Sustainability Topic: Water

303–1  Interaction with water as a shared resource

All Boliden’s units shall have a Water Management Plan. Water conservation is an important part of Boliden’s policy. Water management plans consider many critical operational aspects such as water scarcity, pollution and flooding. It is important to have a good understanding of current and future water use. Water risk assessments shall be undertaken regulary to evaluate potential impact on the business, operations, revenues or expenditures.

303–2  Management of water discharge-related impacts

In mining, water is typically used in mineral processing and slurry transport, while in smelting, it is used for cooling and gas cleaning purposes. Boliden’s operations do not re-use water from other organizations, but in Harjavalta and Kokkola, waste water from adjacent operations is ducted into Boliden’s waste water treatment plants for treatment before being discharged to recipients. These volumes are included in the reported data from the units. All water volumes are based on data from flow meters.

Water recycled and reused
(million m³)

2017 1)

2018 1)

2019

       

Recycled volume

115

116

114

Percentage of water recycled

79%

81%

86%

1) Corrected calculations

 

303–3  Water withdrawal

The water volumes are measured and/or calculated for each site by the use of flow meters and/or the monitoring of pump operating data.

Total water withdrawal by
source (million m³)

2017

2018

2019

       

Surface water (sea)

81

80

74

Surface water (inland)

44

46

40

Ground water

17

16

15

Collected rain water

1

1

1

Municipal water

2

2

2

Total water withdrawal

145

145

132


303–4  Water discharge

Discharges to water derive from dams and tailings ponds at the mines, and from water treatment plants and collection of surface water at smelters and mines. Boliden’s smelters account for approximately 80% of metal discharges to water. Boliden’s mines account for approximately 80% of the Group’s nitrogen discharges with the nitrogen generated mainly from the use of explosives and their handling.

Ensuring efficient and stable operations at water treatment plants and recirculating the process water as much as possible are important parts of reducing discharges to water. Boliden’s operations include purifying process water as well as a significant amount of the rainwater that falls within the industrial areas.

Once the water-treatment processes are completed, the smelters discharge their water to the sea while the mines discharge the water into rivers and lakes. The water discharged to recipients is monitored to ensure that levels of pollutants are within the quality standards stipulated in the environmental permit. Accredited laboratories, both internal and external, are used for analyses of samples taken on site.

Water discharge

2017 1)

2018 1)

2019

       

Metal discharges to water, metric tons (me-eq)

74

61

51

Metal discharges to water, metric tons (mass)

15

14

15

Nitrogen /N-tot/ to water metric tons (mass)

236

240

228

1) Updated model for calculation of metal equivalents, based on the framework for Natural Capital Protocol

Discharged water volume
(million m3)

2017

2018

2019

       

To wetland

0

0

0

To inland surface water

57

55

43

To sea surface water

71

78

66

To municipal treatment plants

0.03

0.03

0.03

Total

128

133

109


303–5  Water consumption

The water consumption of Boliden is calculated from the difference between the total water withdrawal and the discharged water volume of Boliden’s sites.

Water consumption
(million m³)

2017

2018

2019

       

Total water withdrawal

145

145

132

Discharged water volume

128

133

109

Water consumption

17

12

23