The Freeport-McMoRan Environmental Policy is based on our objective to be compliant with laws and regulations and to minimize environmental impacts using risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science. It requires that we review and take account of the environmental effects of each activity, whether exploration, mining or processing; and that we plan and conduct the design, development, operation and closure of each facility in a manner that optimizes the economic use of resources while reducing adverse environmental effects.

All of our mining and mineral processing operations maintain Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certified to ISO 14001, which are independently audited on an annual basis. As part of the EMS, upon employment all newly-hired employees and contractors are trained on environmental awareness in subject areas including chemical management, waste management, and spill prevention and response. In addition to job-specific training, workforce members receive annual environmental refresher training. During 2015, we completed internal environmental audits at 12 operations, and our facilities are routinely inspected by regulatory agencies. Since 1996, an independent environmental audit has been conducted at PTFI every three years, and an executive summary and responses to the 2014 audit recommendations are posted here. All operations have corrective action programs associated with the overarching EMS.

When operations have received a notice of an environmental violation from a regulatory agency such as shown in the table below, the citations typically have involved brief and minor exceedances of permit conditions or other recordkeeping violations which have no or minimal environmental impact. Notices of violation have also followed spills or releases related to tailings dust or impacted water. Where our operations have been assessed for penalties, they typically are individually below $100,000.

Environmental Compliance Indicators
Reportable spills or releases of hazardous or toxic chemicals
Notices of Violations related to permit exceedances, spills, releases or other compliance matters
Environmental Penalties*
* Penalties are typically paid in periods subsequent to the year of the environmental event and/or enforcement action.

PT Freeport Indonesia External Audits

Environmental grievances In 2015, PTFI received a total of 89 community grievances, seven of which were related to environmental impacts. The grievances included complaints related to sedimentation and the west levee extension project. Of these, four were closed and three are in process of being closed.

At TFM 24 grievances related to environmental impacts were recorded in 2015. These grievances were related to two events. The first was from farmers who alleged that the mine’s water use was depleting water flows in a local river and impacting their agricultural crops. TFM analyzed the allegations and concluded that the temporary drying of the river was due to intermittent rainfall observed in 2014, and the grievances have been closed. The second event was from farmers in Kamipungu Valley near Tenke whose fields and vegetable crops were damaged by mud and gravel following the failure of an operational weep berm. TFM accepted responsibility for the damages, constructed new weep berms downstream to improve surface water management, and committed to compensating for damages. These grievances are in the process of being closed.  

In 2015, our operations in North and South America received 21 grievances related to environmental impacts. Approximately half of the grievances were related to dust, emissions or odor. All grievances received are either closed or are in the process of being closed.