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Environment

Approach

No organisation today can afford to risk its reputation by ignoring its environmental responsibility. Organisations need continual, robust and wide-ranging environmental management. We operate systems designed to protect human health and the environment. As with all mining companies, our work involves a number of environmental risks, and to manage these, our Environmental Management System (EMS) focuses on driving resource and energy efficiency across the business. This includes using modern, efficient equipment and technologies, preventing pollution, and engaging employees on environmental issues.

Our Environmental Policy shapes all our environmental activities. The policy focuses on continuous improvement, risk reduction, use of best practice, and compliance. It also covers the management of key environmental issues, including incident and emergency control and the use of environmentally friendly materials.

Our in-house engineering company, Polymetal Engineering, works to ensure that all environmental aspects are taken into account during the design, construction and operation of our mines and processing facilities. We also ensure that every production site has its own environmental team to monitor impacts.

Supplier environmental assessment

All of our suppliers comply with applicable laws and regulations. In our formal contractual agreements, we insist that our suppliers meet their compliance requirements.

Emergency preparedness

An important aspect of our health and safety programme is ensuring preparedness for any emergency that may jeopardise the well-being of our employees. Each year, we perform simulated emergency events and deliver training at least annually within each of our 93 hazardous production facilities. Within the most high-risk sites, we conduct more frequent emergency preparation sessions, sometimes on a monthly basis.

In our processes to ensure emergency preparedness, we comply with the requirements and legal obligations of the countries in which we operate. In addition, each Polymetal facility possesses Accident Prevention plans, developed collaboratively with local emergency authorities. We also train our in-house rescuers and have contracted professional companies who specialise in life-saving services and accident prevention.

To maintain our emergency preparedness we:

  • continuously enhance our OHSMS implemented across all our operations;
  • ensure our operations possess full licensing for relevant safety activities;
  • enact safety audits across all buildings, constructions and technical facilities used in hazardous activity; and
  • sign mandatory liability insurance agreements to indemnify harm caused by potential accidents in hazardous production facilities.

To identify potential accidents that could adversely impact the environment we:

  • prepare the list of relevant accidents;
  • ensure that our hazardous facilities are included in the official state register;
  • prepare emergency response plans; and
  • provide insurance for hazardous industrial facilities.

We analyse the following:

  • historic accidents that have negatively impacted the environment;
  • audits and inspection results and reports, environmental impact assessments, project safety examinations and hazardous production facilities inspections;
  • audit reports of state controlling bodies; and
  • environmental monitoring data.

How we ensure emergency preparedness

Our emergency preparedness and response procedure (part of the Environmental Management System), comprises three stages and has been in effect since 25 December 2014).

The design stage ensures:

  • design standards’ compliance, pilot launches and testing;
  • independent project expertise; and
  • permission for operation and maintenance.

The operation stage ensures:

  • the compliance of design during operation;
  • personnel training and obtaining licence to operate;
  • operational control;
  • environmental monitoring and comprehensive inspections under the chief engineer’s supervision;
  • environmental safety compliance by suppliers and contractors; and
  • training during simulated emergency events.

The emergency response and investigation stage involves:

  • assigning responsibilities in case of emergency;
  • ensuring financial provisions are available to compensate negative impact; and
  • amending designs where applicable.

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