Governance

Material topic

Compliance

Compliance in the mining sector represents a significant risk to our business. We are continually focused on achieving positive and compliant performance outcomes.

What do we mean by governance?

Governance is ensuring we have the policies, procedures, systems and suitably trained employees in place to achieve industry good practice in managing workplace health and safety, and the environmental and socio-economic impacts of our mining, processing and transport operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions have imposed a particular duty of care on us. Under the banner of Health, Safety, Environment and Community all of our people have been responsible for implementing our COVID-19 protocols and procedures.

Environmental compliance and governance

Our corporate environmental governance is based on current international standards for environmental management. For example, we follow the principles under the International Council on Mining & Metals (2019) Integrated Mine Closure: Good Practice Guideline for all of our mine site closure plans.

In mine stages from exploration, development and mining to closure and after-care, we focus on meeting or surpassing environmental regulatory requirements to manage:

  • water quality and water use;
  • energy use;
  • air emissions;
  • waste;
  • land reclamation and post-mining land use; and
  • biodiversity including offset projects.

Effective complaint handling

Our reputation for honesty and integrity is important for the success of our business. We aim for our business practices to be compatible with, and sensitive to, the economic and social priorities of each location and community in which we live and operate.

We have revised and trained the workforce on our whistle-blower policy and established a whistle-blower hotline, in partnership with EAP Services (an independent service provider). This hotline, directly overseen by our Audit and Risk Committee, enables employees to confidentially and anonymously report either by telephone or electronically any concerns or misconduct in any aspect of our business.

Internal and external complaints on environmental issues are recorded via complaints registers maintained at all sites. Environmental and community complaints are investigated via our internal incident investigation system and are only closed off by senior management when resolved.

Environmental management systems (“EMS”)

An accredited, external international environmental management consultant firm IEMA has documented improvement actions to our EMS and discussed these in training workshops with our site personnel.

In FY21, we have committed to improving our EMS by:

  • An audit of mine closure costs, schedule and tasks will be undertaken by a mine closure expert at all sites.
  • Preparation of biodiversity action plans for all of our sites.
  • Review, update and implement Site EnvironmentalManagement Plans.
  • Review of site operational and closure risk assessments, and to prepare and implement a schedule for environmental risk reduction/minimisation.

Material topic

Mine closure standard

We aim to manage closure focusing on supporting the economic and social transition after mining ends, establishing a self-sustaining ecosystem and opportunities for a range of potential post-mining land uses.

We are implementing an internally developed Decommissioning and Mine Closure Management Standard, which draws on international experts. This has been tested at our largest and most complex site, the Stockton mine.

Material topic

Emergency preparedness management

We maintain emergency management plans to identify the potential for emergency situations and we regularly test our capability to respond.

COVID-19 is a reminder that there is always a risk of an adverse event occurring. Hence, we have crisis management plans in place to minimise the impacts that a significant event could have on the public, our employees and the environment.

This is integrated with our site emergency response plans, which are maintained and regularly tested at our mine sites. This year, major incident response exercises in collaboration with emergency services were undertaken at the Canterbury, Takitimu and Stockton mines.