Air emissions

We work to minimise our air emissions and impact on the environment and on the local communities.

Why this matters

Our operations produce air emissions such as sulphur dioxide (SO₂), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and dust. 

By working to manage these emissions, we can minimise their impact on local communities and the environment.

Our approach

We monitor all material air emissions from our activities, and look for ways to reduce emissions.

This includes:

  • Stack emissions
    We have processes in place to minimise emissions from chimney stacks, using monitoring stations and systems that help abate emissions


of SO₂ emissions captured at Mopani, Zambia, following a $500m upgrade of the smelter

Engaging with communities on air quality is vital. Mount Isa Mines in Australia, for example, has developed an app that allows local residents to track air quality.


We work to reduce the amount of dust that escapes from our operations – particularly at open-cut mines or mine roads, where dust is most prevalent.

For example, we apply recycled water to roads, place barriers at mine perimeters, and cover products for storage and transport.

Meet Kaluba - a processing engineer at Mopani in Zambia who's helping to improve air emissions

Principles we follow

UN Global Compact - Principles 7, 8 and 9

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8: Businesses should undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

Principle 9: Business should encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

UN Sustainable Development Goals - Goals 12 and 15

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 15: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

International Council on Mining and Metals - Principle 6

Principle 6: Pursue continual improvement in environmental performance issues, such as water stewardship, energy use and climate change

Our progress

In 2017, five of our sites put dust reduction programmes in place – and 19 sites completed air emission reduction programmes to reduce other emissions such as NOx, carbon monoxide or fumes.


sites implemented air emission abatement programmes in 2017

Our South African ferroalloys have put in place measures to meeting the amended industry-specific SO2 emissions limits that will come into force in 2020.

Next steps

Our assets will continue to monitor and look for ways to reduce air emissions.