At Evolution we believe we have an obligation to not only achieve compliance with legislation such as the Resource Management Act (RMA), but to strive for leading practice and to meet the expectations of the communities we operate within. We have Environmental Protocols that hold us to a high standard of environmental performance and create a clear and open accountability framework. Our regulatory and social licences to operate depend on this.
Before starting any exploration activities such as drilling, we will first complete an environmental risk assessment of potential environmental effects that may result from exploration activities. We have also initiated a comprehensive environmental baseline study which commenced in February 2016. Consultation with Tangata Whenua and the community will occur throughout all phases of our exploration programme.
We understand that some members of the local community, including Tangata Whenua, have a high level of concern about the environmental impact of our exploration activities and any potential future mining should the project ever proceed to that phase. In particular, concerns have been expressed around potential release of mercury into the waterways, given the high levels of naturally occurring mercury in the Puhipuhi area and legacy issues relating to past mining and quarrying practices in the region.
Read more on what we know about Mercury at Puhipuhi in our fact sheet.
The environmental baseline study will help us better understand the local environment and identify any potential environmental effects that may result from exploration activities. The study results will be used to assist in developing an environmental management plan that will include any environmental controls we need to put in place.
We will ensure that any procedures we implement meet all obligations under relevant New Zealand regulations and are aligned to Evolution’s internal standards, procedures and protocols.
If Evolution is unable to identify a way to conduct our activities safely and without harm to the environment, we will not proceed.
Read about our environmental approach at Puhipuhi in our Environment Fact Sheet.
You can also read about Evolution’s approach to health, safety and the environment at our operational sites in Australia here.