Our ability to operate is dependent on our adherence to best practice environmental regulation and statute. We cannot overstate our commitment to managing the environmental impact of our activities. Wherever possible, we strive to exceed industry benchmarks through the implementation of innovative environmental programs and research across our operations.
OceanaGold Corporation Environmental Policy
OceanaGold is committed to continued improvement in the identification, assessment, mitigation and monitoring of the environmental effects of its operations. The company works hard to plan and implement environmental projects that protect and support the natural environments associated with its operations and that demonstrate its focus on international best practice environmental stewardship. Clearly, the company’s activities can impact the environment and in some cases, create lasting effects. Wherever possible, OceanaGold seeks to ensure a net environmental gain from its activities and is diligent in its adherence to all applicable laws and standards here and offshore.
The Company aims to be an industry leader in the identification, assessment, mitigation and monitoring of its environmental impacts. Specifically, OceanaGold commits to:
- Identify and mitigate all environmental and human health impacts associated with its activities. In undertaking mitigation measures the company will aim for a net environmental gain.
- Comply with all applicable laws and standards; and apply companywide standards based on international best practice that minimise adverse environmental impacts arising from its operations.
- Rehabilitate the mine sites to a stable landscape and land use which does not pose any unacceptable risk to the environment.
- Develop an end of mine life land use, in consultation with stakeholders that will leave a positive legacy.
The aim of this policy is to provide direction to our employees and contractors undertaking activities on the Company’s behalf. The policy aims to place OceanaGold at the forefront of environmental impact identification and mitigation within the mining industry.
OceanaGold’s environmental management program is based on the complete mine life cycle, from exploration through development and operation, to eventual decommissioning, closure and site rehabilitation. The company seeks to not only meet, but consistently exceed regulatory requirements in place to protect the environment for future generations and safeguard the sustainability of nearby communities.
The widespread use of environment induction programs has also helped better define responsibilities and duty of care in relation to the environment at each of the company’s sites. OceanaGold has invested substantial resources in fostering a culture of continuous improvement in environmental management. The company’s commitment to setting a high environmental benchmark is reflected in management of its operations globally.
Prior to initiating and throughout the duration of mining operations, external consultants and suitably certified internal staff conduct extensive assessments to ensure that: flora, fauna, water and air quality and cultural sites are protected, and noise and waste impacts are minimised.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management
OceanaGold is focused on reducing greenhouse emissions across the company. The Company is a partner to a Negotiated Greenhouse Gas Agreement (NGA) with the New Zealand Government to minimise greenhouse emissions. The NGA requires us to improve our efficiency to minimise our greenhouse gas emissions to an agreed level based on an independent assessment and consistent with world’s best practice. The Company’s two New Zealand mines, Macraes and Reefton, now operate under this Agreement.
A key component of the company’s commitment to greenhouse emission reduction is its procurement policy. The policy aims to significantly lower transport (diesel) and stationary fuel (LPG) consumption, OceanaGold’s largest source of direct greenhouse emissions.
In 2010, OceanaGold submitted the 2010 Negotiated Greenhouse Agreement Milestone Report to the New Zealand Government. The report confirms OceanaGold’s net position as emitting less tonnes of CO2 than the target specified.
Current and Future Innovations
- Comprehensive site rehabilitation to minimise topsoil disturbance and revegetation of affected areas across all operations.
- The use of indigenous and native species in the rehabilitation programs.
- Improved water management across all operations, including water quality testing and maintenance of a springs and well inventory at the Didipio operations.
- Significant upgrade of waste management and treatment system
- Environmental Management Systems based on ISO14001 standards implemented at Macraes and nearly complete at Didipio and Reefton.
- Highly successful land restoration and rehabilitation across New Zealand
- Over 200 hectares of land reforested with 200,000 trees planted - plan to plant 1 million trees over 5 years as part of the Philippines National Greening Program.
- Established a commercial plantation that currently benefits 64 farmers who have leased their lands and will also benefit from the harvested crop.
- Investment in new power line at Macraes savings operations 5.4 MWh annually and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.