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

GHG

per Au Eq Oz produced

Fresh water

volume used per Au Eq Oz produced

Recycled water

% per Au Eq Oz produced

Recycled waste

% of total waste

Domestic waste

generated (kg/person/day)

Potable water

consumption (lt/person/day)

Our approach  TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT

Our Commitments

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

Cultural Transformation

Our Environmental Culture Transformation Plan (ECTP) is critical to our long-term environmental strategy. In 2023, we reviewed and restructured it in line with our updated Environmental Management System (EMS) Processes and company attributes. Our ongoing objective remains 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 focused on five areas to drive continuous environmental improvement: Leadership, Responsibility, Training, Communication and Innovation.

Environmental Management Systems

In January 2023, we launched our updated Environmental Management System (EMS) to further strengthen our environmentally-conscious culture across our business and operations. Our EMS is ISO 14001 aligned, and builds upon the wealth of knowledge and professional experience of our personnel, resulting in a tailor-made system that works best for the Company.

The main environmental standards and procedures were developed and published in the EMS portal on the Hochschild intranet. In 2023, the implementation of the EMS in our mines focused on the following Processes: environmental leadership, risk assessments, and field controls.

In 2024, we will rollout out further training on EMS to reinforce our workforce’s understanding of each Process; we will also perform an internal audit (led by our own specialists) to measure the effectiveness of our first year of implementation and identify opportunities for improvement. Additionally, we continue to conduct ‘managerial’ or ‘corporate’ inspections at all sites.

Environmental focus areas

Climate Change

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 2023 Annual Report.

 

Energy Use

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.

In 2023 Hochschild announced the Mara Rosa Green Energy Project, which consists of a partnership with Solatio Energia, a photovoltaic sector specialist, to implement a solar energy project, that will supply 100% of the energy required by Mara Rosa’s operations from renewable energy sources. This solar plant will guarantee that the amount of energy produced will meet 100% of the energy demand throughout the mine’s useful life.

  Total in 2023 Inmaculada Pallancata Selene San Jose All other sites3

Fuel consumption from non-renewable sources1

521,266 276,701 86,649 7,240 137,483 16,192
Diesel 484,276 270,670 80,411 7,051 112,833 13,312
Gasoline 1,771 107 0 0 0 1,664
GLP 35,219 5,925 3,239 189 24,650 1,216

Electricity consumption2

1,264,229 739,595 121,554 79,756 282,550 40,773
Non-renewable sources 216,529 119,898 19,705 12,929 56,387 7,608
Renewable sources 1,047,700 619,698 101,849 66,826 226,162 33,165
Total energy consumption (gigajoules) 1,785,495 1,016,296 205,203 86,996 420,033 56,965
  1. 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.
  2. Purchased energy. This data was used to calculate scope 2 of the GHG emissions. Other uses not applicable. No energy was sold.
  3. Includes data for Peru and Argentina (former operating assets, Azuca, Crespo, warehouses and office locations).
  2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Scope 1 42,475 45,374 46,339 40,647 39,341 38,939
Scope 2 (Location-based) 65,542 68,116 58,133 41,254 82,833 85,084
Scope 2 (Market-based) 13,691 13,389 12,820 6,591
Scope 3 25,872 29,734 29,029 81,901
Total - Scopes 1 and 2 (Location-based) 108,017 113,490 104,472 122,174 124,023
Total - Scopes 1, 2 and 3 (Market-based) 56,166 88,497 88,188
Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity, per thousand ounces of total silver equivalent produced (tCO2e/koz Ag eq) 3.55 3.64 3.11 2.76 2.64 2.60

 

  • 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, N20
  • 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 management

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.

Waste

Hochschild recognizes the damage that hazardous and non-hazardous waste can cause if not managed correctly. To minimize the associated risks, we have extensive waste management plans and strategies in place. As a result of these efforts, including the implementation of the ECO Score, domestic waste generation has decreased by 52% since 2015.

The percentage of marketable waste is calculated based on the total volume of recyclable and industrial waste generated in each mining unit. Through a collaboration with a specialised waste management company, we recycle or commercialise most industrial waste streams, including used oil, scrap metal, plastics, used tires, among others. The objective by 2030 is to market or donate more than 80% of the collected volume, compared to 63% in 2023.

 

Tailings Management

Hochschild has 11 Tailing 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 TSF’s and how they are managed.  

Our most recent Church of England report on TSFs was published in 2022, 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 took place in 2023 and concluded that all dams were stable, with only minor maintenance-related observations. Hochschild also 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.

Type of waste

Million metric tonnes

Mineral waste generated – Waste rock

1,824,500

Mineral waste repurposed/reused – Waste rock

755,118

Mineral waste generated – Tailings

2,091,880

Mineral waste repurposed/reused – Tailings

377,711

 

 

Environmental Management

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 5.50 for 2024, 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 174 litres/person/day (previous target of 193 litres/person/day) and the target for domestic waste generation was also lowered to 0.9 kilograms/person/day (previous target of 1 kilogram/person/day) in 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 2023 results will be independently assured by EY Peru following the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000. Details of our 2023 ECO Score performance can be found in here . A detailed explanation of the tool can be found in here.