Biodiversity and Land Reclamation

In the mining industry, there are many issues surrounding land use, including the need to preserve biodiversity, to conserve land and reclaim it as mining proceeds—and the requirement to plan for land reclamation after the mine closes.

At SSR, we recognize the role we can play in meeting these challenges. We seek to minimize our biodiversity impacts through a variety of mechanisms, beginning with land use planning in the project design and evaluation phases. For every major project we conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment and develop a corresponding management plan. The plans include site-specific mitigation measures for impacts on land, flora, and fauna, within the applicable environmental requirements.

We conduct comprehensive baseline assessments of flora and fauna, including gathering information on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

In 2019, we reviewed the MAC Biodiversity Conservation Management Protocol, a widely-recognized tool for managing biodiversity in mining operations. We integrated an enterprise-level biodiversity standard into our overall Environmental and Community Relations Management System.

Biodiversity at Our Operations

The Seabee Gold Operation and Marigold Mine are not located within or adjacent to protected areas, or areas of high biodiversity value (as defined by national biodiversity strategies).

In the Jujuy province of Northern Argentina, the Chinchillas mine occupies a 0.76 km2 footprint, approximately 25 km from the Laguna de Los Pozuelos, a UNESCO-designated protected biosphere reserve. The Laguna de los Pozuelos is a wetland, designated of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. The reserve is a habitat for a variety of wildlife, including waterfowl and vicuñas.

The Puna Operations maintain comprehensive environmental monitoring to ensure that we do not affect the reserve, and our monitoring data indicate that our operations have no impact, including impacts on water quality or quantity. The Environmental Impact Assessment for the Chinchilla mine, which was given full government approval in 2017, indicated that the ongoing operations will not negatively impact the reserve. We also obtained agreement from the six communities located near the mine to establish the Community Development Fund.

Land Disturbed and Rehabilitated, 2019

  All operations
Total land disturbed and not rehabilitated at the beginning of 2019 5086 ha
Total land disturbed in 2019 561ha
Total land rehabilitated in 2019 1.9 ha
Total land disturbed and not rehabilitated at the end of 2019 5,645.10