PanAust acknowledges that the environmental challenges for a mining operation are significant, and excellence in environmental performance is an essential component of success.
The Company minimises its impact on the natural landscape, waterways, and flora and fauna through international environmental leading practice. The Company's activities are guided by environmental standards provided in: the International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability, legal obligations, and PanAust's own Sustainability Policy, Sustainability Standards, and Environmental and Social Management Systems.
PanAust's Environmental and Social Management Systems focus on finding ways to improve environmental performance through policies, procedures and processes that proactively manage identified risks.
PanAust's environmental management systems and human resource commitment are expanding as the Company grows to ensure environmental performance is maintained as the Company's footprint increases.
The General Manager, Human Resources and Risk Management has responsibility for the Group's overall compliance to environmental standards, and for advising senior management and the Board on environmental performance. The PanAust Sustainability Committee meets quarterly and, according to its Charter, monitors the Company's environmental management practices and policies.
All employees and contractors are obliged to comply with environmental laws, regulations and requirements issued through statutory obligations as well as the PanAust Sustainability Policy and Sustainability Standards.
Given PanAust's activities in Laos are located in a mountainous setting adjacent to important waterways, risk management processes have identified surface water and mine waste as key environmental challenges for both Phu Kham and Ban Houayxai. Detailed management plans for both are developed, implemented and monitored annually.
Annual audits against the International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards on Social and Environmental Sustainability and the PanAust Sustainability Standards are completed for the Phu Kham Copper-Gold Operation and the Ban Houayxai Gold-Silver Operation.
As a signatory to the voluntary International Cyanide Management Code, Ban Houayxai has been designed and constructed, and will operate to be Code compliant. The site achieved pre-operational Code certification in October 2011; three months ahead of schedule and prior to operations commencing.
PanAust experienced no reportable environmental incidents in 2011.
For further details of PanAust’s environmental performance and outcomes, refer to the Company’s Sustainability Report 2011 (pages 36-51).