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 operations generate mineral waste (such as tailings and waste rock) and non-mineral wastes (such as oils and general refuse). Understanding the characteristics of the waste streams, and planning and managing accordingly, assists us to mitigate any potential long-term environmental impacts and also minimise operating costs. Effective waste management programs also help us manage water quality and successfully rehabilitate land.

Our Waste Management Plans address design and location considerations for new storage and disposal facilities, and operational management and monitoring, to minimise long-term impacts, including those related to acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD).

We are striving to integrate mineral waste management within life-of-asset planning, to manage our waste facilities in a way that is consistent with final landform designs. This will promote beneficial post-mining land uses and reduce post-mining rehabilitation and closure costs.

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

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

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 form of purchased electricity used at Sepon, Kinsevere and Rosebery.

We report our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the Australian Government’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, and our International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) membership.

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 Councils’ work with governments and other stakeholders to develop simple and effective climate change policy and regulation.

 

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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