Xstrata has announced that it has set its environmental targets for its Mt Isa operations.
The miner says that it has met its obligations with the submission of an application and accompanying Environmental Management Plan (EMP).
The application for environmental authority is part of the miner’s required environmental operating standards as it moves from a previous agreement o the current Environmental Protection Act.
Its EMP outlines Xstrata’s long term strategy for sustaining its operations at Mount Isa and transitioning to a new environmental authority.
The piece investigates five major environmental issues: Noise and Vibration; Waste; Land; Air; and water.
“We are committed to complying with all environmental objectives and will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government and local communities,” Xstrata Copper NQ COO Steve de Kruijff said.
“The EMP is a culmination of 21 discrete scientific studies by two universities and 14 consultant companies, and includes two pilot plants and associated technical studies trialling alternative technologies under our Smelter Emissions Project.
“We’ve invested over $27 million in capital between 2008 and 2010 to develop the EMP and are planning to invest an additional $360 million over the next five years to continue working towards the Environmental Protection Policies’ objectives,” he added.
This submission follows claims that the miner chose to phase out its copper smelting and refinery operations as they were unlikely to meet the new environmental standards.
According to The Australian, the miner is still seeking exemptions from the Queensland Government.
Its “EMP submission also revealed that after next year’s deadline it would still exceed targets for total suspended particulates", sulphur dioxide, cadmium and arsenic, which are almost four times the safe level,” it reported.
Xstrata stated that the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) will now review its submitted EMP, after which they will engage in discussions regarding the environmental authority conditions.