Goldcorp Inc., headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is one of the world's fastest-growing senior gold producers, with operations in North, Central and South America. It employs more than 18,000 people.
Milestones in the development of the Company include the April 2005 merger of Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. and Goldcorp Inc. under the latter name, the May 2006 acquisition of interests in producing mines and a mine development project formerly held by Placer Dome Inc., and the November 2006 acquisition of Glamis Gold Ltd., bringing with it producing gold mines and properties slated for development into mines.
Goldcorp common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GG, and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol G.
The Red Lake Gold Mines property is located in northwestern Ontario, 180 kilometres north of Dryden and constitutes the richest gold mine in the world. The property is located in the Red Lake Greenstone Belt, which is situated in the western portion of the Archaean Uchi Subprovince, a granite-greenstone sequence consisting of belts generally trending east-west. The sequence consists of a number of assemblages, the oldest of which, the Balmer assemblage, hosts the Red Lake mine complex.
The operation is a combination of two mining complexes, Red Lake and Campbell. The Red Lake Complex was Goldcorp's original operating business, acquired in 1989 through Goldcorp's acquisition of the well-known Dickenson Mines Limited. The Red Lake Complex contains three shafts, one serving 1 Level to 23 Level, a second connected shaft slightly to the south and serving 23 Level to 38 Level, and a third separate shaft. #1 and #2 shafts form a mine reaching a depth of 1,829 metres, while #3 shaft reaches a depth of 1,924 metres. The Campbell Complex contains two shafts, one having a depth of 1,316 metres, and the other slightly to the west with a depth of 1,819 metres. The Red Lake Complex and Campbell Complex process ore at separate mills. The Red Lake Complex mill consist of separate operations for processing the three types of gold which occur in the mine. Definition, delineation and exploration diamond drilling are ongoing at the property.
The acquisition of Gold Eagle Mines Ltd. in September 2008 gave the Company control of eight kilometres of strike length along the prolific Red Lake trend adjacent to the Red Lake mine and southwest of the Company's past-producing Cochenour-Willan mine. The acquisition includes a significant area of mineralization known as the Bruce Channel Discovery, now part of the Cochenour Deposit. The Cochenour Deposit and the Western Discovery Zone deposits, both discovered in 2004, and the Cochenour-Willan mine, now form part of the Cochenour Complex. To prepare for gold production, scheduled for 2015, the Cochenour shaft was expanded and an underground, five-kilometer haulage drift was constructed to connect the Cochenour Complex with the Campbell Complex.
In December 2007 the Company acquired Kinross Gold Corporation's 49% share of the Porcupine Joint Venture and 32% share of the Musselwhite Joint Venture in exchange for the Company's 50% interest in the La Coipa silver-gold mine in Chile and as a result holds 100% of both Porcupine and Musselwhite. Porcupine, within the Timmins, Ontario city limits, consists of the Hoyle Pond and Dome underground gold mines. Ore from both mines is processed at the Dome Mill. Additional drilling has extended the primary ore zone at the Hoyle Pond deposit. Musselwhite, 480 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, consists of an underground gold mine and associated processing plant on traditional First Nation land. New discoveries and the projections of known mineralization structures have the potential to increase reserves at Musselwhite.
Goldcorp's acquisition of Virginia Gold Mines Ltd. in March 2006 brought with it the Éléonore Project, located approximately 320 kilometres north of Matagami in the James Bay region of Québec. The project is hosted in Achaean-age rocks of a greenstone belt near the contact between the Opinaca Subprovince and La Grande Subprovince of the Superior Province. The Roberto Zone became the focus of exploration within the project area and was found to contain a significant gold deposit. Construction of the underground mine, process plant and tailings facility proceeded during 2013 and 2014. On October 1, 2014 the mine project poured its first gold doré bar from the plant's gravity circuit, while development of the remainder of the plant continued.
The Los Filos Project is located in central Guerrero State of southern Mexico and began commercial production in January 2008. The project comprises the Los Filos and Bermejal deposits, which lie near the centre of a large circular-shaped feature named the Moreno-Guerrero Basin. Mineralization is associated with three diorite to granodiorite stocks which were emplaced in carbonate rocks of the Upper Cretaceous Morelos Formation. Both deposits have been developed as open pit mines, while the Los Filos mine has an integrated underground operation. Crushed leach ore (higher grade ore) from the Los Filos deposit is processed by crushing, agglomeration and heap leaching. Run-of-mine heap leaching of ore from both the Los Filos and Bermejal deposits accounts for most of the ore processing. Gold and silver recovery takes place in a carbon adsorption-desorption-recovery plant, followed by an electrowinning process to recover a gold-silver sludge, and smelting to recover the gold-silver as doré.
The Peñasquito gold-silver-lead-zinc mine is located in northeastern Zacatecas State. The project area geology features Mesozoic sedimentary rocks intruded by Tertiary stocks. Two diatreme breccia pipes, which are believed to be related to stocks below the mine area, are the principal hosts for the gold-silver-lead-zinc mineralization. The project area has been developed as two open pits, Peñasco and Chile Colorado, and will become Mexico’s largest open pit mine, as well as one of the largest and lowest-cost precious metal mines in North America.
Oxide and mixed ores undergo heap leaching and then a Merrill-Crowe gold recovery process. A mill flotation plant processes sulphide ores to produce lead and zinc concentrates with gold and silver credits. First commercial production from the mine occurred in September 2010.
The El Sauzal Mine is located 447 kilometers southwest of the city of Chihuahua in Chihuahua State. The mine, a conventional open pit operation with gold recovery through a carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuit, began production in December 2004. The mine will reach the end of its life in 2015.
In February 2010 the Company acquired Canplats Resources Corporation and the latter’s Camino Rojo project 50 kilometers southeast of the Peñasquito mine. This 3,389-square kilometer land position includes the Represa Deposit. In-fill and expansion drilling since the acquisition have greatly expanded indicated and inferred mineral resources. The property is expected to be mined using a heap leach operation.
Goldcorp holds a 37.5% interest in the Alumbrera Mine, which is located on a 600 hectare mining lease near Belen in northwestern Argentina, in a valley west of the easternmost range of the Andes Mountains. The Alumbrera deposit was emplaced in a late Miocene volcanic flow and breccia complex. Its mineralization-related dacite porphyries were intruded into the roots of the Farallón Negro volcano roughly 8 million years ago. Ore from the open pit operation is removed using standard truck and shovel techniques. A small proportion of gold is removed from the milled ore as free gold and upgraded to doré bullion, while most is processed into a gold-bearing concentrate. The concentrate is sent via a 316 kilometer pipeline through Catamarca and Tucuman provinces to a plant in Cruz del Norte, where the concentrate is dewatered and then shipped by rail to a port facility for sea transport to international markets.
The Cerro Negro project is located in the Province of Santa Cruz in southern Argentina. The project consists of gold and potentially silver veins situated near the western edge of the Deseado Massif, a rigid crustal block covering 60,000 square kilometers in the region. Mineralization is structurally-controlled within a low sulphidation, epithermal system. Within the project area, six zones of epithermal mineralization have been recognized. Initial production results from the underground mining of three veins: Eureka, Mariana Central and Mariana Norte. First gold was poured in July 2014.
The Company holds a 40% interest in the Pueblo Viejo project in the central part of the Dominican Republic. The project area is hosted by the Lower Cretaceous Los Ranchos Formation, a series of volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks. The project deposits may have been derived from fluids supplied by a stock or other intrusive body deep underneath.
Pueblo Viejo consists of two main areas of mineralization, Monte Negro and Moore, which contain high-sulphidation epithermal gold and silver deposits. Mining of gold and silver on the property occurred from 1975 to 1999 but left the property's sulphide resource largely unexploited. Due to the number and complexity of ore types on the property, ore is being processed using a method consisting of pressure oxidation of the whole ore followed by cyanidation of gold and silver in a carbon-in-leach circuit. The significant amount of lime required in operations is being mined locally. First production at the mine was achieved in August 2012.
The Marlin gold-silver mine is located in the municipality of San Miguel Ixtahuacan in the western highlands of Guatemala. The Marlin deposit is connected to the Polochic fault system, part of a major transform fault which separates the North American and South American cratons, and was formed by Tertiary mafic volcanic eruptive events. The mine began production in December 2005. It consisted of both an open pit and an underground mining operation until early 2012, when the last high-grade ore in the open pit was mined. At this point the mine continued as an underground operation. Milling of mined ore results in a pulp which undergoes tank leaching with cyanide, then counter-current decantation to produce clear gold and silver bearing solutions from which the metals are recovered by precipitation.
Production prospects at the Marlin Mine have been enhanced by the discovery of a bonanza grade gold vein known as the Delmy vein, located within the existing mining area. Mining of this vein began in 2011 and is progressing. In 2012 mining also commenced in the property’s West Vero area.
Goldcorp holds a 70% interest in the El Morro copper-gold development project in north-central Chile, Atacama Region and is the operator of the project. The group of mineral properties which constitute the project total 417 square kilometres and cover the La Fortuna, El Negro and El Morro areas, three separate centres of porphyry-style copper-gold-molybdenum mineralization. A feasibility study has been completed on the La Fortuna area, a classic copper-gold porphyry deposit which contains all of the project’s reserves and resources thus far, and further work is being done in order to furnish information for a production decision. The El Morro area is underexplored. It is believed that further drilling there will demonstrate its potential to be on a scale similar to La Fortuna.
Responsible mining means having a positive social and economic impact on the communities at each mining operation, not only during the life of the operation, but long after its completion. In addition to these social and economic dimensions, responsible mining encompasses employee development, environmental stewardship and maintaining the highest standards of health and safety.
Mines are long-term investments which have significant economic and social impacts in the communities surrounding them. Among the benefits which Goldcorp's operations have conferred on surrounding communities are local sourcing of services and supplies, creation of new opportunities for local businesses, major contributions to the development or upgrading of local infrastructure, financial support of community organizations, taxes paid to local, regional and national governments, and local hiring and training for jobs with wage rates exceeding those at other local employers. 82% of employees at Goldcorp sites come from the local or regional area.
Goldcorp is heavily involved in employee training and education. Programs are directed at front-line supervisors and managers and mid-level management, with follow-up programs for graduates of the initial programs. The Company also delivers programs aimed at at enhancing financial literacy, at teaching best practices in project management, and at developing strong teams and a sense of corporate citizenship. Creating Choices™ is an enterprise-wide learning, development and mentoring program directed at female employees and delivered by female employees. Program themes include self-esteem, personal vision, leadership skills and building a leadership presence.
Occupational safety and health initiatives focus on safety leadership training, disease prevention and treatment, environmental monitoring, the development of best practices, and the sharing of best practices between Company operations. Initiatives extend to local communities at a number of Company sites through wellness programs for employees and family members, and cooperative efforts with government and local community organizations to furnish basic community medical services. Goldcorp's occupational health and safety initiatives encompass not only its employees but also contractors who provide their services at the Company's operations. Safe Enough for Our Families is the vision which guides health and safety practices at Goldcorp.
All Goldcorp sites are actively involved in engaging local communities. Apart from tax contributions and local procurement and workforce training, sites make donations to support physical infrastructure, health services and education, to develop local business, and to support vulnerable groups in the local population. At the Marlin mine in Guatemala and the San Martin mine in Honduras, foundations have been established to implement community-based development with the goal of benefitting the communities in ways which will last well beyond the closure of these mines. Integral to Goldcorp's engagement with local communities is its commitment to human rights.
Goldcorp complies with stringent environmental laws and regulations at each of its operations. Beyond compliance, the Company has established organization-wide goals for minimizing environmental impact and continually monitors its progress and reports on its performance with respect to those goals. A number of key goals have been set.
In July 2007 the Company became a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code. Certification to the Code, which focuses on the safe management of the creation, transport and use of cyanide employed in gold production, requires third-party audits. All nine operating mines have been certified, and four have been re-certified.
In 2014 Goldcorp sold its two-thirds interest in the Marigold Mine in Humboldt County, Nevada at the north end of the Battle Mountain-Eureka Trend of central Nevada. The mine, a run-of-mine heap leach operation, began operations in 1988. In early 2007 the Marigold Mine was the first gold mine in the world to be fully certified under the International Cyanide Management Code for the Manufacture, Transport and Use of Cyanide in the Production of Gold, a voluntary industry program for companies using cyanide in gold production and developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme. In 2010 the Marigold Mine became the first mine in the world to be re-certified to the Code.
In late 2011 the Company established a Corporate Energy Strategy to set targets for energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and use of renewable resources. The goal of this strategy is to end 2016 with a 15% increase in energy efficiency, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. and a 5% level of energy supply from renewables.
Goldcorp required all operations to development environmental management systems in order to approach their environmental responsibilities in a organized manner. By the end of 2010 all of Goldcorp's operations had reported that they had developed the required systems. In 2011 the Company launched a program of internal audits to review and verify the systems with the goal of arriving at standards applicable to all operations.
Key to the goal of achieving sustainability in mining operations is the development and implementation of mine closure plans. All of the Company's operations have mine closure plans in place. Plans are reviewed and updated each year as part of Goldcorp's business planning cycle.
During 2013 Goldcorp implemented its Sustainability Excellence Management System. This system is a framework and a set of standards for incorporating best-in-class environmental, safety and social practices in Company operations. The system provides a consistent approach to sustainability throughout the Company and is a way of ensuring that the Company meets or exceeds high, internationally-recognized standards.
For more information, visit csr.goldcorp.com.