Environmental responsibility

Participating monitoring meeting in Mongolia

A continuous improvement process is a real engagement to minimize the impact of the mining activities on people and the environment. Each phase of the mining activities involves major challenges that must be controlled throughout the long mining lifecycle and after mine closure.

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:

Culture

  • 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.

Documentation

  • 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. Next sites to obtain certification should be those in Mongolia and Kazakhstan.

Emergency response

  • 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 carry out environmental protection and remediation work in accordance with international, Mongolian and AREVA standards.

An environmental management program

An environmental management program is produced for each year. This details the work completed, the work underway and the work to be done in the future. The program is reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia, which is also responsible for coordinating and managing the plan in partnership with AREVA Mongol.

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

In Ulaanbadrakh district and Zuunbayan bag, in a series of dialogue exchanges, called Local Cooperation Committees, were launched in 2013 on a quarterly basis in order to formalize dialogue.

The local Cooperation Committees gather key stakeholder representatives, and serve as a platform for information, dialogue and cooperation on key issues, such as AREVA Mongol and COGEGOBI’s contribution to local development. Participants in the Committee are selected by vote during local public meetings, in order to ensure their representativeness.

Subjects discussed in 2014 include for instance, sustainable development projects, and the results of the animal health assessment carried out in May-June 2014 on the herds belonging to 20 herding families living in the vicinity of exploration site.

MINIMIZING THE IMPACT OF MINING ACTIVITIES AT EACH STAGE OF THE MINING CYCLE

Full protection and remediation work are carried out at each stage of the mining cycle, including during the exploration activities currently under way in the Dornogobi and Sukhbaatar soum.

video

Mining and the environment

Discover how all mining operations from exploration to remediation take the environment into account.

CASE STUDY

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.

 

When drilling ends, site remediation begins. This involves the following steps:

  • Wastes are removed from the worksite and stored.
  • The mud is collected, transported and disposed of in a mud pit that is specially designed for this type of material and entirely closed off. It is regularly monitored.
  • The mud tank and trenches are closed and backfilled.
  • The ground is levelled in such a way as to make the landscape similar to its original shape. This work also involves making sure that vegetation is able to grow again.
  • Vegetation regrowth is monitored each year.


These measures ensure the site is restored to its natural state after exploration drilling is completed.