5. Trusted user of air, land and water


Our approach to date


When we plan to open a new steel plant or mine, we go through a rigorous preparation process which includes a thorough assessment of the potential impacts of the new plant on local people, nearby ecosystems and habitats, as well as water and soil erosion. We then consult openly and sensitively with local stakeholders, so that we can achieve the best possible balance between their needs and our own. Once the site is operational, we work in partnership with local stakeholders to monitor, manage and protect local biodiversity. The steelmaking process produces a number of residues that may be re-used, recycled, stored for future use or disposed of as waste. The key forms are slag, sludge, scale and dust.


Mining activities can have extensive impacts on land, habitats and biodiversity and our operations aim to follow International Finance Corporation standards, which set out best practice in land management. This includes the assessment and management of environmental risks and impacts, the conservation of biodiversity, and the sustainable management of living natural resources.

The main residues generated by mining are mineral wastes, such as displaced rock or ‘overburden’, and ‘tailings’. Tailings are the residues left when the ore is extracted, and these are discharged to a storage facility, usually held in water, and held in place by a ‘dam’. It is vital these are managed carefully to ensure they are structurally sound, and do not pose a risk to local people’s health and safety, or to the environment. This responsibility extends beyond the life of the mine, and this is why we design comprehensive mine closure plans for our mining sites, in consultation with local stakeholders.

We are also a signatory to the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa. The declaration aims to “ensure that the contribution of natural capital to sustainable economic growth, maintenance and improvement of social capital and human well-being are quantified and integrated into development and business practice”.

What's new?

News 21.09.2016 Steel goes circular: The Circular Building
Our Stories01.05.2016 Steel goes circular: re-using sheet piles
Our Stories01.04.2016 Fertile thinking: farmers benefiting from steel slag
Our Stories01.04.2016 Clearing the air: new products for indoor environments
Our Stories01.04.2016 New ideas, new technology: interns in Argentina
Our Stories01.04.2016 Collaboration on the Great Lakes
Our Stories01.04.2016 Getting on the front foot in Ostrava: dealing with dust
Our Stories01.01.2015 Engineering low-carbon solutions for buildings
Our Stories01.01.2015 Sustain Our Great Lakes
Our Stories01.01.2015 Measuring impact in South Africa
Our Stories01.01.2015 Liberia: Mobilising the response to Ebola
Insight30.05.2015 Steel packaging and the circular economy
SD Update19.01.2017 Gender diversity award for ArcelorMittal Ostrava
SD Update31.10.2016 Moroccan steelmaker heads for 90% wind-powered steel
SD Update10.10.2016 Largest exporter in Bosnia & Herzegovina
SD Update25.09.2016 Judiciary honour for social outreach work in Brazil
SD Update27.06.2016 ArcelorMittal assesses contribution to South Africa
SD Update16.05.2016 Nafta: review of 2015
SD Update13.05.2016 How does ArcelorMittal create value for society?
SD Update03.12.2015 Presenting lightweight solutions at Megatrends India
SD Update12.11.2015 The building you can build again and again
SD Update30.07.2015 Building for the future: the b home