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Safety & our people

A message from Roberto Dañino, Former Chairman of the CSR Committee

Our people and their safety remain our highest priority and this is reflected in everything that we do. The Board and management are committed to ensuring that employee safety is an integral part of measuring the successful implementation of corporate strategy. We continue to invest in operating controls and processes to ensure that the highest standards of safety are met, and we have initiatives in place to raise the profile of safe working practices and  we provide comprehensive and ongoing safety training at all of our operations.  

In 2016, the Group made significant progress across numerous areasin acknowledgement of the social licence to operate that has been granted to us. However, it is with great regret that we recently announced the accident at Inmaculada which resulted in two fatalities.I would like to echo the comments of the Company Chairman inconveying our sincere condolences to the families of those involvedand underline the Board’s collective commitment to ensuring the safety of our operations.

Even though 2016 saw an improvement in the trading environment for the Company, there was continued volatility in precious metal prices. Given management’s focus on rebuilding the Company’s financial health, there has been a continual need for the many teams at Hochschild to prioritise the resources available to them and to maximise the impact of their programmes.

The accidents earlier in the year serve as a reminder of the risks ingeneral in the mining industry and why it is crucial that we expendtime and effort in constantly monitoring our practices and providing training to those operating in and around our mines so that our collective goal of zero tolerance to accidents is always at the forefront. In isolation, 2016 represented a third consecutive year without any fatalities. However, in light of the fatalities in early 2017, we considerit imperative that we fully understand the reasons behind the latest accident and that all necessary steps are taken so that we can continue our path in reassuring colleagues of their safety.

In terms of overall performance during the year, the Group saw increases of 19% in accident frequency and 24% in accident severity. Changes in the nature of the Group’s operations did indeed take place from year to year, primarily with Inmaculada transitioning from project to core asset, however, we do not adjust our zero appetite to breaches of safety.