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Responsible Exploration

Our internal health and safety standards align with internationally recognized frameworks, such as the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System Standard 2018, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Mining Principles 4 – Risk Management, and 5 – Health and Safety. These alignments create a workplace health and safety management system that is demonstrably robust. We believe in setting minimum performance requirements to promote a safe, secure and healthy environment for our employees, contractors and the community.

Our Commitment

Health & Safety

At RUA GOLD, our commitment to workplace health and safety serves as the foundation for our operations. We prioritize the wellbeing of our workforce, and of the communities in which we live and work. To ensure consistent safety performance, we have established internal standards and procedures that we implement across all our locations, also in compliance with domestic workplace health and safety legislation and regulation. These guidelines outline our risk identification and management processes, work execution protocols, incident reporting and investigation methods, and knowledge-sharing practices to foster continuous improvement on workplace health and safety.

Our system of risk management enables us to identify and manage threats and opportunities. We use it to support the delivery of our business goals and act on our commitment to everyone going home safe and well.   

We have simple risk processes, fit for purpose tools and intuitive technology. These combine to enable continuous and dynamic risk management activities. Our material risk management outcomes inform the key decisions that support the steady performance of our operations. Our focus on management of health and safety risk exposures helps us manage the wellbeing of our workforce through safe and sustainable practices on our sites.

We operate based on a ‘three lines of defence model’. This provides regular assurance over our controls, driving reliable and sustainable risk management results.

Our risk and event management system, Global360, is embedded across our business and is used to proactively manage risks and hazards and to capture learnings after events or incidents occur.  Relevant risks, and the controls required to manage those risks, are recorded in the system and risk and control owners assigned. Global360 is used to capture event and hazard investigations and to assign actions to address findings from these investigations. We strive to create enduring value through strong governance and management of our performance. To achieve this, we apply the Three Lines operating model in relation to the management of risk: 

  • First Line is responsible for designing, implementing and executing processes and controls in order to manage risk;
  • Second Line assists the first line in managing risk by monitoring and reporting on the conformance with Group requirements, and advising and guiding the development and improvement of fundamentals; and
  • Third Line, our Group Assurance function, provides independent and objective assurance over the Group’s system of risk management and control, by way of performing internal audit reviews and reporting results to the Risk and Audit Committee. 

Ensuring our people and contractors are trained and competent for the work they do is essential to maintaining strong safety performance. Competencies required by local laws, and those related to certain roles, are defined in our internal health and safety standards, incorporated into training needs and skills analysis, and the associated training is provided to the workforce. We also provide role-based training for those who have responsibility for managing risks and maintaining controls.

Our operations provide health and safety induction, which all new employees and contractors must undertake, which includes training on material health and safety exposures in the workplace. We verify training and competency to enable safe execution of work. In accordance with our internal training standard, training frameworks are periodically reviewed.

We have processes in place to effectively communicate health and safety information to employees and contractors at all our locations. Employees are engaged in safety decision-making through the appointment of health and safety representatives, the establishment of health and safety committees, and inclusion in safety-related meetings. They also contribute to hazard identification, risk assessment, workplace inspections and event investigations.

Our people are empowered and expected to stop work where there is a threat to health and safety. These requirements are embedded in our internal safety standard, and outlined in our Speak Up Policy, which confirms that our people are protected from retaliation for reporting a business conduct concern.

Our frontline leaders play a critical role in embedding our values and culture, by modelling exemplary behaviours and fostering a safe and inclusive work environment.

We continue to invest in developing our leaders through the ongoing deployment of our Leadership Fundamentals Program.

As part of our Safety Improvement Program, we focused on the development of our safety leadership approach. This includes training and coaching for all levels of leadership and a risk reduction program featuring leader coaching and risk reviews. Read more about our Safety Improvement Program in our 2022 Sustainable Development Report.

Our internal security, crisis and emergency management (SCEM) standard requires that SCEM plans are developed, implemented, resourced and routinely exercised to mitigate material risks and to respond to emergencies. SCEM plans are designed to help us deliver a well-coordinated emergency response, protecting our people while minimising our impact on the environment and surrounding communities. Along with detailed SCEM plans, each operation has well-resourced emergency response and incident management teams with business continuity planning in place to manage potential events.

We engage dedicated and professionally trained security teams to protect our people and assets at our operations. By holding these security providers to high standards of conduct, we believe they can have a positive impact on local governance, peace and stability.

Globally, all our private security providers must operate consistently with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR).

In addition, our Africa-based private security providers must meet the requirements of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers. These requirements are mandated in our internal standards which form part of our company assurance programs. Our asset protection management standards acknowledge the importance of developing and maintaining good community relations as a part of successful security risk management.

Our Commitment​

Environmental Management

RUA GOLD is committed to protecting natural and historic resources, including water, air, land forms, and surrounding indigenous ecosystems.

We work hard to be responsible stewards of the environment, and treat natural resources with care so that they are available for future generations. We engage with iwi / hapū and stakeholders to help achieve these aims.

From exploration through to the closure of our operations and beyond, the protection and rehabilitation of surrounding landscapes are front of mind.

Our Commitment

Engagement with iwi, hapū, and communities

Ngāti Waewae is the iwi or tribe holding ancestral connection with the areas in which RUA GOLD operates. The iwi falls within the larger umbrella of Ngāi Tahu iwi whose takiwā (ancestral land area) covers much of New Zealand’s South Island / Te Waipounamu.  

We acknowledge the cultural, environmental, economic and other associations Ngāti Waewae hold as tangata whenua (people of the land) in respect of our project area. As such, we seek to work in partnership with Ngāti Waewae on matters of mutual interest, including environmental management, cultural landscapes, potential employment opportunities, and the protection of archaeological sites and heritage.

Residents of Reefton and the surrounding goldfield have a strong association with the area’s gold mining past, present and future – as the name Reefton implies. Today activities in the area include post-closure mine site rehabilitation, the development of a new underground mine, and gold exploration in which we play an active role.

Besides the economic potential of RUA GOLD’s activities, the community in which we live and work has strong interests in the environmental and social impacts of exploration. We proactively engage with the community to identify common interests and initiatives that we can support, and to keep the community up to date on, and involved with our projects. This includes active engagement with regulators under several pieces of legislation, and the contracting of local service providers to support exploration.

Our goal is for the community to benefit from our activities, and for us to leave a net positive legacy for the Reefton and neighbouring communities. Engagement is core to achieving our goal, and to earning and retaining our licence to operate.

Iwi and hapū & Stakeholder Engagement Policy

Guidance for iwi Engagement Reporting

Our Commitment​

Archeology & Heritage

At RUA GOLD, we are responsible and ethical in our management of archeological sites and heritage. We have gone to great lengths to understand the historic and cultural resources present in the areas in which we operate.

We take pride in avoiding or minimizing any disturbance to recorded and unrecorded archeological and heritage resources, and to ensure compliance with heritage legislation.

Our project area has connections with traditional Māori travel and trading routes (ara tawhito), and with the Reefton goldfield’s history of gold exploration and mining since 1870.

We are committed to working with regulators, stakeholders and iwi / hapū, to protect and preserve significant archeological sites and heritage in our project area.

Sustainability & ESG

RUA GOLD takes a long view of our business, in terms of the wellbeing of our people and the company, our communities, and the environment – this is our view of “sustainability”.

A modern approach to sustainability is ESG – which stands for environmental, social and corporate governance. It is one we are bringing into our operations.

ESG provides a formal structure for understanding our material impacts on people and the environment, and measuring and reporting on them. It provides anyone with an interest or concern in our business accessible information on how we deliver on our commitments to sustainability.

ESG also provides a framework for continuous improvement in what we do, at all of our operations.

Ultimately, this is about doing the right thing, by our people, by the community and our regulators, by iwi and hapū in whose ancestral lands we live and work, and by the environment.