Kazzinc environmental incident
Kazzinc environmental incident
22 June, 2016
On 22 May 2016, inert tailing slurry was discharged via a previously discontinued and sealed water discharge collector system into the Filippovka River from Talovsky Tailings Management Facility (TMF). The discharge occurred due to the failure of a water collector that, prior to 1979, was used to regulate the amount of water on the surface of the tailings dam. Talovsky TMF is part of the Ridder Ore Concentrator at our Kazzinc operation in the town of Ridder, Kazakhstan. No injuries have occurred as a result of the discharge and the tailing dam is fully intact.
As soon as the discharge occurred all operations in and around the Ridder Ore Concentrator were immediately stopped. This included stopping the water being taken from and discharged into the Filippovka River by the Talovsky TMF.
Throughout the incident, Kazzinc’s emergency response team co-ordinated activities with the relevant local authorities. Working in partnership, Kazzinc and local authority representatives localised the source of the discharge and resealed the leaking well and its water-conducting pipeline less than 48 hours after the incident occurred.
Talovsky TMF is used for the storage of inert tailings. The tailings storage facility is continuously monitored by Kazzinc as well as Kazakhstan’s environmental and emergencyresponse authorities to ensure its stability and that none of its contents contain elements that have the potential to cause harm to the environment or humans. The structural integrity of the tailings dam is monitored by Kazzinc’s team; while it was not affected by the discharge, the integrity of the dam will be independently reviewed later this year.
Following the discharge, local authorities monitored the quality of the water in and around the Ridder Ore Concentrator’s operations as well as downstream close to where local communities reside. Whilst the tailings had an initial impact on the water quality of the river, subsequent test results have shown no presence of elevated substance levels.
Kazzinc has initiated a rehabilitation process, which is expected to be complete by 30 June.
Throughout the incident, Kazzinc worked closely with the regional authorities and locallyelected deputies. As regulated by law, representatives from the authorities ensured that local communities and other stakeholders were aware of the situation and provided regular updates throughout its duration. 48 hours after the event had occurred, Kazzinc hosted local media and officials to the discharge site to show the steps being taken to seal the faulted well and its pipeline and the rehabilitation work that was already underway.
The Ridder Ore Concentrator restarted operations on 26 May.
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