Stewardship for the future
CONSERVE THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
OBSERVE THE CAUSES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
MITIGATE THE IMPACTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL DETERIORATION
Over the past 24 years, the S&K Project has continued to strive towards maintaining a balanced sustainability of economic success, environmental value and social liability. MYTCL has raised the bar in terms of quality of systems, and communication with villages that may be directly or indirectly impacted by the mining activities, undeniably ascertaining that developing long-term reciprocated and beneficial relationships between the Company and its key Stakeholders is the key to future success.
Managing a Delicate Ecosystem
MYTCL’s leased area totals appproximately 2,300 hectares, and is comprised of vegetated land, hills, and ancient pits remaining from previous mining activities. Mining operations and the processing of ore inevitably change the natural landscapes and may have detrimental interference with the ecosystems established. MYTCL assumes the responsibility to minimise land disturbance and to rehabilitate these areas affected. Since 2001, the company has established and implemented a rolling 3-year program of progressive rehabilitation and revegetation within the lease, which has made excellent progress, and will be reviewed in detail during the 2019-20 year to incorporate all mine design changes since the inception of MYTCL.
Annually, Flora and Fauna Studies are conducted twice per year by an in-country specialist, Environment (Wunkyin) Myanmar Cooperative Ltd. (EMC), led by the country’s leading expert Dr. Win Maung. Referencing the original Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Company Limited - MICCL Baseline Study, and monitoring reports completed by Minproc Engineers Ltd., the species presence, or decline thereof, of fauna, aqautic fauna, and flora are observed on a year by year basis within the impacted areas of the S&K Project lease and it's surroundings, and then compared in detail to the baseline compositions of the seasonal variances observed. The conservation of biodiversity continued by MYTCL has a primary focus involving endangered, vulnerable and endemic species of birds and mammals. An area of conservation was also determined and outlined to not be impacted within the lease area. This area bears the name of the Twin Peaks S&K Wildlife Reserve. It has been discovered through EMC analysis to be the dwelling of many of the fauna species indigenous to the area, and home to their feeding grounds. The mountain areas and their foothills of the northeastern lease area of S&K, known as the Kyadwintaung, Hninsitaung and Taukamauk mountains, have been reserved by MYTCL specifically to allow the fauna of this area to re-establish, or maintain livelihood.
Environmental Management Systems
The Environmental Management System (EMS), integrated into Operational Management by the S&K Project, records and monitors compliance with stated environmental policies and objectives. This compliance has been demonstrated through MYTCL’s Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) certifications. The current EMS requires MYTCL to continue to establish environmental planning and to continuously monitor the environmental impact of the operations. An Environment Management Program has been developed to control the environmental issues identified, and the program is being actively monitored for potential environmental impacts. Results are reviewed for any trends, and all findings are reported and corrective measures are implemented, if required. Detailed Environmental Control Procedures have also been developed and implemented. In addition an Environmental Emergency Response Plan has been established, practiced and basic training is given to employees of all departments. Environmental Impact Assessments continue to be conducted for any new MYTCL projects that occur during the life of mine. A technology transfer program has been developed and environmental awareness training is on-going both on, and off site. All employees are trained, and obligated by contract to respond quickly and effectively to any environmental impacts. All environmental documents are of high quality, records are well stored, maintained and easily accessible, as well as reviewed and updated to ensure continuous improvement in compliance with the IMS structure and auditing processes of SGS.
In order to maintain the status as a World-Class Mine, the S&K Project has monitored the effectiveness of its Environmental Management System by having its performance internationally audited regularly. The SGS auditors from Australia, Singapore and Thailand, conduct an audit of the MYTCL operations for certification in the ISO 14001 and the ISO 9001 in the middle, and at the end of each year. SGS Certification Auditing for OHSAS 18001 also commenced in July of 2012, and all 3 certifications in 2016 were revalidated until 2019, and again until 2022 to be audited together on a biannual basis. Internal audit teams formed with MYTCL personnel, and professionally certified for auditing by SGS training staff, are responsible for completing internal audits on a quarterly basis. There are more than 50 internationally certified internal auditors within the MYTCL organisation.
Environmental Impact Management Programs
Achieving both sustainability and continual improvements requires that MYTCL persistently evaluate existing environmental performances of the certified environmental management system against its environmental policies, objectives, and targets for the purpose of identifying opportunities by the organisation. Furthermore, in order to attain sound perpetual development, identify and improve environmental performance, determining the root cause and causes of non-conformance or deficiencies, and developing and implementing a plan of corrective and preventative actions are also vigorously carried out in conjunction with the operations of multifarious mining activities. Seven key areas of environmental management are reviewed by MYTCL; namely AIR, WATER, ENERGY, WASTE, LAND, BIODIVERSITY and COMPLIANCE. Key Performance indicators (KPI) are used to determine where improvement and action must be taken. These KPI also evaluate the environmental conservation activities success at MYTCL. Each area has defined and globally measured attributes of environmental conservation.
The purpose in assessing MYTCL’s key performance indicators is three tiered:
1. To conserve the existent condition of the environment and natural resources;
2. To observe the causes of environmental change; and,
3. To mitigate the impacts of environmental deterioration.
The Annual Flora and Fauna Studies conducted to date and into 2020 show no significant impact within the MYTCL lease area that was not anticipated due to project expansions. The surrounding village areas exhibited progressive human intervention and some population sizes of bird species are in decline, but not considerably.
EMC reports that;
“The environmental management activities of the MYTCL project including revegetation activities, protection, and the conservation activities around Kyadwintaung, Taukamauk, Hninsitaung and their foothill areas are effective.”