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Waste, contamination and other emissions

We are committed to reducing waste generated from our operations and managing contamination and other air emissions to minimise any impact on neighbouring communities and the environment.

The safe management of waste and other emissions from our operations and projects, including managing contamination risks, is essential to operating responsibly.

Our approach

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Reducing waste generated from our operations is a key part of our commitment to continuously improving our sustainability performance. We manage waste in line with the ICMM Mining Principles: 2 – Decision Making, 4 – Risk Management, 6 – Environmental Performance and 8 – Responsible Production. We also apply the mitigation hierarchy that limits waste production and prioritises waste prevention, followed by minimisation, reuse, recycling, energy recovery and disposal.

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Our approach to managing contamination is informed by relevant laws and the ICMM Mining Principles: 2 – Decision Making, 4 – Risk Management, 6 – Environmental Performance and 8 – Responsible Production. Performance requirements to identify, predict, and manage contamination risks are set out in our internal environment and climate change standard.

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Other emissions

Like our approach to waste and contamination, managing other air emissions is informed by relevant laws and the ICMM Mining Principles : 2 – Decision Making, 4 – Risk Management, 6 – Environmental Performance and 8 – Responsible Production.

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Sustainability reporting

Sustainability reporting

Our sustainability performance is measured against international standards and initiatives.

Managing risk

Poorly managed waste can lead to contamination problems which can adversely impact communities and the environment. Our internal standard outlines the requirements that operations use a waste register to improve the way they identify, assess, quantify and report risks and opportunities associated with all their waste streams to:

  • Implement effective procedures and controls intended to handle, segregate, store, transport and dispose of their waste;
  • Maintain a record of all waste that is moved off-site for disposal in line with local laws and internal requirements; and
  • Implement risk-based governance processes intended to verify the treatment, handling and disposal adheres to local laws and internal requirements.

All operations are required to complete a self-assessment against the requirements of the internal environment and climate change standard and complete agreed action plans to close any identified gaps.

The nature of mining and processing activities, if not appropriately managed, may lead to potential contamination through discharges and runoff, heavy metal contamination, spills, leaks or leaching of chemical elements.

Our approach to contamination prediction and management focuses on early identification, detailed analysis of potential risk exposure, and implementation of fit for purpose controls.

We apply a risk-based approach to manage contamination, employing the Source-Pathway-Receptor (SPR) assessment method to identify actual or potential contamination risks, and implement controls to minimise adverse environmental impacts, maintain compliance, prevent impacts to human health and reduce long-term costs and closure liabilities.

Our stewardship program is designed to provide: second-line assurance over conformance with our internal environment and climate change standard, risk reviews and an assessment of the effectiveness of controls designed to manage contamination risks.

All of our operations are required to maintain an updated contamination register.

Our approach to managing other air emissions considers the acute, incremental and cumulative impacts of other air emissions on sensitive receptors, including communities located within the relevant airshed. We also apply a risk-based approach to identify and minimise air pollutants and their impacts using the SPR assessment method.

We take our responsibility to the communities near our operations very seriously, including those associated with community health.

We continue to strengthen our monitoring and management of dust across our operations. Dust associated with mining activities is a challenge that we carefully monitor and manage. We monitor air quality using sensitive receptors inside and outside of site gates.

Many of our operations use real-time telemetered air quality and noise monitoring programs and supplement these with high volume air samplers and dust deposition gauges when required.

We aim to manage dust by identifying dust occurrences early, conducting a detailed analysis of the potential risk exposure to environment and community receptors and implementing fit-for-purpose controls, including dust monitoring systems and the implementation of Trigger Action Response Plans (TARPs) once certain dust triggers are reached.