Goldcorp's Éléonore Mine in Northern Québec is Awash in Opportunities

Goldcorp's Éléonore Mine in Northern Québec is Awash in Opportunities

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 3:15pm

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We generate far-reaching economic opportunities in the often remote communities and regions in which we operate. We hire and source locally, provide training and support to help people start and develop careers, and contribute to local and regional infrastructure and services. We want to be a catalyst for development that outlives our activities, building community capacity and creating a better future for the people living in the area – in addition to delivering value to our shareholders.

Production is yet to commence at the Éléonore mine in northern Québec, but new economic and social benefits are unfolding each and every day. The mine already employs about 1,200 people (including contractors), many from surrounding communities, and several enterprising businesses have popped up, including locally owned housekeeping services, ecotourism ventures and administrative services.

The Cree Nation of Wemindji and Goldcorp signed the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement on February 21, 2011. One of the main objectives of the Opinagow Collaboration Agreement is to share in the success of Éléonore’s development and operation through employment and training opportunities, scholarships and business development opportunities.

Wemindji’s laundromat is a great example of successful small business development in Éléonore’s area of impact. In 2011, a community member from Wemindji recognized the need for laundry services due to mine development as well as hydroelectric development. This idea led to a partnership between the Tawich Development Corporation, which is the economic arm of the local Cree Nation, and Goldcorp to create Wemindji Laundry.

The laundromat officially opened its doors on October 28, 2013, a brand new purpose-built facility that is equipped with four industrial sized washing and drying machines. Subsequently, a new transportation company was created in Wemindji by a local person to transport loads of laundry to and from site. The laundry facility is located in the town of Wemindji and is also equipped with coin-operated machines to serve the 1,300 community members who live in Wemindji. Wemindji Laundry currently has eight employees who all identify as members of the Cree Nation. They are doing four times the business volume anticipated and are therefore poised for additional growth and prosperity. An additional resource is to be hired to provide sewing services for clothing repairs.

Not only has Wemindji Laundry created local employment opportunities, it has also helped Goldcorp lower maintenance costs and reduce Éléonore’s environmental footprint. Jean-Philippe Clement, who is the Transport and Accommodation Coordinator at Éléonore, said: “Having the laundry done away from the project site means less pressure placed on the local water system. It’s important for us to remember the impact on the communities and the environment around us when we are building large infrastructure."

Opportunities such as Wemindji Laundry will continue to develop as Éléonore moves from the construction to production phase later this year. Going forward, Goldcorp looks forward to working with local stakeholders to support more of these types of opportunities thereby advancing Goldcorp’s vision of Creating Sustainable Value.

Learn more about Goldcorp's economic contributions in the 2013 Sustainability Report: