Our environmental policies reflect three areas of focus: minimizing our impact, reducing our
consumption of non-renewable energy, and making all of our operations more energy efficient.
Our approach informs all aspects of the mining process, from the exploration stage to
decommissioning, and we continually monitor our performance across all of our operations.
Preserving and protecting biodiversity is a strategic pillar and helps to shape Yamana’s business strategy. Yamana currently has 17,253 hectares under conservation, including areas protected by law, and areas that are of relevant interest for biodiversity. This includes 14,000 hectares at our Minera Florida mine, located within a preservation area in Chile that is managed in partnership with the Committee Altos de Cantillana. Together with the partnership, we played a central role in efforts to reintroduce the Chilean Palm tree, an endangered species, into the preservation area in 2014. We also partnered with the University of Chile to launch the Biodiversity Conservation Plan, which focuses on creating simple actions that promote the protection of the park, including: knowledge sharing and education, entry protocols for sensitive and preserved areas and community awareness programs supporting endangered species. In Brazil, we also help to protect 2,700 hectares that are adjacent to our Jacobina mine and belong to the Sete Passagens State Park.
Monitoring and Managing our Cyanide Use
We use sodium cyanide (“cyanide”) at our operations in compliance with the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC). This voluntary initiative for managing cyanide in the gold production chain (gold miners, producers/handlers and cyanide transportation)was created to minimize risks to human health and the environment. Essential to the gold mining industry, cyanide is a chemical product used in many of the world’s gold mines.
As signatories of the code, all of Yamana’s operations have undergone independent audits to demonstrate the implementation of the measures complying with ICMC standards. All of the operations in our primary portfolio have full code compliance certification, including our Mercedes mine, which achieved its full certification in 2014.
Management of Overburden and Tailings
We have a corporate standard system in place, which is aligned with best practices, that establishes minimum requirements for implementing dams and overburden piles at each stage of mining from pre-feasibility studies to dam construction.
Based on this standard, and with the support of external specialists, we have developed a management system for tailings dams and deposits that involves operating and control procedures, as well as training sessions and periodic internal and external safety assessments, with a view toward the safe and optimal operation of these structures. The overall combination of operating and control procedures includes a variety of activities such as geotechnical and environmental monitoring, inspection, maintenance, operation, emergency response and closure.
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Yamana discloses certain non-GAAP measures including Cash costs per ounce of gold, Cash costs per ounce of silver, Co-product cash costs per ounce of gold, Co-product cash costs per ounce of silver, Co-product cash costs per pound of copper, All-in sustaining costs per ounce of gold, All-in sustaining costs per ounce of silver, All-in sustaining co-product costs per ounce of gold, and All-in sustaining co-product costs per ounce of silver to supplement its Consolidated Financial Statements, which are presented in accordance with IFRS. The term IFRS and generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) are used interchangeably. The Company believes that these measures, together with measures determined in accordance with IFRS, provide investors with an improved ability to evaluate the underlying performance of the Company. Non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS, and therefore they may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other companies. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.