BMSC has a ‘zero discharge policy’ that eliminates any water discharge. The operation also does not produce any sludges.

Solid waste is segregated at two waste handling facilities situated at the camp and salvage yard. Approximately 480 thousand kg of non-hazardous waste (e.g. wood, metals) was removed by Ministry of Labour and Human Welfare (MoLHW) for recycling. Only non-hazardous waste, such as food scraps, safety shoes, hard hats, air filters and filter cloth from the concentrate area are disposed of in the onsite landfill. An onsite incinerator handles a limited set of items, including medical waste. BMSC also starting sending waste oil to a recycling facility located at Massawa that will be commissioned in 2016. Sufficient waste oil was sent in 2015 (160,000 litres) to enable the site to be commissioned; regular monthly shipments will be sent in 2016 once fully operational. Other wastes (including hazardous items such as batteries) are safely stored onsite pending identification of suitable recycling methodologies. In 2015, the accumulated site storage was 58,000 tonnes. The Company is working closely with the Government of Eritrea to identify suitable disposal options.

In 2015, we milled 1.93 million dry metric tonnes of ore. Of that 1.67 million dry metric tonnes (approximately 87%) went to our tailings management facility with the remainder shipped as copper concentrate; an increase of 15% over 2014. The material held in this facility has acid generating potential; to address this issue, the facility is fully lined with high density polyethylene liner, with a leak detection system and downstream groundwater monitoring. The tailing and water level in this facility is constantly monitored and our management performance regularly reviewed by an external expert in tailing management to ensure we align with international practices.

In 2015, 10.7 million tonnes of material was sent to the waste rock management facility; following standard industry practice, the facility is constructed on unlined compacted rock. Approximately two-third of the waste rock has the potential to generate acid; this portion is encapsulated within the facility to control acid generating potential. Monitoring wells are placed on the downstream side of the facility. As a result of the control measures in place, and given that the site is located in an arid climate, the potential contamination risk associated with the waste rock management facility is low.

profile-edwardEDWARD MOUSNEY – GENERAL MANAGER, BISHA MINING SHARE COMPANY (BMSC) 

Since 2014, Ed has been the mine’s General Manager. Originally a chemical engineer, he studied at the University of Manchester, UK, before beginning a career in the mining sector that has lasted more than 30 years.

Before joining Bisha, he spent thirteen years in Australia and fifteen years in Africa, in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he and his family live. He enjoys travelling, fishing and spending time with his family (especially his delightful grandchildren).

“In my experience, when mining is done properly, and in a sustainable and responsible manner, it is a huge force for good. This can be seen here, where it has already improved the lives of many Eritreans”. 

In 2015, four spills were recorded.

  • Emulsion spilled at the explosive storage facility. The bunded area contained non-reactive dirt and the spill was successfully remediated.
  • Processing equipment (hoppers) overflowed after a power outage, causing a minor spill (<2m³) outside the bund wall, which was successfully remediated.
  • Diesel was spilled during a fuel transfer. The spill was cleaned and the material disposed to the designated area.
  • A puncture of the tailings thickener released approximately 2,500 m³ of process water containing residual tailings, affecting a significant area of the plant site, including the HME, warehouse, SGS laboratory and chemical stores. The residual tailings were removed and the area remediated.

All of these spills were successfully cleaned up in an expedient manner; there were no impacts to groundwater or other sensitive environments, no fines were issued and no environmental grievances filed in 2015.

A total of $1,375,586 was spent in 2015 on social and environmental management, including land use remediation, waste disposal of domestic and industrial wastes. This figure excludes waste management costs associated with tailing or with waste rock.