Growing With Our Communities
Since 2004, First Majestic has earned a reputation for outstanding corporate citizenship. One of the key building blocks of the Company's vision is to not only economically benefit the regions and communities in which we do business, but also to contribute to the social fabric and overall well-being of residents. To accomplish this, First Majestic has developed numerous projects and initiatives dedicated to improving the lives of local residents.
Community of La Encantada
First Majestic educates 85 elementary and secondary school-aged students at two schools with three certified teachers. Through the schooling program, the youth have access to several sponsored sports programs, in addition to the appropriate facilities. Among the sports programs available, youth can choose between soccer, squash, basketball and softball, although softball is by far the crowd favorite.
First Majestic offers free medical assistance to the local community through organized physical and dental health campaigns. Local residents are encouraged to make use of this free medical assistance provided, in an effort to help prevent and treat illness.
When the community was hit by Hurricane Alex in July 2010, the Company responded by assisting in the rebuilding of damaged roadways and schools. The Company coordinated with other organizations to assist in the reconstruction of main access roads to 'Los Pintos' and 'Los Comandantes' which had been destroyed by heavy rainfall. Motor graders and trucks were also provided by the Company to assist in facilitating repairs to the roads in Ejido Las Eutimias. In addition, the Benito Juarez Elementary School and the local pre-school were supported as the Company helped to rebuild walls, fix fences and paint both buildings.
Several years ago, the Company foresaw the need for water conservation in the area surrounding La Encantada. To deal with this anticipated issue, First Majestic installed a tailings filtration system at the operation which allows for approximately 80% of the water used in the milling process to be recycled back into the circuit. The end result produces a dry tailings paste which requires a smaller land footprint compared to slurry, or wet tailing ponds. In addition, the risk of groundwater contamination is virtually eliminated.
Due to the success of this program at La Encantada, First Majestic has adopted a company-wide policy of installing these same filters at all of its other mining operations.
Community of San Martin
First Majestic strives to assist the community of San Martin in a variety of key areas, from education to sporting to healthcare and environmental initiatives.
To increase the educational opportunities available to San Martin youth, the Company provides scholarships for degrees in earth science to San Martin mine workers' families. Through these academic scholarships, First Majestic is extending the management's vision beyond the mines and is contributing to the bright future of the mining industry as a whole.
For the children of San Martin First Majestic helps organize soccer tournaments through a program put in place. The Company continues to support the activities of the children in the community.
The Company provides healthcare services to local residents while supporting local healthcare professionals and ambulance services. To improve conditions for elders in the community, First Majestic has also committed funding for housing and special care support. As part of this commitment, in 2011, the Company helped to upgrade facilities at the community retirement home through several renovation projects including rainwater insulation.
In 2012, First Majestic was awarded a CLEAN INDUSTRY CERTIFICATE from the Mexican Environmental Authority PROFEPA (Procuradoria Federal Proteccion al Ambiente). This certification recognizes responsible corporate conduct as related to the environment.
Severe drought conditions in Mexico, exacerbated by the local Bolanos River drying up, debilitated the community of San Martin. To help the town, First Majestic built a 10 km pipeline from a water source near the mine to supply the town. Now in place, this system will be utilized as a back-up should drier than normal circumstances arise again.
Community of Del Toro
First Majestic has taken important steps to improve the health and well-being of residents of Del Toro.
To further enhance the health and well-being residents, the Company also helped the neighboring city of San Jose coordinate the "Health Fair 2011" which offered people a variety of free medical services including preventative medicine, dental, women's health, as well as diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol testing. This initiative was developed to help local families who might otherwise not have access to healthcare.
For the community of Del Toro, located in the municipality of Chalchihuites, First Majestic has constructed a water treatment facility. Not only does this facility supply water to the new 4,000 tpd mill, but it also prevents further environmental damage to the town of Chalchihuites, which has been expelling raw sewage into the environment surrounding the town. The environmental impact of this initiative is expected to be significant. Not only will this new treatment facility prevent regional environmental problems, but it will also deliver gray water back to the milling operation at Del Toro. In addition, Del Toro will also be using tailings filters that will enable the mill to reuse over 80% of the water needed.
Community of La Parrilla
Since acquiring La Parrilla in 2004, First Majestic has launched several initiatives that have significantly improved the well-being of residents in the community and have contributed to the town's evolution into a bustling and vibrant community. In 2011 alone, First Majestic contributed approximately 3.3 million pesos to facilitate the ongoing improvements in the town.
The Company encourages elementary and secondary home school programs for the children of mine employees. To help facilitate these programs, First Majestic recently donated a school bus to the secondary students as a means of transportation for school field trips and extra-curricular activities. We also donated 25 computers and accessories in 2011 for the students of the elementary school, 'Lauro Aguirre' and high school 'Prof. Lucio Cabanas' and provide the students with internet access. The Company is also in the process of building a multi-purpose room at the secondary school, to further enhance the educational experience.
The work that First Majestic has done at the La Parrilla Silver Mine has earned the Company a 'CLEAN INDUSTRY CERTIFICATE' from the Mexican Environmental Authority PROFEPA (Procuradoria Federal Proteccion al Ambiente). First Majestic supplies potable water to the residential areas of La Parrilla with nine pipes that can carry a total of 90,000 litres per week for household use. The water that is supplied to the schools is purified so that students can safely drink it. New tailings filters were also added during the most recent expansion of the mill. This effort saves over 80% of the water that was previously required.
Supporting Local Industry
The Company continues to proudly support the local clothing manufacturer (which we assisted in setting up in 2007) that makes all of the work coveralls for our mine employees. By supporting local business, the Company benefits from quick delivery times and, in turn, is helping to keep permanent jobs in the community. Further to this, the Company has also provided equipment and supplies to the local bakery.
As part of First Majestic's commitment to respecting the cultural heritage and traditional customs of the local communities and our mine employees, the Company contributed to a complete renovation of La Parrilla's plaza. The plaza was renamed 'Plaza Bicentenario' in honor of Mexico's 200 years of independence from Spain. The design of the space preserves the traditional beauty of the area while creating an appealing place for families to gather.
Furthering our commitment to local traditions, the Company also helped organize a ceremony in the La Parrilla mine in honour of the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a Catholic holiday celebrated on the twelfth of December. An area specifically for worship at the mine complex has also been constructed.
In terms of cultural programs available to residents of La Parrilla, First Majestic, in conjunction with the support of the state government, facilitates workshops for carpentry, jewelry making, livestock raising, dance (Zumba), music and activities for senior citizens. All of these programs were developed with the purpose of enriching the lives of local citizens.
Community of La Luz
First Majestic's involvement in the La Luz region has contributed to both job creation and significant community improvements.
The Company has initiated a Sustainable Development project, Centro Cultural Hacienda de Santa Ana, at La Luz. This project includes the rehabilitation of the historic Santa Ana Hacienda, along with the construction of a mining museum and a large cultural facility. The mining museum will endeavor to show the historic importance of mining in the region in the past, present and future. The cultural centre will offer opportunities for leisure, education and environmental awareness as well as provide permanent employment to the local community.
Currently, courses in music and jewelry design are being offered at the cultural centre. The jewelry design program offers training in the manufacture of silver handicrafts to some 30 students. Modern techniques and age-old traditions come together in an effort to create new economic opportunities for local residents.
Within the cultural centre, children also receive music lessons in singing and playing instruments. At the inauguration of the Centro Cultural Hacienda de Santa Ana, students held a recital for those in attendance including representatives from the Government of Municipality of Real de Catorce.
Local Issue Resolution
Within the La Luz project, First Majestic also recognizes the need to protect the cultural heritage of the Huicholes, whose sacred ceremonial routes lie within the property. The Company has worked with government to ensure that operations on the property will not disturb these sacred zones.
For our continuing efforts, we are proud to have been recognized with the prestigious Socially Responsible Business Distinction Award by Centro Mexicana para la Filantropia (Mexican Center of Philanthropy) for six consecutive years (2008 - 2013). This honour from within the Mexican community recognizes excellence in corporate ethics, quality of work, community citizenship and environmental responsibility.
We take equal pride in our proven track record of maintaining a clean and safe work environment, as illustrated by our La Parrilla Silver Mine and San Martin Silver Mine being honoured with the Clean Industry Certificate by PROFEPA, the Mexican environmental protection authority.
At First Majestic, we have always committed ourselves to providing our employees with the best in training, tools, equipment and supervision. Through our academic scholarships for students pursuing degrees in geology and engineering, we are extending our vision beyond our mines, as we proudly contribute to a bright, sustainable future for the mining industry as a whole.