Environmental Monitoring Program

An new integrated Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP) in Kassandra Mines, Greece

2016
Greece

Summary

The Environmental Monitoring web platform by Hellas Gold is available to the public, allowing anyone who has Internet access to follow online data concerning the soil, water, atmosphere and the overall environmental quality in the area where the company operates. Measurements are performed using special instruments and measuring stations that have been installed in the area and , according to the company, constitute the largest and most comprehensive monitoring system that has ever operated in Europe and one of the largest worldwide. Technology is used to serve the environment and the people living in it and worrying about its quality. It provides a real-time online data feed, so that everyone can have access to the information and evaluate it.

Description

The Environmental Monitoring Program is applied by the Hellas Gold SA in Kassandra Mines and  is considered one of the biggest environmental investments in mining industries in Greece for protecting the environment, alongside the wellbeing of society. The new Environmental Monitoring Program (EMP) consists of 320 stations and sampling points for the continuous monitoring and recording of all environmental data in the wider area of the mine sites. Μonitoring parameters, such as air dust, vibrations, soil, noise, meteorological, solid waste, surface water, sea, ground water, drinking water, and mine water are measured continuously (every 60 seconds) throughout the 24 hours. For instance, the atmospheric monitoring network includes three automatic continuous monitoring stations of the atmospheric environment in each of the seven villages of the area which means a total of twenty-one monitoring stations in the Municipality of Aristotle. The selection of the location of the dust emission monitoring stations was based on a special study conducted by the Aristotle University, which is entitled “Study on the optimal location of air pollution measuring stations in the Cassandra Mines”. The variables measured are the amount of particulate matter (dust) PM2.5 and PM10 found in the air, i.e. particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (μm) and less than 10 micrometers (μm), respectively. Moreover, PM10 is also analyzed for concentrations of the trace elements Pb, Zn, Mn, Cd, As, Fe, Cu and Cr in accordance with the limits specified in the standard EN14902. The sampling for the analysis of the PM10 has a 24-hour duration and it is performed approximately twice a month. In addition to this, gasses are also analyzed and recorded continuously, particularly carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NO, NO2, NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The access to the database is open to the public. The equipment cost exceeds 4.000.000 EUR, and the annual running cost of the monitoring stations is estimated to over 2.000.000 EUR.

Impact on the mining value chain

  • MINE CLOSURE / WASTE management (incl. Permitting)
  • DATA and knowledge base

Mine closure / Waste

  • waste water management

Linked policies

Transferability

This level of transparency and external validation are important elements of building trust.

Impact area(s): 

Area: 
Environment, Ecosystem services and quality of natural resources
Impact on listed area: 

+: Environment protection through the monitoring of environmental performance

Area: 
Human/Social, Accountability and compliance
Impact on listed area: 

+: Immediate and scientifically information of real-time environmental data available to the citizens 

Area: 
Human/Social, Education and skills
Impact on listed area: 

+: Information, education, understanding, activation and effective participation of all employees in the field of environmental protection

Innovation drivers and barriers
Drivers
Other
The Environmental Monitoring Results Viewer application has been developed in order to facilitate the presentation of data related to the environmental monitoring activities of Hellas Gold S.A. The transparency in all operation steps of the company through public reporting and real time measurements builds a trusting relationship with society.

Good practice areas

Environmental sustainability
Data collected monitors both environmental elements and operational parameters, giving a full picture of the environmental performance of the company
Social responsibility
With a simple ‘click,’ citizens can learn about the water they drink and the air they breath

Organisations involved

Innovation category

Process