Environment » Environmental management
There are many environmental aspects to be considered. Newmont Waihi Gold has an Environmental Management System (EMS), designed to ensure that all environmental considerations, including management, monitoring, maintenance, training and action plans are incorporated within an overall framework as an integral part of mining operations.
Environmental management (in relation to both environmental performance and management systems) is assessed on a regular basis by independent auditors.
Environmental impact is an important issue all around the world, with pressure to minimise that impact coming from a number of sources: local and national governments, regulators, trade associations, customers, employees and shareholders.
ISO 14001 is the internationally accepted standard that specifies a process for managing and improving an organisation's environmental performance. The standard is designed to address the balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.
Key to achieving this standard is implementing and maintaining an effective environmental management system.
For a management system to be fully effective an organisation relies on the commitment of its entire workforce.
In order to be eligible for ISO certification, initially an organisation needs to identify aspects of the business that impact on the environment and understand the relevant environmental laws. The next step is to produce objectives for improvement and develop a management programme to achieve them, with regular reviews for continual improvement. Independent assessors then audit the system and, if the company is compliant, provide registration to ISO 14001.
What do ISO 14001 assessors assess?
Maintaining the standard
Newmont Waihi Gold was first certified to ISO 14001 in 2002. Assessments from 2002 to 2008 were carried out by independent international auditors SGS. In 2008 Newmont globally adopted one international standard over all its sites around the world. The company who now provides this assessment service is Bureau Veritas.
ISO 14001 for environmental management was derived from standards originally published in 1992. ISO 14001 is now adopted by 154,000 organisations in 148 countries. Bureau Veritas has also awarded Newmont Waihi Gold with certification in OHSAS 18001 for its occupational health and safety management system.
The regulatory authorities are Waikato Regional Council and Hauraki District Council. Their role is to ensure that the environmental conditions laid down in the Mining Licence, Water Rights and Resource Management Consents are being met. A further independent check is provided by the Peer Review Panels. These are independent bodies of experts who review the technical standards of particular aspects of the operation. They report their findings to Waikato Regional Council and Hauraki District Council.
The International Cyanide Code (the Code) was developed by a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee under the guidance of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the International Council on Metals and the Environment (ICME).
In 2005 Newmont Mining Corporation became one of the first signatories of the Code. Signatories are committed to following the Code’s principles, implementing its standards of practice and being audited against the code by third-party auditors.
Newmont Waihi Gold has maintained certification to the Code under stringent standards imposed by the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI).
The company underwent a rigorous audit process by independent assessors Golders Australia in September 2008 as part of an initiative by Newmont Mining Corporation to achieve certification for all its current operations by the end of 2009. This is now achieved globally.
The objective of the Code is to improve the management of cyanide used in gold mining and to assist in the protection of human health and the environment.
The Code is an industry voluntary programme for gold mining companies. It focuses exclusively on the safe management of cyanide.
Companies that adopt the Code must have their mining operations audited by an independent third party to determine the status of Code implementation. Those operations that meet the Code requirements are certified. A unique trademark symbol can then be used by the certified operation. Audit results are made public to inform stakeholders of the status of cyanide management practices at the certified operation. The summary audit reports for all certified operations are available to the public on the web site www.cyanidecode.org.
The Code addresses a range of issues relating to cyanide:
Accreditation is held for up to three years. During this time verification is maintained as long as the operation meets the conditions imposed by the Code.