A continuous improvement process is a real engagement to minimize the impact of the mining activities on people and the environment. Our mission is to define the principal objectives at each phase of the mining activities, develop the mining closure plan well in advance, and ensure the implementation of these plans and programs.
ORGANIZATION TO PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT
The group is strongly committed to preserving the environment. Its environmental organization enables it to make daily improvements by developing an environment-oriented culture, formalizing documentation, improving employee skills and preparing an emergency response framework.
Environmental issues are subject to monitoring at the very highest management level and the goals are to:
- share environmental policy and related operating targets across all sites;
- mobilize employees on major environmental challenges as well as raise awareness and promote good practices;
- comply with regulatory requirements. This is a prerequisite in the countries in which AREVA operates and, where possible, the group goes further than the regulations in force.
- formalize practices by updating standards and procedures;
- share good practices within the group network of specialists;
- update reporting protocol.
Organization and skills
- create a targeted training plan;
- map out the skills and responsibilities within network of resources;
- achieve ISO certification 14001 at all sites. Six of the sites in Niger, France, Canada are certified as of December 2013. Recently, our sites in Kazakhstan are also certified. Next sites to obtain certification should be those in Mongolia.
- continue to deploy current emergency preparedness procedures and exercises;
- more generally, keep the prevention of industrial and environmental risks at the heart of the group approach, through risk assessment/analysis, hazard studies, etc.
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY IN MONGOLIA
AREVA Mongol and COGEGOBI develop and carry out environmental protection and remediation work in accordance with international, Mongolian and AREVA standards.
An environmental management program
The environmental management program is the basis to define the means to minimize and eliminate the main and possible impact on the environment and to guarantee the availability of the necessary expenses during the project. The important goal of this program is to ensure the safety and the readiness of the technics, to guarantee that annual works are compliant with the international standards, and to plan and organize the activities in terms of the environment protection and of the cooperation with the local administration.
The program is reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia, and the Environment and radioprotection team of AREVA Mongol LLC is in charge to implement the program.
Collaboration with mongolian authorities and institutions
The environment service of both companies works in full collaboration with the local authorities and relevant state institutions.
Local Cooperation Committees
Two Local Cooperation Committees, composed of representatives of local authorities, local herders and soum institutions (school, hospital etc.) were launched in 2013 in Ulaanbadrakh soum and Zuunbayan bag of Sainshand soum. They aim at holding regular and organized dialogue with community representatives on a quarterly basis. During these meetings, AREVA Mongol introduces its activities and people have the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion on various areas of cooperation.
The topics discussed in 2016 include, for example, the presentation of the results of the counting of the water points, the results of the Participatory environmental monitoring programs of 2015, the discussion and granting process of AREVA scholarships, the implementation and progress of the three-year cooperation agreement executed with the Zuunbayan cultural center and the meeting for the discussion of the final report of the Veterinary Project as well as the several open discussions about AREVA Mongol’s support to the local development.
In 2016, in Mongolia 3 meetings of Local Cooperation Committees were organized by AREVA's teams in Dornogobi province in the presence of the local authorities, representatives of civil society, and herder families.
MINIMIZING THE IMPACT OF MINING ACTIVITIES AT EACH STAGE OF THE MINING CYCLE
Holistic environmental protection and remediation works are carried out at each stage of the mining cycle, including during the exploration activities currently under way in Dornogobi and Sukhbaatar aimags.
SITE REMEDIATION AFTER EXPLORATION DRILLING
Drilling mud consists of clay and biodegradable components such as bentonite and polymer. This mud is injected during drilling to prevent the borehole from collapsing. It is stored according to need in a mud tank near the drill rigs. Once the drilling is finalized, the remediation will be performed following the below steps. The quality of remediation works gives to us the possibility to minimize as reasonably possible the impact on the environment.
The remediation of the borehole surrounding is done as per the following steps:
- When drilling ends, the mud used for drilling cleaning contained in the mud tank which is 1X1 m in size and 1.2 m deep is pumped out, transported and disposed of in a mud pit
- The backfilling and ground levelling is made manually in such a way as to make the landscape similar to its original shape
- The regeneration of vegetation is monitored on the annual basis and necessary data is registered on the electronic database.
- The mud tank is closed and backfilled with soil came from drilling
Implementation of the remediation works
The environment officer officially receives the implementation of the remediation works in accordance with the form containing the following information by each borehole:
- The number and name of the licensed area
- The contractor name and the reference letter given by the drilling team
- The coordinates and reference number of the borehole
- The start and finish date of the drilling
- The technical information regarding the borehole
- The area remediation work is performed
- The control of the contamination and waste (leakage, impact on the vegetation cover)
- The conclusion on the implementation of the remediation works
- The pictures made before, during drilling and after remediation, and information on the measures of the radioactivity background.
Once these information are registered on the electronic database of the environment, we consider the remediation works are completed.