Our impact on natural environments affects areas around our mines. We are serious about our responsibility to avoid, minimize and comprehensively monitor those impacts.
Biodiversity – the variety of flora and fauna that support an ecosystem – is key to long-term resiliency and health of local environments. Adopting responsible practices with respect to biodiversity management is increasingly important to our stakeholders and plays a key factor in our relationship with local communities, regulatory agencies, and access to land. This topic is considered most material by government regulators and local communities in the context of all Great Panther sites.
Environmental Baseline Studies
Each of our mine sites is unique, so we start with a detailed environmental baseline study to acquire the data needed to recognize and manage changes. This includes identifying the types of ecosystems present and species of flora and fauna and the ecological processes they support. The study allows us to get to know each mine’s surroundings through the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
Once they have assessed the area’s specific needs, we tailor a plan to avoid, minimize, and manage impacts on flora, fauna and their habitat according to local environmental legislation. The study findings also provide timely input into site plans to reduce potentially adverse environmental impacts during the development, operational and closure phases of our mines.
Preventing impacts to ecosystems and habitat is more responsible and more cost-efficient than remediating them. To that end, based on our environmental baseline studies, we create biodiversity conservation plans to maintain or enhance specific conditions and prevent damage, specific for each site. These include guidelines to avoid water pollution, emission control protocols (air, soil and water) and minimize habitat loss. Our biodiversity conservation programs also include soil erosion prevention and spills prevention technology.
Biodiversity Training and Rescue
When we identify a new area of work, we prioritize the conservation of flora and fauna. Our biodiversity programs are guided by local environmental legislation and may include impact mitigation plans, land-use change studies and its associated reports. As employees and contractors begin to work at a new site and each year, they receive biodiversity training that emphasizes care, respect and the importance of following Great Panther’s conservation guidelines at and around the site.
Exploring Technology in Biodiversity
We’re exploring the potential of new technologies to revolutionize biodiversity in mining. This includes using night-vision cameras to identify animals in the forest around Tucano, as well as deploying drones in Mexico and Brazil to monitor the recovery of vegetation. We also use a Global Positioning System (GPS ) to locate and protect seed-bearing plants and endangered species, in addition to forestry inventory software.