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Turquoise Hill (TSX:TRQ)(NYSE:TRQ) is an international mining company focused on the operation and development of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in southern Mongolia, which is the company’s principal and only material mineral resource property.

The Oyu Tolgoi project is located in the South Gobi region of Mongolia. The project is being developed by Turquoise and consists of a series of deposits containing copper, gold, and silver. The mineral deposits at Oyu Tolgoi lie in a structural corridor.

Water efficiency

Oyu Tolgoi has been designed as one of the most water-efficient mines in the world with average water use of 0.37 cubic metres of water per tonne of ore processed in 2020. The water used by Oyu Tolgoi comes from a deep and saline aquifer and has no impact on drinkable water in the region. In 2020, water used by Oyu Tolgoi has been continuously recycled at an average rate of 87.7%.

An independent water audit is undertaken every five years, with the last audit completed in 2016. Compliance with water management and conservation policies, standards and legislation in 2020 was ensured through diverse processes including inspections from the Government of Mongolia as well as local community field verifications.

Best-in-class safety culture

Turquoise is working to establish a safety culture that aligns organizational and individual employee values to create a positive culture that drives consistent behaviour. Further, the company seeks to adopt best practice safety-management systems to deliver world-class safety performance. Oyu Tolgoi’s standards are aligned with broader corporate and enterprise-wide safety standards providing a framework to measure, monitor, and continuously drive improvement in safety performance.

Business improvement

Also, Turquoise has successfully embedded the Kaizen process into business improvement activities to enable teams to identify and eliminate elements of work that do not add value or are obstacles to efficiency or safety. Examples of Kaizen process initiatives include elimination of root causes that may trigger failures of critical controls and identification of opportunities to improve the concentrate bagging process and border procedures.

Given the scale and complexity of Turquoise, the workforce faces a range of risks that are managed carefully. Proactive measures are taken to control risks by identifying hazards, assessing risks, and using controls to prevent damage and harm. Turquoise’s systems use risk assessments and controls for all tasks and utilize a variety of different tools to help manage workplace risks.

Focus on sustainability

As a result of the development of the underground portion of the mine, the amount of waste generated by Turquoise has significantly increased. For the past three years, Turquoise has focused on continuous improvement of non-mineral waste management through the development of the long-term non-mineral waste-management strategy and the reduction of waste by improving the ability to reuse and recycle waste materials and segregating waste in the work areas.

Further, Turquoise has successfully established relationships with national recycling contractors. Turquoise has also volunteered to send reusable items to local communities. The company also started a pilot program to prepare organic compost using food waste. These initiatives should create shareholder wealth over the long term.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor Nikhil Kumar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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