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Principle 6

Pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change.

Performance expectations

Summary of consultation feedback

PE6.1

Plan for closure in consultation with relevant authorities, internal and external stakeholders to address environmental and social aspects and make financial provision to enable agreed closure and postclosure commitments to be realised.

Some consultees indicated a need to focus on design, implementation and periodic review as well as planning. Others requested a commitment to specific outcomes (eg ecological, relinquishment, etc.) and to mention financial provisioning.

Note: PE 6.1 is one of seven PEs that fell below expectations for >25% of respondents.

PE6.2

Implement water stewardship practices that provide for strong and transparent water governance, effective management of water at operations, and collaboration with others to achieve responsible and sustainable water use.

Some consultees were concerned that aspects of the position statement have been downgraded and that the ‘language is not strong and clearly defined as in the other principles’.

Note: PE 6.2 is one of seven PEs that fell below expectations for >25% of respondents. It is important to note that ICMM’s position statement on water stewardship will remain in effect.

PE6.3

Design, construct, operate, monitor and decommission
tailings disposal/storage facilities using comprehensive, risk-based management and governance practices in line with internationally recognised good practice, to minimise the risk of catastrophic failure.

Some consultees wanted to see discharge limits being specified. Others indicated that riverine tailings disposal should be prohibited.

Note: PE 6.3 is one of seven PEs that fell below expectations for >25% of respondents. The footnote states that ‘Riverine tailings, freshwater lake and/or shallow marine tailings disposal may be considered only if deemed to be the most environmentally and socially sound alternative, based on an objective and rigorous environmental and social impact assessment of tailings management alternatives. The scope of the assessment should be agreed between the member company and the host government’.

PE6.4

Apply the mitigation hierarchy to prevent pollution, manage releases and waste, and address potential impacts on human health and the environment.

Some consultees suggested specifying acceptable emission levels and a requirement to engage communities in monitoring. Mixed responses on whether the mitigation hierarchy incentivises environmental protection.

PE6.5

Implement measures to improve energy efficiency and contribute to a low-carbon future, and report the outcomes based on internationally recognised protocols for measuring CO2 equivalent (GHG) emissions.

Some consultees requested the inclusion of specific targets.

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