Material stewardship

MM11 Programs and progress relating to materials stewardship

Boliden extracts minerals and produces high-quality metals, which are mainly sold to industrial customers in Europe. Care and consideration for people, society and the environment is evident in all our activities – from exploration to customer deliveries.

It is of vital importance to Boliden that we develop the by-product business along with the metals business. The largest by-product by volumet is sulphuric acid, which is sold for industrial use. Slag based products, such as “iron sand” from the Rönnskär processes, are another example of Boliden by-products, and one where the raw material comprises slag from copper production. The slag is purified and granulated into a black coarse-grained glassy material, which is very suitable for use as a filler in road and building construction. The use of iron sand reduces the extraction of gravel and sand from nature. The majority of the iron sand has historically been sold in the surrounding region. Boliden experienced several setbacks in 2014–2015 when local authorities opposed the further use of the sand, for environmental reasons. During 2016, Boliden intensified its efforts to provide information about the material properties, and to inform people about the importance of defining how to make use of the material to be able to operate in accordance with the ideas of the circular economy that exist in society.

Boliden has made significant investments in the recycling industry and is now among the largest electronic scrap recyclers in the world.

Boliden owns land and forests and practises responsible forestry, as defined by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), by promoting and protecting biodiversity and creating environmental and social values.

Boliden performs business partner (EBP) reviews based on a range of sustainability criteria, including their environmental impact management, such as discharges to water and emissions to air management. The contracts with suppliers include specifications of environmental aspects in their delivery, such as levels of substances and waste management methods.