Knowledge repository

Your open access to knowledge on how to change the extractive sector towards sustainability. Navigate through the industry- and policy practices, training materials, reports, and much more.

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RioTinto's closure planning

Every Rio Tinto-managed operation must have a robust closure plan in place. For uniformity in closure planning and management, a comprehensive Closure standard is applied to all of their activities. Additionally, it aids in identifying chances for their actions to have beneficial socioeconomic effects.

HYBRIT: A unique, underground, fossil-free hydrogen gas storage facility is being inaugurated in Luleå

At Svartöberget in Lulea, Sweden, SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall are launching the HYBRIT pilot facility for fossil-free hydrogen gas storage. The storage facility in the rock cavern is the first of its sort in the world.

Glencore's Approach to Responsible citizenship

The challenge that Glencore's responsible citizenship approach is addressing is the potential negative impact that the company's operations could have on the communities and environments in which it operates.

Circular construction materials for a sustainable future

The Swedish construction industry consumes large amounts of resources and is responsible for about one third of the waste generated in the country; only a small part is reused or recycled. The share of secondary materials in total sales of aggregates in Europe varies from country to country, with some reaching 20-25%. Sweden is among the countries with the lowest share at about 2%. Millions of tonnes are send to landfill or used in applications where the material is not fully utilised. This has negative impacts on the environment and also means a significant economic loss for industry and society.

Give back to nature what was borrowed (Reciclajes Camacho, Spain)

Improving the environment by minimising the ecological footprint and contributing to less waste. Rehabilitation of a degraded and flooded land occupied by a waste treatment plant that was previously used for aggregate extraction.

zirkulit® circular concrete

The production of cement, a key component of concrete, involves combustion processes that release CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change. Each year, about three billion tons of CO2 can be traced back to cement production, representing 8% of global carbon emissions. With a rising concrete demand, the demolition waste is also rising and is by now one of the biggest waste streams worldwide.

Mobile electric crushing plant (Skelleftea Site East, Sweden)

In the extractive sector, the use of diesel-powered equipment is common. To reduce carbon emissions and achieve climate neutrality, it is necessary to switch to electric equipment powered by renewable energy.

Shorncote Quarry, Gloucestershire/Wiltshire

This practice addresses the restoration of the Shorncote Quarry which was previously used for sewage disposal by Thames Water, into a first‐class home for wildlife.

KBO Kieswerk Ottendorf restoration

This practice addresses the restoration of Laußnitz I open pit into a habitat of different ponds, raw soil areas, and slope structures which have become important for protected species.

Mining 4.0: Technologies from the future for a sustainably developed present (Spain)

Mineral extraction has a traditional character and is, from a Technology 4.0 perspective, an industry that is rather conservative in introducing new technologies. However, there has been a major development in recent years. The main elements that have determined this development are improving health and safety of workers and operations, increasing productivity, environmental responsibility and efficiency in the use of resources. Overall, the aim is to work towards an extractive sector that is more sustainable, better perceived and integrated into society and has the intention to continuously improve.

New construction of the gravel processing and concrete mixing plant (Thalgau, Austria)

Due to necessary replacements of equipment used for exploitation and processing, innovations have been implemented to reduce emissions and costs of the site.

Quarzsand Nudersdorf (Möllersdorf mining field, Germany)

The extraction of near-surface raw materials undoubtedly means an intervention in nature. However, this is usually only temporary and much lower than generally assumed. A main pillar of economic activity in the field of gravel & sand is the recultivation of the claimed areas. In many cases, the space used for extraction activities is returned to the general public in a higher quality due to recultivation activities. New biotope types with an underamt of diversity of flora and fauna are emerging that has to be protected.

Towards energy self-sufficient sand and gravel extraction (Netherlands)

The biggest impact that the extraction of sand and gravel has on the environment, is the use of electricity. That is why, in 2020, Netterden has had a floating solar installation installed. With this initiative, sand and gravel extraction has for an important part become energy self-sufficient.

La Chanta quarry: rehabilitation as a key to Sustainability in the Aggregates sector

This practice addresses LafargeHolcims rehabilitation process of La Chanta quarry into a habitat that promotes and protects biodiversity.

Smals on holiday: sand extraction at Center Parcs Huttenheugte

This practice addresses the temporary sand extraction at Center Parcs Huttenheute while the park is open to the public for visits.

Restoration of Broom Quarry

This practice addresses the transformation of the Broom Quarry from a sand and gravel quarry to a mosaic of lakes, wetlands, islands, lowland meadows, woodland and agriculture.

Bomhofsplas Zwolle: source of sustainable practices

This practice addresses the sand extraction quarry Bomhofsplas which has become a breeding ground for best practices jointly realised by many parties with respect to innovation, sustainable development and research on a sand extraction quarry.

Developing of a waste management unit, recycling point (Cyprus)

One of the largest material waste streams in Europe and of course in Cyprus is the waste coming from excavations, constructions and demolitions (known as C&D waste). Recovering a percentage of them and reusing them back in the industry, has a positive environmental consequence and also, helps to mitigate the risk of raw material depletion in the construction industry. The European Union's target, settled for the year 2020, was to recover - recycle 70% of this waste and the vast majority of European countries have already achieved this. In fact, most of them have even exceeded the 70% of recovering C&D waste, which is unfortunately not the case in Cyprus. The lack of C&D waste recycling leads to financial losses for the state, environmental destruction and social reactions.

The "Greener Construction" project

The basic idea of Lasselsberger GmbH was to combine nature conservation, e-mobility, photovoltaics and recycling in the "Greener Construction" project and to implement it in a sensible way.

Optimisation of the downstream freight of the Carrières du Boulonnais (France)

The reduction of CO2 emissions by consequently reducing the use of road transport.

Ice Age in a unique setting (Switzerland)

The discovery of a well-preserved mammoth tusk in the gravel pit in 2006, which created a resonance in the media, led to the idea and development of a mediation project "Ice Age".

Integration of a wet processing plant into the existing production process of a natural stone plant to increase resource efficiency (Germany)

The quartzite extracted from the "Düro Quarry" is mainly porcessed into high-quality chippings and crushed sands as aggregates for asphalt and concrete, railway ballast, hydraulic construction stones and base course mixtures for road construction. Despite the use of modern plant technology, mineral processing generates co-products such as pre-screened material and simple filler-rich crushed sands, which do not meet quality standards and therefore difficult to market. Up to 15% of the total production has to be landfilled due to a lack of marketability or is used for the simplest applications without quality requirements. Apart from an irregular and fluctuating grain structure, the proportion of fines is the major problem.

Roadstone Belgard Quarry

This practice addresses the development of an Integrated Constructed Wetland at the Roadstone Belgard Quarry.

“Centroparco” project – Segrate (Mi) - Italy

This practice addresses the recovered and repurposed Binella sand and gravel pit which has been transformed into a park available to the local community.

SKUs gravel plant as a training site for the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)

This practice addresses the usage of SKUs quarry for the emergency services of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief and the fire brigade.

Digital Solutions for Health and Safety

This practice addresses occupational health and safety at Couso Quarry, under the management of Prebetong Áridos SLU.

Website calculator to encourage reducing traffic emissions and fuel consumption

This practice addresses the usage of website calculators to encourage reducing traffic emissions and fuel consumption.

Antiquailles flood reduction basin (France)

Prevention and protection against flooding.

Processing of excavated Tunnel Material to produce Aggregates according to the German Construction Products Directive

Authorities legally classified the excavated material from tunnelling as waste because it came from a construction site. Therefore, the local authority did not allow to discharge the process water of the plant back into the lake. The existing sand and gravel operation had to be expanded by a process water treating plant to process the tunnel material.

Millingerwaard Project

This practice addresses the transformation of the Millingerwaard from an extraction site to a unique nature conservation area in the Netherlands.

One gravel, many lives from gravel to orange grove (and boutique hotel)

This practice addresses the process of extraction and the process of restoration at Cortijo Nuevo gravel pit.

Innovate to prevent and preserve

This practice addresses the carbon reduction targets of Lafarge Granulats in France to reduce their impact on the environment.

Incident and Grievance Management

Incident and Grievance Management is a mechanism that helps individuals and communities negatively affected by the mining operations to file complaints and to voice their concerns to the company. Incident and Grievance process ensures that possible grievances and complaints are addressed early and adequately, and all incidents investigated properly. AngloAmerican’s Social Way Policy requires all company operations to have a grievance management procedure in place.

Social and Human Rights Impact and Risk Analysis (SHIRA)

Social and Human Rights Impact and Risk Analysis (SHIRA) is a tool developed for the identification, prioritisation, and mitigation of adverse social and human rights impacts and risks. It is to be implemented in all AngloAmerican projects across the mine life cycle to prevent and assess the negative impacts on local communities and other external stakeholders.

Stakeholder Frames for the Social License to Operate

To better understand what issues are key to address across Europe to build Social License to Operate. Frame 1: The Company Works with the Local Community / Frame 2: Mining is Accepted and Contributes to Society / Frame 3: Social License to Operate Grounded in Effective Legislation and Regulation / Frame 4: Local Self-Determination and Partnerships / Frame 5: Self-Governing Industry

Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning

AngloAmerican’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning section provides guidance on how to prevent and deal with possible emergencies on mining sites. The aim of this guidance is to minimise dangerous situations in operations and to protect workers from accidents.

Security Management and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR)

4E Security Management and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) is a guidance section that gives instructions on how to avoid causing harm to external stakeholders and how to avoid conflict by public or private sector security. Essentially, AngloAmerican’s VPSHR guidance contributes to the “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights” (VP) which was established in 2000 to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations while also respecting human rights.

Site-Induced Migration

The Site-Induced Migration (SIM) section explains what kind of potential impacts, risks and opportunities are associated with in-migration to and out-migration from the mining area. It also provides guidance on mitigating potential risks and negative impacts of SIM. SIM is perceived as the movement of people induced by the opportunities provided by the operations at mining sites. Closure of the mining site may likewise induce out-migration from the area.

Managing Cultural Heritage

The purpose of this section is to provide guidance on the management of cultural heritage – it identifies potential risks and impacts extractives operations might pose on cultural heritage, gives detailed requirements for a Cultural Heritage Management Plan and provides guidance on the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the agreed management measures.

Guidance on collaborating with Indigenous Peoples

AngloAmerican’s Indigenous Peoples section ensures that mining sites have tools and resources to recognise and assess management issues related specifically to mining projects and indigenous communities. It also gives guidance on how to create mutually beneficial and sustainable solutions and how to engage with local communities in a way that puts emphasis on respect for indigenous rights and their cultures.

Conflict Management between stakeholders and the mining site

4J Conflict Management section provides guidance on how to identify, manage and solve possible disagreements between stakeholders and the mining site.

Stakeholder Mapping and Stakeholder Frames

Understanding who the stakeholders are for a project tends to be based on what people do; however, people's opinions and their decisions are largely influenced by personal values. The development of the Stakeholder Frames is intended to supplement traditional stakeholder mapping by introducing what people value when they consider granting a Social License to Operate.

Recycling of Neodymium (NdFeB) magnets

NdFeB magnets need to be separated from hard disc drives and other equipment to enable further processing and several new pre-treatment options have recently been developed by private companies

CEWASTE Assurance and Verification system (general purpose)

While there are existing normative requirements to enable CRM (critical raw materials) recycling and ensure it is done sustainably, only if operators of WEEE (Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and batteries waste facilities comply with them will they make a difference.

Assurance system to ensure the conformity with CEWASTE requirements

To ensure the conformity of facilities with CEWASTE requirements.

Sustainability Policy

The sustainability policy of Atalaya Mining is based on the principles of the UN Global Compact and outlines the company's own sustainability policy.

Sustainability Integrated Management System (SIMS)

All Eldorado sites must meet the minimum performance-based standards set forth by the Sustainability Integrated Management System (SIMS) of Eldorado in the areas of occupational health and safety, environmental performance, social performance, security, and general management of sustainability topics.

Sustainability Materiality Approach

According to the definition given by the GRI Standards, a "material subject" is one that represents the Company's major economic, environmental, and social consequences or one that has the potential to materially affect the opinions and choices of all stakeholders. Eldorado's comprehension of material concerns is shaped by the externally oriented notion of materiality provided by the GRI Standards. To choose the subjects that will be covered in their yearly sustainability report, they perform materiality evaluations on a rolling three-year basis.

Eldorado Gold's Performance Targets

Eldorado works to incorporate sustainability into its operations and sets ambitious targets for sustainability performance, management, and governance each year.

Transparency for building trust - local community of interest committees

Eldorado depends on the relationships it has with its stakeholders, from the early phases of exploration to the final reclamation and rehabilitation of a mine site, to make sure that the opportunities brought about by its activities result in socially inclusive and sustainable growth. The most noticeable social, environmental, and economic effects of Eldorados' operations are felt most acutely in the nearby towns. They make a concerted effort to support the development objectives of their host communities and governments by maintaining open and transparent communication, offering competitive wages and benefits, giving preference to local procurement, paying their fair share of taxes and royalties, and investing in community programs and infrastructure.