Looking after the environment around the Western Dumps
Our CSR team has been busy collecting environmental data in preparation for the commencement of leaching of the Kounrad Western Dumps in 2017.
The area where leaching will commence has been defined and, adjacent to this area, detailed geological and hydrogeological site investigations and drilling programmes have been undertaken since 2013. This has enabled us to develop hydrogeological computer models to ensure baseline environmental conditions and potential risks and impacts are understood before leaching commences.
Site investigations undertaken by our in-house technical team in conjunction with both local and leading international consultants, including JH Groundwater and SRK Consulting, are:
Hydrogeological drilling of 46 boreholes and testing to further define ground water conditions;
Core drilling to determine in more detail the geological strata;
Extensive programme of 76 trial pits excavated;
60 infiltration and soakaway tests;
Comprehensive soil, groundwater and air monitoring, control and sampling;
Geochemical and geotechnical analysis of core samples to determine properties of the host rock beneath and downgradient of the dumps.
The above field investigations have been used to inform and develop a detailed hydrogeological risk assessment of the area in question. Importantly alongside these investigations a detailed programme of both internal and external environmental monitoring and control has been developed which will continue throughout and beyond the period of leaching. Central to this programme we will:
Adhere to the strict monitoring and reporting requirements in Kazakhstan with regular analysis of the atmosphere, soils and groundwater;
Ensure external analysis of groundwater is undertaken by accredited independent laboratories;
Regularly analyse groundwater in the vicinity of the initial area of leaching;
Support SRK Consulting in conducting a detailed hydrogeological risk assessment model for the remainder of the Western Dumps.