Americas Silver Corporation strives to maximize its environmental and social performance in all areas of operations. We are committed to building and maintaining sound relationships with the communities in which we operate.
Americas Silver is a participant of the national Environmental Leadership Program and has commenced certification process under the national Environmental Audit Program. Our environmental management systems are under continual development in concert with our overall drive toward operational excellence.
97% ofthe Company's employees in Mexico are Mexican and 75% are from Cosalá.
Social Assistance Committee, Minera Cosalá (CASMIC)
The Social Assistance Committee of Minera Cosalá, or CASMIC, was established in February 2011 to provide assistance to areas that are directly impacted by the Company's operations. CASMIC's focus is to actively support initiatives that meet the basic needs of the Cosalá community, in accordance with the policies that regulate this committee.
Comprised of the Human Resources Manager of Minera Cosalá (a 100% owned Mexican subsidiary of Americas Silver Corporation) and four prominent community leaders, the Committee evaluates requests for assistance from the community and submits recommendations. Americas Silver supports all recommendations that fall within budgeted guidelines and are in accordance with donation policy.
Americas Silver recognizes the value in promoting local entrepreneurship and is pleased to support ventures that create alternative sources of employment and spin-off commercial development that is independent of the mining industry.
As an example, we supported a group of local women in the development of their business venture by initially supplying sewing machines and then assisting with the incorporation of a commercial sewing workshop, "Cozatl Creations". Further support to allow expansion of the workshop was provided with the purchase of new machinery.
Cozatl Creations is currently registered in a Sinaloa government program and contracted to supply public school uniforms to students in Cosala for the 2012-2013 school year, representing the manufacture of approximately 2,000 uniforms.
Americas Silver is firmly committed to fulfilling and respecting its formal agreements with local the Ejidos (communal landowners) and believes that strengthening relations with Ejidos is important to the development of the region. In 2012 we cooperated with the Ejidal community of Los Molinos by furnishing and assisting in the renovation of their Ejidal meeting hall.
Periods of drought can have significant environmental, agricultural, health, economic, cultural and social consequences. In 2012, northern Mexico experienced the worse drought season of 20 years.
The dry season is one of the hardest environmental conditions facing the Cosalá area and its population. Its impact is especially challenging for agriculture, which is the base of the region's economy. In 2012, the Company initiated a program to supply water to nearby communities in an effort to relieve that hardship.
There are many isolated communities in Mexico without access to the national power grid. The Company has assisted the communities of El Ranchito, Las Truchas, El Carrizal, Los Molinos, La Cholula, La Estancia and Los Braceros with a connection to the grid via off-takes from the installation of the electrical grid to the Nuestra Señora mine site.
One of the key contributions we are able to provide to local communities is improving road conditions. The majority of roads in the Cosalá area are not paved and are constantly affected by climate conditions such as dust produced during the dry season and landslides during the rainy season. We support all local communities that request this service.
School Equipment & Maintenance Support
Understanding the limited budgets of educational institutions, the Company has been able to assist with the supply and maintenance of equipment when required. Local schools that have been assisted to date include the primary schools in Las Lomitas, Leopoldo Sanchez Celis, San Jose de las Bocas and the kindergartens in Sierra Mojada and La Cholula.
Americas Silver recognizes than an educated population is very important in emerging economies. Accordingly, we developed an internship program to provide the required professional work experience to students pursuing university degrees. We have partnered with the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS) and the Technological Institute of Culiacán in the following careers:
- Faculty of Earth Sciences
- Faculty of Engineering
- Pending: Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Social Work