Speech of Jose Miguel Linares, President of Drummond Ltd., during scholarship ceremony

Good afternoon to you all. On behalf of Drummond Ltd., as the company’s president, I am proud and honored to participate in this scholarship award ceremony that will help young people in Cesar and Magdalena make their educational dreams come true.

At Drummond we are convinced that education is one of the main avenues for social mobility. From the beginning of our project, in the late 80s and beginning of the 90s, Mr. Garry Drummond, decided to invest in Colombia’s development. One of the main decisions was that our Social Responsibility programs would focus on access to education, not only for our employees and their families, but for the community in our area of influence and especially young people from low-income households.

Mr. Drummond would frequently share his belief that young people are the present and the future of a nation, and that their level of education is a basic factor for a country’s development and growth.

After the passing of Mr. Drummond last year, we have maintained a commitment to honor his memory and his legacy. That is why we are thrilled to continue our contributions to the academic and upward progress of families in this region by means of the Drummond Scholarship.

In the world, the correlation between the contribution of education to the development of countries is abundantly documented. The level of education achieved, determines not only a person’s possibilities for finding work, but also contributes to the advancement of the area around him or her. According to a World Bank report, an additional year of schooling can increase income by 10% annually. This is a higher than average return of investment than an individual can make otherwise.

For example, in countries such as Denmark the level of education for the country’s residents are basic factors in the country’s development. Close to 82% of the people in Denmark continue education after the age of 16. For that reason, in the United Nations Human Development Index, Denmark was given a score of 0.993, among the highest in the world, tied for first place with Australia and New Zealand.

In the case of Colombia, a report published last year by the Ministry of Education as part of the process for Colombia to join the OECD, the government ensured that “the country made education the main priority for improving the country’s economic and social prosperity and has promised more resources for this sector than for any other.”

All of this shows us that we are on the right path. By focusing a large portion of our efforts on educating the people in our region, and by funding education as an avenue for development, we are making, one of the greatest investments to achieve peace in Colombia.

From the beginning, Drummond’s investment in education was intended to assist local and regional governments develop the infrastructure necessary to serve the children in the company’s areas of influence. Drummond has thus been co-financing the construction of more than 542 classrooms in elementary and secondary schools and childhood development centers, as well as science and computer labs. Through these educational investments, the company has brought benefits to more than 25,000 children per year.

In addition, last year we invested specifically in equipping and remodeling the Rafael Carrillo Luque Children’s Library in Valledupar to encourage literacy. We continue to create incentives for practicing sports by investing in equipment for different disciplines of athletics. We are also working in tandem with the national government’s policies and in alliance with the Colombian Reintegration Agency, to implement the “El Golombiao” methodology, which is a game of peace that strengthens basic values for individuals and society, in schools in our area of influence.

In the effort to provide superior education to the region’s young people, Drummond once again reaffirms its commitment to the country. Today we are awarding university scholarships to 10 young people from low-income households who have demonstrated excellent academic performance and who come from towns in our zone of influence in Cesar, and 3 young people who meet the same criteria from towns in Magdalena. With these new scholarships, there have been 102 young people in Cesar and Magdalena whose dreams have come true by obtaining formal education in their chosen field of study. To our numbers, we must add the more than 7,500 children of our employees who received annually tuition assistance in elementary schools, secondary schools and in college. As you can see, this is a central component of our Social Responsibility program. 39 of these 102 scholarship recipients have already received a college diploma and 5 more are in the process of graduating.

Nevertheless, our mission is to make this effort sustainable and to help students successfully complete their education. As many of you know, the company not only pays for the cost of college tuition during the time of studies, but also provides a monthly subsidy of $952,000 for 10 months each year, to cover living costs for each one of these new scholarship winners. That subsidy marks the difference between the Drummond Scholarship and many other programs. It takes the pressure off students to abandon their studies due to a lack of financial resources.

We live in a time where consolidating peace in the country and the duty we have as citizens to contribute to the progress of Colombia are at a cross roads. One of the lessons I would like our scholarship winners to take away, is the importance of giving a hand to someone else, selflessly, with the sole purpose of helping others have a better future for themselves and for their families as well. Your commitment must be to include those who are excluded, make dialogue and consensus a priority in the case of any conflict, learn to live peacefully despite differences, and to know that education and hard work is essential for the progress of Colombia.

This day is very exciting for all who work at Drummond and for me. It’s not just the satisfaction of having continued our commitment to honor the legacy of Garry Drummond; it also comes from being convinced that each one of the company’s employees, in their different roles, is contributing to the region’s economic and social development, and that, once again, sustainable mining means a better quality of life for Colombians.

At Drummond our dreams are born from the earth, and we want the dreams of these young people and those of many others in this region, to become a reality. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your future.