Sustainability Blog

18 September: World Water Monitoring Day

This year, Polyus is pleased to be celebrating World Water Monitoring Day, which was established by America’s Clean Water Foundation in 2003 and has been widely celebrated around the world ever since. World Water Day was established with the aim of building public awareness and increasing international involvement in protecting water resources around the world, with the support of the International Water Association (IWA).

At Polyus we take water conservation very seriously and we are delighted to take part in this important initiative.

As part of our operations, Polyus uses water resources from the basins of several major Siberian rivers — Yenisei, Lena and Kolyma. Our goal is responsible water usage. Every year we collect hundreds of samples from surface and underground water bodies in all the regions in which we operate, in order to carry out continuous monitoring. This process takes place either in our own in-house labs, such as the ‘Industrial and public health laboratory of Polyus Krasnoyarsk’ (Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye) and the ‘Environmental laboratory of Polyus Aldan’ (Kuranakh), or with the help of external certified contractors, such as the state-owned Centres of laboratory analysis and technical metrology.

Every year, Polyus’ largest production asset — the Krasnoyarsk Business Unit (comprising of Olimpiada and Blagodatnoye deposits), carries out over 1,500 water intakes as part of its official environmental control plan. The Krasnoyarsk Laboratory thoroughly examines water samples for any traces of 36 elements, including: ferrous, manganese, arsenic, zinc, cyanides, calcium, mercury, chloride ion, phosphate ion, and other substances.

At Polyus, we are committed to continuously improving our assay techniques and upgrading the equipment at our environmental laboratories, with the aim to achieve maximum efficiency and measuring accuracy.

In addition to close monitoring of water resources for any potential contamination, we are also committed to reducing our overall water consumption. Polyus’ environmental protection strategy, adopted in 2018, is aimed at reducing our natural water consumption rate. We continuously develop and introduce initiatives aimed at minimizing water consumption by increasing the rate of water recycling at the Company, with a view to reduce our natural water consumption in favour of mine and reclaimed water. In 2018, our natural water intakes totalled 0.27m3 per tonne of processed ore.

We are proud to have substantially increased the rate of water recycling at Polyus to 93.7% in 2018, up 4.2% since 2017. We expect this number also to be above 90% in 2019.

Reclaimed water, %

We launched our own water campaign in 2019, the priorities of which are to reduce clean water intake by improving mine efficiency and recycling of effluents, as well as preventing water leakages and contamination in our regions of operation.

As part of our campaign, Polyus plans to design sewage water treatment stations at Kuranakh as well as water treatment facilities at Mills 1, 2 and 3 of the Krasnoyrask Business Unit. Furthermore, water metering and automated mixing devices are set to be installed at the water consumption locations of the Natalka Mill’s facilities. Polyus is conducting audits of shutoff valves along the pipelines of all our production units. Polyus Logistics plans to construct repair boxes with a two-station vehicle wash at its site in Lesosibirsk.

Polyus’ operating assets are typically located within close proximity to large natural water reserves. However, we make every effort to reduce our total water consumption and increase water recycling at our operations, while closely monitoring the surrounding water resources for any potential signs of contamination.