We are committed to operating and producing metals with the least possible environmental footprint
The Group's environmental ambition is reflected in its corporate purpose; to always act in a responsible manner, leave the smallest environmental footprint possible and contribute to a better world.
How We Measure Our Performance
per Au Eq Oz produced
volume used per Au Eq Oz produced
% per Au Eq Oz produced
% of total waste
Our approach TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT
We adhere to six fundamental environmental commitments:
- To act and take decisions considering the impact on wildlife
- To act and take decisions considering the impact on water quality
- To only discharge authorised effluents
- To seek the prior approval of mine management prior to construction
- To report all environmental incidents to mine management
- To report transparently on our environmental performance
This plan is critical to our long-term environmental strategy. Our ongoing objective is to embed an environmentally conscious culture across all departments within the business.
This plan ensures that our leadership team understands our environmental culture and leads by example when implementing it.
We launched initiatives focussed on three areas to drive continuous environmental improvement: People, Technical Operations and Technical innovation.
Our environmental management systems ("EMS") ensures that appropriate environmental practices are in place and that we comply with all relevant requirements.
To enhance our environmental performance, we updated our EMS in 2022. The newly designed EMS was presented in January 2023, with an internal announcement to mark its launch.
Our EMS outlines 15 key processes and is aligned with ISO 14001:2015. Additionally, we created an EMS handbook, which was distributed to all our mining operations and offices. In 2023, we will take further steps to implement and reinforce our EMS practices by creating specific environmental management documentation for each of our mines.
Environmental focus areas
At Hochschild, we recognise the urgency of addressing climate change and are determined to play our part by continuously reducing our Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions.
Our aim is to reach net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Additionally, as part of our reduction pathway towards that goal, we have set an interim target of 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions for 2030.
These targets will require us to improve our energy efficiency and increase our reliance on renewable energy sources.
Achieving net zero using today’s technologies can only be achieved through numerous ways:
The procurement of green electricity, operational changes in existing mines and operations (process changes, asset upgrades and the implementation of new technologies), the use of Renewable Energy Certificates where electricity is not from renewable sources, adapting our procurement process and supplier contracts, and the use of offset or neutralisation schemes.
Access our TCFD report in the 2022 Annual Report.
Our carbon emissions primarily result from electricity use in our mining and processing operations.
Our operations in both Peru and Argentina have a lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity compared to other gold and silver mines globally due to the underground nature of our mining operations which generally have lower GHG emissions than larger open pit mines and our low-carbon, grid-based electricity supply.
Underground mines consist of narrow high-grade veins in both Peru and Argentina allowing us to have a GHG intensity that is lower than the average of the World Gold Council members.
|Total in 2022
|All other sites3
Fuel consumption from non-renewable sources1
|Total energy consumption (gigajoules)
- All onsite fuel use. Other fuel types are not applicable. Diesel and gasoline include a mandatory percentage of biodiesel and ethanol in Peru and Argentina, which has been included in fuel consumption from non-renewable sources as it is not used on its own. Fuel consumption in gallons has been converted to gigajoules using net calorific values obtained from the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. This data was used to calculate part of the scope 1 GHG emissions.
- Purchased energy. This data was used to calculate scope 2 of the GHG emissions. Other uses not applicable. No energy was sold.
- Includes data for Peru and Argentina (former operating assets, Azuca, Crespo, warehouses and office locations).
|Scope 2 (Location-based)
|Scope 2 (Market-based)
|Total - Scopes 1 and 2 (Location-based)
|Total - Scopes 1, 2 and 3 (Market-based)
|Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity, per thousand ounces of total silver equivalent produced (tCO2e/koz Ag eq)
- Method used based on ISO 14064-1 Standard and GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, using IPCC and Peruvian emission factors.
- Gases included in the calculation of all three scopes: CO2, CH4, N2
- Includes data for the whole year for Peru (former and current operating assets, Azuca, warehouses and office locations), Argentina (San Jose and Buenos Aires office) and London office. The Group’s UK operations consist of a single office with an occupancy of three. Its total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and energy consumption represent less than 0.01% of the Group’s reported totals.
- Location-based emissions. Total purchased electricity from both renewable and non-renewable sources.
- Market-based emissions. Excludes electricity purchased from renewable sources, hydropower in Peru and wind power in Argentina.
- Emissions (and intensity) reflect combustion of fuel and operation of facilities (Scope 1) and purchased electricity (Scope 2) – location-based emissions.
- Total production includes 100% of all production, including that attributable to the joint venture partner at San Jose.
- Our greenhouse emissions from our Peruvian and Argentinian operations have been certified by SGS. See copies of the certificates here.
Water is a shared, vital and increasingly scarce resource. According to UNFCCC projections, water is one of the resources most affected by climate change. Mines rely hugely on water to operate, making water recovery, reuse and consumption key focus areas for us.
Another key consideration is the importance of the water supply to local communities which cannot be affected in any adverse way by the extraction process.
Hochschild has a responsible water management strategy in place to address these factors and use water resources as efficiently as possible.
Land use and biodiversity
Peru sits within the top ten of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Several of our sites are located inside the buffer zone of the Sub Cuenca del Cotahuasi, a legally recognised national protected area in the Arequipa region. Through managing our operations responsibly, our goal is to preserve this valuable natural asset for future generations.
The topic of biodiversity is critical in our monitoring and planning of activities within our operations reflected by its explicit inclusion in the revised 2022 Environmental Policy. For example, we conduct detailed baseline studies which allow us to implement appropriate monitoring plans. At each mining unit we have consultants conducting specialist research, bi-annually, during rainy and dry seasons to monitor and maintain the biodiversity of our surroundings.
Hochschild will never operate within any core national park.
Hochschild recognises the damage that hazardous and non-hazardous waste can cause if not managed correctly. To minimise the associated risks, we have extensive waste management plans and strategies in place. As a results of these efforts, including the implementation of the ECO Score, domestic waste generation has decreased by 45.9% since 2015.
The percentage of marketable waste is calculated based on the total volume of recyclable and industrial waste generated in each mining unit. The objective is to market or donate more than 75% of the collected volume. In 2022 this objective was met and surpassed.
Hochschild has 11 Tailings Storage Facilities (“TSF”) in total, nine of which are downstream with rock buttresses and two with a central berm with impoundments on both sides. Hochschild discloses full details on each of its TSFs and how they are managed.
We have updated our Church of England report based on the outcome of a risk assessment in 2021, following the ICMM Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management. This Standard strives to achieve the ultimate goal of zero harm to people and the environment.
To ensure the stability of our operational tailings facilities, we conduct external audits every two years. The latest audit took place in 2021 and concluded that all dams were stable, with only minor maintenance-related observations. An action plan addressed these issues in 2022. Our next audit is scheduled for end of this year. Hochschild provides induction and training on the policies regulating TSF management for employees.
We fully support the need for greater transparency in the mining sector and therefore disclose comprehensive details on each of our TSFs and their management.
Energy use and climate change
Becoming net-zero by 2050
We have completed a climate risk assessment for our existing operations and are developing a carbon roadmap to become net-zero by 2050. The best practice for target setting is to ensure that our GHG reduction target aligns with the criteria of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Energy risk and climate change
Our climate change assessment
The physical Climate Risk Assessment ("CRA") was prepared for five of Hochschild’s operating mine properties. The Arcata Mine, Pallancata Mine, Inmaculada Mine and Selene concentrator are located in Peru and the San Jose Mine located in Argentina.
The Peruvian Water Authority Blue Certificate programme
In 2022, we continued reducing our water footprint at the Inmaculada mine in line with the project implemented as part of the Blue Certificate programme by the Peruvian Water Authority (“ANA”). The project, implemented in 2021, consists in recirculating treated water from the domestic water treatment plant to the processing plant, as well as a ‘shared value’ programme with communities. Our water savings in 2022 amounted to 61,062 m3, equivalent to a 17% reduction of the annual industrial freshwater consumption at the Inmaculada processing plant.
Land use and biodiversity
Protecting the Cotahuasi Landscape Reserve
In 2022, Hochschild Mining’s Peruvian operator, Compañía Minera Ares, continued its partnership with Profonanpe, a Peruvian trust fund for national parks and protected areas, to preserve and conserve the Cotahuasi Landscape Reserve. Based on the Reserve’s Master Plan, four strategic components were prioritised: Improve the Reserve´s signaling demarcating its boundarie; provide equipment to the Reserve fire brigade; hold educational conferences on biodiversity; and support local entrepreneurship through the ‘Emprendedores por Cotahuasi’ programme.
ECO Score: A Hochschild Innovation
To support our environmental commitments, Hochschild designed an innovative programme that allows the distillation of our environmental performance in a single number, expressing otherwise intangible aspects of performance in a way that is universally understood.
The ECO Score is calculated by monitoring performance both at each mining operation and the Group overall using a range of KPIs which reflect, among other things, compliance with discharge limits and zero-tolerance to environmental incidents, regulatory findings, and sound environmental management (relating to water consumption and waste generation).
The corporate goal is set annually by the Board of Directors of the company. Ever since the implementation of the ECO Score, the board has been raising our corporate objective to encourage us to improve our environmental performance year after year.
To incentivise continuous improvement within the Company, we set a higher corporate target at 5.25 for 2023, and we will work towards achieving the highest possible score. Additionally, we established more stringent targets for potable water consumption and domestic waste generation. The target for potable water consumption was reduced to 193 litres/person/day (previous target of 250 litres/person/day) and the target for domestic waste generation was also lowered to 1 kilogram/person/day (previous target of 1.5 kilograms/person/day) for 2023. More importantly, we improved our Environmental Culture inspection checklist criteria and assessment methods by drawing on lessons learned from the previous years. With the implementation of the EMS, we will endeavor to find and address any previously unidentified environmental issues and incorporate them as specific assessment criteria for each mine.
The ECO Score won the 2019 Mines and Money award for Innovation in Sustainability, the 2020 Sustainable Development Award from the Peruvian National Oil and Energy Mining Society and the Sustainability Leadership Award 2023 by Business Intelligence Group. We have also shared the tool in forums, such as the Congress of International Association for Environmental Impact Assessment in 2021, the Technology, Innovation and Sustainability forum in Perumin in 2022 and at the Mine Water Solutions conference in 2022.
The 2022 Eco Score results are independently assured by EY Peru following the International Standard on Related Services (ISRS) 4400. Details of our 2022 ECO Score performance can be found in here . A detailed explanation of the tool can be found in here.