The number of sustainable initiatives introduced by Goldcorp to benefit the people and communities around Marlin Mine in Guatemala continues to grow – literally.
Since 2010, the Sustainable Development Department has completed more than 813 projects for the 40,000 inhabitants of San Miguel Ixtahuacán, San Marcos, and 15,000 people in adjacent areas, including building schools, a medical centre, computer labs, recreation halls, sports fields, and a tree and plant nursery.
Many more initiatives are ongoing. For example, a dairy business which started with 20 cows now has 72, with beef cattle added to the operation, all managed by local employees who have been trained by field experts. Another enterprise cultivating coffee, corn, tomatoes and other crops as a sustainable food source has become a community revenue stream through sales to regional markets, restaurants and occasionally an urban Wal-Mart.
“Our goal has been to create different programs that are going to be sustainable and create jobs once the mine is gone,” says Peter Hughes-Hallett, Environmental Director for Central & South America. “The agricultural program started with a small group in 2011, and it went to a bigger scale. So far it has been a huge success.”
Seen and Herd
The latest project is an eco-initiative of the mine’s flora and fauna conservation program to replenish the white-tailed deer population which has been decimated by hunting over the years. The breeding and feeding process is arduous with these timid creatures, which typically weigh about 60 kilograms, but the Goldcorp team’s labour of love is proving worthwhile.
This past December, a new family member was born healthy and hearty, bringing the herd up to 23. Affectionately named Bambi by Gustavo Gomez, Chief Environmentalist for Marlin, and members of the Technical Closure Department, the fawn took its first steps before the eyes of a proud crew.
The birth is a positive sign of a successful mating season and coming months of optimistic anticipation for the 17 other pregnant females. After seven months of gestation, a doe can potentially give birth to as many as three fawns. If, as hoped, each female delivers two or more offspring, the size and health of the herd will make great strides.
Goldcorp employees distribute 25 pounds of concentrated food per day throughout the ecological park at a cost of GTQ 195 per quintal (~100 pounds). The deer also graze on natural vegetation, including tree and shrub foliage, buds, indigenous grasses, seeds, berries and even mushrooms.
The goal of the Marlin eco-park team is to maintain and sustain a thriving habitat for the herd, with diverse plant and tree species to meet their nutritional needs and woodland preservation for their safety and survival.
This is yet another example of Goldcorp’s passion to leave behind a legacy long after the life of mine in the areas we operate.