One of the firm’s most innovative projects, the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG), has received the Towards Sustainable Mining Award for Community Engagement. The award, which was given to SvN’s client Vale on behalf of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), acknowledges innovative projects and initiatives that expand and promote sustainable development within the mining sector.
In November 2010, Vale’s Manitoba Operations in Thompson announced that it would scale back its operations to mining and milling only by 2015. Recognizing the importance of mining to the region’s economy, Vale immediately set to work to mitigate possible community risks of the partial decommissioning project – a full five years before it would occur.
In 2011, Vale engaged SvN and consulting firm rePlan to launch a multi-stakeholder group to work collaboratively on action plans to spur economic development and diversification in the region. The TEDWG, as the group came to be known, involved a broad set of stakeholders, including representatives from Vale, Keewatin Tribal Council, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, the City of Thompson, the Manitoba Métis Federation, the Province of Manitoba, and the Thompson Chamber of Commerce. The group’s purpose was to accelerate Thompson’s development as a regional service centre for Northern Manitoba, with mining as a strong economic pillar.
Over the course of two and half years, the TEDWG’s work resulted in the development of socio-economic action plans and a regulatory framework that are currently being implemented, as well as enduring relationships that were built upon 20,000 hours of inclusive and respectful engagement. Vale’s total investment in the TEDWG was over $2 million, and the process has been widely celebrated as best practice.
For the full list of Towards Sustainable Mining award winners, click here.