A SUMMARY OF OUR MINERAL RESOURCES AND RESERVES STATEMENT

Our business is based on the mineral resources and reserves for which we have legal tenure. The resources and reserves together form the mineral asset, or natural capital, that our business requires to operate. It is therefore essential that we evaluate and mine our mineral asset responsibly, transparently and efficiently, with the objective of creating value. It is our duty to provide all stakeholders with accurate up-to-date information on the status of our mineral asset at year-end.

This section of the integrated report provides a summary of the status of our mineral asset as at 31 December 2018. The RBPlat Mineral Resources and Reserves Statement 2018, providing supplementary comprehensive information on our mineral asset is available on our website at http://www.bafokengplatinum.co.za/our-mineral-reserves-and-resources.php.

We report on our mineral asset in accordance with the guidelines and principles of the South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (SAMREC 2016). It is our intention to provide information on our mineral resources and reserves that is material to our stakeholders. Compliance with the SAMREC Code, which provides a minimum standard for public reporting, ensures that stakeholders and interested parties can use the information provided to make an informed and balanced judgement regarding RBPlat’s mineral resources or mineral reserves. The mining rights are held through its wholly owned subsidiary Royal Bafokeng Resources Proprietary Limited (RBR).

The RBPlat mining operations are situated on the Western Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, immediately south of the Pilanesberg Complex. Rocks of the lower, critical and main zones of the Rustenburg Layered Suite (RLS) underlie our operations, apart from a very small portion of the northern boundary area where the igneous rocks of the Pilanesberg Complex occur. RBPlat, operating from the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM), Styldrift Mine and now the recently acquired Maseve Mine (under care and maintenance), is exploiting the two primary economically and favourable platinum group metal (PGM) enriched stratigraphic horizons of the Western Bushveld Complex, namely the Merensky reef and the UG2 reef. Both reef horizons contain concentrations of base metal sulphides and PGMs, of which the Merensky reef historically has been the most important platinum producing layer in the Western Bushveld Complex. The PGMs consist of platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), iridium (Ir), rhodium (Rh), osmium (Os) and ruthenium (Ru). Copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and gold (Au) are also extracted.

During 2018 RBPlat concluded two major acquisitions that would affect the reporting of mineral resources and reserves for the Company. In April 2018 all conditions precedent were met for the takeover of Maseve Mine, and in December 2018 the acquisition of the remaining 33% interest held by Anglo American Platinum in the BRPM Joint Venture through its wholly owned subsidiary Rustenburg Platinum Limited (RPM) were concluded. It should be noted that RBPlat and RPM applied in terms of section 11 of the MPRDA, for consent to transfer the RPM 33% interest, held in the BRPM and Styldrift mining rights. The application is still pending. However, all mineral resources and reserves published will represent 100% attributable interest to RBPlat.

RBPlat is the holder of the Maseve mining right, following our acquisition of Maseve in 2018.

The mining rights are still valid for between 20 and 24 years and RBPlat has the exclusive right to renew these mining rights through its wholly owned subsidiary, RBR.

Provision for access to land is either through direct ownership of the land or by means of lease agreements concluded with the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN).

With the acquisition of Maseve Mine, RBPlat obtained the total share of the mining rights granted to Maseve Investments 11 Proprietary Limited (Maseve), previously owned by Platinum Group Metals (RSA) Proprietary Limited (PTM (RSA)), a wholly owned subsidiary of TSX-listed Platinum Group Metals Limited (PTM). The last official mineral resource and reserve statement for Maseve was published in July 2015 and signed off by Competent Persons on behalf of PTM.

RBPlat is in the process of reinterpreting all geological models (structural and resource evaluation) from first principles. Exploration drill hole intersections, underground drilling, underground sampling and historic mined out areas of the Maseve Mine are being reviewed and reinterpreted by a group of Competent Persons within the RBPlat geology department.

Mineral resources and reserves for Maseve will only be published once the reinterpretation of the ore body is complete in December 2019.

RBPlat mining rights

RBPlat mining rights

Location of the RBPlat operations

MINERAL RESOURCE SUMMARY

The Merensky reef resource estimation model is a variable cut model, which is based on an economical mineralised envelope that is reported as the in situ mineral resource. The UG2 resource model is a variable model that it evaluates the UG2 Main Band (UG2 MB) and the overlying chromitite leader package which is included with a 30cm support beam when there is a geotechnical consideration. The widths of these individual packages vary significantly over the mining lease area, as well as the vertical difference between the UG2 MB and the overlying leader package. The Merensky reef resource was updated as a result of 3% increase in additional data in comparison to the 2017 resource model. Geological structures and associated losses were updated for both Merensky and UG2 in accordance with the annual cycle for input into the resource reporting. There are no material differences between resources declared in 2017 and 2018, apart from mining depletion at BRPM and Styldrift I shaft rapidly building up to full production.

RBPlat mineral reserves (100%)
      Tonnes
(Mt)
  4E grade
(g/t)
  Troy ounces
4E (Moz)
 
Reef Resource classification   2018     2017   2018   2017   2018   2017  
Merensky and UG2 Measured   169.01     170.32   6.24   6.26   33.88   34.25  
  Indicated   123.40     124.83   5.84   5.80   23.16   23.27  
  Inferred   55.54     56.43   6.28   6.23   11.22   11.30  
  Total   347.96     351.58   6.10   6.09   68.26   68.82  
MINERAL RESERVE SUMMARY

Merensky annual reserves when compared to last year reduced due to depletion, otherwise they were relatively unchanged.

Merensky mineral reserves decreased by 2% from 76.85Mt to 75.33Mt and 4E ounces from 11.21Moz to 10.96Moz with the average grade remaining materially unchanged.

Only BRPM UG2 reef was converted to a reserve 6.15Moz at a 4E grade of 3.84g/t. Proved reserves in the general facies area were downgraded to probable, total reserves being 49.89Mt approximately 6.15 4EMoz. Total UG2 mineral reserve tonnage decreased by 3% from 51.68Mt to 49.89Mt after depletion. The 4E ounce content decreased by 3% from 6.33Moz to 6.15Moz with 0.6% increase in estimated grade.

RBPlat mineral reserves (100%)

      Tonnes
(Mt)
  4E grade
(g/t)
    Contained
4E (Moz)
 
Reef Resource classification   2018     2017   2018   2017     2018   2017  
Merensky Proved   53.17     54.04   4.66   4.70     7.97   8.17  
  Probable   22.16     22.81   4.20   4.15     2.99   3.05  
  Total   75.33     76.85   4.53   4.54     10.96   11.21  
UG2 Proved   7.74     8.80   4.04   3.83     1.01   1.08  
  Probable   42.15     42.88   3.80   3.81     5.15   5.25  
  Total   49.89     51.68   3.84   3.81     6.15   6.33  
Total Proved   60.91     62.84   4.58   4.58     8.98   9.25  
  Probable   64.32     65.69   3.94   3.93     8.14   8.30  
  Total   125.22     128.53   4.25   4.25     17.12   17.54  

 

Merensky reef prill split and base metal percentage, RBPlat Merensky reef grab sample
Merensky reef prill split and base metal percentage, RBPlat   Merensky reef grab sample
UG2 reef prill split and base metal percentage, RBPlat UG2 reef grab sample 
UG2 reef prill split and base metal percentage, RBPlat   UG2 reef grab sample

Geologist photographing reef intersections of exploration core

Geologist photographing reef intersections of exploration core

In terms of natural capital our efforts towards achieving sustainability and our aspiration to deliver More than mining include our support of the achievement of UNGC Principles 7, 8 and 9 and a number of the SDGs. In terms of the SDGs our main focus in natural capital is on SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (climate action). We make a direct contribution to SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and are only able to make an indirect contribution to SDG 15 (life on land).

OUR APPROACH TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

We have adopted a precautionary approach to environmental management, based on international best practice, legal compliance and maintaining our environmental and social licence to operate. Management accountability is central to our integrated approach. Our Board of Directors and our CEO, assisted by the Board’s Social and Ethics Committee, are accountable for RBPlat’s environmental management and our climate change mitigation, adaptation and transparency.

The Social and Ethics Committee, which is in turn supported by our Sustainability Committee, also provides overall direction on our sustainability. Our Group-wide environmental strategy is an integral part of our SHE management system, which we use to manage our environmental aspects and impacts and overall environmental performance.

The Head: Safety, Health, Environment and Risk (SHER) reports on operational environmental matters to the Social and Ethics Committee.

The RBPlat Environmental Manager, who reports to the Head: SHER is responsible for environmental management at all our operations.

The Head: Corporate Sustainability, who is responsible for developing and implementing RBPlat’s Board-approved sustainability framework and policy, reports to the Sustainability Committee and, together with the Executive: Risk, Assurance and Sustainability, reports to the Social and Ethics Committee on corporate sustainability matters.

Compliance and control

Our environmental management team is responsible for ensuring that RBPlat’s Board-approved environmental policies and procedures are aligned with all legal and regulatory requirements. The team is also responsible for compliance with and auditing of the implementation of RBPlat’s environmental policies, standards and procedures in our operations.

Our compliance with environmental legislation is continually monitored and evaluated as part of our environmental management system (EMS) and through external legal compliance audits and Environmental Management Performance Report (EMPR) performance assessments. As previously reported the environmental authorisation in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), 1998 (Act 107 of 1998) as amended and the EIA regulations, 2014, for the proposed Styldrift II shaft complex and associated infrastructure on the farms Styldrift 90JQ was refused by the DMR in 2017. The appeal was submitted on 30 November 2017 to both the DMR and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which acknowledged receipt.

       


Maseve concentrator plant
Maseve concentrator plant

 

 

The Maseve concentrator was commissioned in August 2018. As a result, there was only five months of data available on its water and energy consumption in 2018. We have therefore not included it in our water and energy reporting for 2018 but will be including its data for the 12 months of 2019 in our reporting for 2019.


Feedback was expected by mid-March 2018, but we have had no response as yet. We continue to follow up regularly with the DEA on progress.

The following applications were submitted to the DMR and we are waiting for feedback:

  • Amendment of the final environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental management programme report for the water treatment at BRPM
  • Amendment to the environmental management programme report (EMPR) for the Merensky and UG2 opencast operation (BRPM)
  • Amendment of final EMPR at BRPM
  • Basic assessment report and EMPR for the extension of the existing Styldrift Mine conveyor belt, North West province
Our management systems

Both BRPM and Styldrift Mine are certified on the ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS). Both are audited annually for compliance and are recertified every three years by an independent external auditor as part of our business strategy. Both operations have transitioned to ISO 14001 (2015), and maintained their certification in 2018. There were no major non-conformances. Three minor non-conformances were identified at BRPM and four were identified at the Styldrift Mine. Action plans have been developed to address these non-conformances. Environmental monitoring, which includes dust and particulate matter 10 (PM10), water, ambient noise and vibration is undertaken as part of our EMS. Independent external service providers are used to analyse the monitoring data. Any deviations are addressed within the EMS.

Closure liability assessment

As a holder of mining rights RBPlat is required to annually assess its environmental liability in terms of section 24P (3) of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA). Previously the financial provision and rehabilitation requirements were governed by the Mineral Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) (Act 28 of 2002). The proposed NEMA regulations are still not finalised. The new date for the transition to these regulations has been extended to 19 February 2020.

As a result, our 2018 assessment is in line with the MPRDA.

An independent external service provider conducted our closure liability assessments for 2018. The environmental closure liability review was conducted by an independent auditing firm in support of the financial audit. The objective was to perform a reasonableness review of the process followed for the estimation of the closure liability for RBPlat’s operations in order to identify potential environmental liabilities that arenot provided for and process-relatedomissions on the closure cost estimation that could be of material significance.

Our 2018 assessments, and the financial provision calculations, were submitted to the DMR in line with the MPRDA requirements. A top up financial guarantee will be provided following the DMR approval of the 2018 calculations.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

We have identified SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts as a main area of focus in RBPlat, which addresses natural capital performance area: climate change and critical resources.

RBPlat recognises the science of global climate change set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and acknowledges the global climate change goals outlined in the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement. We also believe that these measures and public sentiment will drive policies and programmes to restrict GHG emissions and realise that this will impact our business and provide us with challenges and opportunities.

Public policy positions relating to climate change

The Minerals Council of South Africa, in line with Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), accepts that climate change is a global challenge and that collective international action is required. They acknowledge the fact that a carbon tax could be one of many policy measures to address market distortions or promote certain behavioural changes in order to achieve GHG emissions reductions. They do support a mechanism in which GHG emissions must be reported and proposed an alignment of the carbon tax and carbon budget without double taxation.

Addressing the causes and adapting to the impacts of climate change is core to our Board-approved climate change strategy, which seeks to deliver More than mining by creating economic value for all our stakeholders. It recognises that:

  • our activities contribute to global climate change as a result of the production and release of GHG emissions during the generation of the electricity that we use in our operations
  • climate change is also driven by GHG emissions originating primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels in engines that power our machines and vehicles
  • it is our responsibility as a business to mitigate our impact on global climate change for the sake of current and future generations.

Our commitment to addressing the impact of climate change includes:

  • our endorsement of the Caring for Climate initiative
  • being a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Standard Board’s (CDSB) fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure
  • joining the We Mean Business Campaign as members of the National Business Initiative (NBI) and committed ourselves to ensuring responsible corporate engagement on climate policy, providing climate change information in mainstream corporate reports and improving water security.

The second climate change vulnerability assessment we conducted in 2017 was over and above our climate change risk assessment conducted annually as part of the ERM process, identified that the biggest physical climate change risks to our core operations relate to rainfall and temperature, which are expected to manifest in both longer dry periods as well as rainfall events of increasing intensity.

During 2018, in line with our implementation plan for the year, which takes into account the possible impacts the 2017 vulnerability assessment identified, we completed an internal stormwater management audit at both BRPM and Styldrift Mines to determine and ensure the effectiveness of the stormwater management and infrastructure at all our operations. There were few observations identified, which we are in process of closing as part of our EMS. We are currently reviewing and developing a waste management strategy to ensure we manage our waste sustainably and save landfill space.

We continue to use our communication programmes to increase awareness of the impact of climate change and how we can all reduce our contribution to climate change.

Our climate change strategy also focuses on making every effort to reduce our carbon intensity. To do so we need to improve our efficiency in terms of the amount of fuel and electricity we use to produce a tonne of concentrate.

Investigating renewable energy

We have identified SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all as an area to which RBPlat can directly contribute through our commitment to improving our energy efficiency and investigating renewable sources of energy.

Our bankability study investigating the possibility of developing our own source of solar renewable energy and reducing our reliance on electricity produced using fossil fuels which started in 2018 will take 20 months to complete. Hopefully, it will indicate that renewable energy is an affordable option for us that will also substantially reduce our GHG emissions.

See information on our electricity usage)


Our voluntary participation in the CDP’s Climate Change 2018 and Water 2018

We achieved B scores for our voluntary disclosure for both our climate change and water submissions to the CDP in 2018 and exceeded the:

  • global metals and mining sector average of C for both climate change and water security
  • Africa regional average of a B—.

Our voluntary participation in the CDP allows RBPlat to measure its progress towards environmental stewardship and to benchmark and compare our progress against our peers.

In 2018, responders, including RBPlat, faced a considerable amount of change in the CDP process as it evolved to take into account the environmental challenges the world faces. These changes resulted in a general decline globally in scores year-on-year. For example, our water disclosure score, which had achieved a position on the Water A list for the past two years achieved a B score in 2018. We will, of course, be working to improve our scores in our future voluntary disclosures to the CDP.

Understanding our carbon footprint

We use internal GHG emissions calculators to monitor our GHG emissions monthly. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions are audited as part of our annual sustainability assurance process.

Our GHG emissions by scope

Scope % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018
tCO2e
  2017
tCO2e
2016
tCO2e
 
Scope 1              
Direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by RBPlat — petrol and diesel fuel consumed by our vehicles and equipment   38.1      7 826     5 666   3 639  
Scope 2              
Indirect GHG emissions produced during the production of the electricity we purchase from Eskom   1.8      333 919     327 930   314 581  
Scope 3              
Indirect GHG emissions from sources not owned or controlled by RBPlat — for example transport-related activities in vehicles not owned by the mine   (14.6)     3 751     4 394   3 936  
Total emissions 2.2    345 496   337 990 322 156  

RBPlat’s Scope 1 emissions increased by 38.1% in 2018 due to the increased activity at the Styldrift Mine, which is a mechanised mine using diesel to power its mechanised fleet. Styldrift Mine’s GHG emissions account for 65.8% of our total Scope 1 emissions.

We achieved a 14.6% reduction in our Scope 3 emissions following the start-up of the conveyor that transports ore from Styldrift Mine to the BRPM concentrator that replaced the use of diesel vehicles contracted to transport the ore to the concentrator.

The carbon intensity of our operations

  Scope Carbon
intensity unit
  % change 
year-on- 
year 
  Quantity
in 2018
Carbon
intensity
in 2018
  Quantity
in 2017
Carbon
intensity
in 2017
 
Concentrator intensity                    
Tonnes milled at BRPM concentrator tCO2e/000 tonnes   (3.2)   2 847 0.120   2 701 0.124  
  Total tonnes milled (including toll treated tCO2e)   tCO2e/000 tonnes     (9.1)     3 420   0.100     3 021   0.110  
  4E ounces in concentrate tCO2e/000 oz   (8.7)   368 0.929   328 1.02  
  Platinum ounces in concentrate tCO2e/000 oz   (9.2)   239 1.430   212 1.57  
  Mining intensity                    
  Run-of-mine (ROM) tonnes delivered to concentrators   tCO2e/000 tonnes     (9.0)     3 395   0.101     2 992   0.111  
  Overall intensity statistics                    
  Revenue tCO2e/000 ZAR   (1.2)   3 627.1 0.094   3 498.5 0.095  
  Intensity per employee tCO2e/000 FTE   (9.8)   9 508 35.943   8 372 39.8  
Scope 1 and 2 emissions tCO2e/year   2.4    341 746     333 596    

Increased production resulted in a reduction in our carbon intensity.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT

We need energy in the form of fuel and electricity to run our operations. Mining and concentrating ore is an energy-intensive business. Not only is the consumption of energy a significant cost to our business, it also leads to the production and release of GHG emissions from the use of fossil fuel in the form of diesel and electricity that is mainly produced using coal, which contributes to climate change.

See information on our investigation of the viability of developing our own source of solar energy which would reduce our contribution to Scope 2 GHG emissions.

Reducing our energy consumption and the related costs is in the interests of the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of our business.

Energy consumption
    % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018
GJ
  2017
GJ
2016
GJ
 
  Electricity              
  BRPM (3.4)   566 410   586 479 611 640  
  BRPM concentrator 2.7    461 196   449 254 417 466  
  Styldrift Mine 69.1    186 797   110 432 86 940  
  Total electricity consumption 8.3    1 214 402   1 146 165 1 116 051  
  Diesel              
  BRPM 2.7    13 941   11 629 10 264  
  Styldrift Mine 61.0    61 428   38 204 16 363  
  Total diesel consumption 51.2    75 369   49 844 26 633  
  Petrol              
  BRPM (48.3)   214   414 468  
  Styldrift Mine     0   0 0  
Total petrol consumption (48.3)   214   414 468  
Total energy consumption 7.8    1 289 985   1 196 423 1 143 152  

We have efficiency-based reduction targets for our steady state operations, BRPM and the BRPM concentrator, and we have also set targets for Styldrift Mine as part of our Board-approved strategy when it reaches steady state.

BRPM concentrator energy efficiency (kWh/tonne milled)   BRPM mining energy efficiency (kWh/tonne hoisted)
 
Styldrift Mining energy efficiency(kWh/tonne hoisted)    
  While Styldrift Mine’s electricity consumption increased 69.1% year-on-year and its diesel consumption increased 61.0% year-on-year as a result of increased production, its energy efficiency was a commendable 22% below target and achieved a 62% improvement in its potable water efficiency, which was 0.18kl/tonne hoisted below its 2018 target
     

 

Contributing to sustainability through responsible environmental management

The tailings dam serving the BRPM concentrator. Both the tailings dams at BRPM and at Maseve are managed and operated by Fraser Alexander in compliance with the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD), the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) guidelines and the recommendations of the South African National Standard (SANS) 10286. Work on the extension of both these dams will start in 2019. Concurrent rehabilitation is maintained on the side walls of the dam. The rate of the rise of tailings in the dam is limited to two metres per year at 250ktpm tails deposition.



An environmental assistant inspects one of our groundwater boreholes as part of her regular environmental inspections, which are sampled every quarter by an independent external consultant. These boreholes are used to test water quality and levels.


An environmental assistant changes one of our dust buckets at BRPM.

We measure dust levels at our operations and in our doorstep communities to ensure they are within the legal limits and to prevent air pollution.


Efficient use of resources


The water treatment plant at BRPM. If we had continued to use potable water in our concentrator, instead of replacing the water used in our concentrator with treated process water from our water treatment plant in 2018, it would have cost RBPlat an additional R8.9 million in 2018 (R10.4 million in 2017).

 

Solar-powered street lights at Styldrift MineSolar-powered street lights at Styldrift Mine

 

Over the five-year period ended December 2014 the mining division achieved a 10% reduction in its energy usage per tonne hoisted. We planned to achieve a further 5% reduction by 2019. Because Styldrift Mine is a mechanised mine making use of energy-saving technology its consumption of electricity is lower than that of a conventional mine. Its main use of electricity is in its winding plants and main surface fans.

The BRPM concentrator has consistently been below its energy efficiency targets. It was 10% below its target in 2018 using 45.0kWh/tonne milled.

Previously, most of our energy-saving initiatives at BRPM focused on reducing the baseload of our conventional mining operations, which accounts for at least 75% of our consumption at peak load. The nature of our conventional mining method and the key infrastructure we require for our mining has made it very challenging to continue achieving improvements in our baseload. As a result, it has remained relatively static in recent years. During the year our focus at BRPM remained on optimising our compressed air generation and in particular on the maintenance of its distribution network and reducing air leaks. In this connection we continued with the revamping of compressed air reticulation in the stopes during 2018, which included installing four-inch columns in all panels. To reduce consumption compressed air service columns have been isolated in the areas of the mine where mining has been suspended or discontinued.

During the construction of Styldrift Mine we had the opportunity to introduce energy-saving technology in the design phase including:

  • the ability to close and open the main fan inlet guide vanes during on and off-shift periods. Electricity consumption is reduced as soon as the inlet guide vanes are closed
  • variable speed drives installed on the main surface fans use less electricity during fan start-ups
  • more efficient hydraulic power packs are used at ore flow draw points and transfer points instead of compressed air
  • solar powered street lights instead of electrically powered street lights
  • LED lights instead of incandescent and ballast type lights.

WATER MANAGEMENT

We have identified SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all as an area to which RBPlat can directly contribute through our holistic approach to water management.


We operate in an arid water-scarce region where, as discussed under the climate change section of this report (see page 136) the annual rainfall is expected to decrease with long, increasingly hot dry periods punctuated by short but severe periods of extreme rainfall, which could cause damaging flash floods. These conditions could limit our production growth or even prevent us from operating.

A reduction in the availability of potable water from Magalies Water could also have health impacts and cause tension between RBPlat and our doorstep communities.

Managing water holistically

Our Board-approved water strategy, which has detailed implementation plans with clear time frames and clearly defined accountabilities and responsibilities, aims to:

  • reduce our potable water consumption by improving water use efficiency 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 operational cost through increased water use efficiency to strengthen the Company’s financial position.

We have efficiency-based water consumption reduction targets for our operations: BRPM, the BRPM concentrator and Styldrift Mine.

Our progress is tracked through our governance structures (the Executive: Risk, Assurance and Sustainability, the Social and Ethics Committee and, ultimately, the Board).

All our operations operate under their approved water use licence (WUL) and we have supplier water agreements with Magalies Water. We conduct internal and external independent WUL compliance audits annually and submit reports to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

We have begun work on developing a long-term rehabilitation programme to restore the water courses on our property to an environmentally acceptable and sustainable condition in our future biodiversity plans.

To ensure water security we invested in a water treatment plant with the aim of reducing our overall consumption of potable water by reusing process water, particularly in the BRPM concentrator, which is the greatest consumer of water at our operations.

Potable and recycled water consumption

    % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018
Ml
  2017
Ml
2016  
Ml  
 
  BRPM concentrator              
  Potable water consumption 17.2    1 181.0   1 008.1 870.5    
  Recycled water consumption (5.3)   1 557.5   1 644.5 1 272.0*  
  BRPM mine              
  Potable water consumption** (14.2)   555.1   647.5 601.8    
  Recycled water consumption 27.0    228.0   179.4 199.4    
  Styldrift Mine              
  Potable water consumption (39.0)   138.5   227.0 149.0    
  Recycled water consumption 223.5    288.0   89.0 55    
Total consumption of potable water (0.4)   1 874.5   1 882.6 1 621.4    
Total consumption of recycled water 8.4    2 073.5   1 912.9 1 332.0    
  Grand total of water consumed by RBPlat’s operations 4.0    3 948.0   3 795.5 2 951.4    
  * The BRPM concentrator’s recycled water for 2016 excludes water from the water treatment plant
  ** The increase in potable water consumption at BRPM and the BRPM concentrator was as a result of an increase in production

The increase in the use of potable water by the BRPM concentrator during 2018 was as a result of a 5% increase in production year-on-year. Also, during 2018 the concentrator’s use of recycled water was restricted by the reduced availability of the return water pipeline. The installation of a replacement pipeline began in the second half of 2018 and we expect to complete its installation by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

The use of water from our treatment plant

  % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018   2017 2016  
Treated water used in the BRPM concentrator (Ml) (24.3)   798.84   1 055.6 956.6  
Potable water cost savings (R) (14.1)   8 945 469   10 409 941 7 950 973  
Conserving and recycling water

We continually pump water (service water) from our underground operations for reuse. This water is stored in our surface dams and recycled. Service water is retained in a closed loop system. To achieve an improved understanding of our water usage and better control it, we have automated our potable water metering and management system. The quality of our drinking water is monitored by our Occupational Health department. We have 64 groundwater monitoring boreholes and 45 surface water monitoring points within our operations and their surrounds that are monitored and analysed by external service providers to ensure we comply with our WUL conditions.

We manage exceedances observed from our monitoring processes within our EMS. Clean and dirty water diversion channels are in place in our operations to divert the clean water away from our operations and to ensure we contain our dirty process water.

Water use efficiency

    % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018
Ml/kt
milled
  2017    
Ml/kt    
milled    
2016    
Ml/kt    
milled    
 
Potable water at BRPM mine and concentrator 11.7    0.755   0.676     0.627      
Potable water at Styldrift Mine (68.8)   0.124   0.397     0.359      
  RBPlat’s recycled water* (44.8)   0.606   1.099     0.937**   
  Total RBPlat (8.0)   1.154   1.256*** 1.069***  
  * Including water recycled at the BRPM water treatment plant
  ** Restated: excludes tonnes toll treated
  *** 2016 and 2017 numbers restated following the application of improved calculation methodology

 

BRPM mining potable water efficiency (kℓ/tonne hoisted)   BRPM concentrator potable water efficiency (kℓ/tonne milled)
 
Styldrift Mine potable water efficiency (kℓ/tonne hoisted)    
  BRPM
Our BRPM efficiency targets were set for 10 years using 2009 as a baseline. These targets come to an end in 2019, when they will be reviewed. This review will also take into consideration the changes in the production profile of our business, which include the acquisition of Maseve and decreased production at BRPM’s South shaft.
     

EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

Our operations generate hazardous, industrial, medical and non-hazardous waste, which must be correctly disposed of to prevent any negative impact on the environment.

Our environmental strategy and policies set stringent standards for the management of all the waste and mine residues (tailings and waste rock).

The aim of our waste management procedures is to actively manage the amount of waste we produce by reusing and recycling whenever possible. We are in the process of formalising a waste management strategy to ensure we manage our waste sustainably and recycle as much as possible and conserve our landfill space. The main influencer of waste production is our production levels.

The tailings from our concentrator operations are disposed of at the BRPM and Maseve tailings storage facilities. Ensuring the integrity and structural stability of these facilities, which are designed to handle a one in hundred year flood, is a key focus for the business. As such we have internal and independent external processes, reviews and audits in place to ensure that the facilities are operated and maintained in line with best practice. These processes include:

  • assessment and review of pumping and discharge volumes,
  • assessment and review of deposition trends and volumes
  • regular inspections and surveying of crest, freeboard, beach lengths and pond elevations
  • regular piezometric water level monitoring and piezocone testing
  • aerial inspections of tailings dam and surrounds
  • monthly, quarterly and annual reporting on operating, maintenance and structural integrity of the facilities.

Waste rock from our mining operations is disposed at BRPM’s North shaft, South shaft and Styldrift I waste rock dumps. Some of this waste rock is crushed and used in the civil construction sector in and around the area of our operations.

The capacity of our tailings storage facilities at both the BRPM and Maseve concentrators will be expanded in 2019 to accommodate additional tailings resulting from increased capacity at our concentrators.

Waste production and disposal

  Type of waste % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018
tonnes
  2017
tonnes
2016
tonne
 
  BRPM              
  Landfill waste 48.8    2 398.5   1 611.5 1 242.8  
  Incinerated medical waste 15.4    1.5   1.3 1.34  
  Recycled industrial waste (13.4)   1 421.8   1640.9 1 659.0  
Hazardous waste Hazardous waste 11.0    61   55.0 67.8  
  Wood (78.0)   283.2   1 269.8 1 191  
  Recycled paper —    0.4   5.8  
  Total BRPM waste (9.0)   4 166.4   4 578.5 4 167.2  
  Styldrift Mine              
  Landfill waste (9.0)   523.5   574.9 212.2  
  Medical waste     0.1    
  Recycled industrial waste 60.1    869.8   543.2 448.9  
Hazardous waste Hazardous waste 66.2    214.4   129.0 34.3  
  Wood —    3.9   1.4  
  Recycled paper —       
  Total Styldrift Mine waste 29.2    1 611.7   1 247.1 696.8  
  Total RBPlat waste (0.8)   5 778.1   5 825.6 6 207.2  
Waste management

Our general waste is disposed of in our licensed landfill site, which is subject to internal and external audits, as per the licence requirements. The disposal of the general waste from both the Styldrift Mine and the Maseve concentrator at the BRPM landfill site will reduce the lifespan of the BRPM landfill site. Other recycling initiatives are being investigated. All our hazardous waste is collected by an external service provider and disposed of at an accredited hazardous waste disposal landfill site. An oil recycling company collects our used oil for recycling. Medical waste is also removed from site by an accredited service provider. Our used timber is provided to our doorstep communities for use as firewood. We obtain certificates from our service providers to confirm that our waste has been disposed of correctly.

Consumption of materials

  Units    % change 
year-on- 
year 
  2018    2017  2016   
Acetylene kg    20. 3    3 173    2 637  3 199   
Explosives kg    (7.4)   5 394 614    5 825 394  5 219 669   
Fire extinguishers kg    26.5    13 671    10 808  12 669   
Refrigerants kg    —    —    —  32   
Company-owned vehicles − petrol   litres     (53.0)     5 945      12 645    14 293   
Company-owned vehicles − diesel* litres   51.2    2 093 610    1 384 242  739 648   

* The diesel volumes include diesel used in generators

Increase in waste at Styldrift Mine

During 2018 the 200% increase in stoping activity year-on-year, together with a major increase in construction activities, resulted in a 60.1% increase in the recycled industrial waste produced by the mine.

The consumption of diesel at Styldrift Mine, where diesel vehicles are used in mechanised mining, continues to increase as activity at the mine increases.

Our fleet of petrol-driven vehicles reduced from nine to four vehicles which resulted in a 53% reduction in our petrol consumption.

BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity assessments identified eight distinct biodiversity management units at BRPM and included biodiversity management plans. Baseline biodiversity and landscape function studies were conducted as part of the EIA for Styldrift Mine. We eradicate alien vegetation species on our properties annually.

NOISE

RBPlat monitors ambient noise in its operations every quarter through 53 monitoring points. During 2018 noise levels at BRPM, the BRPM concentrator, Styldrift Mine and Maseve were in line with the recommended noise levels as prescribed in SANS 10103.

Ambient noise is also monitored and analysed by external independent parties and is within the prescribed limits.

AIR QUALITY

Dust fall out is monitored monthly using the 27 dust buckets located within our mining areas as well as the surrounding communities. The dust buckets are collected and changed by the Environmental department every month and analysed by appointed service providers who compare the results with SANS 1929 of 2005.

PRODUCT RESPONSIBILITY

Our final product is a PGM concentrate which is sold to a single customer, Rustenburg Platinum Mines Limited (RPM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), through a PGM concentrate offtake agreement. In terms of the concentrate agreement the concentrate we supply needs to meet certain specifications in relation to the PGM moisture and chrome content for each tonne of concentrate. The product specifications are assessed through specific procedures agreed to by RBPlat and RPM.

Product uses

The PGMs we produce are used in autocatalytic converters, which play a significant role in the reduction of air pollution by limiting the discharge of carbon monoxide hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulates. Approximately 49% of global PGM production is used in autocatalytic converters.

For more information on the legislation affecting their application and the resultant use of PGMs see of the changing operating context in this report

PGMs are also used in green energy solutions such as fuel cells, which among other uses, can offer a more efficient low carbon option than using diesel generators to supply rural communities with electricity. Members of the platinum industry have made a substantial investment in research fuel cell-powered vehicles.

Our industry champions new, sustainable and environmentally friendly technology and its development, including hydrogen-fuelled fuel cell electrical vehicles (FCEVs) through industry partnerships (see www.angloamericanplatinum.com/products-services-and-development/fuel-cell-electric-vehicles.aspx).

Product stewardship

Amplats, who is responsible for the refining and marketing of our PGMs, systematically addresses the safety, health and environmental issues relating to our products at all stages of the product lifecycle. They have specific measures in place to protect the health and safety of those using or delivering our products. Mineral safety development sheets provided with all mining products are directed at industrial users. Our products are not delivered directly to customers.

As the refiner and marketer of our PGMs Amplats recognises the responsibility they have as suppliers of PGMs to build value chains that minimise the negative and enhance the positive impacts of PGMs over their lifecycles.

The metals produced from our concentrate are sold into the global marketplace by Amplats, which meets its product stewardship commitments in collaboration with key stakeholders including government, industry associations, the scientific community and civil society organisations.

RBPlat is committed to minimising the dispersion of metals back into the biosphere and reducing the associated environmental and health risks. We aim to ensure that the health, safety and environmental risks associated with the use, recovery, recycling and disposal of our products are properly understood by customers and mitigated. Since our metals are sold into a global marketplace, we believe that meeting our product stewardship commitment is best done in collaboration with key stakeholders. Much of our engagement on product stewardship is done via our membership of the IPA.