Our Environment

We are committed to managing the environmental risks associated with our business activities. This includes complying with the applicable environmental laws and regulations in the countries where we operate and improving the environment of the communities by investing in programs and applying best practices and innovative approaches.

Focus Areas

  • Developing a formal environmental management system
  • Finalizing a closure plan that includes stability, biodiversity restoration and acid drainage control aspects
  • Evaluating water treatment strategies to improve water conditions for the community
  • Complete an inventory of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions and formalize a climate strategy

For more details on our environment related policies, programs and performance download our 2020 Sustainability Report.

Environmental Management

We are guided by our Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, and are subject to various environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate. At the Marmato mine, our Environmental Management Plan (EMP) guides our approach to managing the range of environmental risks and opportunities.

Our dedicated Environmental Management Department is responsible for ensuring Aris's compliance with the EMP, incorporating environmental considerations into decision‑making and implementing risk mitigation actions.

Our Environment

Tailings Management

The safe and environmentally responsible management of tailings – the material that remains after the minerals have been extracted from the crushed ore – is an issue of global concern and critical for any successful mining operation. A major failure of the tailings storage facilities (TSF) – from extreme weather, a seismic event, poor design or improper maintenance – may cause potentially catastrophic damage to the environment and the surrounding communities.

Aris Gold utilizes one TSF at the Marmato mine, where tailings are decanted and dried in tailings ponds then relocated to a secondary and final storage area where they are encapsulated to mitigate the potential risk of contaminated mine drainage. We are in the process of planning and designing a new and modern dry stack tailings facility to accommodate tailings waste from both the Marmato Upper Mine and the Lower Mine project. Dry stack tailings are the most sustainable method used to store filtered tailings.

Our Environment

In addition to tailings, mining processes generate various other forms of waste including hazardous and non-hazardous materials and air emissions. We aim to minimize our use of raw materials whenever possible and reduce the amount of solid waste disposed in landfills.

Water Resource Management

Water is essential for healthy communities and ecosystems, and we recognize the importance of rivers, streams and other natural water sources to the local communities. It is also essential to our mining operations, and we commit to protect water resources and effectively manage this shared resource.

Among the key water management challenges we face at the Marmato mine are limited space for water storage tanks and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) miners who intercept water used by our mine for their own use. To address these challenges, we are evaluating abandoned mine sites that could serve as underground water storage sites and engaging with ASM representatives to discuss a resolution.

One of our top objectives is to reduce our water consumption. At the Marmato mine, we treat wastewater from mining activities at our permitted wastewater treatment plant, allowing us to reuse as much water as possible and reducing the amount of water we use from fresh water sources. Routine monitoring is conducted on three industrial wastewater discharges and seven domestic wastewater discharges.

Land Use and Biodiversity

We recognize that our activities have an impact on species, ecosystems and other land uses. Through research, partnerships and responsible land management practices, we aim to build long-term biodiversity management strategies that deliver sustainable conservation outcomes.

The biodiversity mitigation and protection activities we commit to undertake at our Marmato mine are detailed in our PMA. Both the current operation and the Lower Mine expansion project are also aligned with the Marmato Land Management Scheme (Esquema de Ordenamiento Territorial or EOT) to ensure our activities comply with the land uses regulated by the municipality.

Our Environment

Climate Change and Energy Management

Climate change and extreme weather events pose a risk to our business, the global economy and socio-economic development. We are committed to managing our energy use and reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Per regulatory requirements, we monitor our fixed assets and estimate that our significant sources of Scope 1 GHG emissions (i.e., from direct sources controlled by our company) are from the smelting furnace and metallurgy lab. Our Scope 2 emissions are related to the electricity we purchase from the Colombian power company, Central Hidroeléctrica de Caldas (CHEC). We do not calculate Scope 3 emissions (i.e., from suppliers and sources not controlled by our company) at this time.

For more details on our environment related policies, programs and performance download our 2020 Sustainability Report.