We are committed to compliance with the environmental laws and regulations of the jurisdictions where we operate. Local performance standards are imposed through site-specific licences and permits. In some cases, our SEMS mandates higher performance standards than the local requirements.
In 2016, Éléonore received 16 Notices of Violation (NOV). 14 were related to discharge from the water treatment plant exceeding the toxicity limits for trout and daphnia (approximately one NOV per month from provincial authorities during the plant’s regular operations, plus one NOV from the federal authority). No fines resulted from these NOVs, and Éléonore continues to work proactively and transparently with the regulatory authorities on improving its water discharge. In the latter part of 2016, operational changes resulted in improvements to water quality compliance, which are expected to continue in 2017. For most of 2016, an additional water treatment plant was under construction, and the authority made regular site visits. After the new water treatment plant is commissioned in 2017, Éléonore’s water quality is expected to be in full compliance.
The other two NOVs were related to: late reporting of an emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) within the mill (48 hours to report as compared to the recommended 24 hours); and a violation regarding a signage requirement at a pond, and dust emissions from the tailings conveyor. The signage requirement was resolved immediately and a corrective action plan for improving dust control on the tailings conveyor is underway.
Our sites are subject to strict internal and external scrutiny to verify full adherence to applicable regulations and permits as well as our own internal standards. Our properties are routinely inspected by the applicable regulatory authorities to verify compliance. Our properties are also periodically audited through our internal compliance assurance program to ensure that they are in compliance with our internal standards and commitments. The Sustainability, Environment, Health and Safety Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the Environmental and Sustainability Policy.