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Gold Fields seeks to enhance the environments in which it operates and limit the impact that mining can cause on the surrounding areas. To manage this, we remain committed to responsible environmental stewardship.
Gold Fields has three Group environment-related policy statements, on environmental stewardship, climate change and materials stewardship, and five environmental guidelines, on energy and carbon management, water management, tailings management, mine closure and biodiversity.Furthermore, all regions are aligning processes to our critical control management approach (Safety).
Our approach to environmental stewardship is guided and informed by several external standards as well as local legislation, supported by risk management, internal policies and priorities. Additional local priorities are identified through stakeholder consultation.
All our mines are certified according to the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC), which prescribes how to manage, treat, transport, store and dispose of cyanide. Our operations work to prepare for recertification audits every three years by helping to identify and address potential gaps in advance. South Deep, Damang and Tarkwa were successfully recertified during 2018 and Q1 2019. Gruyere was recommended for pre-operational certification. However, we are still awaiting confirmation by the International Cyanide Management Institute. Gold Fields does not use mercury for the beneficiation of gold or in any of its processes.
In 2018, we completed the process of recertifying our operations in terms of the new ISO 14001 (2015) environmental management standard. During the year, Agnew, St Ives, Damang, Tarkwa, Cerro Corona and South Deep secured recertification, while an audit will be conducted at Gruyere in 2019. Other than Gruyere, no operation is due for recertification in 2019.
During 2018, risk assessments were completed in all regions on the transport of hazardous materials. No material risks were identified. Opportunities for improvement were found, the most important of which was the construction of a pipeline to deliver gas to our Ghana operations instead of by road (Energy management).
|For details of our environmental management approach, policies and guidelines go to www.goldfields.com/sustainability.php.|
A scale of Level 1 (most minor) is used to 5 (most severe) to report environmental incidents. We have not experienced any Level 4 or 5 environmental incidents over the past ten years.
During 2018, we experienced two Level 3 environmental incidents (2017: two):
Our Biodiversity Conservation Practice guideline ensures that we integrate biodiversity conservation into all aspects of mine life, from pre-feasibility to closure. We aim to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity where opportunities arise. Furthermore, we subscribe to the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Position Statement on Mining and Protected Areas, which includes a commitment to respect protected areas and an undertaking not to explore or mine in World Heritage listed sites. Biodiversity considerations are incorporated into our integrated mine closure and progressive rehabilitation processes.
Two examples indicating our commitment to biodiversity are: