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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

End freshwater withdrawals for mining processes in Los Bronces by 2030, while providing new water supply for communities in need.

Anglo American - Chile (
Private sector
)
#SDGAction50633
    Description
    Description

    We recognise access to water as key enabler for social equality and prosperity. At Anglo American, our objective is to use, manage, and care for water through the lifecycle of our operations in a way that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial. Globally, we have committed to reducing the withdrawals of freshwater in water scarce areas by 50% by 2030. For context, 83% of our operations are in water scare areas, including Chile. To achieve this, our goal for the Los Bronces mine in Chile is to stop withdrawals of freshwater for mining processes by 2030. This target supports our focus on improving access to water for communities and ecosystems. Key to achieving our commitment at Los Bronces, was the signing of an agreement with Aguas Pacifico in October 2022 to supply 500 l/s of desalinated sea water from its new desalination plant located in Puchuncaví, Valparaíso, scheduled to start in 2025. This is the first phase of our Integrated Water Security Plan (IWSP). This will enable us to nearly halve our current freshwater withdrawals. As part of this first phase, we will provide desalinated sea water to the communities of Colina and Tiltil, who are currently reliant on rural drinking systems facing declining groundwater levels and water delivered by truck. The agreement with Aguas Pacifico will not only contribute to decreasing freshwater withdrawals for our operation but also provide greater water security to 20,000 people. The second phase of the IWSP will be the implementation of an innovative swap scheme to increase the supply of desalinated water for human consumption providing500 l/s in exchange for treated wastewater to supply the operation. This second phase depends on a final board decision and its subject to the feasibility of environmental permits and project schedule. If approved, it would boost water supply in the Valparaiso region in Chile and increase drinking water security for almost 1 million people before 2030. The IWSP complements the existing Rural Water Program, which directly supports the management of the Rural Drinking Water Systems (APRs) Committees and is thus strengthens local water governance initiatives. This commitment to the communities is part of an ongoing journey of collaboration that started with conducting a catchment-scale water balance study in 2018. From that study, a strategic alliance with We-Techs, a Chilean water services company, was formed for the purposes of monitoring and managing water resources remotely through technology. To date, through this collaboration, we have implemented improvements in eighty-three APRs located in four provinces of the Metropolitan and Valparaiso regions (Chacabuco, Los Andes, Quillota and San Felipe). This has generated more than 35% increase in water availability and benefited more than 130,000 people through savings in energy consumption, reduction of mains water breakage and, most importantly, greater availability of water for human consumption. We will continue to collaborate with host communities and develop mutually beneficial strategies that contribute to greater water security for the region.

    Expected Impact

    • Water availability for human consumption and sanitation will increase due to the cessation of freshwater withdrawals for Anglo American's mining processes in a water stressed area through the addition of between 170l/s (dry year) and 500 l/s (wet year) of potable water. • Increase water reuse (site and regionally), both through the recirculation of water at the operation itself, as well as the utilization of desalinated water and later treated wastewater - unsuitable for human consumption - to supply all the operation's needs. • Increase availability of water resources through access to desalinated water in two communities with water shortage problems (Colina and Tiltil), benefiting about 20,000 people. • Strengthening the communities' Rural Drinking Water Systems (APRs) for better management and increased water resource availability in the communities where Anglo American operates through the continuity and expansion of the locally run Rural Drinking Water Program, currently benefiting more than 130,000 people.

    Partners

    WeTech, Aguas Pacífico, Rural Drinking Water Committee in Colina, Lampa, Llayllay, Tiltil, Calle Larga, Los Andes, San Esteban, Nogales, Catemu, Panquehue and Lo Barnechea

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6

    6.1

    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

    6.1.1

    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services

    6.2

    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

    6.2.1

    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water

    6.3

    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

    6.3.1

    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated

    6.3.2

    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality

    6.4

    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
    6.4.1

    Change in water-use efficiency over time

    6.4.2

    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources

    6.5

    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

    6.5.1

    Degree of integrated water resources management 

    6.5.2

    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation

    6.6

    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
    6.6.1

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time

    6.a

    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
    6.a.1

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan

    6.b

    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management

    6.b.1

    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 9

    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

    Goal 9

    9.1

    Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
    9.1.1

    Proportion of the rural population who live within 2 km of an all-season road

    9.1.2

    Passenger and freight volumes, by mode of transport

    9.2

    Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

    9.2.1

    Manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP and per capita

    9.2.2

    Manufacturing employment as a proportion of total employment

    9.3

    Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
    9.3.1

    Proportion of small-scale industries in total industry value added

    9.3.2

    Proportion of small-scale industries with a loan or line of credit

    9.4

    By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

    9.4.1

    COemission per unit of value added

    9.5

    Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
    9.5.1

    Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP

    9.5.2

    Researchers (in full-time equivalent) per million inhabitants

    9.a

    Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
    9.a.1

    Total official international support (official development assistance plus other official flows) to infrastructure

    9.b

    Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
    9.b.1

    Proportion of medium and high-tech industry value added in total value added

    9.c

    Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

    9.c.1

    Proportion of population covered by a mobile network, by technology

    Goal 12

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

    Goal 12

    12.1

    Implement the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries

    12.1.1

    Number of countries developing, adopting or implementing policy instruments aimed at supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production

    12.2

    By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources

    12.2.1

    Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP

    12.2.2

    Domestic material consumption, domestic material consumption per capita, and domestic material consumption per GDP

    12.3

    By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

    12.3.1

    (a) Food loss index and (b) food waste index

    12.4

    By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

    12.4.1
    Number of parties to international multilateral environmental agreements on hazardous waste, and other chemicals that meet their commitments and obligations in transmitting information as required by each relevant agreement
    12.4.2

    (a) Hazardous waste generated per capita; and (b) proportion of hazardous waste treated, by type of treatment

    12.5

    By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

    12.5.1

    National recycling rate, tons of material recycled

    12.6

    Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle

    12.6.1
    Number of companies publishing sustainability reports

    12.7

    Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

    12.7.1

    Number of countries implementing sustainable public procurement policies and action plans

    12.8

    By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

    12.8.1

    Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education; and (d) student assessment

    12.a

    Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production

    12.a.1

    Installed renewable energy-generating capacity in developing and developed countries (in watts per capita)

    12.b

    Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

    12.b.1

    Implementation of standard accounting tools to monitor the economic and environmental aspects of tourism sustainability

    12.c

    Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities

    12.c.1

    Amount of fossil-fuel subsidies (production and consumption) per unit of GDP

    Name Description

    Anglo American signed a 20-year agreement to supply 500 l/s desalinated sea water to the mine by 2025 (phase 1). We have an option to expand up to 1,000 l/s. This will enable Los Bronces to stop freshwater withdrawals for mining processes at the operation. 

    Anglo American will promote round tables with Authorities and users of vulnerable rural potable water systems in the cicinity of Las Tortolas and the pipeline route to collaboratively prioritize the supply of up to 5 l/s of water to the communities.

    Anglo American is the anchor client for the construction of a 1,000 l/s desalination plant run by Aguas Pacífico that will commence operations in 2025. 

    IWSP Phase 2 will enable the swap of 500 l/s desalinated sea water for treated wastewater (subject to environmental permits feasibility and project schedule). If approved, it would increase drinking water security for aprox. 1 million people before 2030.

    Other, please specify
    One or more contracts for desalinated sea water or treated wastewater supply, 20 years or more with an approximate cost of USD 600 million.
    Other, please specify
    A contract for the transportation of desalinated water or treated wastewater for 20 years or more with an approximate cost of USD 1,050 million.
    In-kind contribution
    Cease freshwater withdrawals for production processes in Los Bronces, which would free an estimate of between 170l/s in a dry year to about 500l/s in a wet year in the Aconcagua and Maipo River rivers basins.
    In-kind contribution
    25 l/s of desalinated sea water supply to rural potable water systems in Tiltil and Colina near Las Tórtolas that are in critical condition – in the mine’s area of influence.
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    Timeline
    02 March 2015 (start date)
    31 December 2030 (date of completion)
    Entity
    Anglo American - Chile
    SDGs
    Region
    1. Latin America and the Caribbean
    Other beneficiaries

    Communities in the area of influence, Rural Drinking Water Committees in Colina, Lampa, Llayllay, Tiltil, Calle Larga, Los Andes, San Esteban, Nogales, Catemu, Panquehue and Lo Barnechea

    Countries
    Chile
    Chile
    Contact Information

    Daniela, Lead in Civil Society Engagement