20 May 2019
Polymetal has today provided full disclosure on its tailings storage facilities management in response to a request from the Church of England Pensions Board and the Swedish Council on Ethics for the AP Funds.
As of today, Polymetal operates 9 tailings storage facilities (TSF) at 7 operating mine sites in Russia and Kazakhstan, and 2 dry stack facilities. To date, there have been no environmental accidents involving tailings facilities at the Company’s operations.
All of Polymetal’s TSFs undergo regular audits for compliance with environmental legislation requirements as well as safety examinations to prevent accidents and eliminate causes of dam failure. TSFs are regularly monitored by our on-site environmental and engineering teams. Pipelines, pump stations, water levels and dams are inspected on a daily basis. Polymetal ensures emergency preparedness and response procedures at all stages of TSFs lifespan.
In 2018, the Company improved control and increased the rigour of assessment and management of tailings storage facilities, including emergency response plans.
The Company is increasingly shifting towards safer methods of waste storage, particularly dry stack (filtered cake) tailings. This technology significantly reduces the probability of dam failure, minimises potential damages in case of an accident, and eliminates tailings run-off. Polymetal plans to use dry stacking at all new projects where it is possible. For the two projects currently in construction, Nezhda and POX-2, tailings will be dry stacked.
Polymetal fully supports the need for greater transparency in the mining sector and discloses full details on each of its TSF and how they are managed. The full TSF management disclosure is available at https://www.polymetalinternational.com/en/sustainability/environment/#waste.