At Coronado, we are focused on extracting high quality metallurgical coal in an environmentally responsible way.
Coal mining is one of the most environmentally regulated industries in the world and it is vital that we consistently meet or exceed relevant regulatory standards. We set a high bar for ourselves and expect to leave our sites in the same condition, or better than when we found them.
We are committed to managing our environmental performance and we are focused on maintaining our position at the forefront of environmental management in the Australian mining industry. We have an operational focus on managing natural resources, such as water and significant vegetation.
At Curragh we have established an Environmental Management System (EMS), in full compliance with legislative requirements and covering all aspects of environmental management including water, biodiversity, rehabilitation, cultural heritage, greenhouse gas, energy and waste management. The EMS details the environmental controls employed at the site, assists with communication and implementation, and facilitates auditing and review of our environmental performance.
We are also a participant in the Australian Coal Associations COAL21 Program, which supports the pre- commercial demonstration of low emissions technologies to enhance the environmental performance of coal and reduce fugitive emissions associated with coal mining.
In the US we are constantly improving our environmental performance to meet our rigorous environmental standards. We station at least two engineers at each operating division in the US, who actively monitor the mines’ environmental impact and promote and ensure high standards of compliance are met.
Our environmental programs and compliance efforts have been acknowledged by several agencies, including the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Coal Association.
COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT NEW TECHNOLOGY
We recognise that the production of met and thermal coal, as well as coal-fired generation using thermal coal, is associated with greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to working with other industry participants to support, develop and introduce new coal production and energy-generation technologies, that help reduce the environmental impact while continuing to meet global energy and steel demands.
Case Study: Review of water use at Curragh
We recognise that climate related risks could bring about changes in both the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts. To reduce vulnerability to such extreme climate conditions and effectively manage the risks, Curragh completed a review of water use and held a workshop to identify options for reducing the use of high-quality water on site.
At the same time, we have increased our participation in external water stakeholder groups to improve our understanding of water in the regional context. We focussed on water conservation awareness across site; developed and implemented administrative controls; and commenced studies to determine water infrastructure requirements in the medium term and options to further increase the use of reclaimed water in the coal handling and preparation plant (CHPP). By December 2019, 67.4% of Queensland was drought declared, including the Central Highlands, and Fairbairn Dam recorded its lowest level since the dam was constructed in 1972.
Curragh successfully implemented our new Drought Trigger Action Response Plan. These are small milestones in improving Curragh’s resilience towards external climatic conditions. Our focus will be scoping staged infrastructure improvements to increase reclaimed water supply to the CHPP. Should this project be implemented it will improve the start-up time of the CHPP whilst reducing water use.