Falco prioritizes environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) criteria to create value and contribute to the prosperity of host communities while minimizing or avoiding environmental impacts. Falco ensures that the principles of sustainable development guide its decisions and actions through strong policies and transparent disclosure.
In terms of sustainability, Falco has an uncompromising roadmap, whether for the actions taken on the ground or for the decisions that will guide its future.
Falco has specified the relative importance of ESG themes (materiality matrix (in french)).
The portal includes several information tools: the virtual open house, the 3D model, the interactive map and a comment form to learn more about the Horne 5 Project.
It presents the project and the environmental and social characteristics associated with it.
It brings together the main measures that will be applied to the project and the main commitments of Falco.
The Horne 5 Project is at the heart of the ancestral territory of the Anishnabe Nation.
Falco is committed to continue meaningful discussions and consultations with the communities affected by its activities and to ensure that First Nations have equitable access to jobs, all with the goal of reconciliation.
Falco wish to respond to the call to action 92 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission addressed to the Canadian business community.
Falco’s activities are based on the historical Noranda mining camp, which is the origin of Rouyn-Noranda, a prosperous and dynamic city in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. The host community offers Falco the opportunity to develop the Horne 5 Project and in return Falco wants to build a legacy that will contribute to the sustainability of the community. To do this, Falco is determined to be an active and involved member of the community.
Falco actively collaborates with the community of Rouyn-Noranda to take into account the opinions, concerns and expectations of stakeholders as well as to measure and ensure that the negative impacts of the project are limited.
Falco held several meetings to support opportunities for dialogue. Falco is committed to continuing its efforts to involve stakeholders and integrate into the community so that the activities are carried out with respect for the territory.
In 2019, Falco took the initiative to set up an Advisory Committee involving people recognized in their respective fields and from diverse backgrounds.
In 2020, Falco carried out an important approach with the community in order to establish a Social Baseline Study before the implementation of the Horne 5 Project.
More than 650 people responded to a survey and more than 30 local organizations and businesses were met.
Falco knows that its activities can have effects on the environment. Falco’s decisions put the importance of the quality of the environment in the foreground in order to minimize the impacts, or even avoid them.
Falco continues its commitment in the development of the Horne 5 Project. In order to minimize the impacts of the project, Falco has identified several measures, including:
The Horne 5 Project is subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Review Procedure for Southern Québec. To obtain authorization from the Government of Québec, Falco must provide numerous assessments, analysis and expertise demonstrating that the environmental and social impacts are mitigated and acceptable.
As part of the environmental assessment, independent public hearings conducted by the BAPE will be held. Citizens will have the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinions, expectations and concerns.
The Environmental Impact Assessment of the Horne 5 Project shows that the impacts are limited and controlled. Environmental standards and operating requirements will be met.
The health and safety of employees, contractors and stakeholders is fundamental. Falco provides a safe and healthy workplace and is committed to improving its track record in order to achieve zero accidents.
The Horne 5 Project is an underground mining project for a gold polymetallic deposit located under the former Horne mine, also containing copper, zinc and silver. The deposit located between 600 m and 2,000 m deep will be accessible by the shaft of the former Quemont mine. The future extraction and ore processing site of the Horne 5 mining complex (H5MC), which will have a capacity of approximately 15,500 tonnes per day, is located in the urbanized area of Rouyn-Noranda in the heart of the Noranda-Nord industrial park, where mining, industrial and commercial activities have been active for several decades. The mine tailings management facilities (TMF) will be located on a site that has already been impacted; the former Norbec tailings pond, 11 km north of the H5MC in the D’Alembert district.
To ensure the transportation of tailings between the H5MC and the TMF, double-walled conduits will be installed over a 17 km route where rights-of-way from forestry roads and an electricity transmission line will be used and widened for the installation.
The commercial operation of the project is planned for 15 years and more than 50% of the mine tailings will be returned underground. It will be preceded by 3 years of construction and pre-production. A redevelopment and restoration plan must be approved to begin construction. The TMF should come into operation approximately 2 years after the start of commercial operation at H5MC, during which time the tailings will be backfilled in the old and new underground galleries.
According to the current schedule, the ore processing plant could be commissioned in 2025. To do this, the construction of the H5MC infrastructure could begin in the second half of 2023, once the permits have been obtained. Beforehand, Falco must complete the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) of the Government of Québec, which includes the public hearings of the BAPE, obtain the necessary authorizations and approvals, as well as finalize the agreement on the Principal Operating License with Glencore.
The advanced exploration phase of the project consists of dewatering the old mines, rehabilitating the Quemont shaft and performing underground drilling and bulk sampling of 5,000 tonnes of ore. This will make it possible to increase the degree of confidence in the resources (convert from indicated to measured resources) and to carry out various mineral and metallurgical tests.
To do this, the headframe, winches and a water treatment plant will have to be put in place.
Falco will prepare, in collaboration with educational institutions and the City of Rouyn-Noranda, an employability plan specifying the number of jobs by specialty and the training sought in order to initiate as soon as possible a complete profit-sharing and appropriate training strategy (ex: allowing the entities providing the training to prepare and people wishing to follow the training to enroll, means to promote equity, recognize school perseverance when hiring (graduation, minimum age required, etc.) and attract new families to Rouyn-Noranda. In addition, Falco will focus as much as possible on the development of new technologies and the automation of mining operations with partners in the region in order to alleviate the pressures on the local workforce.
The majority of water needs will be met by the recirculation of dry holding water from the Horne 5 mine and by the recirculation of process, washing and tailings drainage water. It is expected that fresh water from Lac Rouyn will be required during the operation period. Fresh water requirements will be a maximum of 72 m3/h. The capacity of Lac Rouyn is sufficient to meet the fresh water needs of the operations. This capacity was validated in 2018 by field work specifying the flows at its outlet (level-flow relationship).
The EIA for the Horne 5 Project shows that the planned measures will have little effect on the water quality of Lac Dufault. The Lac Dufaut watershed includes several old mining sites that have been in production in the last 100 years and includes unrestored or partially restored sites. The final effluent from the Horne 5 Project will be located in Lac Waite near an orphan mine site.
There will be four (4) double-walled pipes dedicated to mine tailings, reducing the amount of tailings circulating in a pipe, thereby reducing the amount of tailings that can escape in the event of a break or leak in a pipe. In addition, a containment and leak protection system will be installed along the route between H5MC and the TMF site. Containment tanks will be placed every kilometer along the route, for a total of 16 tanks. In the event of a leak in the inner wall, the recirculating water or the residues are retained in the pipe by the outer wall or drained into a containment tank. Thus, it is unlikely that a leak will reach Lac Dufault.