Our continuous improvement in environmental performance
As modern regulations and accepted science evolve, so does Mount Isa Mines.
Since 2003, we have invested in excess of $500 million in environmental expenditure and significantly improved our environmental performance.
During this time we have worked to address a number of legacy issues inherent in managing one of Australia's largest and oldest mining facilities. We have delivered a range of significant changes to our operations to transition our complex, 90-year-old site to meet our new Environmental Authority.
In 2011 Mount Isa Mines transitioned to a new Environmental Authority in line with modern regulations, with further improvements acknowledged in an amendment in September 2015.
Today, our 32,000 hectare mining lease is governed by over 80 separate permits and authorities, with stringent and transparent reporting of our environmental performance.
Five-year action plan of improvements
As part of our Transitional Environmental Program (TEP) for air and water, we completed an action plan over five years, from 2012-16, to improve our physical assets, practices and procedures. Below are just some examples of the activities we've delivered to improve our environmental performance.
- Established lead concentrate containment facility
- Relocated over 40 per cent of ore crushing activities out of town to the George Fisher Mine operation
- Sealed eight kilometres of roads and established a road cleaning program
- Ongoing enforcement of strict clean-in clean-out procedures and dedicated wash bays for vehicles, to stop material leaving site on people and equipment
- Established the ApportionIsa system to pinpoint sources of contaminants on site
- Installed 24/7 camera monitoring
Improved monitoring and management
- Between 2012-16, we invested $5 million on air quality system initiatives
- Major upgrade of air quality monitoring network on site and within the community
- Installed continuous metals monitor in the community, in addition to the Queensland Government Department of Science monitor
- Implemented innovative dust forecast and alert system via atmospheric modelling
In November 2016, Mount Isa Mines completed an almost $40 million water management improvement program, marking the completion of five years of intensive environmental upgrades.
- Developed a new Water Balance Model for an integrated containment system capable of estimating the probability, volume and water quality in discharge events
- Developed site-specific water quality guidelines
- Improved our site-based capture of mine affected water and sediments, further minimising the risk of releasing water from site
- Upgraded storage, pumping and monitoring systems
- Implemented new drainage and pipeline systems