Social Performance

Social Performance

Our Approach

Northern Star’s Mission is to generate superior returns for our shareholders, while providing positive benefits for our stakeholders, through operational effectiveness, exploration and active portfolio management. We achieve this mission by making informed decisions on opportunities to minimise potentially adverse negative impacts and maximise positive social and economic benefits.

  • The safety and welfare of our employees and contractors remains our first priority always.  We are committed to supporting our people’s safety and wellbeing at all times;
  • Attracting and retaining the best people into the Company starts at onboarding, and is maintained via support for our employees throughout their employment lifecycle;
  • Existing and emerging community and stakeholder expectations, the needs of the communities around our operations, and the impacts of our operations are high priorities. 
Safety Performance

Northern Star has continued to demonstrate ongoing improvement in its industry leading safety performance metrics, not withstanding the significant increase in activities, people and sites within our Company.

Safety Leadership

Safety leadership is a core expectation of Northern Star supervisors, “leading” our people and operating with the STARR Core Values at the forefront of every task we approach. 

By creating environments where our people proactively question the safe systems of work to ensure adequacy, we can increase our ability to identify potential hazards in our processes before incident timelines begin. In leading the greater work groups to understand “why” processes are followed to ensure safe systems of work, our leaders can provide our people additional scope and guidance to maintain their own safety, and the safety of the people around them.

Safety Management Systems

The Northern Star Safety Management System (SMS) is a roadmap for all personnel who undertake work for Northern Star by providing a set of Company wide policies, procedures and processes that describe the mandatory requirements for effective health and safety practices at Northern Star.

The Northern Star SMS operates within our overarching corporate governance documents including the Board Charter, STARR Core Values, Code of Conduct, Safety and Health Policy, Risk Management Policy and operational Cardinal Rules.  Comprising 14 elements, the SMS sets out the key features and application of the health and safety management process through which Northern Star establishes and assesses its commitment, objectives, plans and procedures for compliance with legislation and regulations.  

By using this SMS framework, hazards and their rectification are documented to more effectively reduce risks to our  employees. The SMS also provides auditable criteria, against which Northern Star’s health and safety performance, risk reduction and continuous improvement can be measured.

Emergency Management & Response

In conjunction with the Northern Star's emergency management system, our emergency response teams play a critical role in managing significant events and alleviating threats to life, the environment and business continuity. Our emergency response departments across the Company are also provided with ongoing support from the corporate OHS team to ensure effective competency is maintained across the business.

In consultation with external service providers, each year Northern Star reviews the emergency response training package and requirements to ensure our emergency response teams are receiving appropriate and up to date training regularly, to strengthen our response capabilities.

Northern Star conducts annual emergency management training as an integral part of strengthening our response capabilities. These industry standard training sessions, providing a practical understanding of our emergency management system and site capability in the event of real time incidents.

Health & Wellness

We understand that the health and wellbeing of our employees extends beyond the workplace, and we recognise that an integrated approach is necessary to ensure both their physical and mental health. Northern Star’s integrated approach offers a practical structure to address the needs of our personnel on an individual basis. 

Operating in the current COVID-19 climate, the mental health and resilience of our workforce remains a priority. In addition to the support offered by our Employee Assistance Programs, we have provided dedicated resources across our sites to support and educate our teams on health and wellbeing. At each of our operations, employees and contractors are also offered opportunities and are encouraged to engage in social activities and services.  This integrated approach increases engagement and the sense of community and connectedness our employees and contractor feel whilst at work, with the overall goal of ensuring that a safe and healthy work environment is provided to all our employees, contractors and those visiting our operations.

Northern Star is accredited as a GOLD Mental Health First Aid Skilled Workplace. In the last 3 years we have trained over 400 peoples and are increasing our awareness and skills in supporting good mental health through Mental Health First Aid  accredited training with Mental Health First Aid Australia. By supporting our people to undertake this training we help them to provide timely interventions at home and at work to support good mental health with everyone they connect with. The training equips them to provide immediate assistance and encourage their colleagues, family, and friends to seek  professional mental health assistance as needed.

Our Workforce

Our people continue to enable and support our success.  In the last few years our Company has seen a significant change in our workforce size, but we have also seen a positive change in our workforce composition.

We have maintained a long-term workforce across our operations with the majority of our employees at all operations employed on a permanent full-time basis, some on fixed term basis and only a few on casual contracts.  Our rate of female employment has continued to grow and improve from previous years.  Our age demographic remains similar to previous.

Each employee at Northern Star has multiple opportunities and avenues to gain support. Individual management and support is provided to employees by their line manager. Confidential data is collected at both the individual and the group level. By using data, we are better equipped to respond to workforce trends as well as an individual employee’s challenges and  development requirements, assisting them to ensure that they continue to grow and perform to the best of their abilities.

Employee Attraction, Retention & Engagement

Retaining our people is a key driver for our success.  In a competitive and challenging labour market, we have expanded cultural, developmental, and financial benefits to retain and attract employees through increased job satisfaction.  Key actions we have taken to achieve our goal of retaining and engaging our current workforce and attracting new people:

  • Our STARR Core Values provide a consistent language and expectation for how we work.
  • Strong focus on internal and external training opportunities.
  • Leadership facilitated cross site engagements.
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Launch of our new 5 year strategy.

We have also implemented:

  • Pay reviews against market rates, to align and adjust pay rates across the merged organisation.
  • Innovative salary opportunity where employees receive a quarterly bonus which links to the gold price.
  • Share offers to eligible employees, inviting employees to become owners in our Company
  • Share match plan, allowing eligible employees to invest in Northern Star shares and hold them for 3 years, following this Northern Star will transfer the same number of shares to the employee for free. 
  • Providing access to a salary sacrifice scheme for all our Australian Employees.
  • Access to our extensive health and wellbeing services – health insurance for all eligible employees, online resources through to face to face services supporting physical and mental health no matter where our employees live.

We are also committed to filling the pipeline of mining talent via:

  • Engagement with universities through vacation and graduate programs and local involvement in development days.
  • Supporting the Gold Industry Group – Gold Facilitators Program.
  • Supporting industry engagement programs.
  • Supporting MADALAH by funding university degrees for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Western Australia.

With a continued focus on culture, development and providing a working environment that lives the STARR Core Values, Northern Star continues to build our strength as a preferred employer.

Diversity & Inclusion

Northern Star has implemented programs to increase awareness, support minority groups and focus on challenging the status quo.  Some highlights include:

  • Customised Cultural Awareness program that acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work. 
  • Partnering with Traditional Owner groups to develop On Country education programs.
  • TeamINC – Our inclusive teams program.
  • Sponsoring the Pride Professional Mentoring program for LGBT+ people and allies.
  • Gender neutral paid parental leave for all Australian sites, for both primary and secondary carers.
  • Flexible working arrangements.
  • Individualised development plans.
  • Supporting our employees charitable pursuits with donation matching and volunteer leave.
Growing Opportunities

Northern Star prides itself on investing in our people and the future of the mining industry. We have created a number of entry pathways into our business which can accommodate people from a diverse range of educational and industry backgrounds.  Northern Star is committed to building and maintaining long term and mutually beneficial relationships with like-minded organisations to provide opportunities for Aboriginal people. We engage with schools, tertiary institutions and organisations that support Indigenous students, and agencies including Clontarf, MADALAH and Shooting Stars.  

Northern Star currently offers:

  • Graduate programmes accommodating multiple disciplines including Engineering, Metallurgy, Geology, Surveying and HSEC; 
  • Vacation programs for university students, which run over the summer and winter holiday periods;
  • Apprenticeship opportunities in Fixed Plant Boilermaker, Fixed Plant Fitter, Fixed Plant Electrician, Heavy Duty Fitter, Light Vehicle Fitter, Auto Electrician and Underground Electrician;
  • Entry-level training programs in the Processing, Engineering and Open Pit Mining Teams. 
  • Opportunities for exposure and education of high school age students of different ages and demographics by organising.
  • Immersive site trips to meet our employees and experience our operations firsthand.
Stakeholder Engagement

In order to maintain a broad understanding of emerging social expectations and issues that relate to our business, we regularly engage with our host communities, investors, Indigenous stakeholders, governments and other relevant third parties.

We are active leaders and members in industry representative bodies, including:

Chamber of Minerals and Energy

Chamber of Minerals and Energy

Alaska Miners Association

Alaska Miners Association

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

Council of Alaska Producers

Council of Alaska Producers

WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry

WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry

National Mining Association (US)

National Mining Association (US)

Committee for Perth

Committee for Perth

Indigenous Peoples Statement

Northern Star recognises the traditional rights of Indigenous peoples, and their enduring right to maintain their cultures and customs, and meaningful access to their traditional lands. We acknowledge that Indigenous peoples are some of the most marginalised peoples around the world, enduring forms of social exclusion and are often under-represented in political decision making processes.  We consider Indigenous peoples to be key stakeholders and that to thrive as a business, we need to gain and maintain these enduring trust based relationships.

We commit to complying with all domestic, national, and international laws applicable to our relationships with Indigenous peoples. Our engagement with Indigenous peoples is aligned with the ICMM Position Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining, and our further commitment to uphold the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)26. This commitment includes the engagement of Indigenous peoples in relation to projects situated on their traditional lands. This allows us to understand any areas of concern, and factor that into our operational planning and priorities.

Northern Star commits to agreement making  processes with all Indigenous peoples whose land we operate on, and who hold relevant legal Indigenous land tenure as awarded by the relevant State, Territory or federal government.  As part of our agreement making process, Northern Star aims to enter into land access and heritage protection agreements with Indigenous peoples on whose land we operate, to:

  • Identify the process for engaging Indigenous Peoples on proposed activities.
  • Seek their feedback on proposed activities.
  • Reach agreement on what mining or exploration activities can occur on the land.
  • Agree on how Northern Star will undertake those activities.
  • Set parameters for benefits that will be delivered to the Indigenous peoples in return for the mining or exploration activities proceeding.

Northern Star upholds the FPIC principles within all negotiations, which are always conducted in good faith. Where parties consider existing or inherited agreements to be outdated and not in line with contemporary agreement conditions, Northern Star will consider entering into agreement modernisation discussions, and in line with the new heritage protection legislation in Western Australia.

Community Investment

Recognising our responsibility to contribute back to society, we strategically invest in our communities  through financial and in-kind means. Our ties to our communities are strengthened by our employees, contractors and their families who live and work in our operating areas, and through our relationships with education bodies, NGOs, and charities within these areas.

We are committed to working with our local and regional communities to achieve mutually beneficial partnerships and sustainable long term social benefits. Northern Star’s Donations and Sponsorship Guidelines and application forms are designed to assist applicants in understanding our criteria for donations and sponsorships which is applied consistently across all operations.

Alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is the primary gateway criteria for all donations and sponsorship applications at all operations, and where possible we seek to achieve a balance on an annual basis, taking in account the local and regional improvements proposed by applications in the following focus areas:

  • Community & Inclusion
  • Health & Wellness
  • Environment
  • Indigenous Advancement
  • Education & Development

We are proud to be partners with: