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Our approach to sustainability

At Aya Gold & Silver, ensuring the wellbeing of our people, continually working towards environmental stewardship and a low-carbon future, and fostering wealth opportunities for host communities are integral elements of our operations. The Corporation recognizes the importance of striving to meet and exceed our responsibility objectives, and the role these efforts have in delivering on our overall objective of creating value for all stakeholders.


A Word about ESG

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) are the three principal factors under which the impacts and responsibility of our business activities are measured. ESG topics span all departments in our Corporation – those related to health and safety, environment and community (HSEC) are managed by Aya’s HSEC corporate, regional and site teams, and disclosed in the HSEC Governance section of this website. The remaining social and governance topics are the shared responsibility of departments across our Corporation and are publicly disclosed as appropriate including on our website. We are committed to disclose and continuously improve our ESG performance.



The Corporation’s drive for sustainability involves adopting a precautionary approach and implementing and working on the continuous improvement of its Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS).

The precautionary approach is the process for investigating, addressing and mitigating how the Corporation’s actions could impact the environment and host communities.

The ESMS is a set of policies, plans, programs, procedures and tools based on best practice from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that will help the Corporation monitor its status and progress in upholding its many legal, social and environmental responsibilities. The ESMS incorporates a “Plan, Do, Check, Act” process, thereby encouraging continuous improvement in sustainability management, and is based on the ISO 14001 environmental standard and on the ISO 45001 occupational H&S standard. The Corporation’s key health, safety, environment and community policies are posted on its website.


Tailings Management

Tailings management at Aya is based on our overriding precautionary principle and commitment to safety and environmental stewardship.

As per our HSEC Policy and our Tailings Policy, we commit to design, govern, and manage our TSFs in line with best industry practice, following relevant guidelines such as those provided by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD), and Canadian Dam Association (CDA). We will work towards aligning our practices with the GISTM, which represents industry best practices.

Mine Closure

Asset closure management is an integral part of the life of mine (LoM). As per our HSEC Policy, we commit to developing a Mine Closure Management Plan for each project we operate, from the earliest stage of feasibility studies, and to updating the Plan regularly during the LoM to ensure that it is adapted and contextualized. In collaboration with our stakeholders, reclamation planning entails an extensive analysis of land use options, environmental factors, community development concerns and objectives, and a set of measurable performance targets.

We gradually carry out reclamation as part of our commitment to restore our sites to a healthy environment. We begin restoring disturbed land as soon as it is no longer needed, using best available techniques and developing context-specific measures. During the LoM, we strive to develop local capacity and collaborate on economic diversification through our community investment programs. Stakeholder engagement will include closure-specific topics in the run-up to closure, and we will complement our social baseline with a social closure impact assessment.

Our goal is to complete much of the reclamation work in the years before a mine’s scheduled closure, which has a positive impact on the natural environment, our host communities and our employees.


Linking Leadership Compensation with Measurable ESG Targets

One of the ways we have accelerated shared responsibility for ESG and climate change across Aya is by tying executive compensation, specifically short-term incentives, to ESG performance indicators. The alignment instills and ensures a sense of ownership and accountability for ESG targets across the organization and incentivizes management to embed ESG into their day-to-day activities.

At Aya, operational ESG goals typically involve minimizing social and environmental impacts as well as implementation of site-specific action plans to improve our health and safety, environment and community relations performance. Executive ESG goals include the achievement of TFCD Action Plan milestones, the implementation of the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) in line with our obligations to the EBRD and other financial partners, and are generally aligned with Zgounder Silver Mine’s key material issues.

The Corporation includes both HSEC and climate change targets in executive compensation in order to enhance our overall ESG culture by incorporating the measures into all aspects of the business, and by appropriately defining, managing and measuring targets. Additionally, to reflect our belief that achievement of ESG goals requires the collective action of a wider employee base, the Corporation has expanded the scope of ESG-linked compensation beyond the senior management team. This expansion of reach ensures that employees are compensated for meeting the mine’s unique challenges and promotes Aya’s focus on solidifying management processes that improve performance. The factoring of HSEC and climate change into compensation also signals to stakeholders that their performance and excellence is a priority.

The compensation committee of the board of directors establishes ESG performance objectives for senior management, and Aya’s management sets objectives for the Corporation’s employees.

For more information on our compensation policies, please consult the management information circular.