CEO Message

“2018 started with optimism for better prices for the commodities we produce. However, increased economic and geopolitical uncertainty over the course of the year led to deteriorating market conditions. External events that we cannot control will always impact our business. What we can control is how we respond and react.”

– David Pathe, President and Chief Executive Officer

Our corporate purpose is to be a low-cost nickel producer that creates sustainable prosperity for all stakeholders. To fulfill that purpose, sustainability must underpin every major decision we make. We need innovation to address some of the biggest issues in our industry. How do we manage our balance sheet? How do we adapt to a changing climate? How do we reduce the environmental impact of mining? How do we sustainably mine finite resources for a growing population? How we respond to these questions will require a workplace that welcomes creative ideas and encourages problems to be identified and brought forward. More than ever, we need to foster a diverse and inclusive culture where people feel valued and feel comfortable speaking up, knowing that their ideas and opinions matter, no matter the challenges we face.

2018 Sustainability Performance

In 2018, our safety performance continued to be peer-leading, showing improvements against our own past performance and internal targets. At the end of the year, Sherritt’s Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) and Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) were 0.15 and 0.04 per 200,000 work hours, respectively. Over a three-year period, the TRIFR decreased by 63% and the LTIFR decreased by 71%. This is largely due to the enormous focus we as a company have put on management systems and improving safety leadership in the field. I am proud of this work and the accountability we have all taken to ensure that our co-workers and neighbours get home safely each and every day.

2018 was a strong year for health and safety performance in other ways as well. Our Oil & Gas Division in Cuba was lost-time incident free in 2018 and has been since 2016, with more than 2.5 million work hours without an incident. Our Fort Saskatchewan operation had no lost-time or reportable incidents in 2018 and experienced its two best quarters of H&S performance in 10 years, and the Moa site ended the year with its lowest number of LTIs in three years.

Throughout the year, we experienced one high-severity environmental incident, as per our own criteria for such incidents, and this was the first one since 2015. Sherritt achieved an overall reduction of 5% in Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions and our energy consumption decreased by 11%, mainly due to reduced operations at our Oil & Gas Division compared to 2017.

Through community investment, taxes and royalties, local procurement and wages, we contributed more than $1 billion in economic benefits to host communities and countries in 2018. Included in this was Ambatovy’s first payment of royalties to the various levels of government in Madagascar, totalling over US$18 million. Sherritt and its joint venture employees reported over 3,800 volunteer hours in our local communities.

Sherritt’s refinery was awarded the 2018 Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Industry Excellence Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership in innovation, environmental, safety, human resources and community engagement. The recent production milestone of 3 billion pounds of nickel and over 60 years of operation in the community received tremendous recognition and support from the local business community.

Continuing our journey to being a more diverse and inclusive workforce, Sherritt joined Catalyst in 2017 and signed the Catalyst Accord 2022. We are proudly supporting the inaugural International Women in Resources Mentorship Programme and remain committed to the 30% Club of Canada where I was recently appointed co-chair.

Today & Looking Ahead

In 2019, our focus as a company continues to be on reliable production and improving our balance sheet, while at the same time demonstrating our commitment to responsible mining and refining. Our strong management systems and our commitments guide us, such as Towards Sustainable Mining, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, United Nations Global Compact, and key Sustainable Development Goals.

We continue to implement our five-year enterprise-wide sustainability goals, which include the implementation of our diversity and inclusion plans. It’s not an issue that will be resolved overnight, but I’m committed to creating the foundation for meaningful improvement in gender balance and inclusivity.

And finally, our journey to zero harm is ongoing, to be achieved by our relentless commitment to building a stronger safety culture and implementing best-practice standards.

David V. Pathe signature
David V. Pathe
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherritt International Corporation

Video of CEO David Pathe

Our President and CEO shares some of his thoughts on sustainability in this video.