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Air Emissions

Barrick’s mining and processing activities have the potential to emit a number of emissions into the air, including particulate matter (dust), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and mercury.

We recognize that such emissions can have an impact on people and the environment, and we work to control and reduce our emissions through facility design and the use of emission controls, including dust suppressant, dust collection systems, and scrubbers.

We also report on releases of our emissions through applicable government 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).

Our Approach

We design facilities and conduct our operations in ways that control and reduce emissions. All Barrick operations manage their air emissions in accordance with local laws, regulations and permit requirements. We also believe in supporting voluntary initiatives to innovate and advance emission controls.

Dust

Dust is the most common air emission at our mine sites. We suppress dust emissions from roads, crushers and conveyor belt systems through the application of water to roads, the operation of water sprays and dust collection systems at point sources, and the application of natural or synthetic dust suppression products where suitable.

 

Sulphur & Nitrogen Oxides

Sulfur and nitrogen oxide (SOx and NOx) emissions are most commonly controlled by the use of filters and scrubbers. Information on SOx and NOx emissions is routinely collected in Canada and the United States and submitted to the national databases identified above. In other jurisdictions, our mines may not routinely collect this data where there are no permit requirements to do so.

 

 

Mercury

At a number of our operations, the ore we process naturally contains mercury that can be released as a vapor during processing. Barrick is actively engaged in closely monitoring and managing mercury emissions, as well as finding ways to reduce them. Depending upon mercury concentration in ore and other risk factors, Barrick employs a variety of controls, including scrubbers and condensation towers, wet gas condensers, and activated carbon filters to trap mercury vapor before it can be discharged to the atmosphere. 

 

 

See Tailings & Waste Management for information on elemental mercury and mercury compounds.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Barrick understands the fundamental link between energy use and climate change, and views 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 our Energy Use and Climate Change page for a full discussion of our approach to energy and climate change.

Ozone Depleting Substances

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 fire extinguishers, some refrigerants and machine shop solvents; therefore, emissions of these substances are minimal.