Hazardous chemicals including the use of explosives, cyanide and other dangerous goods are essential to mining and processing activities. We recognise the need to ensure hazardous chemicals are managed through their lifecycle in accordance with risk management principles to avoid risk to human health, ecosystems, and environmental values.
The use of hazardous chemicals is regulated by relevant legislation in each jurisdiction and is subject to specific licences, approvals and is inspected routinely by the regulator. Each operation manages the hazardous chemicals lifecycle in accordance with the minimum standards outlined by relevant jurisdictional requirements and Evolution’s Sustainability Performance Standards.
All operations have specific management plans and guidelines governing collection, separation, storage, reuse, and disposal of waste, including hazardous chemical waste, reflecting local legislation and sitespecific commitments and obligations in environmental impact assessments. Cyanide destruction systems are adopted to reduce the concentration of cyanide discharged to the facilities and Cowal and Red Lake have been recertified against the International Cyanide Management Code.
Waste generation and disposal, including the activities of waste disposal contractors, are monitored at all operations according to regulatory requirements and
Regular assurance activities are undertaken to ensure operations meet Sustainability Performance Standards for the handling, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals and to identify best practice learnings are shared across the business.
- Cyanide Code compliance at Red Lake and Cowal
- Permit and or licence compliance for all explosives, dangerous goods, chemicals and radiation devices
- Chemical approval required prior to entering operations including risk assessment
- Emergency response spill scenario training at all operations
- Internal audit and review validated by external auditors
Land Use and Biodiversity (material topic)
We have an important role in biodiversity stewardship – contributing to the proper risk assessment of biodiversity conditions, minimising habitat degradation, and planning for habitat restoration during the mine lifecycle.
Local stakeholders are valuable sources of knowledge concerning biodiversity, and we work closely with the local communities to identify sensitive areas and monitor any potential impacts. We work with local conservation groups and seek to find collaboration opportunities that lead to positive environmental outcomes for the local communities. We incorporate stakeholder concerns into our environmental stewardship approach.
Our biodiversity strategy is linked to the stage of development of projects. For example, at all operations in production, biodiversity risks are actively mitigated through ongoing risk assessment, baseline and continuous field mapping of fauna and flora, and land disturbance permit process. Sensitive flora and fauna are only impacted where the internal and external risk management and permitting process have been met and no other alternative is available.
In FY23, we completed a gap analysis against TNFD in its beta framework to improve Evolution’s awareness and capability in emerging disclosure requirements regarding nature. The analysis positioned Evolution as a leader in water management, with opportunities for further development in biodiversity protection, osets and progressive rehabilitation. Relevant recommendations will be implemented, communicated across the business, and utilised to inform future disclosures in relation to regulated and non-regulated biodiversity, impacts and dependencies. We will take opportunities to assess alignment once the final TNFD Framework is released.
We strive to apply the mitigation hierarchy from Avoidance to Transformation with the ambition of no net loss in protecting biodiversity and ecosystems. We design our exploration or mining operations to avoid or minimise impact to protected areas and commit to the protection of World Heritage Sites.
We are committed to minimising impacts to forests and our environmental footprint through risk-based and responsible biodiversity management, and to enhancing biodiversity via reforestation nearby our operations via our Environmental Enhancement projects and investments. In FY23, Red Lake participated in the Federal Government’s 50 Million Tree Planting Program and planted 25,000 trees in a single day, in partnership with a local forest management company and schools, to revegetate an old tailings area. These revegetation eorts complement previous work in 2011, where Red Lake constructed a 5.5-hectare wetland treatment area within the tailing storage facility to aid in natural degradation of ammonia in the contact water. In early 2022, Red Lake began a wetland expansion project to increase the wetland size to 14 hectares, which has improved euent water quality discharged from the operation.
Biodiversity Management Plans which meet the requirements of the Biodiversity Sustainability Performance Standard are in place at all operations, where required, and are regularly reviewed. All activities are monitored in accordance with relevant jurisdictional obligations. Biodiversity assessments are undertaken in the project planning phase to identify risk of impact biodiversity and mitigation opportunities which inform the development of operational plans at each operation in alignment with local regulations the Sustainability Performance Standards.
- No impact to any World Heritage Sites
- Disturbance permitting process embedded at all operations
- Baseline flora and fauna studies undertaken prior to any significant disturbance
- Annual review of biodiversity management plans
- Monitoring of biodiversity oset and conservation sites’ status is maintained or enhanced
- At the beginning of FY23 Evolution was managing 7,038 hectares of land (owned, leased or occupied)
- At the close of FY23, Evolution was managing 7,056 hectares of disturbed land under mining lease
- All land under our mining leases is currently managed under Biodiversity Management Plans related directly to mining
- Receiving environment protection through sediment and erosion control including the Cowal Lake Protection Bund
- Partnerships with conservation not-for-profit organisations including Lake Cowal Foundation
- Approximately 12% worth of community investment contributed to improve or enhance environmental outcomes
- The status of disturbed and rehabilitated land at the operations can be found in the ESG Performance Dat