Environmental management

Our approach
Water management
Waste management
Land and biodiversity management
Energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
Air quality, noise and vibration management
Mine closure planning

For our performance see our Sustainability Report.

 

Our approach

Respect for the environment is a core part of MMG’s business strategy - we are committed to minimising our environmental footprint and our use of natural resources.

Our environmental management approach is based on the on the principles of plan, do, check, act and aligns to the principles of ISO14001. Our approach involves identification, assessment and control of material risks across all phases of our business, from exploration to through to development, operation and then closure. We work in partnership with our stakeholders to understand the challenges and opportunities of our activities, and how best to manage them.

Our MMG Environment Standard defines MMG’s minimum requirements and provides the basis for sustainable environmental management through its deployment at our operations. These requirements are audited as part of an integrated assurance process.

Through the application of the MMG Operating Model, our operations focus on essential environmental delivery work, supported by functional excellence that drives continual improvement of our management processes.

  

Water management

Water is used across every part of the mining lifecycle. We seek to manage our water resources responsibly to maintain the health of local ecosystems and to preserve sustainable regional water quality and supply.

Each of our operations and projects face different water challenges. Some are located in water-scarce environments. Others need to manage surplus water or the quality of water we use and discharge to the environment.  Through annual reviews of water balance models and water management plans we continuously improve our management of material  water risk events to achieve positive environmental, social and production outcomes.

Where possible, our operations aim to improve our water use efficiency and to maximise water recycling. We report our water inputs, outputs and diversions in line with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Water Accounting Framework.

We monitor the concentrations of heavy metals and other contaminants in water at our operations. We use water retention and treatment processes to maintain the concentration of contaminants in discharged water within acceptable water quality limits.   We also monitor water quality and other indicators of ecosystem health in our receiving environments.

Water sampling at Rosebery, Tasmania.

 

Waste management

Our mining and processing activities generate both mineral and non-mineral wastes. Mineral wastes waste rock and tailings, a residue of process water and metals that could not be exacted from ore during processing. Non-mineral wastes include oils and general refuse.

We recognise the particular risks presented by the storage of minerals waste and have implemented a comprehensive approach to the management of waste rock and tailings across our operations. Through effective management across the mining life cycle, we aim to minimise environmental impact and achieve long-term rehabilitation.

In regards to tailings, we utilise the Australian National Commission on Large Dams’ (ANCOLD) Guidelines on Tailings Dams as the basis for planning, design, construction, operation and closure across our global operations. Local environment, climatic conditions (including rainfall), the types of mineral waste being stored and the proximity to communities are key considerations.

Daily inspections and annual and five-yearly independent reviews of all facilities are conducted at each of MMG’s operating sites.

As a precaution, emergency management plans for all facilities are also a requirement of each MMG site.
MMG is actively participating and sharing its own practices as part of the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) global review of tailings storage facilities standards and controls.

Vegetation growing on Century’s South West Rock Dump.

 

Land and biodiversity management

MMG owns, leases and manages large areas of land for its exploration and operational activities. To effectively manage this land, its flora and fauna, we consult and work with local stakeholders to understand the land’s ecological and community values, and to communicate plans for our activities.

We aim to avoid or minimise our impacts on the landscape and ecosystems.  Where they are unavoidable, we invest to balance the impacts with rehabilitation measures and biodiversity offset projects.

Progressive rehabilitation at Sepon.

 

Energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change

We optimise the efficient use of energy and minimise greenhouse gas emissions through our ongoing efforts to improve asset utilisation, business efficiency and operating costs.

Accessing a secure supply of energy is necessary for our continued growth. Increased demand for energy, local power generation and transmission supply issues, and political and regulatory uncertainties are among the factors that influence our energy use. MMG is addressing these risks by improving the energy efficiency of our operations, negotiating long-term contracts with energy providers and using diverse power sources.
Renewable energy (hydropower) is the predominant source of our purchased electricity used at Las Bambas, Sepon, Kinsevere and Rosebery.

We report our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Australian Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 and our materiality-based sustainability reporting processes.

We are a financial supporter of the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC), a not for profit organisation with global representation, that aims to reduce energy usage associated with the most energy-intense processes in the mining lifecycle – grinding and crushing.

We engage with our stakeholders on climate change issues through relevant industry associations such as the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and the ICMM. As an ICMM and MCA member, we support the work of the two Councils in their engagement with governments and other stakeholders in the development of effective climate change policies and regulations.
 

Air quality, noise and vibration management

We identify the major sources of air, noise and vibration emissions related to our activities and assess their potential impacts on the environment and local communities.  We routinely monitor these emissions and manage them through the design and implementation of emission reduction controls.

 

Mine closure planning

We are committed to minimising the legacy impacts of our operations on the environment and local communities. Through our mine closure planning and execution process we address risks related to public health and safety, post-closure environmental impacts, and potentially adverse socio-economic impacts.  We adopt a life-of-asset approach to closure planning that includes technical assessment, forecasting, and consultation with relevant stakeholders. Plans tailored for each stage of closure development focus our business resources on operations closest to the end of their life cycles.

Find out more about Century mine’s closure.

Closure works at Century include aerial seeding (foreground) and bulk sample waste rock dump relocation earthworks (background).
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