Please visit our ESG Document Library for all our essential ESG documents.
SUSTAINABILITY IS OUR BUSINESS MODEL
Royal Gold acquires and manages precious metals streams, royalties and similar interests in mining projects operated by third parties. Our business model is designed to provide shareholders with long term exposure to resource upside and metal price optionality for the life of a mining project.
We understand that sustained economic performance cannot be obtained without sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. As such, the sustainability of our investments is fundamental to our long term success.
Metal streams and royalties are passive interests in mining projects. While we do not take an active role in the management of these projects and generally have limited influence over the decisions of our operators, it has always been a core tenet of our business model that successful mining projects create sustainable benefits for all stakeholders – including shareholders, project labor and local communities. Therefore, in line with our Environmental, Social, and Governance Policy, we seek to promote responsible and sustainable mineral development across our portfolio.
Royal Gold endorses the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) 10 Principles of Sustainable Development and participated in implementation of the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs), each of which promote ethical and sustainable resource development.
We integrate these principles into Royal Gold’s own business planning and operations as appropriate and encourage our operating partners, whom we consider to be members of our supply chain, to adhere to these or similar principles in their own management and operations. For fiscal year 2019, operators responsible for generating more than 95% of our revenue also endorsed the RGMPs and the ICMM 10 Principles and/or subscribed to one or more similar international charters respecting ESG issues.
Please visit the Our Partners page of our website for selected details of our operators’ ESG standards and achievements.
HOW WE MANAGE OUR BUSINESS
Royal Gold considers and applies ESG standards in our corporate strategic planning and risk management, in the review of new opportunities for investment, the acquisition of new investments and in monitoring of investments in our existing portfolio. Beginning in calendar 2021, management of ESG issues relevant to Royal Gold will be incorporated in our annual incentive compensation (bonus) program for all employees (including executives).
STRATEGIC PLANNING AND RISK MANAGEMENT
The sustainability of our business depends in significant measure on our ability to identify and manage the ESG risks inherent in our investments. For this reason, consideration of these risks is central to the development of our corporate strategy and the ongoing oversight and management of our business.
ESG risks are monitored by the members of the Royal Gold Enterprise Risk Management Committee, which is comprised of our CEO, CFO, Executive Vice President of Operations, General Counsel, and Vice Presidents of Business Development.
With input from other senior members of the Royal Gold team, including individuals with responsibility for new business generation, financial performance, legal compliance and technical assessment of our stream and royalty interests, the Enterprise Risk Management Committee meets regularly to consider present and potential risks to Royal Gold’s ongoing success, to determine appropriate mitigation for risks that might arise, and to execute on mitigation strategies as appropriate.
The Royal Gold Board of Directors has oversight of the Enterprise Risk Management Program. Management reports to the Board of Directors on a quarterly basis and as otherwise appropriate. The Board of Directors also reviews the adequacy of the Enterprise Risk Management Program on an annual basis and provides direction to management on appropriate changes to the Program that align with the Company’s business strategy.
Our process for managing corporate strategic planning and risk management is as follows:
OUR INVESTMENT PROCESS
When developing new business, we seek partners who share our commitment to leading ESG practices.
Review of all new investment opportunities is the responsibility of the Royal Gold Investment Committee. The Investment Committee is comprised of our CEO, CFO, Executive Vice President of Operations, General Counsel, and Vice Presidents of Business Development, with input from other senior members of the Royal Gold team.
These individuals bring extensive experience in the technical, financial and legal aspects of mining project investment, development, and operations, and may be supported by external experts in subject matter areas including, but not limited to: geology, resource estimation, construction, mining operations, metallurgy and processing, tailings management, community engagement, political risk, and offtake marketing and sales, and permitting.
The Investment Committee manages a rigorous due diligence process for new investments that includes review of:
- Existing project reserves and potential for resource growth and conversion
- Quality of the operator’s governance structure and skill and reputation of the operator’s management team
- Mineral tenure
- Project permits
- ESG-specific factors including the operator’s
- Engagement with local communities, labor and other stakeholders
- Health and safety management framework, policies and performance
- Environmental management plans with respect to water and energy use, tailings, emissions, impacts on biodiversity, and the adequacy of closure plans
- Environmental stewardship, including
- Water use, including Project requirements, sources, efficiency of use and competition for water
- Energy use, including fuel type and associated greenhouse gas emissions
- Tailing storage facility design and management, including compliance with local and international standards
- Characterization of mining waste materials for chemical reactivity and potential to generate acid mine drainage or metal leaching and associated control plans
- Proximity to and impact on communities, protected and environmentally sensitive areas and biodiversity
- Compliance with host country laws, including environmental laws
- Respect for human rights norms; and
- Record with respect to matters of official and commercial corruption
Due diligence findings and conclusions are compiled in detailed written reports, which are reviewed with the Board of Directors prior to making any new investment.
OUR CONTRACTING PRINCIPLES
When entering into a new agreement for a metal stream or royalty, we seek durable contract structures that:
- Require operators to conduct project operations in compliance with host country laws and permits and, where available, industry recognized best practices for management and mitigation of ESG risks;
- Provide for transparency and reporting of material developments in project operations, labor matters, environmental issues and concerns of local communities and other stakeholders;
- Allow for regular inspection of project operations and auditing of operator books and records;
- Create reasonable restraints on the transfer of project ownership to ensure that projects continue to be owned and operated by strong and reputable counterparties, including those whose values and principles align with our ESG principles; and
- Where we take delivery of precious metals, require that those deliveries satisfy the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) “Good Delivery” standards, including adherence to LBMA’s “Responsible Sourcing Programme” designed to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and human rights abuses in the precious metals markets.
MONITORING OUR INVESTMENTS
Performance across our portfolio of investments is actively monitored by the Royal Gold Asset Assurance Committee, which is comprised of our CFO, Executive Vice President of Operations and General Counsel, and is advised by other senior members of the Royal Gold team.
Our auditing process is designed to determine whether our operators meet their contractual commitments, including those that relate to ESG practices.
The Asset Assurance Committee regularly sources and considers information obtained from:
- Written reports provided by our operators under our contracts, detailing operational, compliance, safety and other project performance metrics;
- Site visits and/or desktop audits by Royal Gold personnel; and
- Operator public disclosures.
Incidents of non-compliance are considered by the Asset Assurance Committee and actions to protect our interests are taken accordingly. Items of significant concern are raised within the Royal Gold management team and to the Board of Directors as appropriate.
Our processes for managing the review of new investments and the auditing of existing investments, as well as execution and enforcement of contractual arrangements is as follows: