A step in environmental management

Lihir Gold Limited (LGL), a subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited, has recently completed its transition to the revised ISO14001:2015 standard.

Lihir’s environment department, through its Environment Management System (EMS) team and SAI Global, led the transition audit.

ISO14001:2015 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective Environment Management System. It provides a framework that focuses on the overall business performance of the operation and looks at enhancing environmental efficiencies (i.e waste minimisation) in all processes.

LGL – when managed by Rio Tinto Limited through the Lihir Management Company (LMC) – was originally certified to the ISO14001 standard in 2004, due to a requirement under the then Rio Tinto Environment Standard E1 for all Rio Tinto Business Units to be certified to this standard.

The current certification scope covers processes involved in mining (including exploration), mineral processing of gold, the operation and maintenance of power stations, deep-sea tailings disposal and waste rock disposal. It also include associated business support activities like the airport, Londolovit township and associated town roads.

Wingfield Kila and Ngala Papan, who were among several employees involved in the transition audit, explained that an EMS helps to monitor, control and improve the way Lihir utilises and manages waste to minimise impacts to the environment, thereby gaining a competitive advantage and trust of stakeholders.

They also highlighted that the significance of an ISO14001 certification at Lihir recognises that processes are in place for the identification, management and mitigation of significant environmental aspects. This includes opportunities for environmental improvement given the context of the organisation and considerations of interested parties.

Generally, organisations certified to ISO14001 are required to undertake surveillance audits of their certified EMS every six months with the system re-certified every three years. Lihir Environment’s EMS team is responsible for the maintenance and continual improvement of the system in Lihir. The team also maintains an SOP for the system to provide direction to site personnel on how it should function.

This accreditation aligns with Newcrest’s core pillar of Safety and Sustainability, in ensuring a safe and productive operation.

(Newcrest Lihir employees celebrating a successful transition to the revised ISO14001:2015)

Press release