Independent Monitor Report on McArthur River Mine
3 May 2022
The Independent Monitor (IM) Report on McArthur River Mine for the period 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 has found continuous improvement in environmental management and performance at the mine.
The primary objective of the IM’s Annual Environmental Performance Audit Report (AEPAR) is to provide transparency to the local communities in the Gulf Region on whether McArthur River Mining Pty Ltd (MRM) is fulfilling and managing compliance related to environmental obligations.
The AEPAR assesses MRM’s performance in a wide range of areas, including its compliance with regulatory approval conditions; its implementation of NT Environment Protection Authority (EPA) recommendations; its implementation of environmental commitments; and its environmental risk management process.
MRM achieved a high level of overall compliance with the conditions imposed under its Authorisation and Waste Discharge Licence, as well as with the implementation of the NT EPA recommendations. The IM found that MRM has continued to avoid or minimise potential environmental risks through proactive management and monitoring across a wide range of site activities.
The Independent Monitor found the mine demonstrated a high level of environmental performance with no significant environmental issues requiring urgent investigation during the audit period.
The AEPAR also found that the McArthur River and its tributaries were considered to be in good health and that it is safe for people to eat fish from the McArthur River including barramundi, sooty grunter and cherabin (freshwater prawns).
Adam Hatfield, Acting General Manager of MRM, said: “The Independent Monitor continues to conduct a detailed review of our environmental performance and make constructive recommendations for how we can continue to improve.”
“The entire workforce at MRM is committed to operating responsibly and I’m very proud of their achievements. The Independent Monitor’s positive findings about our environmental performance and the continued good health of the McArthur River are a testament to the ongoing progress we’ve made in recent years.”
The report assessed a total of 1,055 conditions. There were no non-compliances. There were 39 requirements scored as partly compliant, however, these were largely administrative (e.g. documentation procedures) and posed a low risk to the environment.
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Notes for editors
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsible-sourced commodities that advance everyday life. The Group's operations comprise around 150 mining and metallurgical sites and oil production assets.
With a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore's industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of more than 30 marketing offices. Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation and oil sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore's companies employ around 135,000 people, including contractors.
Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Our ambition is to be a net zero total emissions company by 2050.
About Glencore Australia
In Australia, Glencore produces coal, copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc, lead, silver and gold from 25 mining operations. We also operate metals processing assets in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including metals smelters, concentrators and refineries.
We are among Australia’s largest producers and marketers of natural resources, connecting Australian resources with industrial customers around the world. Through our diverse portfolio, we responsibly supply the resources that advance everyday life.
We employ 17,690 people in Australia and in 2020 contributed over $13.8 billion to the regional, state and national economies. This included spend of $9.5 billion with 7,890 businesses across the country, as well as $2.1 billion in government tax and royalty payments.
We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace for our people, to respecting the environment, to engaging openly and constructively with the Traditional Owners on whose lands we operate and to bringing value to local communities.
Glencore recognises our responsibility to contribute to the global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our ambition is to be a net zero total emissions company by 2050. In August 2021 we increased our medium-term emission reduction target to a 50% reduction by 2035 and introduced a new short-term target of a 15% reduction by 2026.
About McArthur River Mining
McArthur River Mining is located in the Northern Territory approximately 970 kilometres south-east from Darwin and 60 kilometres south-west of its closest township, Borroloola. MRM mines one of the world’s largest zinc and lead deposits.
MRM provides direct employment to about 1,060 people, including contractors. In 2021, we contributed almost $500 million to the local, Territory and national economies through our payment of wages, spend on goods and services from more than 1,000 suppliers – much of which we sourced in the Territory – taxes and community investment projects.