Lucara is committed to sustainable development and continuous improvement. This requires us to apply the precautionary principle by conducting environmental and social impact assessments for planned activities, develop appropriate management systems and plans to minimize and monitor the short and long term adverse impacts of our activities on the natural environment. Our Environmental Impact Assessment for operations and construction activities describes mitigation measures to be applied to prevent or reduce significant impacts under the following main themes: biophysical, ecological, land use, socio-economic, public health and safety, occupational health and waste management. Our commitments are set out in our Environmental Policy, which we review every two years and which was last updated in January 2017.
Lucara promotes environmental awareness, expecting all employees, contractors, other parties and visitors to conduct themselves in ways that respect and protect the natural environment, and avoid or mitigate potential adverse impacts through effective and efficient waste management, water use, energy use, biodiversity conservation practices and implementation of our closure plan.
Environmental performance is managed at Karowe by a dedicated Environmental Officer reporting to the Safety, Health, Environment and Community Relations (SHECR) Manager. Significant incidents and performance are reported monthly to Lucara’s senior management, and discussed quarterly during meetings of the Safety, Health, Environment and Community Relations Committee at board level.
During 2017, no major environmental incidents were recorded. Most incidents were ‘insignificant’ (L1, the lowest level under Botswana Chamber of Mines classification), such as small oil spills from machine breakdown or leaks from water or sewage pipes. These were immediately contained and cleaned. We received no fines or monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations during 2017. We experienced no reportable non-compliance incidents.
Key aspects of our environmental policy are summarised as follows:
- Conduct all activities in compliance with our Environmental Management Plan, applicable legislation and other requirements;
- Apply international best practices in the absence of legislation, such as those described in the International Finance Corporation’s performance standards and the Equator Principles;
- Integrate the management of environmental, social, cultural and economic issues into company business practices and planning;
- Wise use of resources, prevention of environmental impacts, including pollution prevention;
- Implement, maintain and improve environmental management systems;
- Communicate openly with government authorities, employees, local communities and the public on our environmental commitments and performance.