Across the globe, 2020 was a year of great change, with COVID-19 impacting daily life and redefining the way business is conducted. For SSR Mining, 2020 was also a year of great transformation. We successfully completed the merger with Alacer Gold and now have a stronger and more robust business. Safely and successfully bringing two companies and their assets together is no small task, particularly in the face of a global pandemic, but with a talented and committed team we were able to achieve a great deal in a short time which sets the Company up for long term and sustainable success.
Our Business with Sustainability at its Core
Both SSR and Alacer businesses shared a belief that for mining companies to be successful, they must be sustainable. With this mindset, we seized the opportunity to fully embed sustainability at the core of the new SSR Mining and one of the first actions after the merger was to identify and bring together the best practices of each Company to update our suite of sustainability policies. Our focus is currently on building an integrated sustainability management system to ensure these values are further embedded across each site and at our Corporate offices. The bedrock of our business is our people, and alongside updates to policies and systems, we are taking the steps to support our teams through the changes as we augment our culture around responsible mining and safe production.
It is with pleasure that I can report we performed well against our combined public sustainability goals. We recorded zero fatalities and continued our focus on driving down our total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR). We are also working to set the emissions targets for our expanded business –grounded in climate science, and in line with the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement.
On the social front we continued to implement our new community relations management system, and at our Puna operations in Argentina the social development fund received and reviewed funding proposals. A record number of applications were received and assessed for the Çöpler Social Development Fund, unfortunately COVID-19 restrictions did impact our ability to approve applications. These projects and the committed funding will roll into 2021 as restrictions lift.
Looking to the Future
We know that to continue to succeed, we must be mindful of new norms and continue to evolve our approach to sustainability with a particular focus on climate change. That is why we have committed to establishing an action plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Further to this ambitious but necessary target, we will improve our disclosures on climate and water management by responding to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), and by aligning our reporting with the requirements of the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). As the pandemic continues, we remain committed to the communities and countries we operate in – most importantly on our focus of hiring and buying locally. We look forward to tackling these ambitions and targets as well as any challenges during 2021.
Rodney P. Antal President and Chief Executive Officer