June 6, 2016
Operating Responsibly from the Start: Environmental Baseline Monitoring at Tocantinzinho
As we advance permitting at our Tocantinzinho project in Brazil, we are conducting baseline assessments on the water, soil, air, archaeological, flora and fauna conditions of the project area. We are also complying with 60 conditions of environmental monitoring, as set out in our environmental licences, and are reporting the results to the relevant local, state and national environmental agencies. For example, we monitor surface and groundwater to analyze 19 physiochemical parameters, and we present this data in a monthly environmental monitoring report to the environmental agencies of the state....
June 6, 2016
Actively Managing our Tailings
Tailings management is a core activity at our operations and is embedded in our daily monitoring and management practices. We manage our tailings facilities consistent with robust government regulations, accepted international standards and best practices. Our tailings facilities are all site-specific and have been carefully designed and constructed by specialized engineering consulting firms, in-line with regulations, in order to minimize environmental risks. At each of our facilities we have: Conducted extensive studies to locate the facility away from sensitive environmental areas such as lakes, streams, wetlands and key biodiversity zones Designed the extraction process so that tailings contain as few impurities as possible and are environmentally stable Constructed the facilities to be able to withstand extreme weather and seismic events Installed upstream and downstream monitoring facilities to measure water quality We also have comprehensive tailings management systems in place...
June 6, 2016
Implementing MAC’s Towards Sustainable Mining Framework
In 2015, we advanced our implementation of the Mining Association of Canada’s (MAC) Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) framework . We conducted gap assessments against the management system requirements in each of the six protocols . We found that our sites’ existing practices already reflected many of the guidelines suggested by the TSM framework, particularly in the areas of Safety and Health and Community Outreach. For Crisis Management and Tailings Management, while our existing practices and maintenance were deemed robust, we identified opportunities to further improve our alignment with these TSM protocols and have taken action on these opportunities. Our development projects are also incorporating the TSM protocols into their management programs....
August 5, 2015
Keeping our Promises and Earning Our Welcome near Kişladağ
Historically, the area near Kişladağ was not a mining region. Local communities were unfamiliar with mining and the industry was viewed with skepticism. We recognized this as an opportunity to educate people about how mining has evolved in general and about Eldorado’s track record and approach in particular. In keeping with Turkish culture, we met with community members in local tea houses, answering their questions about the project and learning about the area and its needs, in an effort to identify areas where Eldorado could make a positive contribution to the community. We heard that the surrounding villages lacked clean water and adequate sewage systems, so we took action to address these needs during the exploration phase. Over time, through open dialogue and by keeping our commitments, Eldorado established a credibility that has made us welcome neighbors and valued partners in the region....
August 4, 2015
Building Trust through Mine Tours in Halkidiki
We believe that an important characteristic of being a good neighbour is being open and transparent. That’s why we started a series of tours of our Halkidiki operations in Greece. Initially, most of the visitors were retired miners, who wanted to see how the mining industry had advanced, and local women who had never been to the mines. However, the program was so successful that, by the end of 2014, we had welcomed around 4,000 people from all over Greece. Visitors were able to observe our mining operations first-hand, learn about our environmental commitments, and talk with Company managers about issues of interest to them....
August 2, 2015
The Agricultural Development Cooperative and Vineyard Project
Many vineyards surround our Efemçukuru mine in Turkey. These are locally owned and produce Alphonse black table grapes. To help market this famous grape, Eldorado supported the founding of the Efemçukuru Agricultural Development Cooperative. The co-op represents over 170 registered members who produce approximately 2,000 tonnes of grapes annually. With the support of the co-op, members have negotiated better prices for their grapes with merchants and organized grape festivals to coincide with the vintage season and further promote their product. Our Efemçukuru mine has its own vineyard and olive grove that employs approximately 30 locals to manage over 20 hectares of grapes and 16 hectares of olive trees. In addition to table grapes, the vineyard produces both red and white wine. In 2014, 15 tonnes of cabernet and merlot grapes, which were planted in 2008-2009, were harvested. We produced over 120 tonnes of olives in 2014....
August 1, 2015
Building Agricultural Capacity in Greece
In response to interest from communities near our Halkidiki assets in Greece, Eldorado organized a trip to Kostantinidis Nursery, a leading plant nursery in Serres, northern Greece. Community members learnt about crops they could grow to diversify their current agricultural base and improve their income. Established in 1952, Kostantinidis Nursery is actively engaged in growing 'superfood' plants and trees such as goji-berries, blackberries and elderflower....
July 31, 2015
Supporting Local Suppliers in Turkey
At all of Eldorado’s operations, our priority is to work with local suppliers wherever possible. The purchasing departments at our Kisladag and Efemçukuru mine sites in Turkey use local contractors for transport and various construction and earthworks activities. At Efemçukuru, there are now five local companies that employ just over 100 villagers in total and provide services such as: Transportation to/from the site Transportation of goods around the site Welding services Maintenance work on trucks and loaders Electrical services One such company is the Kizildaglilar Nakliyat Transport Service. Established in 2010 by 25 local community members, they initially operated a single tank truck that was contracted to dampen the mine access road at Efemçukuru. Today, the firm has just under 50 employees and a fleet of 20 vehicles. In addition to site services, they also provide transport for Eldorado employees and visitors to and from site, and transfers for local high school and junior high...
July 29, 2015
Creating Educational Opportunities in Turkey
We believe in the power of education to transform lives. Through discussions with community partners near our Efemcukuru mine in Turkey, we realized that we could make a tangible difference by investing in education. Our commitment has included improving educational buildings, providing uniforms, school supplies and school services, and supporting nursery school classes. Over the period 2006 to 2014, the number of students attending high school from the communities near Efemcukuru increased tenfold, from 3 to 44. Six students are now attending university and some are employed at the mine. In 2014, we completed two major projects supporting education near our Kisladag communities. We completed a 42 classroom building for Usak University that can accommodate 4,000 students and a 16 classroom primary school that can accommodate 480 students. Both projects increase educational opportunities through increased enrollment....
July 27, 2015
Improving Quality of Life: Investing in Infrastructure and Agriculture around Kisladag
There are 18 communities within a 10 kilometre radius of our Kisladag mine in Turkey. Over 80% of our employees live in these communities. From 2005, when we began constructing the mine, to 2014, we have invested more than US $19 million in community development projects. We built a water pipeline to supply potable water to nearby villages, a sewage system, invested in a village wedding hall, upgraded roads and funded construction of a primary school and new university building. Our support of local agricultural initiatives has resulted in crop production increases between 90 and 350 percent. Cattle numbers have increased as have the number of beehives – which increased by 150% between 2006 and 2011. >...
July 26, 2015
Improving Social Inclusion: Athletes of the Future Program at Vila Nova
In partnership with SESI Amapa, Eldorado developed the Athletes of the Future Program that helps 130 children from villages near our Vila Nova mine. Open to all, its aim is to help children develop life skills through sport. Values taught include appreciating diversity, working together in teams and problem solving. Children are provided with snacks and uniforms....
July 25, 2015
Independent Monitoring Committees in Turkey and Greece
As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we helped establish Independent Environmental Committees at Kisladag, Efemcukuru in Turkey and at Stratoni in Greece. These groups include academics, scientists, NGOs and representatives from the local authorities. Committee members collect environmental data from our sites and submit it to third-party laboratories for testing, to ensure independence and accuracy. This approach has helped us develop our credibility by providing our stakeholders with trusted third-party information. To further promote transparency, we are currently developing an online database where all of the environmental data from Stratoni, Skouries and Olympias will be publicly available....
July 24, 2015
Improving Energy Efficiency at Kisladag
To improve energy efficiency on site, Kisladag is gradually upgrading its fleet of mining equipment to use electric power. We began using electric shovels at Kisladag in December 2013 and increased their use throughout 2014. The shift in equipment has resulted in a decrease in our diesel fuel costs and an increase in energy efficiency. In 2013, 3% of total loading was done using electric shovels, requiring 1.4% less energy per tonne of rock loaded than in 2012. In 2014, electric loading increased to 28% of total rock, resulting in a 26% decrease in loading energy consumption per tonne of rock moved. As Kisladag continues to add more efficient electric mining equipment, we expect to see further decreases in our unit consumption of energy....
July 23, 2015
Rehabilitation of the Olympias Valley in Greece
At our Olympias site, we are overseeing one of the largest environmental rehabilitation projects in Greece. The old Olympias tailings management facility, constructed in 1976 for a previous mining project, is located about 2 kilometres from the Olympias village. The facility was closed in 1995, leaving behind 2.4 million tonnes of tailings. We are removing the old tailings and reprocessing them, as well as restoring soil to the area so that it can support vegetation. As part of this project, we are doing tests with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to identify which native plants are best suited to the area. We are growing these native species in our nursery, one of the largest in northern Greece, and will then plant them at the site. When the project is complete, an area equivalent to the size of about 35 soccer fields in the Olympias valley will be returned to a greenfield state....
July 22, 2015
Implementing Best Practice in Safe Cyanide Use
Our operations that use cyanide have adopted the International Cyanide Management Code (ICMC), a voluntary initiative that outlines best practices for safe handling of cyanide before, during and after the gold recovery process. Our Kisladag mine in Turkey became ICMC certified in 2013. In early 2015, our Jinfeng mine became the first gold mine in China to become ICMC certified . Our White Mountain and Tanjianshan mines in China are currently working to meet code requirements. We take the following protective measures at our sites that use cyanide: Providing employees with extensive training in safe-handling procedures Providing personal protective equipment and making its use mandatory in all areas where cyanide is present Designing cyanide handling systems to minimize contact as much as possible Covering ponds containing cyanide with plastic balls to deter birds Installing air quality sensors in and near locations using cyanide...
July 21, 2015
Improving Driver Safety in Turkey
Recognising that risk for accident was high due to extensive use, we recently reviewed our light vehicle management system. Since the review, we have decreased our light vehicle use in Turkey by over half, held additional safety training for drivers and installed tracking systems to manage compliance with traffic safety rules. This resulted in significantly improved driver safety compliance and awareness....
July 19, 2015
Reducing our Water Requirements at Kisladag
With water being a vital resource, we are committed to recycling as much water as possible at our sites. Completed in 2013, the Kisladag water treatment plant treats up to 5,000 m3/day of surface water from the rock dump and groundwater from the open pit. Designed as a closed-loop system, water is recycled and recirculated as part of the mine’s industrial water requirements. In 2014, we began using the treated water in the processing phase, reducing the need to collect fresh water from wells. As much water as possible is recycled in the process, and in the dry season the additional water is used in water trucks to suppress dust at the site. Excess treated water is discharged as a final option....
July 18, 2015
Protecting Biodiversity in Brazil
We operated the Sao Bento Mine in Brazil for 11 years until we closed the mine in early 2007. While operating the mine, we created a 180 hectare environmental preservation area to safeguard and enhance habitat for flora and fauna. The environmental preservation area included an education centre to share information about the local plant and bird species. More than 50,000 students visited the site, which was awarded Brazil’s Environmental Preservation Award in 2004....