The Martabe Gold Mine is surrounded by forest, waterways, agriculture and settlements. The highest standard of environmental management at the site is therefore essential for the protection of natural values and ensuring the ongoing support of local communities.
Planning for environmental management at the Martabe Gold Mine began before project commencement with the implementation of a comprehensive baseline environmental monitoring program and a diverse range of environmental impact studies. Key areas of environmental management during operations include water management, tailings disposal, site rehabilitation and protection of biodiversity.
Rainfall at the Martabe Gold Mine is relatively high, averaging 4,553 mm per year. Consequently, the site has a net positive water balance and excess water must be released to the nearby Batangtoru River. Prior to release from site, water is treated in a Water Polishing Plant (WPP) to remove potential contaminants. Discharge from the WPP has remained fully compliant with permit conditions and regulatory standards since commencement of operations. An independent monitoring team comprising representatives from local communities, government and the University of North Sumatra provides ongoing verification of this outcome.
All tailings at the Martabe Gold Mine are disposed of in a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). The safety of the TSF is the Company’s highest priority and a comprehensive range of measures has been applied in line with industry leading practice to ensure this outcome. The TSF has been designed by an internationally recognised engineering consultancy with wide experience of TSF design and construction. The design complies with International Committee on Large Dams (ICOLD) safety guidelines and has been approved by the Indonesian Dam Safety Committee. Great care is taken in construction of the TSF embankment under a strict quality assurance program and embankment conditions are monitored continually. As a further control, the Company implements an annual independent safety review of the facility.
The Company is already planning for mine closure with a program of studies in support of returning the site to a safe and productive state following completion of mining. All areas of the mine are rehabilitated as they become available and closure works will continue well after operations cease. The site has a Mine Closure Plan approved by government that is updated as required by changes in operational areas.