First Quantum Minerals’ subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals Limited has dug deep to win the Zambia Chamber of Mines’ Best Performer in Environmental Management award for 2015/16 after it demonstrated the finest sustainable environmental management practices and approval rate by host communities and the relevant regulatory body.
The mining firm was recognised for developing an effective implementation plan for the Environmental Management System (EMS) and following the promised strategy.
The EMS must be aligned to an internationally acceptable standard such as Ecological Management Auditing Scheme (EMAS) requirements.
“The company has continued maintaining equilibrium in its environmental responsibility and social sustainability, while ensuring that effective environmental management is a corporate priority, thereby leaving a positive legacy in the communities affected by our mining operations,” said Kalumbila Minerals’ public relations coordinator Mirriam Harmon.
She explained that some of the score card items for the category the company had entered were that there should be no reportable (to the regulator) environmental incidents in the year 2015/16, through demonstrated environmental stewardship over and above the legal requirements as per approval rate of relevant regulatory body.
The firm were also not penalised or issued with an enforcement notice or order by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency during that period.
Ms Harmon added: “We were required to demonstrate implementation of up to date Environmental Management Plans and compliance levels, meaning to have in place environmental policy and disseminated timely and effectively to all interested and affected.
“And to have implemented an effective progressive rehabilitation program at the site and demonstrated proactive measures to ensure that end of mine environmental liabilities are reduced.”
She said the firm was also required to demonstrates sustainability, innovation and best practice in the conservation and enhancement of the environment including, but not restricted to recycling and waste management, pollution prevention air, water and soil quality protection among others.
The mining firm was awarded the “Green Award” by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in June for demonstrating corporate social responsibility that promotes sound environmental management and commitment to continuous environmental improvement.
The mine was also recognised at ZEMA’s 2017 environmental and climate change awards for demonstrating commitment to implementing green initiatives, implementing a strong environmental community outreach programme, and applying effort sufficient to meet environmental standards by making use of clean technology, waste minimisation and pollution prevention.
Ms Harmon said Kalumbila Minerals will continue ensuring it encourages its workforce and the community at large in the crusade of taking care of the environment to avert practices and tendencies that harm the planet.
It is optimistic that the contribution the mine is making to local society will have a positive impact on its well-being for many years to come beyond mining operations.
The mining firm has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that it continues to operate in a manner to protect the long-term welfare of the communities where it operates, in an environmentally sound manner, through monitoring relevant environmental parameters to enable early detection of deviation from the environmental management system, as well as working with suppliers and contractors through development of contractual obligations to address indirect impacts associated with its operations.
FQM ensures that all its subsidiaries and projects operate in a manner to protect the lasting security of the communities where it operates and in an environmentally sound manner.
And this is achieved by monitoring of relevant conservational parameters to enable early detection of deviations from the environmental management system, as well as working with suppliers and contractors through development of contractual obligations to address indirect impacts associated with the company’s operations.