Orex Minerals Inc., as a member of the Belcarra Group, recognizes the importance of local community engagement, health and safety of our workers, and sound environmental practices for our international exploration projects.
Local Community Engagement
Engagement with the local communities happens all the time. It is not just the formal presentations, or meetings with elected officials, but involves every contact our team members have with local residents. This is building relationships with people in the communities. On the formal side, we do endeavour to reach an agreement with each community, ejido council, community benefit zone, and/or individual rancher or farmer to ensure peaceful surface access to the lands where our exploration teams will be working.
Employment is often the number one item on the list for the local communities. Where and when possible, we hire local assistants and source local supplies for our exploration operations. Key also to the community engagement is a formula for compensating individuals on whose lands we may have a temporary land disturbance, (for example: construction of a drill pad and later reclamation of the pad).
Communities sometimes also ask for a contribution to activities which are of benefit to the broader population. The amounts depend on the scope of the project, the stage of exploration and development and the type of activity involvement requested.
Companies in the Belcarra Group have previously been involved in such activities as local road repairs, paint and supplies for local schools and medical units, reforestation of community squares, sponsorship of local sporting events and festivals, etc..
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our team members, contractors and the surrounding community are very important. A pro-active approach to health and safety pays in the long run. We carry out a site specific safety examination for each project on an ongoing basis. Sometimes this involves physical actions, such as screening off old mine shafts, or the provision of task specific safety equipment. It may also involve discussions with the local constabulary, or military. At other times we may consult with workplace environmental advisors from the state, or provincial agencies. Our contractors also promote a safe work environment.
On one project within the Belcarra Group, we are proud to have had five consecutive years of exploration, including 150,000 metres of diamond drilling, without a single lost man day due to injury.
A COVID-19 safety procedures system has been implemented for the 2020-2021 exploration programs.
Mineral exploration, although less disruptive to the environment than mineral extraction, can still have some temporary environmental disturbance. We strive for sustainable development that limits waste and leaves the smallest footprint possible.
Examples of sound environmental stewardship include such factors as an awareness of watercourse patterns when constructing access roads, where possible utilizing low-impact portable equipment, re-contouring drill stations and re-seeding sites with domestic seed stock.
Our joint-venture partners and contractors are also an important part of the environmental stewardship. Drilling contractors are encouraged to use a water settling and recycling system to minimize water consumption and sediment outflow.
Fresnillo, our partner on the Coneto Project in Mexico, includes training workers to identify flora and fauna species, which may need to be protected in an area. Each region has its own issues and challenges.