One of Minesa’s priorities is respect and commitment to the environment which is part of our DNA. We will adhere to world-class operating standards and embed environmental protection activities in our initiatives.
We are working with communities to reverse environmental degradation caused by uncontrolled historical mining activities in our region. We are establishing an environmental baseline to ensure the impact of our project is fully understood and appropriately managed.
Responsible mining is possible. We believe formal and legal mining is the best instrument to guarantee the preservation of water.
Main environmental actions
During our exploration stage, we developed environmental practices to prove mining activity is compatible with the environment.
- Management of legacy mining environmental liabilities: We have deliberately and voluntarily recovered environmental liabilities in our mining titles which were created by legacy mining and have established mechanisms for controlling the cumulative impacts in order to mitigate their negative impact on the environment. The most relevant activities include:- Dismantling of unused traditional mining mills located on our titles; removal of equipment, infrastructure and waste products; rehabilitation of soils, landscape and vegetation.- Closing of abandoned mine portals and landscaping of its surroundings. This activity has a legal component since some closings require enforcement to protect mining concessions by closing illegal mining activities.- Management and control of water drainage from historic mine workings. In collaboration with Santander’s Industrial University (UIS), a water treatment plant has been installed for managing discharges from the historic mines to guarantee the quality of nearby sources.
– One of the environmental liabilities we are removing is mercury-contaminated sand. Recently, 360 tons of this waste found on our titles was removed by a company specialized in the disposal and treatment of contaminated soil.
All these liabilities constitute environmental impacts we have not generated but inherited. Nevertheless, we are committed to recovering the environment and contributing to the quality of life of the inhabitants of the region.
- Reforestation program: Minesa is currently developing a 22,000-tree reforestation program, planted during the second rainy season of 2015. During the first rainy season of 2016, an additional 20,000 trees will be planted.This reforestation consists of native species planted in enviromentally strategic spots within Minesa’s lands. Furthermore, these plantations will be maintaned to guarantee the rooting of the trees.
- Enviroment evaluation, studies and partnerships: Looking for mechanisms of environmental protection and respect, Minesa works hand in hand with the institutions in charge of environmental issues in the Soto Norte province. Hence, through a partnership with CDMB (Regional Environmental Protection Agency), Minesa contributes resources for the operation of the water treatment plants of the 5 municipalities in the region, guaranteeing a healthy environment for these communities.Minesa also works with UIS (Santander Industrial University) on the creation of a framework agreement which sees UIS’ environmental disciplines develop research projects, and promote internships or theses about specific topics such as genetic and vegetal physiology, which will develop a better understanding of our surrounding ecosystems. With financial support from Minesa this research agreement with UIS is expected to publish its first results in 2016.