Alongside the direct investments we make, we have dedicated social development funds at our Puna Operations and Çöpler Mine. These funds aim to support sustainable projects in the local communities to help diversify economic activity in the local area and reduce reliance on the mine.
Argentina Community Development Fund
Puna Operations partnered with the local regional government to invest in local communities through a Social Development Fund. This innovative partnership between the mine and the host communities aims to promote financial inclusion and create opportunities for local entrepreneurs and support a wide-range of social and community developments projects.
Management of the fund will be participatory in nature, and the board of directors will consist of representatives of local communities to evaluate, approve and delivery financing for the projects.
An initial contribution of USD 500,000 was made to get the fund up and running. In 2020, 47 projects were presented, and 37 assessed. In 2021, we will organize workshops to strengthen the understanding of the fund and its objectives among the local communities.
Çöpler’s Social Development Fund (SDF)
Çöpler’s SDF aims to provide financial support to local entrepreneurs so they can set up or grow their own businesses. Projects are selected based on a set of development priorities agreed in consultation with the community and aligned with local government development plans and priorities. The SDF is funded from contributions by the Company of $2 for every ounce of gold produced annually by the Çöpler Mine, thereby linking the benefits we share with the community to our success as a Company.
Because the application process involves a number of in person meetings, in 2020 COVID-19 restrictions meant that the program had to be paused. Funding continued to accumulate through the pause ready to be allocated once the hiatus is over. We continued to support the projects funded in 2019, and we hope to resume the programme in 2021. To date the Çöpler Sustainable development fund has distributed more than $500,000 to encourage entrepreneurship around the mine.