In this first post in our new Sustainability in Action series, we highlight the work our Lamaque team is doing to reduce the environmental impacts of our operations – including plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions for our exploration drilling activities.
Carbon-Neutral Exploration Will Be a First in Quebec
Mining exploration involves a range of activities, from building access roads and removing select vegetation to drilling boreholes. Motivated by our desire to minimize the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by these activities, we launched a program to make our exploration drilling activities carbon neutral.
We’re currently working with an external consultant to quantify the emissions generated by our exploration activities at Lamaque over the past three years. We’ll work with the consultant to develop an energy and ecological balance plan that offsets these emissions. This plan aims to offset our impacts through a range of potential programs, including planting trees on-site or in the nearby Val-d’Or community. Other activities may include reforestation, improvements to our operational practices and other initiatives that will lead to a net-zero carbon impact for our exploration activities. Going forward, we’ll quantify and offset these emissions annually.
“With this voluntary program, we’re going above and beyond what’s required by governmental regulations or standards,” says Joël Gauthier, Senior Director Corporate Social Responsibility at Eldorado Gold Lamaque. “But we believe making our exploration drilling activities carbon-neutral is simply the right thing to do.”
Using Technology to Make the Mine Smarter, Safer, and Greener
Underground mines require large volumes of clean ventilated air to keep workers safe and ensure the mine is operating efficiently. Some ventilated areas of the mine that do not need as much airflow – areas where people and equipment are not present – uses a lot of energy.
We continue to seek ways to be more energy efficient by installing ventilation-on-demand technology that monitors air quality and adjusts ventilation as needed (see our blog post on this topic from March 2019).
Our Imagine System, developed by Meglab, brings together ventilation automation and other operational systems, including a geolocation system for people and equipment and a collision warning system.
“The Imagine System optimizes our work sequences, which increases safety for our team while reducing our energy use,” says Joël. “Real-time monitoring of our equipment and people’s location has reduced our consumption of electricity and natural gas by 40% and our consumption of diesel by 10%. We’ve also improved production by 9% by reducing downtime between various activities in the mining cycle.”
“Our efforts in making our mine smarter, safer, and greener were recognized by Le Salon MPA, in November 2019, where we won the silver award for the best project across the manufacturing, services, consulting and government sectors for the impact the Imagine System has had,” says Sylvain Lehoux, General Manager at Eldorado Gold Lamaque. “I’m very proud of our team who continue to break new ground and find a better way to operate everyday.”
The SDGs were adopted by all UN member states in 2015 to provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet. The 17 SDGs set targets for achieving progress in poverty reduction, education, health care and employment while protecting the environment.
By considering the SDGs when making business and community investment decisions, we support the communities and countries in which we work. We are also contributing to Canada’s commitments to sustainable development at home and abroad.
Eldorado Gold is committed to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”).
The following post demonstrates our commitment to the following SDGs:
- #3 – Good Health and Well-being
- #7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
- #9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- #12 – Responsible Production and Consumption
- #13 – Climate Action