The Independent Monitor (IM) report on Glencore’s McArthur River (MRM) mine in the Northern Territory found continued improvement in environmental management and performance at the site for the period 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021.
The primary objective of IM’s Annual Environmental Performance Audit Report (AEPAR) is to provide local communities in the Gulf region with transparency on MRM’s compliance and management of environmental obligations.
AEPAR assesses MRM’s performance in a wide range of areas, including its compliance with regulatory approval requirements; its implementation of NT Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommendations; its implementation of environmental commitments; and its environmental risk management process.
MRM has achieved a high level of overall compliance with the conditions imposed by its waste disposal authorization and license, as well as with the implementation of NT EPA recommendations. MI found that MRM continued to avoid or minimize potential environmental risks through proactive management and monitoring across a wide range of site activities.
It found that the mine demonstrated a high level of environmental performance with no significant environmental issues requiring urgent investigation during the audit period.
AEPAR also found that the McArthur River and its tributaries are considered healthy and that it is safe for people to eat fish from the McArthur River, including barramundi, sooty grunter and cherabin (shrimp fresh water).
MRM’s interim chief executive, Adam Hatfield, said MI continues to conduct a detailed review of environmental performance and make constructive recommendations on how MRM can continue to improve.
“All MRM staff are committed to acting responsibly and I am very proud of their achievements. MI’s positive findings on our environmental performance and the continued good health of the McArthur River are testament to the continued progress we have made in recent years,” he said.
The report assessed a total of 1055 conditions. There were no non-compliances. There were 39 requirements rated as partially compliant, but these were largely administrative and posed a low risk to the environment.