Our approach is to engage with Indigenous Peoples early in our planning processes, and to work to achieve their free, prior and informed consent when proposing new or substantially modified projects. It is our aim to integrate the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples into company decision-making throughout the mining life cycle and to create lasting benefits that respect their unique interests and aspirations.
We believe that stable, constructive and mutually beneficial relationships are best reflected through the development of clear and predictable agreements that include benefits for Indigenous communities.
These agreements create a framework for greater cooperation and clarity on topics such as consultation and engagement, the environment and land stewardship, and employment and business opportunities.
Our approach to negotiating formal benefit agreements focuses on:
- Recognizing the importance of building trust, mutual respect, cooperation and open communication of interests and concerns
- Improving community well-being
- Working with Indigenous Peoples in innovative and collaborative ways
- Reducing business risk through effective consultation and other processes
- Increasing project and operational certainty
Today, we have 54 active agreements in place with Indigenous Peoples, which includes 25 new agreements reached in 2016, addressing the full range of our activities, from the early stages of exploration through to closure. Agreements can cover short-term, seasonal work, as well as longer-term projects, through to fully operating mines. Our company-wide commitment to respect the rights, cultures, interests, and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples is outlined in Teck's Indigenous People's Policy.