Climax Molybdenum Company, a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, sustainability programs are consistent with commitments set forth in company-wide policies defined by Freeport-McMoRan. We are committed to managing and minimizing any adverse impacts of its operations on the surrounding environment, and to reclaiming, restoring and remediating affected land and waters as applicable.
Through our Environmental Policy, we commit to:
We are committed to ensuring it operates within all required environmental permits and authorizations and complies with all applicable regulations. The environmental management systems in place at our operations are internationally certified under the ISO 14001 environmental management system standards.
Tailings and Water Management
Tailings and surface water management processes represent a significantly large undertaking. At the Climax Mine, tailings and surface water management is managed within a land area of about 14 square miles. The systems must be able to function year-around and in all types of seasonal weather conditions. At Climax Mine, the site’s water management system serves several purposes including preserving the integrity of the tailings storage facilities, allows for reusability of process water, and achieves water quality objectives in any discharges that are released from the Climax Mine Operation to the environment.
At Climax Mine, tailings from the mill process are hydraulically transported to tailings dams. Over its history, we have managed tailings storage in different facilities. The two active facilities are the Tenmile and Mayflower Tailings Storage Facilities.
Air emissions from our operations arise from both its mining and milling operations emissions. At the mining level, air emissions result from underground and surface mine development and production processes. From milling operations, emission result from ore handling, grinding/flotation, and tailing deposition processes. State-of-the-art dust baghouses, wetting agents, and vehicle scrubbers are utilized for capturing and removing significant amounts of these contaminants.
Under its environmental permits and together with our sustainability program, significant land and watershed restoration projects have been completed at our Colorado operations. Approximately 500 acres of previously disturbed land has been fully reclaimed at the Climax Mine since 1997.
Historic Mining Restoration
Historic mining impacts surrounding the Climax Mine have also been restored. Turn-of-the-century mining left waste rock stockpiles, mine opening head frames, and prospecting pits located in the Searle Gulch area north of our industrial area. Mine waste was collected, removed and relocated to a storage area located within our industrial footprint; the area has been re-vegetated and old-mine openings have been sealed to prevent accidents.
Site-wide waste recycling programs are in place at our operations that have resulted in significant reductions in the volume of domestic trash and industrial waste materials that are disposed off-site. Our waste recycling programs now comprise recycling of scrap metal, used oil, scrap lumber, tires and other materials.
The Climax Mine has successfully completed several multi-million dollar environmental restoration projects; a process whereby land that was previously affected by mining and mineral processing operation is restored to a condition that mimics the pre-operations habitat, vegetation, wildlife and ecology that existed prior to disturbance. Under its environmental permits and together with the company’s sustainability program, significant land and watershed restoration projects have been completed.