Canadian Malartic Mine: How to rebuild trust with co-construction and communication


Mrs Sophie Bertrand, Mrs Mélissa Desrochers

Background: In June 2014, the Canadian Malartic Partnership, equally owned by Yamana Gold Inc. and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., acquired the Canadian Malartic property, an open pit gold mine located in the heart of the city of Malartic, in Abitibi- Témiscamingue, Quebec. Around the same time, an impact study was submitted to the government to obtain authorizations to extend the mine and extend its activities. A realization was quickly made: improving stakeholder relations as well as environmental performance were to be a priority for the Partnership to obtain greater social acceptance of the existing operation as well as its extension project. This priority was translated into an innovative approach of co-construction, based on consultation of stakeholders in the development and implementation of viable solutions to better coexist. The challenges were significant: a history of difficult relationships with stakeholders, a trust to rebuild upon arrival of new owners, a highly publicized and politicized project, a host community often divided, mobilized interest groups, environmental non-conformities related to noise and air quality, and an extension project in process of authorization with regulatory bodies. The presentation will explain the Partnership’s co-construction approach, which has allowed this “mine in the city” to better integrate to its host community, to pave the way towards greater social acceptance and successfully obtain permits for its extension. Topics covered: • Challenges of a consultation process under time pressure and technical complexities of the mining world • Redefining relationships with stakeholders • Key elements of an unprecedented cohabitation guide • Convincing results: 96% of the community adhere to the guide • Key success factors and key learnings