Polyus is the first major company in Russia to publish a report of this kind.
Polyus, the world’s fourth-largest gold mining company by production, has announced the publication of its inaugural Water Report, prepared in compliance with the ICMM’s Practical Guide to Consistent Water Reporting.
Pavel Grachev, Chief Executive Officer of PJSC Polyus, commented: “By publishing its first Water Report, Polyus is setting a new standard for water reporting in Russia. Like other miners, we require water for our production processes. As a sustainable company we must ensure that we use our resources responsibly and efficiently to minimize our impact on the environment. Maximum transparency is a central aspect of our work in this area.”
The report details the company’s approach to responsible management of water resources and related risks. Polyus’ water strategy includes water protection measures based on scientific research, collaboration and proactive engagement with industry peers and local stakeholders, as well as an emphasis on transparency and disclosure.
Highlights from the Water Report include that Polyus’ closed water circulation scheme at ore production assets has progressively reduced freshwater consumption, with 93% of water used in Polyus’ operations now originaings from its closed water recycling system. About half of the company’s total water demand is covered by pit water inflow as well as meltwater and rainwater. Withdrawal of water from natural sources per tonne of ore processed declined by 28% between 2016 and 2020.
In 2019 Polyus launched its Water Campaign, a set of managerial and technical initiatives to reduce the withdrawal of freshwater through the prevention of leaks in the water supply systems and the efficient reuse of water. The Water Campaign helped to decrease the amount of water used per tonne of gold produced by 18% in 2020 compared to 2019.
The compnay adds that any water that is released into the environment is treated using advanced technologies. Polyus monitors water quality before and after its usage in the production cycle. The company also supports local biodiversity levels and runs programs to support populations of local aquatic species. Polyus says it intends to further reduce the volume of water intake, increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment, and increase the share of quarry water in its consumption.
Polyus concluded: “Publication of the Water Report reflects Polyus’ commitment to demonstrating industry-leading standards in sustainability disclosure. In 2019 the company published its report on the safe management of tailings, and has subsequently worked with the ICMM on the development of the Global Standard on Tailings Management. In March 2021 the company has also published its Climate Position Statement.”