Case Study

United Waters of Espalha Creek

In August 2009, Kinross’ Paracatu operation launched the Espalha Creek Águas que Unem (United Waters) project, a joint initiative with local farmers, governments and universities focused on Espalha Creek in the region of Paracatu. The project aims to promote environmental preservation and improve the hydrologic characteristics of the creek, which 16 local families depend on to supply water for agricultural activities and cattle farming.

Espalha Creek is the most significant tributary to Rico Creek, contributing 80% of the water flowing into Rico Creek, a vital water resource for the city of Paracatu. Since 2007, Kinross has been leading the $2.5 million Rico Creek rehabilitation program, stabilizing shorelines, re-establishing riverside vegetation and sponsoring the development of adjacent public parklands with playgrounds and sports facilities. Our contributions to improving Espalha Creek’s water flow will help enhance environmental conditions along Rico Creek and throughout Paracatu.

The Espalha Creek project is re-establishing the forest areas alongside the creek, constructing 500 small dikes to slow stream flow and creating contours in the land to reduce erosion and increase underground flow. Together, these improved land husbandry initiatives will reduce the rate of runoff and prevent soil erosion. Education programs with the local farmers aim to embed these management practices so that they can maintain the revived springs feeding the creek. Monitoring devices have been installed and a local Kinross Paracatu employee measures creek flow monthly. These watershed improvements will more than offset the relatively small impact of our Paracatu mine on the upper reaches of Rico Creek. The Paracatu site has invested around $250,000 in this project.