How We Approach Environmental Stewardship

Madagascar is a biodiversity-rich country with high levels of endemism (most of the plant and animal species occur nowhere else on Earth). Ambatovy’s Mine is located within a species-rich region of Madagascar at the southern end of the remaining Eastern Forest Corridor. Madagascar is also one of the world’s poorest countries, in which local people are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood. These factors combine to create a challenging context for a large mining operation.

To meet this challenge, Ambatovy has developed interrelated environmental and social policies that aim to ensure no net loss, and preferably a net gain, of biodiversity while ensuring socioeconomic benefits for local populations. This includes a strong focus on monitoring and conservation at both of our sites to ensure we are minimizing to every extent possible the impacts of mining on our surroundings, including on local flora and fauna, as well as air quality, water quality, and noise pollution.

Our Environmental Commitments

To deliver on these policies and offer outstanding environmental results, Ambatovy continues to:

  • Utilize an adaptive, state-of-the-art environmental management system to ensure compliance with the highest national and international standards throughout all of our operational phases (construction, operations, and closure);
  • Avoid, minimize, and mitigate environmental impacts and compensate for residual impacts through the implementation of a multi-faceted biodiversity offsets program;
  • Anticipate and manage environmental risks through stakeholder engagement, public information and consultation, transparent communication, and adaptive management to address emerging environmental issues.
  • Work closely with local communities to reduce pressure on environmental resources and instill a culture of environmental resource management and community based conservation.

Environmental Compliance

As a responsible mining enterprise, Ambatovy adheres to stringent environmental standards including the Equator Principles, the World Bank Group’s IFC Performance Standards, and the principles of the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP). Ambatovy’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) provides the framework that ensures that all issues identified during the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) are addressed through appropriate mitigation and monitoring.

We work in close collaboration with the Malagasy regulator, the National Environment Office (ONE, in French), which must approve all environmental plans for implementation. Mitigation measures, together with strict monitoring systems, ensure that impacts are minimized.

Biodiversity Management System

Ambatovy’s environmental program is outlined and governed by the Ambatovy Biodiversity Management System. This real-time, comprehensive evaluation system allows us to more fully utilize acquired data and information and to identify and manage risks through a quality control and assurance structure. This system governs both our management of our physical environment and our extensive activities for biodiversity conservation.

The following key objectives are the foundation of Ambatovy’s biodiversity management system:

  • No net loss of biodiversity, and preferably a net gain;
  • No loss of species and no reduction in the viability of populations of endangered species;
  • Minimized impacts on flora, fauna, and aquatic resources;
  • Increased conservation of rare habitats;
  • Priority habitat viability assured by maintaining or increasing ecosystem connectivity;
  • Ambatovy’s biodiversity actions linked with regional initiatives.