As the sustainability movement has gained momentum over the past several years, we have found ourselves wondering what all the fuss was about. The gold industry has learned the hard way over the years that shareholders are not the only stakeholders who should benefit from a gold mine. Other stakeholders who are equally important include employees and their families, local communities or tribes, state/provincial and national governments, and the environment. Failure to treat all stakeholders fairly can hamper or even shut down an operation, with loss of jobs and income for all.

Companies also understand the importance of land reclamation once mining is over (see picture below). They undertake a tremendous amount of drilling, testing, engineering, and metallurgical work that results in life-of-mine plans that return the landscape to as close to its original state as possible.

Reclaimed Golden Star mine tailings facility, Ghana (Source: VanEck, 2018)

In addition to reclaiming land, some companies also attempt to establish sustainable employment once the mine shuts down. As investors, it all makes perfect sense!

About the Author:

Joe Foster has been Portfolio Manager for the VanEck International Investors Gold Fund since 1998 and the VanEck – Global Gold UCITS Fund since 2012. Mr. Foster, an acknowledged authority on gold, has over 10 years of dedicated experience in geology and mining including as a gold geologist in Nevada. He has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and on Reuters, CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Mr. Foster has also published articles in a number of mining journals, including Mining Engineering and Geological Society of Nevada.

The article above is an opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MV Index Solutions or its affiliates.