Our First Responsibility

Our first responsibility is to ensure that our operations do no harm to Tyrone’s unique environment. We are subject to the most stringent and rigorous regulatory standards and scrutinized with frequent inspections. That’s how it should be. Here are the measures that we’ve taken to protect our environment. Also read our environmental FAQ.

100% Carbon Neutral from Day One
by employing a range of measures to minimize emissions and then using high quality internationally certified carbon off-setting projects to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
Environmentally Friendly Choices
using renewable power, electric vehicles, conveyor belts and biodiesel
No cyanide or smelting will be used
simplified processing to yield a partially-refined product
Protecting Water - Lowering Demand by 30%
our water will be sourced and recycled on-site and treated before we release it
Approximately 25% Decrease in Fuel Consumption
by using electric vehicles and conveyors
World Class Standards
We will meet or exceed Northern Ireland's stringent environmental regulations – monitoring by government regulators will be ongoing
Picture of a lake surrounded by trees

A clear commitment to clean water

We are careful stewards of local plant and animal life. We’ve already invested in a programme to protect the Owenkillew River, home to an endangered species of freshwater pearl mussel. We’re working with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Owenkillew Development Association to protect this special animal.

Our work is raising awareness of the freshwater pearl mussel, installing fencing to reduce sheep and cattle crossings through the river, and building measures to minimise silt build-up in the Owenkillew River and its tributaries. Read more about the Freshwater Pearl Mussel.

All mine and process water will be treated at our purpose-built waste water treatment plant, before it leaves our site. Read more about our commitment to clean water.

Picture of a two cows in pasture

Working to a new standard

We submitted our Planning Application to build an underground mine to the Dfi in November 2017, and it included a comprehensive Environmental Statement. We conducted an extensive environmental assessment to prepare this document. It considered all aspects of environmental protection – the landscape and its appearance, water, air quality, public health and noise, among much else.

We will monitor our impact on all of these measures. The mine is designed to limit the disruption to its surroundings. We will use dry stack tailings (“DST”), instead of a tailings dam or pond. DST is widely recognized as the most stable, sustainable method for managing mine tailings and allows rehabilitation to take place during operations. Read more about dry stack tailings, as it relates to building a safe and environmentally responsible mine.

Picture of a tree

Now & forever

Our Planning Application includes a Closure Plan. It sets out how the underground mine will be secured, the support buildings removed, and tree planting completed when our mining operations have finished. We have provided a financial guarantee to cover the costs of closing the mine.

The water treatment facility will continue to operate after closure. The authorities will assess that we have met stringent water standards, at which point the facility will be removed and replaced with a less intrusive system. This passive water treatment facility uses natural processes to ensure that any run off from the site is safe for the environment. We will continue to monitor the water quality for at least five years. Read more about our plans for rehabilitating the site.

The physical legacy of the mine will be a green hillside, covered with local grasses, bushes and trees. That is our vision and our promise.

Learn more about the expected environmental impacts of the mine, our monitoring regime, and our mitigation measures in our full Planning Application.

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Net zero carbon neutral

We have achieved Carbon Neutral status. This is an important milestone toward realising our commitment to building and operating a carbon neutral (net zero carbon) mine, the first in Europe. We completed an assessment of our carbon footprint for 2019 that has been independently verified. We have achieved carbon neutrality to PAS 2060 standards for 2019 by developing a carbon management plan and offsetting all carbon emissions by supporting a water purification programme in rural Cambodia. We are working with Carbon Footprint Ltd, a leading sustainability & climate change solutions provider. An extensive assessment of our greenhouse gas emissions was completed and Carbon Footprint Ltd has verified the assessment following the exacting standards of ISO 14064-3, an international standard for businesses and other organizations to quantify, monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions. By doing this we have achieved the status of Carbon Footprint Standard - Assessed for 2019.

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