We are a values-based company where environmental and community stewardship are integral to our core values. We live in the communities we operate in and follow best practices to minimize impacts to air, land, water, and wildlife.
Environmental stewardship is a fundamental aspect of our Environmental Management Plan which is designed to manage and minimize the impact to the surrounding areas around the Cerro Blanco Project. We recognize that our operations have potential environmental impacts, including land use changes. As such, Bluestone is committed to keeping our environmental footprint as small as possible. Such impacts are avoided, minimized and mitigated by the implementation of our Environmental Management Plan and will be offset by long-term environmental planning.
Bluestone complies with environmental commitments as laid out by governmental authorities, communities, and stakeholders identified during the detailed environmental and social impact assessment on the project. We are committed to always meeting or exceeding regulatory requirements and best practices from international standards.
These include mitigation and management plans for alteration of vegetation cover, impact to native species, aquatic habitats, and fauna habitats. We recognize that biodiversity is critical to an ecosystem and its productivity.
Water is an essential component to life and as part of our commitment to the environment we have an extensive water monitoring program and treatment facility to ensure water quality meets and exceeds the required regulatory standards, as well as international standards. Water quality monitoring has been underway on the project for over 15 years, and we work with local organizations such as AMAR (Regional Association of Environmental Monitoring and Protection) to independently test, verify and monitor water quality.
AMAR is a committee made up of people from the local communities, who are selected by the Community Development Councils (COCODEs) from the area of influence of the project. AMAR participates in collecting samples on a regular basis. The main objective of the committee is to independently monitor and verify quality, receive results and share them with their communities.
Monitoring covers surface water, groundwater, rivers, streams, fresh water springs, and Lake Güija. We regularly test the water quality of Lake Guija as part of our water monitoring program and have been doing this since activity began on the project.
As part of our biological baseline studies, we have developed and implemented procedures and systems for the management of local biotic species. In addition, we conduct regular monitoring programs for flora and fauna, and we assesses, register and re-locate any species required to our environmental protection buffer zones.
We also have an active reforestation program where we replant native species such as matilisguate, cedar, palo blanco, and madrecacao. Our tree-donation program has donated more than 100,000 trees to various institutions, municipalities and schools.