Our water strategy

Water is vital to life as well as to our mining operations.
Water is important to every aspect of our operations.

As we mine, mine areas must be dewatered in order to provide access and ensure safe working conditions. For processing, water is used in the grinding and leaching processes. We use water for dust control, truck washing, and – especially where we have camps – for the “domestic” needs of our workforce (drinking water, food preparation, showers, and sanitation).

We understand that our licence to operate depends upon our ability to demonstrate responsible stewardship of this invaluable resource. Launched in 2012, Kinross’ water strategy is a comprehensive program aimed at proactively addressing water issues and opportunities, preparing us for future water challenges and supporting a secure licence to operate. Under this program, operating sites have improved the measurement and understanding of their water consumptive activities, assessed the drivers affecting the “value of water”, and developed specific conservation strategies.

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Determining the “Value of Water”

Because of its inherent value, all of our sites implement best practices related to water management, including a base level of water conservation practices. To further understand the factors that drive the importance of water, each Kinross site determines water value through the assessment of four key drivers, including the importance of the resource to stakeholders, the costs associated with supplying water and meeting discharge standards, the identifiable risks to reliable supply and acceptable discharge water qualities, and the magnitude of our “water footprint” or impact. The value of water guides our strategy development and implementation that includes engagement with our stakeholders to identify and address their concerns, conservation measures, direct employee action, and effective management.

Standards and Reporting

Kinross’ Water Management standards have been updated to support our strategy. The standards require each site to understand its water footprint and to implement management and mitigation measures to avoid or minimize impacts. The standards require:

  • Identification of water resource implications, risks and opportunities during the project planning and design stage;
  • Documented water management plans updated annually;
  • Comprehensive and current predictive water balance models;
  • Monitoring and reporting definitions;
  • Discharge limits;
  • Routine review and update of management controls and water balance models following major storm events.

Management Toolbox

In addition to a set of conservation measures that all sites are implementing, information on other management practices and measures are provided in a “toolbox” for sites to consider and implement, consistent with the value of water defined by each site. The toolbox is constantly growing with new information and practical examples, and currently includes information on water recycling, dust suppressants, pond covers, heap leach irrigation, etc.

Performance Results

During 2013, six of our nine operating sites reduced their annual consumption rates over the previous year. Nevertheless, the company-wide consumption rate increased from 327 litres consumed per tonne of ore processed (L/t) in 2012 to 356 [A] L/t in 2013, due primarily to the expansion of the Fort Knox heap leach circuit, as well as an increase in the area under leach at our Round Mountain operation. The consumption rate for 2013 is within 3% of our five-year rolling average consumption of 345 L/t.

Believing that “what gets measured gets managed”, each site has identified a water consumption target for 2014 that they will measure themselves against over the course of the year. While 2014 is considered to be a “training year”, we plan to incorporate performance against targets in 2015 in our corporate environmental performance metrics. We look forward to reporting on our progress with this important new metric.

Water Performance

(Basic  Medium   High    )

OperationSite Water ValuePrimary Drivers of Water Value2013 Consumption Intensity2013 Recycle Rate
Fort Knox   Increase
(new heap leach)
Decrease
Kettle
River-Buckhorn
  Maintain high quality Decrease Increase
Round Mountain   Increase
(area under leach)
Decrease
Maricunga    Scarcity Decrease Increase
La Coipa    Scarcity Decrease Increase
Paracatu    Scarcity and extent
of water footprint
Increase
almost static
Increase
Kupol   Decrease Increase
Dvoinoye   Not applicable (new) Not applicable (new)
Chirano   Scarcity and proximity
to communities
Decrease Increase
Tasiast    Scarcity Decrease Increase

All of our operations are set up to recycle process water, which plays an important part in our conservation efforts. During 2012, our water recycling rate was 362%. In 2013, we achieved a recycling rate of 423% [A]. Seven of nine operating sites increased their recycling rates due, in general, to improvements in process management. See the Glossary for definition of recycling rate.

Water Intensity rates
(L/tonne ore processed)

Water Recycling Rates
(% of total water consumed)