EDC and IFC hold sustainable mining sector workshop



    OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Export Development Canada (EDC) and the
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group,
announced today a joint workshop on Saturday, February 28, 2009 for mining
sector companies on how to increase financing options by enhancing the
environmental and social sustainability of their projects.
    "The current economic crisis and tight capital markets have increased the
importance of sound management of environmental and social issues in
attracting international financing for viable mining projects," said Rajesh
Sharma, Vice President and Head of Structured Finance, EDC. "The EDC-IFC
workshop will help mining companies learn how to incorporate CSR principles in
their project bids and how major lenders assess CSR overall."
    The workshop will use case studies to explore the role of IFC's
Environmental and Social Performance Standards as a means to reduce risk,
which can make mining projects more attractive to lenders and investors. IFC's
Performance Standards are the internationally recognized best practice
standards on environmental and social project management, particularly in the
natural resource sector. EDC and IFC will discuss their experience using the
standards within their decision-making process for financing projects.
    "IFC's Performance Standards on Social and Environment Sustainability
have emerged as the key international benchmark for project developers and the
banking community on environmental and social risk management," said William
Bulmer, Head of Global Mining Investments at IFC. "The standards are a central
part of the Equator Principles used by over 70 commercial banks. We believe
that the standards can be also be used beyond risk mitigation, promoting
better development outcomes, and we are very happy to share our experiences at
the workshop."
    Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an operating principle at EDC,
and today EDC has one of the world's most comprehensive CSR programs among
export credit agencies (ECAs), which includes environmental, human rights and
political risk assessments for the transactions that it considers. In 2007,
EDC became only the second ECA in the world to adopt the Equator Principles, a
financial industry benchmark for determining, assessing and managing
environmental risk, which also includes substantial consideration of the
social impacts of projects in emerging markets.

    The workshop will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

    EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial
solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international
business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by nearly 7,000 Canadian
companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year.
EDC is financially self-sustaining, is a recognized leader in financial
reporting and economic analysis, and has been named one of Canada's Top 100
Employers for eight consecutive years.

    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing
private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to
businesses and governments. Our new investments totalled $16.2 billion in
fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.

    IFC and EDC are available for interviews on the current financial
situation and how it impacts the mining industry as well as on the importance
of environmental and social sustainability in managing mining projects in
developing countries.




For further information:

For further information: Phil Taylor, Export Development Canada, (613)
598-2904, BlackBerry: ptaylor@edc.ca; Josef Skoldeberg, IFC/World Bank Oil,
Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department, (202) 473-6978, Fax: (202) 522-3743,
Cell: (512) 789-2697, jskoldeberg@ifc.org; www.ifc.org/ogmc


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