ERAMET applies its sustainable development policy at all the sites at which it operates. The Group establishes practices and procedures with a single objective: to attain the highest world standards in the field.
The MIGA Guarantee to Cover Political Risk
The Weda Bay Nickel project is being developed on the basis of the Equator Principles and of the performance criteria of the International Finance Corporation, as issued by the World Bank. ERAMET and the Mitsubishi Corporation, its partner in the project, aim to attain the very highest standards.
Those participating in the project wished to request the coverage of a certain number of risks linked to the exploration and pre-construction phase. Thus the dossier examining the effects involved, the Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA), was sent in early 2010 to the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a subsidiary of the World Bank and one of the few public institutions to cover this type of risk.
The MIGA then conducted an on-site audit over a period of several months. After presentation of the project and meetings with the local population and government representatives, as well as with local and international NGOs, the audit file was accessible on the Internet for 60 days to enable all stakeholders to give their reactions on the subject. It was only at the culmination of a thorough examination of the feedback by the MIGA experts that the agency’s board, made up of representatives from the 175 member states, committed its guarantee to the first phase of the project in the summer of 2010.
Environmental Management at Every Stage in the Life of a Mine
In accordance with its environmental charter adopted in 2002 and its sustainable development policy defined in 2010, ERAMET seeks to limit the impact of its activities and preserve both the environment and biodiversity.
The life of a mine is made up of five stages:
- progressive rehabilitation.
It is vital to limit the effects that each of these phases may have on the environment and the local population. This necessity leads ERAMET to reinforce the use of appropriate management tools and put in place an ensemble of practices relating to the specific characteristics of the mining environment.
The most careful attention is therefore paid to compliance with the laws and regulations currently in force and their subsequent evolution, as well as to the best practice guidelines issued by professional associations or other major participants in the mining sector.
Internal working groups study biodiversity and the “biodiversity offset” approach, i.e. the compensation for the impact of activities. Best practices are also shared in terms of the assessment of effects, in a perspective of continuous improvement in which to apply the mitigating sequence of “prevent, reduce, compensate”. Operational teams are trained in dealing with the problems of sustainable development: an exchange platform is made available, and a formalized reporting structure follows monitoring indicators specifically designed for a mining environment. Each site has defined objectives that are both ambitious and attainable.
In New Caledonia, the SLN has, for its part, formalized a voluntary approach based on a strategy of protection of biodiversity to which it has been committed for a number of years. This monitors past actions and their continuation, defines the ecological implications of all its plants and mining sites, and proposes management strategies and assessment criteria. It is currently in the process of defining the conditions for applying the notion of “biodiversity offset” in New Caledonia.