Environment

At Taseko we understand the need for a company to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner, which is the reason we have developed policies that guide our business approach.Sustainability protocols are handled by the company by way of three primary corporate policies each signed by the President and CEO: Health & Safety Policy(PDF); Aboriginal Policy (PDF); and a Environmental Policy (PDF)

Environmental Recognition

Mining & Sustainability Award

On July 12th, 2014 the Mining Association of BC and the Province of British Columbia awarded Taseko-Gibraltar with the Mining & Sustainability award for 2013 at a community event in Williams Lake. The event, attended by Taseko-Gibraltar employees, members of the Williams Lake Indian Band, the Aboriginal Mentoring and Training Association, local government representatives, community supports and many others, celebrated the accomplishments of Taseko-Gibraltar since the Gibraltar Mine restarted in 2004.

Dave Rouleau, Taseko’s VP of Operations stated “It is Taseko’s commitment to Gibraltar and by extension our commitment to this region, the Gibraltar Mine is a state of the art modern mining facility. Gibraltar is a story of sustainability right here in the Cariboo, a story of success and value that results when people work together to realize collective potential.

Metal Mine Reclamation Award

In September 2012, Gibraltar was recognized for its large-scale reclamation projects and progressive reclamation research trials with the Metal Mine Reclamation Award for Metal Mine Reclamation from the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation. Projects included a joint initiative with the Ministry of Forests for a pine tree establishment research program, research using biosolids from Metro Vancouver and wood chips to reclaim the tailings areas, and, the establishment of a pilot wetland to monitor the capabilities in treating tailings.

Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko commented, “A proactive approach to reclamation is a focus at Gibraltar. This award demonstrates the ongoing efforts of our environmental team and illustrates our Company’s dedication to responsible mining. We would like to also recognize the local Xat’sull First Nations reclamation crew for their work on many of these projects. Their participation helped contribute to the success of Gibraltar’s reclamation program.”

Towards Sustainable Mining

As members of The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and the Mining Association of British Columbia, we are committed to working towards best management practice standards, known as Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM), a comprehensive benchmark for the industry. TSM is designed to improve the industry’s performance and practices in environmental, social and economic aspects.

TSM is founded on a self-regulating set of principles encompassing all areas of mining. It requires members to report on key performance areas in order to remain a certified member in good standing.

Annually Taseko self-assess the following key sustainability indicators: Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management, Biological Diversity Conservation Management, Aboriginal and Community Outreach, Tailings Management, and Safety and Health and Crisis Management Planning.

The Company’s assessment is published in the MAC and MABC’s Annual TSM Progress Reports, as well as detailed below. The marking standards are set by MAC and follow grade levels ‘AAA’ to ‘C’, with an ‘A’ being the minimum industry objective. In 2014 the Company’s self-assessed marks were externally verified by a trained third party and were publicly reported by MAC in 2015.

Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management

Gibraltar instills energy awareness in all employees through mandatory computer-based training and provides additional training for key operators in energy intensive areas. The mine also promotes an employee awareness campaign on idling to reduce diesel consumption. Energy and GHG emissions data provided to Government GHG reporting programs, details on the Gibraltar annual energy targets and site efficiency programs are publicly available on the Taseko website.

Energy use and GHG emissions management performance continued to be excellent in 2016 and met the annual performance target, saving 79,000 kWh by using more energy efficient agitator technologies. Energy targets have been met for the last three years. All energy use and GHG emissions management indicators were assessed at Level A, reflecting that Gibraltar has a formal management system in place, an energy management team with assigned roles and responsibilities, and a rigorous data management system that tracks energy use and emissions.

Energy use for the primary sources of energy at the Gibraltar Mine is detailed below.

Year

Electricity
(MWH)

Diesel Fuel
(litres ‘000)

2013

393,125

30,570.45

2014

478,632

33,605.00

2015 485,441 35,758.101
2016 474,478 33,140,096


Biological Diversity Conservation Management

Biological diversity conservation management is a key component of activity at the Gibraltar Mine through its annual mine reclamation programs, site monitoring of wildlife use, which included use of motion sensitive cameras in 2016, and extensive COI engagement. Engagement often centers on the use of country foods and heath of salmon, which informs biological diversity monitoring, native species for including in planting programs, and water management plans. The biological diversity conservation plan is integrated with existing programs implemented at the mine. It also captures new initiatives that support biological diversity conservation with First Nations and local environmental groups.

Taseko was successful in establishing formal linkages between the plan and the objective of advancing reclamation toward achieving the approved end land use objectives. The program includes actionable targets related to significant biodiversity aspects in Gibraltar’s EMS. Initiatives in biological diversity are reported publicly in newsletters, newspaper articles and in an annual report sent directly to First Nations and the public library resulting in a Level A ranking across all indicators in the protocol.

Aboriginal and Community Outreach

In March, 2012, the Taseko Aboriginal Policy was signed by the CEO and this states that we are “committed to developing mutually beneficial relationships with Aboriginal Peoples and local communities that are affected by, or that affect, the company’s various endeavors.” The Taseko Corporate Aboriginal Policyand storiesof some of these relationships are illustrated on our website.

Aboriginal and community outreach continued to be exceptional in 2016. Taseko retained Level AAA ratings for COI identification, effective COI engagement and dialogue, and COI response mechanisms. The StakeTracker™ system continued to facilitate COI identification and record-keeping, and was particularly useful in tracking stakeholder feedback at COI meetings resulting in environmental monitoring programs being jointly developed and implemented on the Fraser River.

A COI feedback mechanism on public reporting was utilized during the year at COI meetings, and in the company’s public newsletter, retaining a Level A in reporting. The company remains committed to continuous improvement with First Nation educational initiatives and contract procurement in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

Tailings Management

Responsible tailings management is a key priority for the Gibraltar Mine and in 2016 the facility retained a Level AA for all five indicators. The internal tailings audit conducted three years prior remained valid for 2016. The facility’s ratings for policy and commitment, management systems, accountability and responsibility, COI engagement processes, and the OMS manual stayed the same or were updated. All indicators and tailings performance were discussed and confirmed at the annual 2016 corporate tailings management review.

Taseko is committed to meeting the requirements of MAC’s tailings guides, and has been fully engaged with the MAC Tailings Working Group to assist in incorporating the Independent Tailings Task Force recommendations into TSM.

Taseko’s promise is to help realize collective potential and, consistent with that promise, promote public engagement. If you have comments or concerns please email us at communityfeedback@gibraltarmines.com.

Safety and Health and Crisis Management Planning

Taseko is committed to providing and maintaining safe and healthy working conditions, and to establishing operating practices which safeguard employees and physical assets. As such, all operations are guided by Taseko’s Health and Safety Policy

Safety and health has always been a high-level commitment for Taseko and Gibraltar management. With the credo that: Nothing is more important to the Company than the safety, health and well-being of our workers and their families. Taseko is committed to operational practices that result in improved efficiencies, safety performance and occupational health. In recognition of this commitment and the achievements resulting from it, Taseko has received the provincial John Ash Award for safety performance for the last three years from the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines. The award recognizes a BC mining operation that has achieved the lowest lost time accident frequency for at least one million worker hours.

In 2016, Taseko maintained a Level AA for the indicators of policy, commitment and accountability, and for safety performance; a Level AAA in training, behaviour and culture; and, retained a Level A for both planning, implementation and operation, and for monitoring and reporting.

The year to date hours of work, including contractors, along with the Lost Time information is summarized below:

Year

YTD Hours

YTD Lost
Time (LT)

YTD LT
Severity

YTD LT
Frequency

Taseko - Gibraltar
20161,317,02726.380.30

Taseko - Gibraltar

2015

1,408,795

0

0.00

0.00

Taseko - Gibraltar

2014

1,711,467

0

0.00

0.00

Taseko - Gibraltar20131,727,49156.250.58

Crisis management planning met all requirements of the TSM protocol at both the corporate office and the Gibraltar Mine. In 2016, the Florence Copper Project Crisis team was integrated into the corporate crisis management system.

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