Every Kinross operation has been designed so that air emissions will not have a significant impact on air quality.
We employ a corporate-wide standard that embraces North American best practices to maintain non-point source dust emissions below 20% opacity, which refers to the degree that dust obscures visibility. Kinross employees have been trained to visually measure opacity and recognize when additional particulate emissions controls, which include roadway watering and driving speed reductions, may be required.
Kinross routinely tests all point sources, with particular emphasis on potential mercury emissions from thermal processes associated with refining, carbon regeneration and retorting, to determine emissions levels and the adequacy of existing controls. Mercury emissions can occur in some types of gold deposits containing trace amounts of this naturally occurring metal. Kinross has implemented best practice controls at sites where mercury is present in naturally occurring ore in appreciable amounts (Fort Knox, Round Mountain, Kettle River-Buckhorn and La Coipa).
Our work to reduce mercury emissions at La Coipa has been recognized by the Atacama Environmental Network’s as the “Best Project: Reduction of Emissions”. By installing best practice emissions controls, mercury emissions were reduced from approximately 22 kg in 2011 to below 1 kg.
In October 2013, La Coipa was put on care and maintenance, resulting in the discontinuation of mercury emissions at that site. Testing has confirmed that mercury emissions are not a concern at our other operations.
Other common air emissions are the result of hydrocarbon combustion in trucks and other heavy equipment, mobile generators, and other power generation sources. These emissions are primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas and sulphur oxide (SOX). See the discussion in Energy and Climate Change.