With a background in social sciences and community consulting, Mr. Prospero began working in mining in 2010 as part of the permitting team for a large, undeveloped open pit iron ore operation in Nunavut, Canada. There he worked with the local community, where he was responsible for reporting and stakeholder engagement.
She then went on to manage sustainability strategy at Sherritt International, responsible for a joint venture mining operation in Cuba, a refinery in Canada and, at the time, the Ambatovy project in Madagascar.
In 2017, we were named one of the Top 30 Canadian Under 30 Sustainability Leaders by Corporate Knights. As a direct result of her work over the past five years, both Sherritt and Eldorado were named to the Corporate Knights’ Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders and Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada for the first time, respectively.
Prospero holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Hons) from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Planning from the University of Toronto, majoring in Geography. With her MBA in Global Mining Management from York University Schulich Business School and a Master’s degree in Sustainability Management from the University of Toronto, she is a guest speaker at the University on Sustainability and Mining Topics. I am a lecturer.
She shared some career highlights and industry insights in this exclusive interview with MINING.COM.
MDCs: How did you arrive at a career in mining?
Prospero: I grew up on a small hobby farm in Kelowna, British Columbia and had an interest in the natural environment. Sustainable living was nurtured by my parents from an early age, so I always knew I was interested.When I studied geography at UVIC, I learned about sustainable business and how it I learned about the idea of being able to help. Doing business better was appealing to me.
After some discussion with the community about my resume, I was offered the opportunity to participate in a very exciting mining project in the Canadian Arctic. That was his Baffinland project for its original purpose, dating back to 2010. I was instantly hooked. Mining combined my interests in social sciences and communication strategies with a strong desire to leave a lasting positive legacy. Now, I’m Senior Director of Sustainability at his Eldorado Gold, and while we’ve made great progress, there’s always more to do, and there’s a better way to do it than before. So I don’t think my work is ever finished and it’s not really daunting to me.
MDCs: Did sustainability look like it was grown on a farm?
Prospero: For my family, it was about not leaving a bigger impact than necessary. It was really a small hobby farm where we produced our own meat and learned the life cycle of understanding what you put in your body and where it comes from. and have a deep understanding of trying to understand or know the roots of everything we have in modern life. Understand the products and services you use. Perhaps it’s because many of us who grew up in the countryside or small towns have always chosen mining as a viable career option. But for me it’s a sustainability lens and I’m neither a geologist nor an engineer. I am a social scientist. So I broke the mold a little.
MDCs: What sustainability initiatives does Eldorado have?
Prospero: It is clear that sustainability is at the core of our overall corporate strategy and includes the safety of our employees and the communities around us. We have a sustainability framework that is our commitment to safe, inclusive and innovative operations, the prosperous communities we serve, responsibly produced products, and a healthy environment now and in the future. increase.
Over the last few years, my real focus has been on the development and deployment of global sustainability management systems. This sets minimum performance standards across our operations and projects, covering key sub-topic areas such as climate, energy, water, health and safety, human rights and investing in communities. In early 2022, we announced our first greenhouse gas target. So we are working on reducing the scope.
MDCs: What challenges and opportunities do you see for women in the industry?
Prospero: It’s no secret that the mining industry in general faces a talent shortage. And we truly believe that this industry is a great opportunity for those who want to get involved. And to evolve one of the world’s oldest industries into one that sustainably supports climate change, we need the best talent. This is not to say that the industry is without challenges for women, but many companies are now turning to inclusiveness. We don’t talk about this all the time, but the mining industry can be very competitive for top talent.
At the same time, I think mining companies need to think beyond their traditional geologist or mining engineer background. These people are still very important to the industry, but we need a diverse mindset. To help with this, I have established a small scholarship for women at the University of Victoria. [Where] You never choose a mining school. Leading institution for sustainability, environmental science, indigenous law, or computer science. By defining scholarships as supporting sustainable mining or an interest in sustainable mining, we encourage people like undergraduates who are interested in this field to say they don’t know what they can do in this field. I would like to send a signal. Something in the mining industry. It is called the J. Prospero Scholarship for Sustainable Mining.
MDCs: What do you think are the misconceptions about the industry?
Prospero: The challenges we face on a global scale are enormous. There is climate change, water management, and socio-political conditions. As an industry, we are not immune to these challenges. But we are also part of the solution, and it may be one of misunderstandings. We feel that the role of experienced sustainability professionals is more relevant and necessary than ever when it comes to changing that misconception.
MDCs: How do you think we can pave the way for a greener future?
Prospero: There are many ways mining can help transition to the environment, including the material itself. [that] becomes critical. And I think it’s becoming better understood. But overall, the industry is still poorly understood and can be truly polarizing. , and I use the word “survive” quite harshly, it will require the involvement of people everywhere. This means that the average person should be interested in mining, and should be informed and involved in the process. They need to care about the consequences and hold the miners accountable.