Alexco has a commitment to continue its contributions to the economy, the environment and the communities in and around the Keno Hill Silver District. The goal is to help provide the minerals that every Canadian needs, while doing it an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The two sides of Alexco's business -- mining and environmental remediation -- are often viewed as disparate, yet they form the fundamental components of Alexco's core mission. The Company's vision is to operate mines that have traditionally been viewed as having high environmental or social risk, bring them back to profitable production, and then return them to an uncontaminated, environmentally healthy state.
Alexco has built a strong reputation in the Canadian mining industry for its expertise in environmental remediation through the work of its environmental services team. Alexco Environmental Group (AEG) has a continuing contract with the Government of Canada to clean up and restore the historical areas of mine operation in the Keno Hill District.
Leveraging the in-house expertise of AEG, Alexco is managing its Keno Hill exploration and silver mine operations to minimize their environmental impact. The Company's commitment to environmental sustainability is embedded in every decision of its management group, and applies across all its operations.
But Alexco's commitment to sustainability goes well beyond achieving environmental protection. The Company also supports sustainability through commitments to its financial responsibilities, social responsibilities, open communication with employees and external stakeholders, and through maintaining the highest health and safety standards.
On the strength of these commitments, Alexco is building a profitable, financially stable company to provide ongoing value creation for shareholders and lasting economic and social benefits for local communities.
Alexco hires locally whenever possible and has created a market for local businesses, reinvigorating communities in the area and helping to build skills and create opportunities for community members.
In 2010, eight local First Nations' men completed a four-week course required for obtaining work as entry-level underground mine workers. The course was funded jointly by Alexco and the Yukon Mine Training Association. The Bellekeno mine and mill complex currently provides work for more than 180 employees and contractors. The total economic benefit for Yukon from labour, material and supplies required for the Bellekeno operations is estimated at $25 million per year, with an additional $10 million to $12 million in economic benefits from Alexco's exploration and District development activities.
In the area of social responsibility, Alexco works closely and collaboratively with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun and looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership as development continues at the Keno Hill properties.
Social responsibility for Alexco includes a concern for the health and safety of people in local communities as well as for employees and contractors. The Company regularly provides intensive safety training for workers at its Bellekeno mine and mill operations, and promotes a focus on safety as everyone's responsibility to ensure the safest possible working conditions for all employees.