Patagonia Gold maintains a strong awareness of its environmental and social responsibilities.
The Company ensures that all exploration work is carried out in conformity with mining and environmental legislation, and Patagonia Gold’s own high standards of responsibility.
The Company’s operations are subject to government environmental regulations. Environmental legislation provides for restrictions and prohibitions on spills, releases or emissions of various substances produced in association with certain mining industry operations, such as seepage from tailings disposal areas, and the use of cyanide which would result in environmental pollution. A breach of such legislation may result in imposition of fines and penalties.
All exploration and/or mining operations require the submission and approval of environmental impact reports. The Environmental Protection Act dictates environmental obligations for mining companies in Argentina. Its enactment enabled the Federal Government to harmonise environmental regulation for mining activities across the provinces.
Environmental legislation is evolving in a manner that means stricter standards and enforcement; fines and penalties for non-compliance are more stringent. Environmental impact assessments of proposed projects carry a heightened degree of responsibility for companies and their directors, officers, contractors and employees. The cost of compliance with changes in governmental regulations has a potential to reduce the viability or profitability of operations.
Patagonia Gold maintains a strong awareness of its responsibilities toward the environment and existing social structures. The Company strives to be a responsible exploration company and has set strict internal guidelines in respect of environmental issues and dealing with landowners and local inhabitants of areas under exploration. Careful attention is given to ensure that all exploration work is carried out strictly within the guidelines of applicable mining and environmental legislation, as well as to the standards of responsibility that the Company imposes on itself.
The Company periodically implements and strictly enforces Environmental & Community Policies that include the following:
- All activities must be carried out under an approved Environmental Impact Assessment and must follow all its directives including mitigation and environmental control.
- Complete environmental impact studies are submitted and approved by the Secretary of Mining before the beginning of all the drilling campaigns.
- Baseline studies including periodic water monitoring are initiated before the commencement of drilling on any project. These studies are maintained during the whole life of the project. The results are made public to the relevant authorities.
- Surface owners are informed and approve the works on their land. Company personnel follow a strict code of conduct to access and travel through the properties.
- The communities and local authorities must be informed of the current and future stages of the projects. Site visits are periodically organized with representatives from the local communities to inspect the exploration activities.
- When possible, the Company prioritizes the hiring of local personnel and use local contractors and suppliers.
- Social responsibility plans, including cooperation and assistance with local communities, are implemented for the development of new suppliers, improvement of the local infrastructure and increase of the transparency, information, dialogue and participation along the different stages of development of the projects for the benefit of the region.
The Company’s exploration activities have been the subject of frequent inspection by the agents of the Provincial Mining Secretariat of Santa Cruz, together with representatives from the local communities. The Company has not been the subject of any sanctions as a result of such inspections.