We are committed to best-practice environmental stewardship, in recognition of the fact that the livelihoods of the communities in which we operate will depend on effective management of the natural ecosystems, today.
Mining by its very nature has a direct adverse impact on the environment because of the need to access and use land and water resources. It also has an indirect impact through the catalytic effects of extended developments that arise from the establishment of a mining operation. It is important that we are able to effectively manage, monitor, and minimise these impacts to ensure the viability of existing natural ecosystems.
Environmental management at Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) has improved significantly over the years as a result of the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on the requirements of the ISO 14001 guideline. The operation has been ISO 14001- certified since 2004.
The EMS allows BRPM to identify and implement preventative and corrective measures to address the significant environmental impacts arising from its activities. The BRPM EMS is audited annually by independent external verification auditors who check its compliance with the ISO 14001 guideline. This process ensures the continuous and incremental improvement of BRPM's environmental performance.
While our EMS is working effectively, there are some key environmental issues in the areas of water management and open-cast pit rehabilitation that are being addressed.
We have established a four-year history of our carbon footprint between 2009 and December 2012. We conduct an annual assessment of our carbon emissions with the aim of improving our carbon intensity and reducing our absolute emissions. We also continue to participate in the carbon disclosure project as part of our accountability to our stakeholders.
The main consumers of energy in our mining operations are compressors, ventilation and cooling systems, winders and pumps. In the concentrator, energy is used for crushing, milling, flotation and tailings operations. The Merensky concentrate and UG2 ore are transported by road for further processing to designated Anglo Platinum operations. A climate change strategy for the Company will then be developed from the results of the assessment, incorporating environmental conservation, energy security and water stewardship.
BRPM's greenhouse gas emissions result from:
|Scope 1 emissions (direct)||
|Scope 2 emissions (indirect)||
|Scope 3 emissions (from sources not owned or controlled by RBPlat)||
The fundamental business objective of responsible energy management is ensuring that our operations have an adequate supply of energy for sustained business growth. It is incumbent on us therefore to improve energy efficiency and reduce the consumption of electricity generated from the burning of fossil fuels.
BRPM’s energy consumption improved by 3.2% per tonne of ore treated and its energy consumption improved by 0.8% per tonne of ore treated.
We successfully completed major energy conservation projects at BRPM this year.
|Type of energy||2012||2011||2010||% change
|Electricity (MWh) BRPM*||285 362||287 304||292 552||(0.7)|
|Electricity (MWh) Styldrift*||19 377||7 791||−||59.8|
|Electricity (MWh) RBPlat*||304 739||295 095||292 552||3.2|
|Diesel (kl) (direct) RBPlat||405||429||511||(5.9)|
|Petrol (kl) (direct) RBPlat||22||22||31||–|
|Total energy use in GJ RBPlat||1 096 989||1 093 890||1 074 025||0.3|
In 2012 we completed a general energy audit which identified the potential to reduce our electricity consumption and related emissions by 5% and we successfully completed major energy conservation projects.
Two significant other recommendations were the optimising of the compressors’ cooling circuits and installing soft-starters on the main compressors to manage maximum energy demand. We plan to take advantage of some of these energy saving ideas to further reduce our energy consumption per tonne of ore treated.
At BRPM, we have embarked on a number of energy saving initiatives, which, combined with an increase in tonnes milled, have contributed to the reduction in energy consumption. These include:
Two other recommendations made to optimise energy savings were the optimising of the compressors’ cooling circuits and installing soft-starters on the main compressors to manage maximum energy demand. We plan to take advantage of some of these energy saving ideas to further reduce our energy consumption per tonne of ore treated.
Water is an important resource for our operations as many of the mining and metallurgical processes depend on water. At the same time, we ensure that the operations do not negatively affect the potable water supply to local communities.
Our management of water resources is based on:
During the year we completed the infrastructure to separate clean and dirty water infrastructure at BRPM. We upgraded stormwater dams and diversion canals across the property.
During the year we automated and expanded the potable water metering and management system. This will give us a better understanding of and ability to control our water usage.
We currently have excess water on site at BRPM. To reduce this we installed a sprinkler system at our tailings dam complex as an interim measure to evaporate the excess water and reuse it.
We are hopeful that the water treatment plant construction will commence in the third quarter of 2013. The installation of this plant will reduce our reliance on potable water from external sources. The expected reduction in our consumption of potable water from external sources (Magalies Water) is four megalitres (Ml) a day. We also intend installing a mini pump station at North and South shafts to pump out fissure water for reuse in our mining processes.
|Potable water – BRPM (Ml)||2 090.6||2 184.9||2 091.5||(4.3)|
|Potable water – Styldrift (Ml)||74.3||100.0|
|Potable water – RBPlat (Ml)||2 164.9||2 184.9||2 091.5||(0.9)|
|Recycled water (Ml)||1 706.0||2 204.1||2 992.4||(22.6)|
BRPM has a Biodiversity Management Plan for the mine lease area that was developed during 2003 and 2004. This management plan serves as the foundation of the mine's biodiversity management actions. In 2009 a comprehensive biodiversity assessment was conducted incorporating specialist information on soils, vegetation, animals and wetlands. The results of the assessment were used to update the Biodiversity Management Plan. The study enabled relatively high confidence analyses of the present status of the biodiversity on the BRPM. Biodiversity management forms an integral part of BRPM's ISO 14001 EMS, thus the biodiversity action plans are managed through the EMS.
Eight distinct Biodiversity Management Units (BMUs) were identified and biodiversity management plans delineated during 2003/2004 and updated in 2009. These BMUs include:
We are committed to rehabilitating and restoring the land both during the mine’s life as well as after our mining activities have ceased.
While our operations are not in protected areas, they are adjacent to sensitive sites important not only for their unique and rich biodiversity, but also because of the ecosystem services they provide.
No threatened plant species were recorded during baseline and follow up surveys. We maintain firebreaks to prevent the loss of biodiversity during fires. To promote biodiversity, we plant indigenous trees on our property and in the community.
We also engage with the schools in the vicinity of our operations to promote biodiversity and sponsor indigenous tree planting at these schools.
The combination of mining activities, the proximity of the community areas to the mine lease area and the associated human activities may have a negative impact on BRPM's biodiversity, aspects of which include:
To manage any biodiversity risks we have developed a long-term biodiversity monitoring programme to:
RBPlat's directors endorse the King Code of Governance Principles of South Africa (King III) and accept full responsibility for the application of the principles necessary to ensure that effective corporate governance is practiced consistently throughout the Company. More