Social Responsibility

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Resettlement Processes of Plan Bonito, El Hatillo and Boquerón

Drummond Ltd., PRODECO, CNR I and CNR III, by provision of Resolutions 970 and 1525 of 2010 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, have the obligation of resettling the towns of Plan Bonito and El Hatillo, in jurisdiction of the municipality of El Paso, and the town of Boquerón, in jurisdiction of La Jagua de Ibirico, complying with the provisions that the World Bank, the International Financial Corporation and the best international practices have set in terms of resettlement.

It is important to mention that this resettlement process in which Drummond is currently participating is given by virtue of an obligation imposed on by the environmental authority but not a process from which we as company must be responsible for since none of the towns to be resettled: Plan Bonito and El Hatillo (municipality of El Paso), and Boquerón (municipality of La Jagua de Ibiríco), are within our mining concession agreements.

Location of the towns to be resettled:

Mapa-reasentamiento

Source: Environmental Department of Drummond

General aspects of a resettlement process

  • The resettlement process must be performed in accordance with norms and best international practices, which tend towards the maintenance or improvement of the conditions of life of the towns that will be purpose of the same.
  • It is a process of agreement on concerted action that is built by mutual agreement with the communities, with the approval and active participation of them.
  • The agreements that are attained in said process are structured and registered in a document that is referred to as Resettlement Action Plan (PAR), which defines the procedure and the way to execute the resettlement.

Important aspects of the Resettlement Process of Plan Bonito El Hatillo and Boquerón

  • For the structuring and implementation of the resettlement process and the PAR document, the environmental authority demanded that the mining companies should hire as operator of the resettlement, a company with ample international experience in resettlement processes done under the guidelines and parameters of the World Bank and the Interamerican Development Bank (BID). In order to comply with the above, the mining companies chose the Canadian company rePlan, which directs and guides the process as operator.
  • This company is the one responsible for devising the strategy and methodology addressed at the structuring of the agreements between the companies and the communities purpose of resettlement, setting up a committee on concerted action in each town, where representatives from the community, members of the companies involved, and rePlan participate.
  • Said committees meet monthly to formalize agreements and generate actions. They also meet weekly under the scheme of “work tables”, with an action plan leading to the consolidation of PAR in each town.
  • Scopes of the Resettlement: According to the census carried out in this process, the families involved in the resettlement, including residents and non-residents, are the following: 172 families in Plan Bonito and 277 families in El Hatillo. The census has not been done in Boquerón, but it is calculated in around 400 families.
  • Transition Plan: Parallel to the structuring of PAR as core objective of the resettlement process, the government ordered that the mining companies make the implementation of a “Transition Plan”, aimed at improving the conditions of life of the inhabitants of the mentioned hamlets, while the PAR is implemented and executed, and to guarantee the future sustainability of the families purpose of resettlement. The transition plan was begun since June 2012 in the town of Plan Bonito and El Hatillo.

Status of the Resettlement Process

The status of the process differs according to the circumstances and expectations of the nature of each community. Any which way, it is conducted complying with the guidelines, parameters and best international practices, looking that the same becomes an improvement opportunity of the conditions of life of the families beneficiaries of the process.

In the following table, there is a summary of the process and the status of resettlement for each town.

Formalities conducted for the resettlement of the towns

Plan Bonito

By unanimous decision of the community of Plan Bonito, which expressed its intention of not resettling in collective manner, the negotiation process was focused on the structuring of a Resettlement Action Plan aimed at the individual relocation and compensation of the families from the hamlet. For this the parties created an agreement on concerted action committee made up by representatives from the mining companies, 7 representatives from the community of Plan Bonito, their legal consultants, the rePlan company as operator, with the permanent monitoring of the audit, the environmental authorities in the name of ANLA, and the assistance of the local authorities.

After almost 2 years of negotiation, the parties signed the document Resettlement Action Plan (PAR) on January 29, 2014 for the relocation and compensation of the families involved in the process.
This Resettlement Action Plan was begun to be carried out in February 2014 and to date, 172 of the 174 families beneficiaries of the plan have accepted the same. No family is now living in Plan Bonito.
Parallel to the execution of the individual agreements with each family, the chapters of PAR with respect to the Resettlement Programs of ways of life in health, education, undertaking, and support to the elderly are being implemented.

El Hatillo

For the restructuring of the Resettlement Action Plan, a Committee on Concerted Action was made up by representatives from the mining companies, 11 representatives from the community, the NGO Thinking and Social Action (Pensamiento y Acción Social) as consultant of the community, the rePlan operator, with the permanent monitoring of the audit, the environmental authority (ANLA) and the random participation of the local authorities and the local and regional ombudsman office.

Within the Committee, the parties are coordinating efforts on the structuring of the different chapters that will make up the PAR. 277 families beneficiaries of the plan, among residents and non-residents, make up this community. For the resident families, the “Transition Plan” is being implemented, designed to improve the life conditions and to guarantee the future sustainability of the families while the resettlement is taking place.

Boquerón

In this community the Committee on Concerted Action was made up in which representatives from the companies, 11 main representatives from the community, the rePlan operator, the NGO Tierra Digna as consultant of the representatives of the community, with the permanent monitoring of the audit, the ANLA and the support and participation of the local authority.
Nowadays it aims at coordinating efforts with the community in obtaining the necessary technical input for the structuring of the PAR: the topographical survey and the preparation of the socioeconomic census.
Source. Land Management

Setbacks during the Resettlement process: The main problem that has come up have been the deadlines established by the Ministry of the Environment to carry out the resettlement: 1 year for Plan Bonito and 2 years for El Hatillo and Boquerón. These deadlines are technically impossible to comply. The international experience shows that on average a minimum of 1 to 2 years are required for the structuring of the PAR and from 2 to 3 years for its implementation. That situation has aroused discontent among the towns, resistance and mistrust due to the difficulty of explaining to them that those processes could not be executed in that time period and it was going to be delayed much longer.

Another hitch that has come up is the intervention of third parties, who have a critical position on the resettlement process and the mining activity. However, where setbacks came up, we identified opportunities.

Actions taken: In order to resolve this setback, we decided to explain and to set out to the communities the reasons by which we could not carry out a resettlement process in the estimated time periods ordered by the Ministry due to the fact that this one must not only be done by stages, but also its implementation depends on the active participation and cooperation of the communities since it must be coordinated with them.

We have carried out all this process with the purpose of doing the resettlement, whose main objective is towards the improvement of the life conditions of the communities. The implementation of the Concerted Action Committees in each community by the operator has been done through subject matter worktables where members and representatives from each of the communities participate. This has enabled consolidating a work plan with a specific agenda that allowed the structuring and implementation of the PAR in the town of Plan Bonito, and both an agenda and work plan aiming at the structuring of the PAR in El Hatillo. We will continue working in that sense with the committee of Boquerón in order to achieve those same objectives.