PROTECTING WATER SUPPLY
With approximately 24% of our production from operations in water-stressed regions (Chile and Mauritania), Kinross is acutely aware of the value of water. To avoid competing with domestic and agricultural users, our operations in these regions rely on water that is either non-potable and/or is from isolated water basins having no agriculture or domestic users. In addition, we reduce consumption of water by recycling, such as the dry-stack tailings at La Coipa.
Water usage is monitored at each operation, and opportunities for conservation are routinely evaluated as part of our continuous improvement efforts. In 2010, following a comprehensive audit at Maricunga, we initiated efforts to improve flow monitoring, tank repair and pipe replacement. These measures are expected to improve water management at the mine.
Prior to mine development, our water footprint is assessed and steps taken to ensure that impacts on water supply are minimized. This includes both minimizing our footprint where possible by diverting water unaffected by mining around our operations, as well as implementing systems to recycle water used in processing. All of our milling and heap leach process operations are designed to re-circulate water. In high precipitation areas, excess water is treated to ensure that all water quality standards are met prior to being discharged.
Water usage is monitored at each operation, and opportunities for conservation are routinely evaluated as part of our continuous improvement efforts.