Waste generation is an unavoidable part of the production process. Mining wastes are primarily tailings, a mixture of rock and water generated during ore treatment. We aim to minimize the potential environmental impact of tailings.
Tailings storage safety
Our sites comply fully with Russian legislation governing the safe operation of tailings storage facilities (TSFs). As an ICMM member, we also meet our commitments under the ICMM Position Statement on Preventing Catastrophic Failure of Tailings Storage Facilities, and implement comprehensive risk assessments related to TSF operation. In addition, special attention is paid to the condition of dams, monitoring wells, other protective measures and related utility systems and networks.
Waste recycling and reuse
We are always looking for opportunities to recycle and reuse in order to minimize waste. When disposing of waste, we either arrange environmentally safe decontamination and disposal or transfer it to specialized companies.
Polyus has recovered and neutralized over 25% of its waste (classes 1 to 4) in 2016 and over 33% of the total waste (classes 1 to 4) in 2017.
In 2018, 38,448 tonnes of waste (hazard classes 1-4) were generated at the Polyus Group enterprises. In addition, 535 tonnes of scrap metal and tires were accumulated at the Group’s facilities in order to form batches. Meanwhile, 12,497 tonnes of such waste were disposed of and neutralized over the course of the year, which accounted for one third of the total volume.
In 2018, Polyus has successfully carried out a Divide and Reuse campaign which involved the following:
- Launch of thermal destruction units (Forsazh and KTO-50)
- Review of accumulation and potential recovery of used tires
- Procurement and installation of containers for separate waste collection
- Signing of new agreements on recovery of waste restricted for landfill disposal from 1 January 2019 (tires, plastic, paper) with contractors.