Ensuring ecological safety during production departments operation is one of the priorities of Kazakhmys Group. Kazakhmys aims at consistently minimizing the impact of operations on environment at all stages of technological cycle of enterprises' activities. It is also focused on achieving environmental standards defined by the state environmental policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
A package of measures is elaborated and implemented annually for each enterprise to ensure the stable operation of the main technological equipment and units. Programs and action plans for environmental protection are elaborated and endorsed by authorised state agencies. For example, over the past 5 years at Kazakhmys Group enterprises, more than 2,000 environmental measures have been implemented for a total amount of KZT 19 bln.
Since 2019, R&D totaling more than KZT 160 mln is underway to find new and improve existing techniques for reducing human impact of concentration and mining operations on environment.
In 2020, a feasibility study totaling more than KZT 25 mln was carried out concerning selection of techniques for removing processing disposal, and (or) transfer of production (except for mining waste) and consumption waste.
During 2020-2021, a comprehensive technological audit of Kazakhmys Group key operation is underway with the aim of appraising the techniques used at enterprises which are designed to prevent and (or) minimize negative human impact on environment. It is the first stage in BAT guidelines elaboration with their subsequent application.
Environmental protection activities
In 2020, the expenses for environmental protection and rational use of natural resources of Kazakhmys Group did not change significantly as compared to 2019 and amounted to KZT 3,736.34 mln which were invested in:
- atmospheric air protection – KZT 1771.69 mln. The main investment objects are dedusting (irrigation of rock mass, in-pit roads, rock and ore dumps with water), irrigation of dry shores and tailings dam slopes, repair works on dedusting and ventilation systems, overhaul of boiler unit No. 4-6 of Zhezkazgan CHP* (*Combined Heat and Power Plant), repair of GRES battery emulsifiers, overhaul of processing train and dry electric filters of Sulfuric Acid Shop;
- protection and efficient use of water resources – KZT 1271.033 mln, including KZT 552 mln allocated for reuse of clarified water in wastewater reuse system;
- production and consumption waste management – KZT 364.15 mln, including industrial waste use (stripping rocks, host rocks, metallurgical slags) for recycling, backfilling of technological roads, backfilling of mined-out spaces;
- land resources protection – KZT 223,59 mln, including KZT 191.513 mln allocated for Balkhash CHP and Zhezkazgan CHP ash waste placement, as well as for designing ash dump’s new section at GRES* (* Primary Distribution Electric Power Station);
- other focus areas in the field of environmental protection – KZT 105.58 mln, including R&D, flora and fauna protection, environmental education and promotion, radiation, biological and chemical safety, implementation of control systems and best safe technologies.
Pie chart of the Kazakhmys Group investments on environmental protection and efficient use of natural resources for 2020, in percent
- 47% - Air Protection
- 34% - Protection and Efficient Use of Water Resources
- 10% - Production and Consumption Waste Management
- 6% - Land Resources Protection
- 3% - Other Focus Areas
Ecostart Environmental Events
Kazakhmys Corporation LLC has been actively conducting public environmental events in the cities of Balkhash and Zhezkazgan with the aim of forming environmental awareness among young people, as well as promoting actions to save environment, increasing environmental protection effectiveness, creating a “green" infrastructure.
- Kazakhmys Corporation jointly with Ecosfera SPA* (*Scientific Production Association) and Ecostart Public Environmental Action Program volunteers held an environmental event to plant trees. Over 2019-2020, 400 trees have been planted at the territories of educational institutions, cultural and medical facilities (Balkhash - 200 pcs. and Zhezkazgan - 200 pcs.) Also, sports and intellectual events were conducted.
- In 2020, Separate Waste Collection event was held with volunteers participation.
- In 2020, an online eco-Olympiad was held among school and college students of Balkhash and Zhezkazgan. The Olympiad participants were volunteers who contributed to seedlings planting. All participants were awarded with valuable prizes and certificates, and the winners received new generation smartphones.
- In order to install air monitoring systems at emission sources of Balkhash Smelter, the work was carried out to launch an automated emissions monitoring system at a dedusting gases chimney PV-2 (source 0138). Sulfur dioxide monitoring data are displayed on a screen located near the central entrance of the Smelter.
- On March 2, 2021, an automated pollutants emission monitoring system was installed at tail section gas duct of Zhezkazgan Smelter Sulfuric Acid Shop (Source 0227). The data are displayed on the Smelter’s LED monitor.