Reducing the negative impact on the environment, rational use of mineral resources and protection of the environment are the priority objectives in the Company's activities.
Sustainability, safety, and responsibility are crucial for implementing new projects, modernization and technical upgrade of production units by ALROSA.
ALROSA is ranked among top three leaders of the first environmental responsibility rating of Russian mining companies for the period of 2016–2017 prepared by the national rating agency at the initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the UNDP/GEF/EU project of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia.
The priority tasks of the Company’s environmental policy are the following:
- minimization of the adverse environmental impact in all areas of environmental activities
- comprehensive and rational use of mineral resources
- risk management
- compliance with the requirements of the Russian and international legislation in the field of environmental protection
- developing an environment management system, improving the awareness of the parties concerned and culture of employees in the environment protection area
- developing and implementing comprehensive programs for improving the environment in the regions of the Company’s operations.
The annual investments in environmental measures are the contribution into the sustainable development and creation of a platform for the environmental well-being of future generations. In 2016 ALROSA allocated the amount of RUB 5,506 mm for environmental protection.
Within the scope of implementing of a Long-term Development Program of ALROSA for 2012–2021, the following priorities of the Company’s environmental activities are:
- development of projects and construction of sites for the accumulation and storage of industrial and consumption waste in accordance with the environmental requirements in all subdivisions of the Company;
- selection and implementation of technologies for recycling and disposal of industrial and consumption waste;
- further large-scale implementation of schemes for dry stacking of concentration tailings
Water protection activity
In 2016 ALROSA signed an agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources and the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on collaboration in organizing and implementing the environmental measures associated with the Year of Ecology in 2017 in the Russian Federation.
Within the scope of this agreement, the Company is planning to invest RUB 71.6 mn in the construction and reconstruction of water protection deposits in the main region of activity.
The key areas of activities of ALROSA structural divisions aimed at reducing impact on water bodies are the following:
- reduction of raw water intake for production purposes due to water reuse systems applied by processing plants and organization of dredge operations in closed foundation pits;
- control of leakages from public and industrial water supply pipes and heating pipes and elimination of the leakages.
Measures to protect water bodies:
- saltwater injection (associated water from open pit mines and underground mines) to the underground water-bearing horizon;
- water object monitoring, control of natural and sewage water quality.
In 2016, the Company approved the Energy Efficiency Improvement Program of PJSC ALROSA for the period of 2016–2019. A series of measures within the scope of the Program will make it possible to achieve considerable reduction of fuel and energy resource consumption and the expected economic effect.
Currently ALROSA is one of the few companies in Russia that started to transfer transport and production machines from gasoline fuel to natural gas (methane). Since 2015, ALROSA has been implementing an innovative project on transition of machines that are used at northern production sites to engine fuel.
The first stage of the project has been already started and it includes construction of the production and sales infrastructure, measures are being taken for the transition of transport to compressed natural gas. At production sites of Mirny and Aikhal, automobile gas-filling compressor plants have been put into operation making it possible to fuel more than 1,000 vehicles.
Some transport (234 items) is already fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), which has a positive effect on the atmospheric air indicators in the region of the main production activities of the Company.
Protection of reindeers
Within the framework of the project on development of Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit ALROSA participates in the activities aimed at preservation of the traditional lifestyle of the small-numbered indigenous peoples of the North and maintenance of biodiversity of local ecosystems. These activities include implementation of the environmental program for the protection of reindeer population.
The area of construction of an access road to Verkhne-Munskoe diamond deposit is located within the habitat territory of the Lena-Olenek herd of wild reindeer. For the purpose of ensuring the optimal migration of the animals from one pasture to another as well as maintaining the smooth process of mining the deposit ALROSA carries out activities on introduction of special radio collars for reindeer.
For implementation of this environmental program there were performed, for the first time, critical studies on reindeer population and migration. Environmentalists clarified the timing of spring and autumn migration of wild reindeer in the area of the road to Verkhne-Munskoe deposit. The exact number of reindeer migrating in area was established. Also the main points of reindeer mass crossing the road were determined and tied to GPS coordinates. It is necessary to create crossings with more gentle slopes and minimize the possibility of collision between animals and people
Until recently, there were no specifically protected territories within the scope of the Company’s direct activities, as well as in the areas that might be affected. At the present moment, relatively near to the Company’s structural subdivisions, there is a Yakutia Diamonds Live natural park created as a result of an agreement with the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
The Yakutia Diamonds Live is the main project in the area of measures aimed at preservation of the biological diversity in the region of main activities of the company.
In 2016, within the scope of the Comprehensive Environmental Protection Program of PJSC ALROSA for 2011–2018, the Company provided financial assistance for preservation of biological diversity amounting to RUB 6.3 mn, including RUB 3.7 mn for operation of the Yakutia Diamonds Live natural park and RUB 2.6 mn for reservoir fish stocking.