalizing the sites entire footprint, including all legacy issues created over the last 100 years of operations. To date, environmental studies have been focused on water management and passive treatment, planning for reshaping the tailings storage facility surface and the revegetation of disturbed areas
For its reclamation planning, studies and implementation, Avino has been working in conjunction with Split Rock Environmental, Thompson Rivers University and the University Of British Columbia – Okanagan, Lorax Environmental and Clear Coast Consulting.