SLAM subscribes to and applies standards such as the E3 policy in conducting exploration activities. E3 provides a guide to best industry practices in ensuring environmental excellence in exploration. The E3 manual presents a compilation of tools to deal properly with the environmental issues encountered in any exploration program, derived from measures that are known to work and to be cost effective. In addition, the e-manual contains guidelines for responsible community engagement, recognizing that companies now have to earn a “social license to operate” at any new mine. The guidelines outlined in E3 are designed to be practical and effective rather than prescriptive and theoretical.
Explorers are increasingly seen as ambassadors for the worldwide mining industry. As the first people to represent the mining industry to local people, communities and regulators, their best efforts are vitally important and E3 is designed to emphasize proper environmental and socioeconomic practice from the earliest stages of the exploration process.
E3 is expected to be viewed very positively by mining companies, lenders, and local communities.
Land access policy
We seek to secure the widest possible support for our proposals throughout the life cycle of the SLAM’s activities by coordinating economic, technical, environmental and social factors in an integrated process.
We are conscious of the responsibilities that come from our use of land, which might include our need to rehabilitate unavoidable impacts and work with local communities to help with their needs in the most efficient and effective manner we can. In all cases, this involves ongoing consultation with local people, public authorities and others affected. We accept that this may sometimes result in our not exploring land or developing operations, even if legally permitted to do so.
We are particularly rigorous in assessing the effects of our activities in advance in areas of high conservation or heritage value. We work with others to design appropriate mitigation and management methods, and then monitor them to ensure best practice is followed.
Claims to land can be based on traditional tenure as well as statutory law. Local and national land use policies may also differ. Our objective is to bridge significant gaps between legislated and customary arrangements through the fullest possible understanding of the issues involved.
Where property is affected, its value is assessed and appropriate compensation mutually agreed. We work with others where frameworks do not exist to encourage and help governments put appropriate consultation processes in place.
During mining operations, we may use land that is surplus to operational requirements for a variety of purposes. These include housing, educational, health and recreational facilities as well as for food production, forestry, habitat protection and biodiversity conservation.
When operations are closed, we complete the rehabilitation of land we have disturbed in consultation with our neighbors and in accordance with best environmental practice, relevant laws and regulations.