We continue to focus on our environmental responsibilities
The Group takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously at both operations and ensures that its operations adhere to and comply with all laws and regulations of the countries of operation. In many cases, international standards, such as ISO14001, the IFC and Equator Principles are adhered to.
There are dedicated environmental departments and teams at both operations, staffed by suitably qualified environmental engineers, who have developed comprehensive environmental management systems for both operations and who report directly to the site General Directors and the Group Sustainability Director. There is regular reporting of environmental issues to the CEO and Board via the Sustainability Committee and continual feedback Group-wide with the aim of continuous improvement.
At Sasa, the mine adheres to ISO 14001:2015 requirements, confirmed by a 2018 external audit. The team completed a biodiversity study of the catchment area within which Sasa is located in November 2018, which revealed that the area contained both rare and never previously encountered species in North Macedonia.
The site works closely with industry experts at Stip University, who have undertaken hydrogeological and air quality monitoring studies at Sasa with positive results. During the year, the mine was given the ‘Award for Continuous 10-year Environmental Improvement’ by the Association of Journalists of North Macedonia. One external official environmental inspection was conducted during the year, with no non-compliances outstanding.
Three environmental engineers are employed at Kounrad. The environmental team undertook 192 internal inspections, ensuring that the operation was being managed efficiently from an environmental perspective. There is a fully developed and integrated environmental management system in place that helps to ensure that Kounrad adheres to Kazakh and international standards. At Kounrad, there were two unscheduled external environmental inspections during 2018, with no major violations identified.
During 2018, 10 new boreholes were drilled around the Eastern Dumps and 78 new holes drilled around the Western Dumps for monitoring purposes. There are now a total of 198 monitoring and technical abstraction holes around the Western Dumps.