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05.15.15 - Safeguarding Community Health in Paracatu

For Kinross, the health and safety of our employees and the community around our Paracatu operation in Brazil, and at all our mines around the world, are of the utmost importance. We take our responsibility as a good corporate citizen very seriously and we adhere to the highest safety, health and environmental standards as part of our commitment and obligation to operate within regulatory limits for both air and water quality.

As such, Kinross rejects the irresponsible and specious claims made in recent media stories alleging that our operation poses a risk to the health of people living near our mine in Paracatu. These false allegations are not supported by fact or reputable scientific data. To the contrary, peer-reviewed scientific research to date overwhelmingly concludes that:

  • Mining activities do not significantly affect total exposure to arsenic, which is a naturally occurring element in the area.
  • The total exposure to arsenic is well below the benchmark safe level set by the World Health Organization and poses no risk to human health.
  • It also confirms the low bioavailability of arsenic in the air, water and sediment, which means it exists in a form that cannot be readily absorbed by the human body.

These many peer-reviewed studies include:

  • A 2013 report by respected researchers at Brazil's Centre for Mineral Technology, CETEM.
  • A 2010 to 2012 study by a group of global experts from Brazil's Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and the University of Queensland in Australia, including Professor Jack Ng, a leading environmental toxicologist who helped define safety standards for arsenic in food for the World Health Organization.
  • A 2014 study led by Luiz Roberto G. Guilherme, Professor of Soil Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology at Brazil's Federal University of Lavras. "Bioaccessibility of arsenic in a gold mine area in Brazil: why is it so low?"

Despite the compelling scientific evidence, some media continue to misrepresent the findings and cite unsubstantiated and alarmist claims which have no basis in the data. This point was recently raised by Professor Guilherme of Brazil's Federal University of Lavras and Virginia S.T. Ciminelli, Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, who both corrected the erroneous and distorted portrayals of their research in public letters to the municipality of Paracatu, which can be read in English here ( Professor Guilherme letter; Professor Ciminelli letter).

As a responsible mining company, Kinross adheres to rigorous policies, practices and management standards focused on the environment and human health. These include impact assessments, environmental control plans, and environmental monitoring in partnership with the local community to ensure transparency in the process. Environmental performance data is regularly submitted to regulatory agencies for evaluation and monitoring purposes.

We are proud of the strong relationships we have built at Paracatu, and will continue to strive to be a good neighbour in order to make a lasting and positive impact through partnerships in environment, education and building local economic capacity. Our commitment to safeguarding the health of our employees and host communities will continue to be our top priority.

 

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