Health and Safety
Lapa’s Team Spirit
Our Lapa mine officially celebrated its Life of Mine on February 17th, marking nine years of production – which is two more years of life than we ever anticipated for this small but high-grade Abitibi-based mine.
What led to the successful extension of Lapa’s mine life? The mine stands as a testament to the spirit and resiliency of our employees and underscores our commitment to doing things the Agnico Way.
According to Christian Goulet, General Mine Superintendent, LaRonde-Lapa Division, the management team worked very hard to engage its people by being as transparent as possible throughout the end of mine life process.
“For best practice to successfully end the life of mine, you need two things – a good strategy and an ability to motivate your employees.”
Lapa began workforce transition planning in 2014, well in advance, to ensure permanent employees understood they could transfer to other Agnico Eagle operations in Nunavut, LaRonde and Goldex. It also employed new mining methods that improved production, and extended the mine’s exploration program to give employees a “glimmer of hope” about the future.
According to Christian, “From day one we also put safety first. This allowed our employees to remain focused on the job-at-hand and to work safely as a team. In 2017, we recorded a combined lost-time accident and restricted work frequency rate of zero – quite an achievement when you consider we are going toward a closure process.”
Lapa recently won a Ryan Safety Award for the lowest reportable injury frequency in its region. Additionally, in Agnico Eagle’s 2017 global employee engagement survey, Lapa achieved a 100% participation rate and, despite the closure, very positive employee feedback.
“That is a good sign that our open approach has worked. Even today, as we are winding up our operations, the spirit and ambiance of the workplace is very positive. People are very proud of what we have been able to achieve over the last two years.”