We have entered into four agreements with local Indigenous organizations representing 16 communities near our Highland Valley Copper (HVC) Operations in British Columbia. These agreements have helped to build on our positive relationships, including the creation of commitments for comprehensive engagement processes, with joint decision-making based on consensus. The agreements also ensure early engagement on regulatory matters with all levels of the community.
To support implementation of agreement commitments, HVC has developed a performance management dashboard that is reviewed each quarter by the operation’s senior management team. The dashboard includes key performance indicators and targets for all areas of implementation. Thanks to the dashboard, there is increased awareness and alignment across the operation to improve performance and achieve agreement commitments.
A core component of our agreements with Indigenous Peoples is procurement. In 2016, HVC developed new procurement guidelines to better incorporate agreement commitments into the procurement process, manage business risk and substantially increase the contracts awarded to local Indigenous businesses. The guidelines were piloted in the same year and resulted in the percentage of contracts, in relation to total number of local contracts awarded, increasing significantly.
In 2017, we received community feedback related to our procurement practices, specifically in relation to a construction contract that was awarded to a non-Indigenous organization. Since then, we have engaged the agreement holders to provide feedback on the bid process, to listen to and understand their concerns, and to implement corrective actions, including an update to our procurement guidelines.