Managing our inputs

Water and energy are fundamental mining inputs, and we recognize the many economic, environmental and social benefits to improving efficiency when using these resources. In this section, we summarize our management approach and 2015 performance related to water and energy use.

Water Use

Availability and access to water is critical for our mining operations. We use water for mineral processing, dust suppression, slurry transport, and personal consumption; therefore, responsibly managing water is essential to our sustainable development over the long term. While we do not set quantitative targets regarding water consumption, our water use is strictly controlled across all of our sites, and each operation has implemented practices that reduce, reuse and recycle water.

Monitoring Water Resources

Across our operations, we withdrew nearly 12 million cubic metres of water during the mining process in 2015. This includes water removed from our mines following precipitation as well as groundwater that must be continuously pumped out from our underground mines. Overall, we experienced an 8% increase in total water withdrawals in 2015 compared to 2014 volumes, largely attributable to mine dewatering.

Water use is continuously monitored using flow meters, and we regularly take water quality samples from groundwater and surface water sources within and around our sites. We compare water quality results with the limit values set out in pertinent regulations and our operating permits, and we share these detailed results with regulators and government, typically on a quarterly basis.

Water availability varies by site. For operations that have limited access to water, such as Kişladağ and Tanjianshan, we have implemented extensive water conservation and recycling programs to reduce our need to withdraw water. At Jinfeng, where precipitation is higher, we capture rainwater run-off from our land and buildings, which we then treat and use in production. All water that comes into contact with our sites is treated and tested before being used or discharged back into the environment (e.g. rivers, lakes and reinjection into groundwater).

Water Flow Through a Mine Site

Total Water Withdrawal

Turkey China Greece 2015 Total 2014 Total (1)(2)
(Thousands m3) Kişladağ Efemçukuru Jinfeng White Mountain Tanjianshan Stratoni, Skouries, Olympias (3)

Surface water
(rivers, lakes, and oceans)
0 0 2,041 0 656 0 2,697 2,613
Ground water
(wells, underground mine water)
836 713 0 944 0 6,250 8,743 8,232
Rainwater collected/stored 0 0 384 0 0 0 384 84
Wastewater from another organization 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Municipal water 0 0 0 22 1 0 23 3
Total 836 713 2,425 966 657 6,250 11,850 10,932
Water efficiency (m3/oz) 3.0 7.1 16.2 12.4 6.7

(1) No data was collected on wastewater used from other organizations in 2014. As a result, total water withdrawals may have been slightly higher than presented in the total for 2014. (2) A correction was made to White Mountain’s reported groundwater withdrawals in 2014, from 226,000 m3 to 1,159,000 m3. The previously stated value was total production water used by the site’s processing plant in 2014. (3) Water efficiency was not calculated for our Greece assets. Gold recovered at Olympias is from tailings retreatment, and does not offer a reasonable basis for comparability.

Our reported water efficiency is not a true reflection of site water use or its correlation to production. In reality, due to the need to dewater our mines, we withdraw far more water than we use and consequently our actual water efficiency is much higher. As we continue to improve our data collection and reporting, we are investigating new data sources in order to improve our understanding of water balances and to calculate our water efficiency as a relationship of water used in production per ounce of gold produced.

Volume of Water Processed by Water Treatment Plants

Turkey China Greece 2015 Total
(Thousands m3) Kişladağ Efemçukuru Jinfeng White Mountain Tanjianshan Stratoni, Skouries, Olympias
Volume of water processed 29,141 713 2,127 1,075 941 2,204 36,201

Our site water treatment plants operate continuously year-round to reduce our reliance on external water sources. Kişladağ uses a leach pad to extract gold from ore, treating and circulating approximately 14,000 gallons of water per minute through a closed system, with minor losses attributable to evaporation. Approximately 35 times more water is recycled and reused by the site compared to new water withdrawals.

Other sites, like Tanjianshan, do not allow any water to be openly discharged back into the environment. All water is reused through process plants, including grey water from sewage.

Energy Use

Energy use at our operations is a significant operating cost, and related air emissions are one of our major environmental impacts.

In 2015, international stakeholders and governments continued to express increasing concern about the risks and potential impacts associated with climate change. The general trend across most jurisdictions, including where we operate, is emphasis on regulation that may penalize heavy greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters. As a result of both the upfront costs associated with energy use at our operations and the potential for our operating jurisdictions to impose GHG emission levies, improving the energy efficiency of our operations is important for us.

In some of our operating jurisdictions, energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction goals are already represented in regulations. For example, in Turkey each year, an energy usage declaration is made to the government, and every four years, an energy-efficiency study must be performed and submitted to the government. At Jinfeng, in accordance with the government energy reduction policy issued by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2011, a five-year target was set to reduce energy consumption by 2,100 tons of standard coal between 2011 and 2015. During this time, Jinfeng reduced energy consumption by 3,325 tonnes of standard coal, exceeding performance by 58%.

See table below for further information on the energy intensity performance achieved at our gold mining operations.

Energy Consumption

Turkey China Greece Company Total
(GJ) Kişladağ Efemçukuru Jinfeng White Mountain Tanjianshan Stratoni, Skouries, Olympias
Purchased electricity 330,042 143,201 528,000 238,140 320,000 190,000 1,749,383
Liquefied petroleum gas 715 (1) 0 0 4 0 0 719
Diesel for mobile equipment 995,663 66,615 91,500 92,749 66,660 54,543 1,367,730
Gasoline for mobile equipment 0 0 1 2,800 5,175 18,271 26,247
Diesel for generators 16,466 0 0 0 16,230 24,084 56,780
2015 Totals 1,342,886 209,816 619,501 333,693 408,065 286,898 3,200,859
2014 Totals 1,329,114 197,062 658,195 362,753 430,623 267,059 3,244,806

(1) Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was not used in 2015. The amount reported reflects Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) used at the Kişladağ site.

Between 2015 and 2014, we reduced company-wide energy consumption by 1%. However, with reduced gold production our overall energy efficiency actually decreased to 4.53 GJ/oz. With the exception of Jinfeng, we saw lower grades of material across each of our sites, which means that we mined and processed more ore to maintain production levels. Kişladağ experienced the biggest drop in ore grade, and saw the largest increase in total material moved per ounce. Jinfeng’s gold production was lower, so even though the site used less energy in 2015, there was a net increase in energy intensity.

Haulage fleet vehicle diesel use and electricity consumption are the company’s primary energy sources. Kişladağ remains our largest energy user, with the site’s vehicle fleet consuming more diesel than the rest of the company combined. With a deepening pit, Kişladağ’s haul trucks are having to travel further each year to transfer material to our crushing system and the waste dump. Jinfeng’s mill is the largest amongst Eldorado’s operations, with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of ore, and is therefore our largest electricity user. Tanjianshan and White Mountain have the second and third largest mills respectively, capable of processing 1.1 million and 800 thousand tonnes of ore. Kişladağ’s crushing circuit is the final major energy user at our sites.

Energy Intensity

Turkey China Greece Company Total (1)
(GJ/oz Au Produced) (1) Kişladağ Efemçukuru Jinfeng White Mountain Tanjianshan Stratoni, Skouries, Olympias (2)
2015 4.77 2.09 4.14 4.27 4.18 - 4.12
2014 4.27 1.99 3.91 4.25 4.00 - 3.86

(1) Weighted average.
(2) Gold is not produced at Stratoni and our Skouries and Olympias gold assets are in development.

Details 03/28/2015