Permitting requirements in emerging markets drive the production of local Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Project finance and political risk insurance drive bankable Social and Environmental Impact Assessments (SEAs or ESIAs). By definition, bankable studies need to be designed in line with IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles to be considered ‘fit for purpose’ by independent engineers acting on behalf of major Project Finance Banks (Equator Banks), Export Credit Agencies (such as Export Development Canada), Multilateral Financial Institutors (such as IFC or EBRD) and Political Risk Insurers (such as MIGA or OPIC).
Project examples include the following
- Critical review of selected ESIA sections for Hunter Dickinson/Continental Minerals’ Xietongmen Project, Tibet. Supported resettlement planning to ensure compliance with IFC Performance Standards/Equator Principles; contributed to biodiversity conservation strategy.
- High level ESIA and RAP strategy review for Antares’ Haquira Copper Project, Peru (now First Quantum).
- Contributed to ESIA baseline study and QA/QC for Dundee Precious Metals’ Deno Gold brownfield mining project in Armenia (with AATA International).
- Lead consultant for stakeholder engagement, social impact assessment, and resettlement planning, and contributed to biodiversity offset strategy and various action plans for Gold Reserve’s Brisas Project, Venezuela (with AATA International).
Prizma’s team members have decades of experience coaching project developers and financial institutions by transitioning and trouble-shooting local EIAs to bankable ESIAs. Examples of elements which often require further improvements include the following:
Resettlement Action Plans (RAP) - IFC Performance Standard 5: RAPs that comply with IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles typically exceed host country regulations. Poorly designed RAPs can be a source of financing delays and reputational damage. The presence of indigenous people, artisanal miners, opportunistic squatters, poorly defined land titling, and overlapping customary ownership processes can complicate resettlement planning.
Biodiversity Offset Strategies - IFC Performance Standard 6: Addressing biodiversity concerns proactively helps avoid this red flag issue. Biodiversity Offsets can help address both real and perceived biodiversity risks associated with operations in remote regions and biodiversity hotspots. They can also generate visible and cost-effective project upsides which are valued by key local and international stakeholders, including investors. Read more about one of Prizma's BDO case studies.