CAP environmental management seeks to prevent and mitigate the environmental impacts arising from its operations and projects, develop models for the efficient use of water and energy and ensure that legislation is complied with.
In 2015, the CAP Group put in place an Environmental Policy requiring all company operations to identify, assess and control, through preventive and corrective programs, those environmental aspects that might trigger adverse consequences for the environment.
Consistent with this internal framework, all company businesses must also reduce waste generation, look for reuse or recycling alternatives and ensure such waste is safely disposed of while promoting an environmentally-friendly attitude among their internal and external collaborators and implementing environmental programs that deeply respect the cultural heritage of the communities where they operate.
CONTEXT AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT OF OPERATIONS
The company owns 7 mineral deposits, 2 processing plants and 4 port facilities in the regions of Atacama, Coquimbo and Magallanes.
The pellet plant operates in a PM10-latent zone. In 2017, this plant subscribed the Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for Huasco (APDPH) and neighboring areas.
Huachipato steelworks has operated, since 1950, in one of Talcahuano’s industrial districts where, for some years now, the authority has permitted the construction of a number of housing complexes.
In 2015, this area was declared as PM2.5-saturated zone and, in 2018, it might be eligible to be included in the Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for the commune of Metropolitan Concepcion, approved by the end of 20017 by the Council of Ministers for Sustainability.
It should be pointed out that 45 ha of company-protected wetlands sit inside CAP Acero premises.
Cintac (in Chile), Tupemesa (in Peru) and TASA (in Argentina) plants operate in urban industrial districts.
The main environmental concern entertained by these companies has to do with the air quality existing in the operation areas in Chile, declared as saturated and liable to be affected by the Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for the Metropolitan Region.
This unit includes a desalination plant, a power transmission line and port facilities, all located in the Atacama region.
Considering the characteristics of its activities, this unit contributes energy and mitigates the water shortage prevailing in the area.
In later years, and in order to move further into the completion of a comprehensive environmental work model and thus ensure compliance of their environment-related commitments and goals, CAP Minería, CAP Acero and Processing have certified their operations under the ISO 14.001 environmental system. By the end of 2017, this certification covered 100% of Processing and CAP Acero processes and 68% of CAP Minería1 work sites.
1 In the case of Processing, only Cintac is certified. As for CAP Minería, El Romeral mine, Guayacán port, the pellet plant, Los Colorados mine, the Magnetita plant and Punta Totoralillo port are certified. The Cerro Negro Norte mine certification process is still underway.
The CAP Group affiliates are permanently being subject to internal and external environmental audits with the purpose of complying with all the requirements posed by these management systems and thus ensure its detection, control and mitigation procedures are working properly.
In 2017, and in this same context, CAP Acero worked on different initiatives intended to ensure ISO 14001 2015 recertification in January 2018.
CAP Minería, on the other hand, continued to conduct weekly and monthly environmental inspections, during this period, aimed to maintain operational control of work-site environmental aspects. Thus, different operation areas were visited while the conclusions drawn were submitted in environmental inspection reports to each site’s responsible party.
CAP Group includes clean technologies and protection criteria from the very design stage of all its new businesses and projects.
Thus, all operations launched by the company in the past years have been characterized by the inclusion of state-of-the-art processes, equipment and systems in environmental protection.
Among these, Cerro Negro Norte deposit can be found as the first, large-scale iron ore mine site in Chile to use 100% desalinated seawater and to pioneer the introduction of cutting-edge paste tailings disposal technologies designed to process iron ore concentrate rejects, capable of recovering larger volumes of water, improving seismic stability and reducing erosion-caused pollution due to rainwater and wind, among other advantages.
With respect to projects under development, the Cruz Grande port represents a project the company is pursuing to build at La Higuera commune, Coquimbo region. It will consist of a mining port terminal large enough to handle bulk carriers of up to 300,000 DWT and its Environmental Impact Assessment was approved in 2015.
These facilities, located near the old El Tofo deposit operated by CAP until 1974, whose contiguous communities have maintained historical relationships with the company for nearly six decades, were designed from the very beginning with all the necessary protections to minimize any possible environmental or social adverse externality.
Over the past decade, in keeping with the increasing global concern over environmental protection, Chile has systematically bolstered its environmental legislation as well the regulatory framework ruling these issues. Thus, the requirements the company must comply with in the development of its activities have grown increasingly challenging.
In 2017, all company operations incorporated to their duties new local regulatory environmental requirements and action plans. Among which are:
- Coming in force of DS 43 (“Storage requirements for hazardous substances”) and Resolution 9294, banning the operation of stationary sources during states of environmental emergency and pre-emergency.
- Modification of the Environmental Impact Assessment System Regulations (DS40), approved by the Council of Ministers for Sustainability.
- New methodology basis in the application of environmental non-compliance sanctions by the SMA.
- Exempt Resolution 483, Law 20.920 on Extended Producer Responsibility through which priority product manufacturers are required to provide information.
- Decree 31 establishing the Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for the metropolitan region of Santiago.
Additionally, there is also the extra work companies must carry out to fulfill the provisions contained in the new Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for Huasco (APDPH) and the Air Prevention and Decontamination Plan for the metropolitan area of Concepcion, recently approved by the authority. In this sense, mention should be made of the outstanding work performed by the different CAP companies in 2017:
CAP Acero: As a result of the work developed to comply with DS 43, it was granted a sanitary permit for its gas storage warehouse while it also submitted an adjustment plan for the facilities pending construction. As for reportability, it presented reports on DS 138, Dasuspel, Sinader, registration of boilers and turbines, for payment of green taxes and environmental protection expenditures.
CAP Minería: After the respective enforcement visits, Los Colorados mine, Punta Totoralillo port, Magnetita plant and Cerro Negro Norte were granted sanitary resolutions authorizing the storage of hazardous substances. On the other hand, and while awaiting for the EPR law regulations to be enacted, the company, together with the regional authority, organized seminars and lectures intended to analyze the pertinence of the norm in the mining industry. Likewise, the company met some competent entities to clarify compliance aspects by CAP Minería operations under this law. Additionally, all operations provided technical briefings on waste management where some aspects of the norm were included, and workers were sensitized on priority products management. In this connection, CAP Minería entered an agreement with Chilenter for the recycling of e-waste.
Cintac y TASA: In 2017, Cintac worked on fitting out the hazardous substance warehouse while, in 2017, TASA completed all the mandatory controls, such as gas emissions (Law 5965 – Reg. Dec. 3395/96), those required by Argentinean water authorities (ADA) for the analysis of well water, water withdrawal and monitoring wells (phreatic, pursuant to Res 333/17) as well as those pursuant to Law 11720 on special waste.
One of the activities CAP Corporate Environmental Compliance System is focused on is the monitoring of the nearly 50 Environmental Qualification Resolutions issued to the company and the over 5,000 obligations contained in these operation permits.
At CAP Minería, where 66% of these EQR is concentrated, in 2017 the work was mainly placed on performing permanent verification audits at work sites by the Permits Unit. This operation continued to work on the implementation of the SAP – EHSM system, an online platform equipped with a reportability and incident management module for safety and environmental topics. This tool helps reinforce the identification of environmental incidents and improve their investigation and subsequent preventive management.
Thus, CAP Acero keeps constant track of its EQR. It should be pointed out that an enforcement action conducted in September 2013 concluded without sanctioning proceedings.
On the other hand, CAP high corporate management body is permanently monitoring the company’s environmental compliance; specifically, the environmental aspects/variables subject to enforcement operations, by means of the environmental indicators contained in the Quarterly Sustainability Report.
As a result of the above, in 2017, CAP sustained no environmental impact incidents or was fined for environmental violation.
ENVIRONMENTAL FINES AND INCIDENTS
|Nº environmental incidents||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Nº of environmental fines1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|US$ amount for environmental fines||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1 In 2016, the indicator base was modified: only significant fines are included (that is, over US$10,000), according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.|