Barrick’s mining and processing activities have the potential to release a number of emissions into the air, including dust, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and mercury.
As these may have an impact on people and the environment, we work to control emissions and reduce contaminants through smart facility design and the use of a variety of controls, including dust suppression, dust collection systems and scrubbers.
We also report on releases of our emissions through applicable government emission reporting programs, such as Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory and the United States’ Toxic Release Inventory. Barrick also voluntarily reports its greenhouse gas emissions through the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
We design facilities and conduct our operations in ways that control emissions. All Barrick operations have air-control plans and activities in accord with local laws, regulations and permit requirements. We also believe in supporting voluntary initiatives to innovate and advance emissions control rather than waiting for regulatory requirements to drive our actions.
Dust is the most common air emission at mine sites in general. We suppress dust emissions from roads, crushers and conveyor belt systems through the application of water to roads, the operation of mist sprays and dust collection systems at point sources, and the application of natural or synthetic dust suppression products where suitable.
Sulphur and Nitrogen Oxide (SOx and NOx) emissions are most often controlled by the use of filters, scrubbers and other pollution control devices. Information on SOx and NOx emissions is routinely collected in Canada and the United States and submitted to the national databases identified in the table above. In other jurisdictions, our mines may not routinely collect this data where there are no permit requirements to do so.
There are potential environmental and human health risks associated with mercury. As such, Barrick is actively engaged in closely monitoring and managing these emissions, as well as finding ways to reduce them. At a number of operations, the ore we process contains mercury that is released as a vapor during processing. The amount of mercury released can vary over time as the geochemistry of the ore changes. Using a risk-based approach for each operation, we place controls on equipment to trap more than 99% of mercury emissions to air where needed. These controls combine various methods, such as scrubbers and cooling towers, wet gas condensers, and activated carbon filters or beds.
See Tailings & Waste Management for information on elemental mercury and mercury compounds.
Barrick understands the fundamental link between energy use and climate change and sees climate change as a company, community and global concern. We realize that effective energy management, including energy efficiency programs, will result in GHG reductions, so our climate change efforts are also focused on energy management. See here for a full discussion of our approach to Energy and Climate Change.
Barrick operations do not manufacture ozone depleting substances (ODS) or equipment that would use them. We also do not use materials that contain ozone depleting substances, except for fire extinguishers and some refrigerants and machine shop solvents; therefore, emissions of these substances are minimal.
Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.
By providing your e-mail address, you are consenting to receive press releases and other information concerning Barrick Gold Corporation and its affiliates and partners. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation