Environmental Commitment

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Water Quality

Drummond is committed to the preservation and conservation of abundant vegetation and the protection of wildlife associated with the natural habitats around our operations. To guarantee the effectiveness of preventive measures, Drummond built 169 monitoring stations that take regular samples and continually test water quality. All samples are analyzed in our IDEAM-accredited environmental laboratory (the first laboratory set up by a mining company to receive accreditation in Colombia).

In our mines, in order to control the release of contaminating substances into watercourses, Drummond has developed industrial water treatment systems. Channels, which collect all the surface water generated by the projects, flow into sedimentation ponds where particles suspended in the water are collected before the water is released into natural channels.

Within the installations of Puerto Drummond, we maintain a reservoir of fresh water in an area close to 6,000 m2. In addition to serving as a reusable source for road watering tasks within the port and dust control in the surrounding atmosphere, the reservoir has become a preserve for flora and fauna for the area where diverse populations of phyto and zooplankton, benthos, algae, amphibians, reptiles and fish live together. Many of these species are bio-indicator organisms of the quality of water stored there. The water for the reservoir comes mainly from authorized natural sources like the Toribio River and underground wells.

The surroundings of our reservoir are protected by plant formations with species such as the dividivi, campano, siempre viva, and uvito, among others. These plant formations were planted by Drummond and intentionally planned to favor establishment of faunal communities. Our site has recorded seven species of amphibians, 11 species of reptiles (mainly iguana, pasarroyo, lagarto lobo, and babilla), and 50 species of birds (10 of which are directly related to the aquatic environment and are diverse species of herons).

One of our highest priorities in Puerto Drummond is the maintenance of the water quality of the region. Since the beginning of our operations, Drummond has established conditions that do not interfere with traditional fishing. We have implemented procedures to protect the safe passage of vessels in the vicinity of our coal loading dock structures.

 
Monitoring Underground Water Levels
In order to monitor the hydraulic status of aquifers, a monitoring network of piezometric levels has been set up around Drummond mining projects. Water levels are constantly measured to identify possible impacts on underground water resources. The network consists of 44 piezometers located around the perimeter of our projects in order to identify changes in levels that could be associated with these projects.  The piezometers are equipped with automatic sensors that permanently record information on levels.

Monitoring of River Flows (Monitoring of Surface Water)
Surface water monitoring obtains information about hydrological processes that occur in channels adjacent to the mining zone. Through this monitoring system, we are able to estimate the amount of water that passes through each section. This allows us to track the water flow’s behavior in different climatic periods in different channels.  By estimating the status and the dynamics of the river basins, we can be more precise in our management planning for the basin and the design of hydraulic works. Flow measurements are made using limnimetric stations installed in a control section of a river or stream. The stations consist of automatic sensors that measure and collect water levels reached by each river in a given time period.

Monitoring Water Volumes in Sedimentation Pools
Sediment pool monitoring is performed in order to estimate the volume of water handled by pools and flows that reach natural bodies of water.  To minimize the quantity of water required from natural channels and to maximize efficiency, treatment systems allow recirculation and reuse in industrial processes. In addition, our sprayer systems have been optimized to avoid loss with the renovation of pipes and accessories throughout the entire water conduction network. Water meters have been installed in various areas of operation. Water-saving valves have been installed in restrooms. Awareness campaigns teach employees about the importance of conservation and efficient water use.

Beach Management
To check the status of beaches near our port, Drummond Ltd., in association with Invemar, conducts an annual specialized study of the constituent sands. Periodic checks at various stations are also performed on seawater quality to ensure its good physiochemical and biological condition. Rigorous environmental and safety controls are put into effect when loading in the sea to avoid any contamination.