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Sustainable Use of Resources


Basic Concept

Operating businesses in a wide-range of fields globally, the Sumitomo Corporation Group recognizes the importance of effective use of limited resources and energy in each business to develop a sustainable society, and clearly states in its Environmental Policy that it will ensure the efficient use of water and other resources and energy. More specifically, we consider reducing environmental impact, sustainable procurement of raw materials, improving the efficiency of and reducing the amount of water and energy use, reducing waste, and promoting resource recycling as important challenges, and make efforts to address these goals through the activities of each business.

Initiatives

Bolivia’s San Cristobal Mine, as the world’s leading producer of zinc, lead and silver, is situated on a plateau 4,000 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Andes Mountains, where water is an important resource. Water use in the mining business in such an area has a great impact on the environment and local community; therefore, in operating the mine, we set policies concerning the rational use and responsible management of water in order to reduce water consumption.

Specifically, we promote technological studies for optimizing the amount of water used in ore processing, make continuous efforts to improve efficiency in the recovery and reuse of discharged water, and periodically monitor surface water and groundwater in related areas for evaluation of their availability in the local community. Based on these research results, we use high-salinity groundwater, which does not satisfy water quality standards for drinking, livestock use, irrigation or industrial water, as the major groundwater source, and reuse water discharged from the mine to supply half of the water required for operations, with the aim of improving operational efficiency and achieving harmony with the local community.

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