An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was produced by Wardell Armstrong International Ltd and Hagler Bailly (Pvt) Ltd for the proposed Block VI development and following extensive baseline studies and consultation with the local communities.
The ESIA for the mine was carried out to meet both the environmental standards of Pakistan and to comply with international standards. The ESIA details the field work undertaken on climate, flora and fauna along with a survey of land use and population within Block VI to enable the impact assessments to be carried out. In addition there were extensive stakeholder consultations with the local communities carried out throughout the assessment period.
Environmental Baseline studies including topography and geomorphology, geology, acid rock drainage and geochemical water quality predictions, soils, climate, water resources from surface and groundwater and water usage, air quality, noise and vibration, radioactivity, baseline ecology, and socioeconomic baseline were carried out in Block VI and its environs.
An Environmental Management Plan has been prepared which sets out how the environmental controls will be implemented over the life of the project along with mitigation measures to be put in place. A Social Management Plan has been developed following the Socioeconomic Impact Assessment which assessed the economic, the socioeconomic and infrastructure impacts along with health and education impacts.
The ESIA was submitted to the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2013 for approval as required by legislation. A public hearing was held on the site and a Technical Committee Hearing in Karachi following which the ESIA was formally approved in May 2104 by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency and a No Objection Certificate issued.
An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the proposed mine mouth power plant has been produced by Mott MacDonald UK Ltd in conjunction with Mott MacDonald Pakistan Pvt. Ltd in 2016 and was completed in 2017.
The ESIA built on the original baseline studies for the mine which were all updated along with new surveys of land use and local population. Local consultations with the local communities and stakeholders were carried out over the assessment period.
The impact of the proposed power plant has been assessed in terms of the short term impacts during construction and the long term impacts during operation. The air quality and emissions have been modelled along with noise and vibration modelling. The visual impact has also been assessed.
An Environmental Management Plan has been prepared which aligns and updated the original plan produced for the Mine ESIA along with all the mitigation measures to be adopted throughout the life of the project.
The ESIA was submitted to the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (“SEPA”) in March 2017, a public hearing was held on site in July 2017; SEPA’s approval is awaited.