Landscape in Kazakhstan

Our approach

Copper mining and processing is resource-intensive and we aim to avoid related environmental damage at every stage of the mining lifecycle. Our license to operate relies on us fulfilling the requirements of environmental permits, and we seek to further reduce our impacts where possible. Doing so helps us manage financial, regulatory and reputational risks to our business. We are investing in the upgrade of our equipment to become more efficient, which brings environmental benefits, and we engage with environmental policymakers to help us meet changing regulations in Kazakhstan. We continue to strengthen our approach to environmental risk assessment and monitoring.

The main environmental impacts we manage are:

  • Energy and emissions: we are a major user of energy. Our operations create greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during copper processing and mining. We measure and report our GHG emissions in line with international standards. We support and participate in the Kazakhstan carbon trading scheme and are establishing robust energy saving plans at our sites.
  • Water: availability of water is important for the long-term viability of our operations. Kazakhstan does not suffer from significant water shortages, but in some of the remote areas where we operate, water treatment facilities can be limited and potable supplies are scarce. Large volumes of water are needed in copper processing and we recycle and reuse as much water as possible to reduce our freshwater consumption. Our operations have water management plans in place to meet the requirements of permits issued by local authorities.
  • Waste: our mining operations produce waste rock, soil and tailings and our wastewater treatment facilities create sludge. We carefully manage and dispose of these wastes. Tailings facilities are designed to prevent leaching into the soil and water sources and we have a system of ongoing monitoring and investment in place to minimise the environmental risk.
  • Biodiversity & land management: we recognise the need to protect biodiversity and minimise land disturbance throughout the life of our operations. Legislation requires us to carry out environmental impact assessments before work takes place and to rehabilitate sites when they close.
Environmental compliance

Environmental compliance is an important component of our licence to operate and we apply our own internal environmental risk management systems to address on-going and emerging risks and minimise our impact on the health of our employees and communities around our operations. Our goal is to ensure compliance with existing legislation as a minimum while striving for continuous additional improvement where possible. Our operations receive environmental permits that set annual levels for emissions, water use and discharge as well as waste.

Image of the Kazakh countryside