At Primero, we are committed to maintaining vibrant, economically diverse communities around our mining operations. The presence of the San Dimas mine has brought significant infrastructure upgrades to the community in the form of improvements to roads, electrical and communication systems, medical facilities and recreational facilities.
Although these initiatives were initially developed to serve the mining operations, they are shared by the entire community. In addition to these benefits, we actively contribute to a broad range of social and community initiatives, often in collaboration with local and regional authorities.
The town of Tayoltita, Mexico, which the majority of our San Dimas employees call home, previously lacked recreational facilities for families and youth. Primero, in collaboration with Silver Wheaton Corp., has improved the situation by building much-needed sports and recreation infrastructure.
Following a comprehensive community survey conducted in 2011, three sites were selected. In 2014, construction began. We built a softball field for local youth, a family-focused playground with fitness facilities, a children’s soccer field and a multi-use recreation court for basketball, volleyball, badminton and more.
The playground, soccer field, and recreation space were opened in 2014, and the softball field was completed in early 2015. The Tayoltita community was engaged throughout the process, and plays an ongoing role in managing these extremely popular facilities.
Sports and recreation centres are about far more than fitness. They are valuable social tools for improving quality of life, building community spirit and providing local youth with positive activities. Through projects like these, we at Primero are proud to contribute in material ways to the health and well-being of our employees and their families and to the social fabric of their communities.
The Black Fox mine is located in an established mining region of northern Canada. Relationships between the mine and one of our neighbours, the Wahgoshig First Nation, were already strong - an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) has been in place since 2011 - and Primero is committed to building on that foundation to ensure long-term mutual benefits.
A Wahgoshig Community Liaison is on full-time staff at the Black Fox mine and a joint Implementation Committee acts as a forum for communication and cooperation to address the provisions of the IBA that relate to employment, training and workplace conditions, as well as business and contracting opportunities that will contribute to a sustainable local economy. The IBA provides a framework for how the parties work together during any construction, development and operations at the Black Fox Complex.
The College of Professional Technical Education (CONALEP) trade school in Tayoltita was established in 2004 by the San Dimas mine in cooperation with the state government.
Primero has partnered with CONALEP, which announced 36 more graduates in 2015. We have also supplied musical instruments and supplies to the trade school to add a cultural component to their extracurricular activities. In 2015, the San Dimas mine awarded university scholarships to the top graduates of the CONALEP programs. 2016 will be the tenth year of the program in Tayoltita, and we expect nearly 40 students to graduate.
The Black Fox mine together with the Wahgoshig First Nation and Timmins campus of Northern College, have implemented an underground mine operator training program on site at Black Fox and in the underground mine. The training co-operative started in September 2015 with five graduates to date and seven more enrolled in the second session which started December 2015. The program includes equipment use, and classroom-in-the field training from qualified instructors.
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