We aim to avoid, minimize, mitigate, or compensate for significant adverse impacts on the environment relating to our activities, including risks related to metal leaching and acid rock drainage.
Mount Milligan completed progressive reclamation work on approximately four hectares of the TSF.
Öksüt collaborated with local government and communities to plant 1,000 oak trees and 2,000 lavender plants.
Kumtor financed the development of three micro-ecological reserves totalling over 600 hectares.
Biodiversity Focus Areas
The key focus areas vary between sites and are identified during the environmental permitting process. Our environmental teams often engage and collaborate with regulators and local biodiversity experts, including botanists and ornithologists, to ensure local expertise is recognized and reflected in the development and execution of site-specific Biodiversity Management Plans, which are developed to minimize impacts identified during mine life. At our project and operating sites in British Columbia, we also work with Indigenous groups to incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge into our biodiversity, reclamation and environmental stewardship planning.
Baseline studies are completed as part of the permitting process prior to construction and during construction to create appropriate benchmarking data prior to operations.
At Öksüt, we have developed a comprehensive EBRD-compliant Biodiversity Management Plan that addresses the main impacts of our projects, including loss of habitat, possible introduction of invasive species, and potential for increased animal mortality from vehicle traffic. For each impact, an appropriate mitigation measure has been implemented. For example, to mitigate the potential of bird mortality from collisions and electrocutions from the project’s powerline, we’ve installed bird flight diverters and adopted hazing techniques including the use of mylar tape.
At our Kumtor Mine, our focus areas include wildlife monitoring at our tailings storage facility, helping conserve the Sarychat-Ertash Nature Reserve (SCER) and hydrobiological studies on the water streams and reservoirs in our mine site area. Furthermore, there is a strict no-hunting policy at the mine site that acts as a barrier to poachers. The number of argali, the native mountain sheep, on the reserve has increased from 750 to 2,500, making this the largest population in the Kyrgyz Republic.
At Mount Milligan, a Fish Habitat Compensation Plan was developed through consultation with regulators, Indigenous groups, biologists, environmental engineers and forestry professionals. As part of the work, an overwintering habitat was constructed in lower Rainbow Creek to provide fish with safe spots to survive under winter ice, rearing pounds were built, and problem culverts were replaced. In 2015, Mount Milligan won British Columbia’s Jake McDonald Reclamation Award for the creation of the Rainbow Fish Compensation Ponds.
Biodiversity is a key engagement topic with local and Indigenous communities, regulators and other local and national stakeholders during project permitting, throughout operations and during mine closure and reclamation.
We recognize the importance of ensuring that local and Indigenous communities have the opportunity to provide meaningful input and participate in the decision-making process.
In many cases, the land that we operate on has significant ecosystem service value for our project-impacted communities.
For example, the Mount Milligan Mine site sits on the traditional hunting and gathering territories of several First Nations groups, including Nak’azdli Whut’en, McLeod Lake Indian Band, Takla Nation, West Moberly First Nations and Halfway River First Nation. For Indigenous groups and other resource users in the area, biodiversity is linked to their cultural and spiritual values. We engage with Indigenous groups as well as local communities to understand traditional land use and current land use, and to incorporate Traditional Knowledge into our current and future plans.
More information on our approach to stakeholder engagement can be found here.
At Mount Milligan, no net loss of fish habitat.
At Öksüt, achieving net gains for critical habitat and no net loss for priority biodiversity features.