We continue to focus on our environmental responsibilities
Since operations at Kounrad commenced in 2012, there have been no reportable environmental incidents on site. In total 135 environmental inspections were undertaken in Kounrad during 2015 and one external environmental audit was conducted in accordance with the Company’s procedures.
During 2015, we invested in the onsite laboratory, with the purchase of a spectrometer, enabling the Company to accurately measure up to 40 chemical parameters at one time and as such significantly reduce analysis time.
We also purchased a drill rig to facilitate easier and more cost effective environmental sampling and already we have been able to drill an increased number of boreholes and will continue this programme as the Company expands its operations into the western dumps.
We have employed a third site based environmental engineer to monitor and control operations. This helps to ensure that environmental issues are addressed and to raise awareness within the workforce and contractors. The hydrogeological team was relocated to site and the team expanded, with the employment of an internal drilling team, field technicians and samplers.
Examples of environmental improvements made on site in 2015 include the following:
Relining of the raffinate and emergency ponds with double liner of clay and HDPE;
Environment awareness courses for staff;
Improvements to the waste disposal and waste management system; and
Further refinements of the extensive groundwater monitoring programme.
During 2015, Kounrad’s groundwater remedial action plan was further enhanced. This plan includes details of the current monitoring programme and a range of remedial actions that can be undertaken in the event of contamination being identified in one of the monitoring or technical boreholes.
We employed international consultants SRK Consulting to undertake a detailed hydrogeological and geochemical analysis of the eastern dumps leaching operation.
Environmental efforts on the western dump areas have been increasing as we get closer to producing copper from this area. An integral part of the expansion has been the groundwater site investigation focused around the initial leaching area. This work was undertaken alongside SRK Consulting, which is producing a detailed risk assessment and a numerical groundwater model of the initial leaching area waste rock dumps and the underlying geological strata.
During 2015, the State Geology Committee approved the extension of the subsoil use licence abstraction boundary to the second ring of boreholes around the eastern dumps. Whilst this extension has no impact on the Company’s proactive and long-term programme for environmental monitoring, it is a positive outcome that has resulted in Kounrad retaining control of its environmental activities and monitoring systems over a larger area.
environmental inspections undertaken in Kounrad during 2015