Our
Business

Environmental management

Return water dam at BRPM

Return water dam at BRPM

  OUR APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Our environmental activities and areas of focus throughout the mining lifecycle


We have adopted a precautionary approach to environmental management which is based on international best practice, legal compliance and maintaining our environmental and social licence to operate. Key aspects of our environmental management include:

 Governance

Management accountability is central to our integrated approach. Our Board of directors and our Chief Executive Officer, assisted by the Board’s Social and Ethics Committee, are accountable for RBPlat’s environmental management and our impact on climate change. The Social and Ethics Committee, which is supported by our Sustainability Committee, also provides overall direction on our sustainability.

The Senior Safety, Health, Environment and Risk (SHER) Manager reports on environmental matters at the Social and Ethics Committee. The Head: Corporate Sustainability reports to the Sustainability Committee and Social and Ethics Committee on corporate sustainability matters.

The RBPlat Environmental Manager, who reports to the Senior SHER Manager, is responsible for environmental management at both BRPM and Styldrift I.

 Compliance and control

We measure and monitor our water usage (potable and industrial water, including our recycled water), energy consumption, surface and ground water quality, dust fall out and particulate matter (pm10) levels, ambient dust and noise levels, as well as ground vibration. We submit our monitoring results to the relevant authorities as per our permit condition requirements.

 Strategy

RBPlat's is an integral part of the safety, health and environmental (SHE) management system. This strategy guides our management of our environment risks, aspects and impacts.

 Management systems

Both our operations have achieved ISO 14001 certification.

BRPM has maintained its certification since 2002  and Styldrift I achieved certification in 2016. Our ISO 14001 EMS is audited for re-certification every year by independent external parties as part of our business strategy. Styldrift I achieved ISO 14001 certification in 2016.

Climate change

RBPlat has a climate change strategy that has been approved by the board. This strategy, which is aligned to the four pillars of RBPlat’s business strategy, is used to ensure that the business proactively manages its climate change risks, opportunities and supports the commitments made in the SHE policy and Sustainability policy.

RBPlat also has a Climate change policy statement that is core to our climate change strategy. It highlights, at a high level, RBPlat’s acknowledgement of and response to climate change.

Caring for climate endorsements

We have endorsed the Caring for Climate Initiative, which is the largest business movement to address climate change. It has been endorsed by more than 60 countries. RBPlat is also a signatory to the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) fiduciary and climate change disclosure.

Energy management

We recognise that our business is energy intensive and that not only is the consumption of energy a significant cost to the business, but it also leads to the production and release of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

RBPlat has a board approved energy management strategy aligned to the business strategy. This strategy allows us to proactively manage our energy risks as well as the related opportunities.

Understanding our carbon foot print

We assess our carbon emissions every year and use the results of these assessments to help us improve our carbon intensity. Not only is it socially responsible to make every effort to reduce our carbon intensity but it also makes good business sense as reducing our carbon intensity will mean improving our efficiency in terms of the amount of fuel and electricity we use to produce a tonne of concentrate.

Water management

The main aim of this strategy is to Our management of water resources includes:

  • reduce our potable water consumption by improving water use efficiencies and water recycling
  • prevent the contamination of ground and surface water resources
  • maintain and strengthen our licence to operate by securing the availability of sufficient water for our current and future mining operations
  • Reduce our operating costs through increased water use efficiency to strengthen the Company’s financial positon

RBPlat has secured an adequate water allocation for its current and future mining requirements at BRPM and Styldrift I. We commissioned a water treatment plant in 2015, to treat water in our return water dams and our CIG2 open cast pit for use in our concentrator plant to reduce our reliance on potable water.

Closure & Rehabilitation

Closure liability assessments are conducted annually for both BRPM and Styldrift I by an external party. Financial provisioning is made for the environmental rehabilitation.

An environmental trust fund document is compiled and submitted to the DMR annually, in accordance with the DMR requirements.

Product responsibility

RBPlat’s mining lifecycle includes exploration, project development, mine construction, ore production, concentrate production, closure and a concentrate which is sold to a single customer, Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (RPM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), through a concentrate offtake agreement. The concentrate must meet certain agreement in relation to the PGM moisture and chrome content for each tonne of concentrate. These procedures agreed to by RBPlat and RPM.

The use of PGMs in autocatalytic converters plays a significant role in the reduction of air pollution by limiting the discharge of carbon monoxide hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulates. Approximately 56% of global PGM production is used in autocatalytic converters.

PGMs are also being used in alternative green energy solutions including fuel cells. Fuel cell minigrid electrification technology is an attractive cost-effective alternative in remote areas. Fuel cells offer a more using diesel generators to supply rural communities.

Members of the platinum industry are investing substantially in research into fuel cell powered industrial vehicles. In addition, Amplats is supporting the London Hydrogen Network Expansion Project and took delivery of a fuel cell powered motor car in London in 2015. The industry champions new, sustainable and environmentally friendly technology and its development including hydrogen fuelled fuel cell electrical vehicles (FCEVs) through promotion, technological demonstrations and industry partnerships.

Product stewardship

We systematically address the safety, health and environmental issues relating to our products at all stages and marketers of our PGMs have the health and safety of those using or delivering our products. Mineral safety development sheets are provided with all mining products and directed at industrial users, and our products are not delivered directly to customers.