From 1994-2008, Eskay Creek was one of the largest employers of Tahltan people, bringing significant economic stimulus to the region. The Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) brings sustainable economic development to the region by providing heavy construction, aviation, energy, forestry, transportation, and fiber optic communications services. We see a significant opportunity to build off that positive legacy by helping to further develop the skills of the local workforce and by creating a positive workplace culture at Eskay Creek. Consistent with the BC Human Rights Code, Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada Labour Code, and Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, our Workplace Bullying & Harassment Policy commits us to zero tolerance for discrimination based on religion, race, color, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or national or ethnic origin.
In 2020 we created a mentorship program for Tahltan students and recent graduates to develop the leaders of tomorrow. Our goal is to build Eskay Creek and Skeena’s future management team from within the Tahltan Nation. We are also developing an entrepreneurship program for 2022 to help stimulate and support relevant business opportunities and leaders within northwestern BC.
We support community-based initiatives through financial and in-kind contributions that build economic and cultural capacity, as well as create a positive social impact in the communities where we work. To better understand the impact that we are making, in 2021 we partnered with Newcrest Mining and the Tahltan Central Government to conduct a socioeconomic baseline study of the Tahltan territory. This study looked at land access, food security, quality of life, housing, perceptions of mining and industry, employment status and educational attainment, traditional Tahltan practices, and business ownership. Our aim is to work with the Tahltan Nation to understand how Eskay Creek can best support their cultural and socioeconomic goals.
Skeena works with local communities by building partnerships and creating opportunities in the areas we operate. We support community-based initiatives through financial and in-kind contributions that build economic and cultural capacity as well as create a positive social legacy in the communities where we work.
The Eskay Creek Revitalization Project is projected to bring $6 billion in value added to the British Columbia economy, create an annual average of 2,365 full-time jobs and generate $2.2 billion of tax revenue to BC and Canada. Please find our 2021 BC Investment and Job Creation Report here.
Image 1: Skeena Exploration Team at Eskay Creek (2021)
Health and Safety Management
The health and safety of our workforce is Skeena’s most important corporate value, with a goal of ensuring “everyone safe, every day.” Our Health and Safety Policy is realized through our Health and Safety Management System that makes clear everyone’s roles and responsibilities in achieving this goal. Our “Safety Starts with Me” training encourages our strong safety culture by reinforcing this message in regular, day-to-day interactions with workers. All visitors to Eskay Creek receive a site orientation covering health and safety protocols, as well as mandatory avalanche awareness and rescue training.
For more information, see our 2021 ESG report.
Community Health and Management
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we established an Infection Prevention Control Plan, Communicable Disease Prevention Plan, and Outbreak Emergency Response Plan. Part of our COVID-19 response included protocols to protect not only our workers but also their families and communities close to our project. We paused in-person meetings with community members in 2021 to reduce the possibility of transmission of the disease and we conducted our engagement activities wherever possible through videoconference.
As a remote mine site, Eskay Creek must be prepared to respond to any emergencies that may arise. Our Mine Emergency Response Plan (MERP) defines the procedures, roles and responsibilities for our emergency response program. We regularly run test simulations and evacuation drills to ensure that our people are prepared to response appropriately to a variety of situations including extreme weather events, avalanches, wildfires, vehicle accidents, hydrocarbon spills, and medical emergencies. We track our performance and establish corrective actions to continually improve our response capabilities.
Skeena seeks to work with and support local communities in building partnerships and creating opportunities in the areas where we work. Requests for donations, sponsorship and/or contributions, either financial or in-kind, must demonstrate both benefits to the community and community support. Through consultation with community members and groups, we have identified the following as key funding areas:
- Community Education
- Community Wellness
- Arts, Culture and Language
The Skeena Donations Committee meets regularly to review applications which are then approved by senior management. To learn more about Skeena's community investment, visit our Community Donations page here.
Image 2: Geologists putting together core samples for the assay lab (2021)