The Group is committed to reducing water consumption where possible, as set out in its Environmental Policy. The Group HSE Committee is responsible for monitoring water use. The operations’ General Directors are responsible for implementing efficiency initiatives to minimise water consumption at site level.
Sources of water for use in new mining projects are considered in detail prior to commencement of construction and this analysis forms an integral part of any scoping or feasibility study. The KAZ Minerals projects division, together with senior management and the Board, will always consider the availability of fresh water for copper processing and any likely adverse effect on local communities or the surrounding environment before approving a new development project.
The Group is currently conducting a feasibility study for the Baimskaya copper project in the Chukotka region of Russia, which includes a detailed assessment of the availability of sufficient supplies of water. The pre-feasibility study work which was conducted prior to the Group’s ownership of Baimskaya, and a site visit by KAZ Minerals indicates that sufficient fresh water is available for the proposed operations and there will be no adverse effects on local communities, or other material impacts on the environment resulting from the extraction of fresh water for copper processing.
All of KAZ Minerals’ existing mining and processing sites benefit from access to sufficient fresh water and none of the Group’s operations are located in water stressed areas. The Group seeks to conserve and recycle as much water as possible, with the main sources of reusable water being from tailings and mine water inflow. The Bozshakol, Aktogay and Baimskaya sulphide concentrators are expected to recycle over 75% of water withdrawn and annual water consumption at Bozshakol has started to reduce in 2018 as more water is recovered from its tailings storage facility. Each operational site uses a combination of surface water and groundwater sources and seeks to access different water sources to those used by local communities. Water withdrawal rates are monitored and reported regularly to management, the HSE Committee and local authorities.