The Kalgoorlie mine, commonly referred to as “the Super Pit,” has produced more than 50 million ounces of gold in 30 years. The mine is managed by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines (KCGM) on behalf of Newmont Goldcorp and its joint venture partner Barrick Gold Australia.
KCGM brings together 100 years of mining history in the middle of The Golden Mile, once reputed to be the richest square mile on earth. When fully developed, the Super Pit will be 3.6 kilometers long, 1.6 kilometers wide and up to 650 meters deep. In 2012, KCGM was Australia’s second largest gold producer.
Our environmental stewardship programs strive to minimize our environmental footprint throughout the mine life from exploration, through construction, mining and closure and reclamation.
We track our environmental performance through monitoring programs, and the results are independently verified and reported to the government. In particular, we have programs in place that monitor carbon emissions and energy efficiency.
In 2012, KCGM conducted studies on the operation’s water, cyanide and energy management.
Mercury Emissions Reduction Project
A 39 percent reduction in normal operational mercury emissions was achieved at KCGM in 2012. Further reductions are planned with the goal to delete all mercury air emissions from the Gidji Roaster and the Fimiston carbon kiln through the use of an Ultra Fine Grind process which eleminate all emissions. Our aim is to commission the Ultra Fine Grind process in 2015.
Noise and Dust Abatement
Newmont Goldcorp acknowledges that activities such as blasting and machinery movement can generate noise and dust that affect nearby residents. At Kalgoorlie, we’ve taken measures to reduce and avoid these disturbances, including using smaller explosive charges during blasting, taking climatic conditions under consideration before blasting, and constructing noise bunds.
In addition, we’ve put detailed monitoring programs in place to measure compliance with legislation and to allow our personnel to better understand the impact of noise on local residents. Fixed, real-time monitoring sites have been established around operations and at set locations in residential areas and mobile units to monitor emissions at specific locations and times.
Our Australian sites continually explore opportunities to reduce the consumption of electricity, diesel and other fuels in order to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and operating costs.
Our primary energy source is diesel, followed by grid electricity. These energy sources power the majority of our vehicles, facilities and infrastructure.
Accounting and Reporting
We measure, report and verify energy consumption and GHG emissions. We have publicly reported our Asia Pacific carbon footprint and energy consumption since 1998 and take part in the Carbon Disclosure Project and SCP.
In 2009, Newmont Goldcorp began a forestry carbon offset project, planting a total of 800,000 mallee tree seedlings in New South Wales and Western Australia. The trees are expected to capture about 300,000 tonnes of carbon over a 30-50 year period and thereby support the Clean Energy Act. The trees also improve the salinity of the soils and increase biodiversity in the area. The trees are a part of the Carbon Farming Initiative, launched by the Australian government in 2011.