Environment

Environment

Medio Ambiente

One of the principles guiding our business in all areas of activity is care and protection of the environment. This is done within a sustainable development framework, minimizing our environmental footprint and protecting the surroundings for present and future generations.

Responsible environmental management has been essential in our actions. We are constantly working to improve our performance, as shown by the following actions:

Production of clean energy.

We have concentrated on generating clean energy, such as hydroelectric, a permanent source of renewable energy free of the CO2 emissions that create greenhouse effect.

Environmental Management Program (PGA).

We use technical and economic resources to minimize environmental impact. This program has the endorsement of the relevant environmental authorities and the professional effort of many sectors.

Modern processing.

In our mining activity we continually modernize the material processing and make constant investments in our installations.

Use of wood.

All wood we acquire comes from lumber dealers that are authorized by the National Forestry Institute (INAFOR) and are obliged via their lumbering concession agreements to exercise proper forest management. In the Was Tuna reserve and other properties reforested by Hemco we have forest rangers in charge of protecting the forest heritage.

Industrial sediments pools.

When we began operations in 1995 we designed and put into operation an industrial sediment pool for managing the waste of the ore reduction plant. With this pond we put an end to more than 50 years of dumping contaminated waste into the Río Tunky. The pond functions as a “closed circuit system,” in which the solutions are processed and reused in the ore reduction plant.

Response to emergencies.

Once a month, our Comprehensive Environmental Safety Council evaluates the tasks and commitments required in the mining, forestry and energy areas. We also have environmental contingency brigades prepared to respond to any emergency situation. The brigades are formed by the environmental superintendence personnel and all environmental delegates.

Monitoring of waters and metals.

In Hemco we monitor surface and underground water in the entire mining concession on a quarterly basis. This plan was approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) and is designed to detect the presence of 18 physical-chemical elements and heavy metals at 18 different points.

Waste treatment.

All industrial waste, solid and liquid, is managed accordingly to its characteristics: Process wastes are confined in the tailings dams; slag, cupels and crucibles waste are integrated in the industrial process; scrap metal and batteries are sold to MARENA´s authorized dealers, and used oil and hydrocarbons contaminated waste are delivered to SERTRASA, an environmental service company that handles its processing.

We strongly encourage the segregation of waste into separate categories: cardboard, plastic, aluminum and glass, which are then delivered to recycling companies.