Our Environmental Policy focuses on continuous improvement, risk reduction, use of best practice, and compliance. It also covers the management of key environmental issues, including incident and emergency control and the use of environmentally friendly materials.

As with all mining companies, our work involves a number of environmental risks, and to manage these, our Group-wide Environmental Management System (EMS) focuses on driving resource and energy efficiency across the business.

Our in-house engineering company, Polymetal Engineering, works to ensure that all environmental aspects are taken into account during the design, construction and operation of our mines and processing facilities.

Who is responsible

Who is responsible
Who is responsible
Securing our energy supply

We monitor power supply and consumption against approved budgets and energy efficiency targets. We also conduct regular energy efficiency audits, and appoint external agencies to inspect our operations and resolve power supply issues.

We refurbished our main power infrastructure and install new equipment to help improve our operational efficiencies.

Air quality

Many of our core activities, including stripping, mined waste storage, ore processing and energy use, generate air emissions. These emissions include carbon dioxide and nitrogen, sulphur oxides and non organic dust. Polymetal emits no ozone depleting substances.

In order to minimise future emissions, we will continue to ensure that our vehicles and mining equipment are modern and compliant with high quality standards, and feature the most up-to date technology.


We recognise that water management is not just a technical debate around levels of abstraction and quantitative data — it is also an issue that our stakeholders feel passionate about.

We strive to increase efficiencies in the use of water by maximising water recycling and reuse within mining operations.At each of our sites, we are committed to reducing our water use and minimizing the volume and impact of liquid discharged into watercourses in accordance with local legislation and target indicators.

We do not withdraw water from surface sources in environmentally sensitive areas, or where water is of great importance to local or indigenous communities. As far as possible, we re-use water. In fact, we get most of our water from internal recycling. As well as minimizing offtake of fresh water, it also means we reduce the risk of releasing unsafe water into the surrounding area. Any water that we do release is tested to make sure it meets discharge standards and is safe.


In order to minimise our impact, we drive efficiency in material use. For example, we identify the most harmful materials in our operational processes and make efforts to reduce volumes of these materials without impacting quality. Our audit teams carry out regular internal checks and assess our compliance with national and regional standards, and government agencies conduct regular environmental performance spot-checks at our facilities.

Wherever we can, we re-use the waste that we generate within our operations. We have developed systems and procedures that enable us to maximise the amounts we recycle and minimise waste to landfill.


We are committed to treading lightly in the regions where we operate and work hard to minimise our impact on local biodiversity. To this end, as a matter of policy we do not operate in or adjacent to protected or vulnerable areas. We respect, and will not encroach upon, land that has particular value — natural, historical or cultural — for Indigenous Minorities of the North (IMN). We also engage in comprehensive land rehabilitation once we have finished working in a particular area, focusing on the reparation of any environmental damage that our operations may have caused.

Our 2016–2017 Biodiversity Conservation Plan includes:

  • Releasing young fish in waterbeds where communities catch fish
  • Cleaning waterbeds (springs)
  • Installing bird repellers and nets at tailings dams and ponds to protect them from contact with cyanide and other chemicals • Planting trees and grass
  • Installing troughs in habitats
  • Fencing at depleted pits • Installing road signs where roads and animal migration routes cross paths, and where wild animals appear frequently
Emergency preparedness

An important aspect of our health and safety programme is ensuring preparedness for any emergency that may jeopardise the well-being of our employees.

Each year, we perform simulated emergency events and deliver training at least annually within each of our 93 hazardous production facilities. Within the most high-risk sites, we conduct more frequent emergency preparation sessions, sometimes on a monthly basis.

In our processes to ensure emergency preparedness, we comply with the requirements and legal obligations of the countries in which we operate. In addition, each Polymetal facility possesses Accident Prevention plans, developed collaboratively with local emergency authorities. We also train our in-house rescuers and have contracted professional companies who specialise in life-saving services and accident prevention.

To maintain our emergency preparedness we:

  • continuously enhance our OHSMS implemented across all our operations;
  • ensure our operations possess full licensing for relevant safety activities;
  • enact safety audits across all buildings, constructions and technical facilities used in hazardous activity; and
  • sign mandatory liability insurance agreements to indemnify harm caused by potential accidents in hazardous production facilities.

To identify potential accidents that could adversely impact the environment we:

  • prepare the list of relevant accidents;
  • ensure that our hazardous facilities are included in the official state register;
  • prepare emergency response plans; and
  • provide insurance for hazardous industrial facilities.

We analyse the following:

  • historic accidents that have negatively impacted the environment;
  • audits and inspection results and reports, environmental impact assessments, project safety examinations and hazardous production facilities inspections;
  • audit reports of state controlling bodies; and
  • environmental monitoring data.
Planning for mine closures

Our long-term remediation obligations include fulfilling decommissioning and restoration liabilities and covering suspension or abandonment costs in compliance with national regulations and legislation. Costs are covered by the Company. We also carry out geological, surveying and repair works to ensure that, once a mine is suspended or abandoned, underground operations, drilling sites and buildings are not hazardous or dangerous, and that we carry out any environmental rehabilitation.


Environmental and social impact assessment

In 2016, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Wardell-Armstrong (WAI) completed a detailed review of the social and environmental issues linked to our Kyzyl gold project in north-eastern Kazakhstan.

Based on this review, a formal Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been issued by WAI for meeting environmental and social requirements of the EBRD that is considering the opportunity to finance the project.

The ESIA is a comprehensive analysis of any risks and opportunities linked to all key areas of the Kyzyl project, including its environmental, socio-economic and cultural effects.

Polymetal has also agreed with EBRD on the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) which includes a series of actions that Polymetal will implement in order to avoid, reduce, control, or otherwise mitigate potential environmental, occupational health and safety, and social impacts during Kyzyl construction and operation.

ESIA summary