• Environment

MAG is committed to wise environmental stewardship. We recognize the impact that exploration and mining activities can have on the environment and have developed policies and procedures aimed at protecting the environment by addressing potential impacts. Results for 2020 include 86% of electricity use is from renewable power, total GHG CO2e of 10,154 tons (Scope 1 & 2), and only 3% freshwater (rest from municipal waste water treatment plant) of total 135,126m3 water use at Juanicipio in 2020.

Our Commitments

  • Responsible stewards
  • Zero harm to the environment
  • Minimize our carbon footprint
  • Practice progressive reclamation

To achieve our environmental commitments, MAG will:

Agriculture Project – Sustainable food source nopal cactus
  •  Fully comply with applicable environmental laws, regulations and other environmental obligations.
  •  Institute, document and maintain an environmental management system, applying proven management practices, to prevent pollution, mitigate impacts and foster a culture of environmental stewardship.
  •  Communicate our commitment to excellence in environmental performance with our employees, directors, consultants, contractors and communities in which we operate.
  • Strive to minimize releases to the air, land or water, and establish appropriate treatment and disposal processes for waste.
  • Allocate the necessary resources to meet our reclamation and environmental obligations.
  •  Monitor performance and report progress to our stakeholders on a timely basis.
  •  Continuously seek improvements in policies and procedures to further lower risk through team member communication and feedback, motivation, reward and recognition; environmental system reviews; and the incorporation of new technology, techniques and processes.
  • Consult openly and transparently with interested parties to develop a mutual understanding of environmental issues, needs and expectations.
  •  Conduct periodic monitoring and audits to evaluate compliance with this policy, applicable environmental laws and regulations, standards, and permit and license conditions.

More of our Environmental Commitments are described in our Health, Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility Policies.  

HSEC Committee

The Board has established an HSEC Committee to assist in its oversight of (a) the risks, challenges and opportunities to the Company’s business associated with health, safety, environmental and social responsibility (including human rights and community engagement) matters; (b) the Company’s sustainability conduct, including health, safety, environmental and social responsibility policies and programs, and performance in such areas; (c) the Company’s compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements associated with health, safety, environmental and human rights matters; and (d) the Company’s external reporting in relation to health, safety, environmental and social responsibility matters.

A more comprehensive description of the HSEC committee responsibilities is described in the HSEC Committee Charter

Technical Committee

The Board has also established a Technical Committee to assist its oversight responsibilities with respect to the Company’s operational performance and operating risks from a technical perspective.

The Committee will, among other things, a) review and monitor the Company’s closure planning and reclamation obligations; b) In conjunction with the Company’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community Committee, review technical aspects of safety and environmental risks, specifically climate change impacts and tailings management; c) Verify that management has identified the principal operating risks; monitor management’s risk management processes to address such risks.

A more comprehensive list of Technical Committee commitments is described in our Technical Committee Charter.

“We recognize that our activities will have impacts on the global environment and that we have a responsibility to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the benefits. We take our environmental commitments seriously because we want to maintain a healthy environment for today and for generations to come.”
– Dan McInnis, Chair of HSEC Committee

Environmental Highlights

 

Juanicipio Project (Mexico)*

Deer Trail Project (USA)

Environmental Stewardship
  • In process of achieving ISO 14001 certification
  • Biodiversity case study
  • Progressive reclamation during exploration.
GHG Emissions (tCO2e)
  • Total Project (100%): 10,154 (yr 2020)
  • Scope 1: 8,850
  • Scope 2: 1,304
  • Currently assessing climate change management practices and initiated tracking environmental metrics to monitor, assess and report emissions at the Deer Trail Project.
Renewable Energy Use Ratio
  • 86% (while project is under construction energy is being supplied by the Saucito Mine)
  • Initiated tracking of environmental metrics to monitor, assess and report in the near future.
Water
  • Fresh water consumption: 3% of total use.
  • 131,000 m3 sourced from Fresnillo municipality waste water.
  • In 2021 water sampling was conducted at underground workings to form baseline measurements for future water quality studies.
Tailings Facility
  • Construction in progress (started 2020)
  • TSF design complies with international standards such as: TSM Tailings Management Protocol, CDA, ICOLD and ICMM Tailings Management Good Practice Guide
  • N/A

*The Juanicipio Project with MAG Silver (44%), is being developed in a Joint Venture partnership with Fresnillo Plc (56%), the Operator.

Climate Action

Our materiality analysis continues to highlight the importance of Climate Change risks in the mining sector and our operations. In 2021, MAG incorporated the recommendations of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) to evaluate how Climate Change risks may affect our operations and identify intervention opportunities to consider to further strengthen our climate-governance practices and address key transition and physical risks. Physical climate change risks are included in the Enterprise Risk Management register and risk assessments which are reviewed regularly by the Enterprise Risk Advisory Committee (ERAC).

Our principal focus and asset is the Juanicipio Property (44%), in Joint Venture partnership with Fresnillo Plc (56%).  Juanicipio benefits from the progressive climate policies and practices of Fresnillo, who is already deriving 53% of its electricity consumption from renewable sources (goal to reach 75% by 2030), reported on its own TCFD review, and has evaluated decarbonization opportunities for its portfolio of operations and projects (including Juanicipio) until 2030. 

In our 2020 Management Information Circular, MAG identified Climate Change as a risk and expressed support for the principles of the Paris Agreement.  As part of our TCFD review, we conducted a preliminary climate risk assessment which will be further developed in 2021/22 in discussions with Fresnillo, our JV partner at Juanicipio. The Board has established a Technical Committee, who in conjunction with the Company’s Health, Safety, Environment and Community Committee, will review technical aspects of safety and environmental risks, specifically climate change impacts and tailings management.  GHG emissions (Scope 1 and 2) at Juanicipio are tracked and assessed to identify opportunities to improve efficiencies, reduce GHG emissions and promote the use of renewable energy. While in the construction phase, Juanicipio is connected to Fresnillo’s neighboring Saucito Mine and 86% of its electric consumption is derived from renewable sources.

“MAG supports the principles of the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change. We completed a TCFD review and will be reviewing our Climate-related intervention opportunities in collaboration with our Juanicipio JV partner, Fresnillo”.
- George Paspalas, President & CEO

Water Stewardship

Exploration, mining and processing activities require large volumes of water. Efficient use, recycling and pollution prevention are critical toward ensuring responsible water stewardship. Water stress risks are included in the Enterprise Risk Management register and risk assessments which are reviewed regularly by the Enterprise Risk Advisory Committee (ERAC).

Juanicipio uses Aqueduct, a tool developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI), to better understand water stress under different climate change scenarios in the 2020-2030 period. According to Aqueduct, Juanicipio Project is located in an "Extreme High" water stress area. Juanicipio seeks to minimize its freshwater withdrawals and in 2020 Juanicipio’s freshwater consumption was just 3% of its total water consumption.  As part of its water strategy, Juanicipio sourced 130,966 m3 of wastewater from the municipality of Fresnillo.

Juanicipio's water stewardship strategy is:

  • Respect water quotas, monitor discharges and take action to ensure water quality regulations are adhered to
  • Implement efficient closed water circuits in the processing plant, eliminating the need to discharge processed water into water streams
  • Reuse wastewater from the Municipality of Fresnillo
  • Cooperate with water authorities and other stakeholders, including communities to increase water access for all

At the Deer Trail Project, water sampling of the underground workings was conducted in early 2021 to determine the water level below the historical adit and to form base-line measurements for future water quality studies. Monitoring freshwater consumption for exploration activity at Deer Trail will be reported in the near future.

Environmental Stewardship

Mining and exploration activities cause land disturbance and produce waste. Fresnillo’s Environmental Management System ensures effective compliance while supporting initiatives that are aimed at reducing the environmental footprint. Fresnillo is currently working toward achieving ISO 14001 certification at Juanicipio.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted prior to developing Juanicipio, to identify potential impacts and determine actions to manage them. An initial environmental management plan (includes flora relocation, soil and water conservation) for Juanicipio, conducted in 2017, was approved by the environmental ministry in Mexico and performance is reported annually. A closure and reclamation plan for Juanicipio, submitted in 2019, was approved and this plan is updated and resubmitted every two years. Biodiversity planning (species identification, relocation of species at risk, management and conservation plans) is in place and actions taken to minimize Juanicipio’s impact to the environment include: relocation of over 42,500 plants (from cactus and desert scrub families) from 10 hectares of land, reforestation of 14 hectares with over 6,500 nursery plants, capture and release of over 30 reptiles and mammals. Soil conservation works included the construction of channels and barriers over 32 hectares of land to retain more than 4,600 tons of top soil.

The Deer Trail Project encompasses the historic Deer Trail Mine and adjoining Alunite Ridge area in Piute County, Utah. Progressive reclamation is a standard best practice that re-establishes disturbed areas that are no longer needed for on-going activities and operations. Reclamation work that began in 2019 included rehabilitation work over two historical drill pad sites, collaboration with previous owners on the removal of abandoned mine and mill equipment, and removal of damaged buildings. In 2020, progressive reclamation continued in the mill area where waste rock dumps were moved to an old tailing storage area and the waste rock area was recontoured.

An updated closure plan for the historical Deer Trail Mine area was approved by the Utah Department of Oil, Gas and Mining (DOGM) in August of 2020 and will be updated again in 2025.

Tailings Management

Juanicipio Tailing Storage Facility (TSF)
under construction

Fresnillo, our JV partner and operator of Juanicipio, remains committed to updating Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) governance practices to meet the adopted industry standards, including the incorporation of international design criteria in designs for Juanicipio. Fresnillo has established Independent Tailing Review Panel (ITRP) that reviews operations, standards and installations of TSFs. Juanicipio TSF has an engineer of record.

The new governance and operations standard based on the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), Canadian Dam Association (CDA), Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Tailing Management Protocol and the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Tailings Management Good Practice Guide, is being formalised and implemented. 

Construction of the Juanicipio TSF began in 2020 when design criteria was updated to conform to higher international standards.

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