Waste and Air Emissions
Waste and Air Emissions

Waste and Air Emissions

Reducing waste generated and increasing recycling rates are necessary conditions for sustainable development. Responsible disposal of the waste we generated, communities and our normal operation. A large amount of waste, including tailings, waste rock, and hazardous waste, is generated during the mining, beneficiation, and processing of ore. Improper waste management may result in negative impacts on the environment and the health of surrounding communities, and the scope of impact may exceed expectations and have far-reaching effects.

Targets and Progress

  • By 2030, non-hazardous waste comprehensive utilisation rate will have increased by 5% compared with 2020
  • By 2030, the emission intensity of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by revenue will be reduced by 5% compared with 2020
  • Progress in 2022
  • Progress in the past
  • 14.71%
    Non-hazardous waste comprehensive utilisation rate reached 14.71%, an increase of 13.9 % compared with 2020
    The recycling rate of tailings increased significantly to 23.1%, a year-on-year increase of 4.48%.
    Hazardous waste comprehensive utilisation rate reached 48.41%, an increase of 42.1% over 2021
    0.46 tonne/RMB100 million
    The emission intensity of sulphur dioxide by revenue was 0.46 tonne/RMB100 million, representing a reduction by 41% compared with 2020
    0.297 tonne/RMB100 million
    The emission intensity of nitrogen oxides by revenue was 0.297 tonne/RMB100 million , representing a reduction by d by 34%, respectively compared with 2020

Our Approach

We strictly abide by China's environmental protection laws and regulations, including the “Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste”, the “Pollution Control Standard for General Industrial Solid Waste Storage and Landfill”, the “Pollution Control Standard for Hazardous Waste Storage”, and the relevant national environmental protection laws and regulations where our subsidiaries are located. We adopt the best international practices to manage our waste emissions with further reference made to the IFC's “Environment, Health and Safety General Guidelines”. The Company Board and management team include waste management in our environmental target management system based on the responsibility for emission performance and the formulation of emissions reduction strategies.

Risk Management

We conduct leaching test s on mining waste according to the standard requirements of the host countries, and determine whether it will dissolve and release toxic and harmful substances after longterm immersion, weathering, and stacking, as well as possible risks to the surrounding environment, communities, and water bodies. For solid waste with higher risks, we control and treat it according to the classification of hazardous utilise; for solid waste with low risk, we control and utilize it according to the classification of general solid waste. We use the most stringent benchmarks to identify and manage emissions risks, to prevent environmental incidents caused by incorrect handling of emissions.

To protect the health, safety of our employees, contractors, and surrounding communities and good environment and prevent dust from escaping, we have formulated scientific dust prevention and control measures for different working areas, including underground ventilation and dust removal, dust control during crushing and conveyor belt transportation, dust collectors, and dust removing sprayers in open-pit blasting or transportation. We have developed comprehensive utilisation of a large amount of flue gas and dust generated in smelting production, which not only prevents the waste of resources, but also greatly reduces air emissions and the impact of our production activities. The economic benefits brought by the comprehensive utilisation will further promote the continuous improvement of the recycling rate of waste heat, nitrogen and sulphur oxides, and dust in various projects.

Non-hazardous Waste

From mines

In terms of volume and quantity, tailings and waste rock are the dominant types of waste generated in our mines. As by-products of mining, tailings are ores with the lowest grade after extraction of valuable metals and minerals that cannot be used for production. Waste rocks are the unavoidable entrainment of surrounding rocks or embedded rock s in the mining process, and the useful components they contain are lower than the marginal grade and cannot be used. For general waste, our principle is Turning Waste into Resources and Utilisation, with the goal to increase the added value of comprehensive waste utilisation produc ts, ex trac ting the reusable elements from waste, thereby reducing the total volume and harmfulness of waste and its impact on the environment.

Tailings reuse safety:
Comprehensive Utilisation:

From smelters

Tailings and smelting slag, and wastewater neutralisation slag are among the solid waste containing heavy metal elements produced in the process of pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy and smelting wastewater treatment. For smelting slag, we have always followed the principle of Reduction, Re-use, and Recycling, carrying out measures including raw material cleaning and process improvement, and using advanced treatment equipment for comprehensive utilisation of waste. We strive to reduce the generation of waste from the beginning, and apply a series of recycling and re-use treatments to the waste before its final disposal to maximise the extraction of any valuable elements while minimising the smelting waste generated.  

We completed the elemental analysis of smelting slag, and understood the proportion of various elements in the raw materials, intermediate products, and waste in the smelting process, which facilitates the better subsequent recycling of smelting slag. The remainder of processed waste is stored in the slag dumps that meet the national standards of our host countries and that passed inspection of experts, with seepage prevention, monitoring, and emergency response in place for slag dumps in accordance with the local standards to ensure environmental safety.  

Slag generated in the water treatment process will be sold externally as a cement additive or used as a neutraliser for acidic slopes reclaimed, to improve its utilisation value.

Hazardous Waste

Our hazardous waste mainly comes from the smelting process, including waste oil, hazardous waste from gold smelting (cyanide slag) and copper smelting (lead filter cake, white smoke dust, arsenic filter cake, copper telluride slag, etc.), and lead smelting (lead silver slag, alum slag, etc.). We strictly follow the pollution prevention and control requirements of the relevant laws and regulations of the host countries, with effective tracking and management of the entire life cycle of  materials from the beginning to the end. We use non-toxic and non-hazardous or low-toxic and low-hazardous raw materials to replace those that are highly toxic and hazardous while optimising the original production process and equipment to improve resource utilisation, hereby reducing the hazardous waste generated from the source.

  • Process of production: In the process of production, we established a hazardous waste management ledger to truthfully record the type, quantity, destination, storage, comprehensive utilisation and other information of hazardous waste generated during production and operation, so as to ensure the traceability of all hazardous waste disposed of.
  • Transportation:In the transportation of hazardous waste, we seal off, cover and take other measures to prevent the hazardous waste from flying off or scattering.
  • Storage:For the purpose of storage, we have set up independent closed hazardous waste storage warehouses that are windproof, rainproof, and sunproof for all operating sites. We post warning signs in accordance with the regulations of the host countries, with effective anti-corrosion and anti-seepage measures and improved investigation system for potential pollution hazards. A comprehensive investigation on potential pollution hazards is conducted at least once a year for hazardous waste storage warehouses, and timely measures are taken to eliminate potential hazards. We also set up environmental monitoring points around hazardous waste storage warehouses to ensure that there is no harm to the environment.
  • Comprehensive utilisation:In the process of comprehensive utilisation, we take corresponding pollution prevention and control measures to prevent secondary pollution of the environment. For hazardous waste that cannot be recycled or disposed of, we contract qualified professional thirdparty organisations to dispose of it in accordance with the requirements of host countries, and track the disposal technologies and methods of the third parties to ensure that the hazardous waste we deliver to the third parties is properly and safely disposed of.

Air Emission

We recognise that air quality is of great importance to all stakeholders and are committed to continuously improving the waste gas treatment process to improve the air quality around our mines and smelters. All our subsidiar ies follow the air emission regulations and standards of the countries and regions where they are located, and control our air emissions with the highest standards in accordance with the IFC and other international standards:

Comprehensive utilisation:
Online monitoring
Technical improvement

 By share acquisition and by agreement transfer, we took control of Fujian Longking Co., Ltd., China's largest R&D and manufacturing company specializing in electromechanical integration of air pollution control equipment including flue gas dust removal, desulphurisation and denitrification devices. We take advantage of Longking's technologies in waste gas treatment in conjunction with Zijin's rich technological experience in the mining and smelting industries to carry out specialised waste gas treatment according to the emission characteristics of each mine and smelter, and continue to explore the production process with the lowest environmental pressure.