We continue to focus on our environmental responsibilities

In Kazakhstan, there are two permanent environmental engineers who are employed to ensure the Company meets all of its environmental obligations both locally within Kazakhstan and also internationally. They are integrated into the site teams and undertake a range of activities, including monitoring and control as well as training and raising awareness of environmental issues for both contractors and employees.

CAML also employs its own hydrogeologists and field team to undertake monitoring, reviewing and analysis of data. CAML has its own purpose built drill rig and team which ensures that all boreholes are drilled and completed to the highest standards. By the end of 2016, a total of 252 monitoring boreholes had been drilled around the Eastern and Western Dumps. This will rise to 318 when drilling around the northern part of the Western Dumps is complete in 2017.

These monitoring holes form the basis of our environmental checks, and the hydrogeological team undertook 4,375 samples from these boreholes during 2016. Of these samples, 847 were sent to accredited laboratories for the Kazakh authorities to check, and the remaining 3,528 samples were analysed in our own internal laboratory on site.

Results for drilling and other field investigations will be used to further refine the existing geological and hydrogeological models. The bulk of the review and analysis of the data will be undertaken by CAML’s in-house technical specialists in conjunction with SRK Consulting, which is currently in the process of developing a hydrogeological risk assessment for the longer term leaching plans of the Western Dumps.

A number of environmental initiatives were undertaken during 2016, including:

  • Monitoring and control of the Western Dumps construction activities including the construction of the PLS trench and pond systems
  • Environmental awareness training undertaken for all employees
  • Improvements in recycling including donating ash from the boilers to the local community in order to make bricks for construction
  • SRK Consulting completed the review of the hydrogeological risk assessment for the initial leaching area (ILA) over the Western Dumps
  • Development of the environmental monitoring network for the area that will be leached in 2017 and ensuring the baseline environmental conditions are clearly established

In addition to CAML’s internal work, external official inspections were undertaken by the Department of Environment in Kazakhstan, with no major issues identified.

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environmental inspections undertaken in Kounrad during 2015