(IN BRIEF) Hydro, a mining company, has announced that all of its tailings facilities with the highest potential consequences in the event of a failure are now in compliance with the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management (GISTM). The company successfully implemented GISTM at its facilities in the Alunorte alumina refinery and Paragominas bauxite mine in Brazil. Hydro’s commitment to the standard aims to mitigate risks, ensure sustainable operations, and build trust in the mining industry.
(PRESS RELEASE) OSLO, 5-Aug-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — “For the mining industry, the implementation of GISTM is important for mitigating risks, fostering sustainable operations and building trust. Hydro has delivered on its commitment to implement the standard’s requirements,“ says President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim.
GISTM is a robust framework developed to enhance the safety, sustainability, and overall management of tailings facilities in the mining industry. It was launched in August 2020 by the UN Environmental Program (UNEP), PRI (an investor initiative in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiative and UN Global Compact) and the ICMM. Due to ever-changing framework conditions, GISTM represents an ongoing process of continuous improvement with the best available technology, integrated thinking, action, collaboration, and learning.
“We stay committed to keep our operations in line with current requirements. Our adherence to GISTM demonstrates Hydro’s commitment to continuously pursue best practices, safety, and environmental stewardship,” says Aasheim.
The conformance of each tailings facility has been assessed and confirmed through a self-assessment in line with the GISTM Conformance Protocol. A third-party validation will be undertaken as soon as reasonably practicable.
See the GISTM Public Disclosure document for more information (pdf).
Facts about tailings management in Hydro
- Hydro currently has active tailings facilities in Paragominas and Barcarena in the Brazilian state of Pará, designed to contain the tailings from bauxite mining and residue from the alumina refining process. Hydro also owns legacy tailings facilities in Germany.
- Hydro’s objective for tailings management is zero failures that may lead to loss of life or life-changing injuries, material negative socioeconomic impact or material environmental damage throughout the tailings facilities’ lifecycle, from design to post closure.
- Hydro has invested heavily in improved tailings management in later years, introducing state-of-the-art technology for treatment and disposal of the residue generated from the production of bauxite and alumina.
- At Paragominas, the Tailings Dry Backfill method puts dried leftovers from bauxite mining back in mined areas before they are rehabilitated and reforested – a more viable solution that supports our ambitions to protect biodiversity and reduce our environmental footprint.
- At the Alunorte alumina refinery, nine filter presses generate a residue with very low moisture content for an enhanced compacting process.
Senior vice president, Group Communication
SOURCE: Norsk Hydro ASA