PanAust’s sustainability actions are guided by corporate governance standards with the Sustainability Committee (a committee of the PanAust Board) providing oversight. The Company's Vision and Values, and Sustainability Policy clearly outline the Company’s commitment to preserving and enhancing the environmental, social, technical and financial elements of the business. Fourteen Sustainability Management Standards relating to leadership, risk management, health and safety, training, environment, stakeholder engagement and community have been developed by PanAust to ensure consistent sustainability-related outcomes across the business.
PanAust’s Sustainability Committee regularly reports to the Board of Directors in relation to its responsibilities and functions as outlined in the Sustainability Committee Charter.
Sustainability forms part of the Executive Management Team’s five-year plan and their critical tasks. The General Manager Human Resources and Risk Management facilitates annual Risk and Sustainability Workshops with key management, and operational and sustainability support staff from across the PanAust Group to drive company-wide alignment with PanAust’s approach to sustainability.
PanAust measures its sustainability performance against international standards and commissions independent audits based on the Equator Principles and the International Finance Corporation's Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability. PanAust uses an Enterprise Risk Management process to identify all key material risks and audits and/or reviews against those risks are carried out regularly. Through this process gaps are identified and risk management plans are developed and implemented.
PanAust is an associate member of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and a signatory to its ‘Enduring Value – The Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development’. The Enduring Value framework commits companies to upholding fundamental human rights and respecting the cultures, customs and values of people affected by their activities.
PanAust aligns with the International Council on Mining and Metals policy on climate change.
PanAust is a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code which promotes the responsible use of cyanide in gold mining. The Ban Houayxai gold-silver process plant was designed and built from the ground up to be compliant with the Code.
The Company's leading role in delivering positive community outcomes has been recognised internationally through various awards. PanAust regularly presents at international forums on its leading practice management of acid generating material (acid rock drainage [ARD]).
PanAust reports against the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and has produced its seventh Sustainability Report (for 2012, which achieved an externally verified GRI A+ Application Level).
The Company's operational activities in Laos are conducted in accordance with the Mineral Exploration and Production Agreement (MEPA) which is subject to the laws of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and outlines PanAust's obligations across a range of issues including the regulation of exploration, and the development and undertaking of mining activities within the Contract Area. The MEPA also sets out tax and royalty obligations, and requirements associated with the employment and training of Lao nationals, environmental management, and local business development.