February 10, 2022
The mining industry and its most important stakeholders created the Towards Sustainable Mining Standard in order to improve sustainability in mining. The self-assessments of the mines applying the standard have now been verified for the first time. The results from the verification create a good foundation for further development of the Kittilä mine’s performance.
The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra established the Network for Sustainable Mining in 2014 to serve as a forum for discussion and cooperation among the mining industry and its stakeholders. One of the objectives was to develop practical tools to improve the sustainability of mining. As a result, the mining industry and its most important stakeholders created the Towards Sustainable Mining Standard, and the self-assessments of the mines applying the standard have now been verified for the first time.
The criteria of the standard is comprised of eight assessment tools that deal with community outreach, tailings and water management, biodiversity management, energy use and GHG emissions, crisis management, health and safety, and mine closure.
Each of the tools are separately assessed using a five-step scale (C, B, A, AA, AAA). The lowest level C meets legal requirements. The highest level, AAA, indicates excellence and pioneering in this particular area.
Self-assessments are performed every year and external verifications take place every three years. The first results from verification were published on January 20, 2022. By that time, self-assessments of five mines had been verified.
The results from the Kittilä mine were verified by DQS Finland Oy on September 20–22, 2021. The verification confirmed and supported the results of our self-assessment. We reached level AA for three (Community Outreach, Health and Safety, Tailings Management) and level A for three areas (Energy use and GHG emissions, Biodiversity Management, Water Management). We met the requirements for Crisis Management both on the company and division level and received level B for Mine Closure Protocol.
The results from verification of the Towards Sustainable Mining Standard are an important indicator for us when we assess our success in building and applying sustainable practices. We have collaborated with the stakeholders in our area on a long-term basis, and the effect of this was also positively reflected in the results.
We also gained good results for water and tailings management, which continue to be an important focus area in the future as well. In addition, we have invested in research on new water treatment technologies in recent years. We want to improve the sustainability of our operations further, for instance, by developing practices for open dialogue and reporting that cover the mine’s entire lifetime.
For more information about the Network for Sustainable Mining, click: https://www.kaivosvastuu.fi/in-english/