OCG is currently working in 9 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, with extensive ongoing work in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. The following project experiences provide examples of the range of engagements and contracts that OCG undertakes.
Management for Integrated Social Responsibility, Bolivia
OCG is providing ongoing independent assessment and advice regarding exceeding compliance with the social aspects of the Equator Principles and industry best practice for the San Cristobal Mine development project. This 8-year engagement has evolved from compliance assessment for the Equator Principles with public reporting by the private financing banks, to support to carry out forward-looking integration of CSR principles, indicators and continuous improvement mechanisms across the mining company, with the goal to position San Cristobal Mining Company as a leading company in this area.
Human Rights Assessment, Guatemala
OCG was retained to conduct an independent Human Rights Assessment of Goldcorp’s Marlin Mine in Guatemala. The project was initiated by a group of responsible shareholders and commissioned by a steering committee comprising a representative of the responsible shareholders, a Guatemalan representative and a representative of Goldcorp. The work was carried out with the principles of independence, inclusivity and transparency and the final report was published in its entirety in English and Spanish. The assessment represented one of the first applications of the “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework endorsed by the United Nations, ICMM and others, and identified areas of concern, risk, and impact to enable the company to implement changes necessary to ensure human rights are respected.
Community Engagement to International Standards, Colombia
OCG continues to provide strategic and practical assistance to Carbones de Cerrejon, Colombia, for the company to engage with stakeholders, communicate effectively, and fulfill commitments consistent with international standards. The scope of work over the past 4 years has included the preparation of a Strategic Plan, Operational Plans, facilitating the analysis and evaluation of stakeholder maps and issues, training in the implementation of international practice for consultation, assistance in the design of engagement strategies for individual stakeholder groups, and preparation of a ‘Brief Document’ for dissemination to all stakeholders and to inform the consultation process. International standards for consultation were considered minimum performance criteria in the design of the program.
Wind Farm Integrated Social Management Plan, Oaxaca, Mexico
The OCG team was responsible for developing the components for, and preparing documentation of an Integrated Social Management Plan for a Wind Generation Project on the lands of Huave and Zapotec indigenous people, in Oaxaca State. Scope of work included impact assessment, development of the Indigenous Peoples Plan, documentation of Free Prior Informed Consent, design of ongoing consultation and engagement, and management systems development for implementation of the associated commitments and activities.
Obtaining a Social License to Operate, Perú
Contracted by Anglo American Peru, OCG designed and implemented an extensive program of engagement, participatory development planning, capacity-building and institutional strengthening to work with two traditional communities in Peru in order to obtain agreement to overcome entrenched opposition and to allow mineral exploration to take place at the Michiquillay Project, Cajamarca.
Export Development Canada, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
OCG provided a compliance specialist to review resettlement associated with a major infrastructure project. Implemented by a government agency with Canadian contractors, a major storm water management system being installed in poor neighborhoods required the resettlement of more than 900 poor squatter families. EDC funding requires World Bank standards for resettlement.
Social Strategies for Mining and Exploration, Mexico
OCG has undertaken work with mining projects in several regions of Mexico including Oaxaca, Chiapas, Michoacán, Baja California, Sinaloa and Durango. The services supplied have ranged from due-diligence on social risk and social management practices to strategic planning for construction and operations phase community relations and social investment in development projects and creating the necessary inputs and capacity to assure compliance with the Equator Principles. Our clients have included Geologix, Hecla Mining, Caboro Minerales, and Fortuna Silver. Additional support has been provided to confidential clients.
Social and Environmental Capacity Assessment, Bolivia
On Common Ground was retained to provide specialist knowledge and assistance for an independent review of the social and environmental management capacity of a Bolivian mining company; the client was the Office of the Compliance Audit/Ombudsman (CAO) of the World Bank. The work included a review of documents, visits to the mining company’s operational sites, interviews with company management and employees, and meetings with communities and non-governmental organizations local to the company’s operations in Bolivia. The report assessed the company’s capacity for social and environmental management, and made recommendations on how capacity might be reinforced and supported as part of the ongoing relationship between the Bolivian mining company and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Development of Principles and Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Exploration, PDAC, Canada
OCG was retained to lead the development of a new set of voluntary standards for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada and its membership. Principles and Guidelines were developed through a multi-stakeholder process of workshops, focus groups and direct interaction with key stakeholders and a steering committee both within and outside of the industry subsector – with an iterative and transparent process throughout. OCG coordinated the effort overall; developing initial working guidelines, facilitating the workshops, recording input of focus groups, preparing draft versions for comment and drafting the final version for publication.
Research, Policy and Program Development for Canadian International Development Agency
OCG Principal Ian Thomson was joint leader of a 3-country research project in support of CIDA’s ‘Promote Effective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative’ in the Andean Region. The objective was to identify patterns and gaps in CSR performance and identify country-level differences in application of CSR principles, should these exist. Background research and extensive field-based interviews in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru were used to collect information and consult with stakeholders on CSR practices in the extractive industries and potential mechanisms for intervention by CIDA to promote good practice and positive outcomes for communities affected by these industries. In collaboration with the other lead investigator, Thomson prepared a report of findings together with recommendations to CIDA, and development of a ‘Logic Model and Project Approval Report’ for submission to government.
Pilot Assessment for Responsible Gold Certification Solidaridad Foundation, Holland
OCG was retained by Solidaridad (originators of the fair trade movement) to contribute to a pilot project to certify small-scale gold mines for ‘Ethical Gold Production’. OCG undertook a social and environmental assessment of the policies and practices of the Yanaquihua Mine, Peru, for conformity with the standards of the Responsible Jewelry Council, including the mine’s relationship with informal and illegal miners operating on its concessions. OCG prepared a report identifying gaps, procedures for achieving compliance and mechanisms for bringing the informal and illegal miners into a structured relationship with the company that would allow gold produced from Yanaquihua to enter the ‘responsible jewelry’ market in Europe.