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T H E S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y I S S U E | VO L U M E 1 | S E P T 2 0 1 9

Sustainability in mining Ensuring a future

Mining leaders on sustainable operations

Legislation

New draft financial provisioning regulations

Technology

Keeping pace with the digital revolution

ISSN 1999-8872 • R50.00 (incl. VAT)


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

CONTENTS Front Matter Editor’s Comment....................................................................................................................3 Foreword.......................................................................................................................................6 Environment How can mining be more environmentally sustainable?....................................10 Legislation 2nd Draft Financial Provisioning Regulations............................................................12

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Sustainability in Mining What lies ahead for miners?...............................................................................................14 Underground Wi-Fi for productivity.............................................................................16 Leadership Exxaro’s sustainability approach.......................................................................................18 Sustainable leadership at Kumba Iron Ore................................................................21 Shumba head speaks sustainability.................................................................................24 Sustainability at the Kore......................................................................................................28 Data Management Changing mindsets....................................................................................................................26 A solution for the mining digital revolution?.............................................................38

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WASTE MANAGEMENT Afrimat’s measurable strategy for mine rehabilitation........................................32 Industry EXCELLENCE Afrimat’s measurable strategy for mine rehabilitation........................................32 Ensuring arc flash safety with SEL....................................................................................34 Sustainable gains for Sibanye-Stillwater........................................................................40 Bauer breaks ground in more ways than one..........................................................49 Water-saving solutions from AESSEAL®.....................................................................54 thyssenkrupp’s sustainable partnerships build sustainable industry............56 Aurecon’s criteria of sustainable asset transformation.......................................58 Water Management Managing water demand in Rustenburg......................................................................37 From waste to resource........................................................................................................43

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EDUCATING AND LEADING MINING ENGINEERS TO BECOME IMAGINEERS The Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria is a global leader in mining research and education for practical implementation. The overarching goal is to enable the mining industry to transition from being reactive and compliant to becoming resilient in issues related to safety, health, environmental sustainability, technical sustainability and social responsibility.

OFFERINGS DEGREE PROGRAMMES • BEng Mining Engineering • Honours, Master’s and Doctoral degree programmes in Mining Engineering and Applied Science Mining CONTRACT RESEARCH • The Department’s Mining Resilience Research Centre focuses on all mining-related activities through inter-disciplinary initiatives and activities with the drive to modernisation, mechanisation and automation to ensure mining sustainability in the Fourth Industry Revolution SHORT COURSES

DEPARTMENT OF MINING ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA www.up.ac.za/mining-engineering

PMining #U

tter Ma s

• Risk management for the mining industry • Mining for non-mining professionals (incorporating the Kumba Virtual Reality Centre for Mine Design) • Blasting engineering • Open pit planning and design • Dewatering • Surface mining excellence • Leadership capacity-building

Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology Fakulteit Ingenieurswese, Bou-omgewing en Inligtingtegnologie / Lefapha la Boetšenere, Tikologo ya Kago le Theknolotši ya Tshedimošo


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

The business of sustainability The Sustainability in Mining handbook by Inside Mining is finally here, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve put together. This handbook aims to identify and provide insight into and engagement on key issues affecting the sustainable development of the mining industry.

EDITOR’S COMMENT EDITOR Mpinane Senkhane DESIGN Kirsty Macfie Contributor Garyn Rapson PRODUCTION MANAGER Antois-Leigh Botma Production COORDINATOR Jacqueline Modise BOOKKEEPER Tonya Hebenton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Nomsa Masina Distribution coordinator Asha Pursotham SUBSCRIPTIONS subs@3smedia.co.za Advertising Sales Amanda De Beer Tel: +27 (0)72 600 9323 / +27 (0)87 802 5466 Email: amanda@3smedia.co.za ___________________________________________________

Publisher Jacques Breytenbach Novus Print (Pty) Ltd t/a 3S Media 46 Milkyway Avenue, Frankenwald, 2090 PO Box 92026, Norwood 2117 Tel: +27 (0)11 233 2600 www.3smedia.co.za ISSN 1999-8872 Inside Mining. © Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. All material herein Inside Mining is copyright protected and may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the prior written permission of the publisher. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. _____________________________________________ Novus Holdings is a Level 1 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Contributor, with 135% recognised procurement recognition. View our BBBEE scorecard here: https://novus.holdings/sustainability/transformation

We look at the state of the mining industry with a special focus on leaders in the industry, while developments in mining legislation, digitisation and Industry 4.0, investment, and environmental issues are highlighted. We establish what leaders in the industry are doing in their various institutions to provide much-needed solutions on the continent; essentially, this handbook provides information and case studies as a reference point to enable a more sustainable basis for mining operations. Challenges abound, but on the up According to a PwC report on 2018, commodity price increases did well enough in the period for bulk commodity producers, specifically iron ore, coal, manganese and chrome. In fact, iron ore saw an increase of R40 billion from 2017 to 2018, increasing its share of capitalisation from 13% to 20%. Capex for the sector recovered from the lowest levels in 10 years to reflect a 19% increase; however, the aggregated local mining industry, which is more exposed to precious metals, did not enjoy the same benefit from price increases. On top of that, cost-saving initiatives could not offset the impact of input cost inflation. Increased costs and production challenges saw a weakening in operating results and, as a result, the local mining industry ended the period at a net loss position after another R46 billion in impairments. Even so, the JSE Mining Index outperformed the JSE All Share Index in the reporting period, for the first time since 2008. In US dollar terms, the index also compared relatively well with the HSBC Global Mining Index, so there is more good news. What really stands out for me is that there is no doubt that the mining industry continues to add significant value to the country, and that’s enough to make one feel optimistic about the rest of 2019 and the path ahead. This issue is filled with product and service innovation, a look at digitisation, and articles detailing how some of the top product and service providers are approaching the smart mining revolution. It is particularly exciting to witness the tech revolution and growth of sustainability taking place in the mining industry. The path ahead is determined by how we adapt and embrace change, and sustainability lies at the heart of our sector’s success. All the best,

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THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

MINING’S WEIGHT OF NUMBERS #

20

Assuming best practice, South Africa’s mineral potential is ranked at 20 out of 91 mining jurisdictions by the Fraser Institute.

R

7.5%

The mining sector contributes 7.5% to South Africa’s GDP, and directly employs 450 000 people.

R

517m

The amount that 18 companies surveyed by Minerals Council South Africa in August 2019 projected it would cost them to adhere to Phase 1 of the planned carbon tax.

400+m 21.05% 3years

The amount Exxaro spent, between 2008 and 2017, on socio-economic development initiatives.

4.5

Botswana-based Shumba Energy currently sits on over 4.5 billion tonnes of thermal coal.

3

R m | 4 yrs Getting through the red tape to be able to legally mine in South Africa can cost up to R3 million and take some four years, to ensure the appropriate approvals and licences have been acquired.

The percentage of board members among South Africa’s top 100 listed mining companies who are women.

4

x

Over the past 50 years, the global demand for potash has quadrupled, with no end to demand growth in sight.

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Glencore’s Tweefontein Water Reclamation Plant treats mine-affected water near Ogies, Mpumalanga, providing 9 megalitres per day of potable water to the surrounding community.

Kumba Iron Ore has run fatality-free mining operations for more than three years now.

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R . billion

In 2018 alone, Sibanye-Stillwater contributed R1.4 billion towards sustainable projects and initiatives.

20million

R

Thyssenkrupp invested nearly R20 million in its Technical Training Academy, which aims to ensure its employees and trade apprentices are among the best in the industry.

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FOREWORD

Enabling the renaissance of the South African mining sector

The Minerals Council South Africa takes pride in knowing the mining sector continues to be a major contributor to transformation. With industry ownership exceeding 30%, all employment equity targets met and exceeded, the fact is that the mining industry has been able to remain a key contributor to economic and social development. The sector does, however, need continued investment, with conducive regulations and policy certainty being key aspects in driving greater buy-in.


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

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outh Africa remains prime mining territory. The country’s mineral potential, assuming best practice, is ranked by the Fraser Institute as 20 out of 91 mining jurisdictions. As such, the local mining sector still offers great investment potential. The recent picture Last year, mining contributed R350.8 billion to South Africa’s GDP, while the industry’s fixed investment increased by 13.2% over 2017. The was possibly as a result of changes in the political leadership of the country and industry; however, the long-term nature of mining means that this increase needs to be sustained for a significant period before it translates to a growing industry. Since the beginning of this year, the industry has seen significant rises in the prices of commodities that had previously been disappointing for some time, providing relief. Although employment in some sectors of the industry grew during 2018 (coal, iron ore, manganese and chrome), this growth was masked by reductions in employment in other sectors (gold, diamond and platinum), resulting in a net job loss in the sector. Safety performance, however, was more positive, with a slight improvement in the number of fatalities in 2018 compared to 2017, largely based on the considerable improvements in the final third of the year. This improved performance has extended into 2019. Back to the economics, even in the absence of a greenfield exploration boom in South Africa, mining investment could

almost double in the next four years if the country were to return to the top quartile of the most attractive mining investment destinations, making this is a high-priority goal. In fact, doubling investment would: create another 200 000 jobs in the economy, with 50 000 additional direct mining jobs; materially increase output, exports and procurement; increase direct and indirect taxes, and royalties paid to the fiscus; and fund substantial infrastructure development and social projects in mining-affected communities. And given the industry’s commitment to real transformation, this would also materially advance the entire country’s transformation agenda. However, challenges remain – a major incoming one being the proposed carbon tax. Carbon tax implications In August 2019, Minerals Council South Africa undertook a survey of 18 of the larger mining companies across the sector, which confirmed the significant costs that will be incurred as a result of the introduction of carbon tax. Across the companies surveyed, carbon tax costs are estimated at as much as R517 million a year in Phase 1.

WATCH NOW Watch a video interview with Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter on the impact of carbon tax on the mining industry at https://youtu.be/TshUlf4sZ4Y 7


To ensure that mining matters VISION for South Africa To play a leadership role in enabling the South African mining sector to achieve its real potential for investment, growth, transformation and development in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

MISSION

Members are obliged to conduct their business according to the agreed Minerals Council values, which dictate the minimum standards of conduct required of them in order to become a member of, or remain a member of, the Minerals Council. The five values of the Minerals Council are:

VALUES

Responsible citizenship

In the absence of the offsets allowed in the first phase (as this information is still not known), the carbon tax liability for these 18 companies is estimated to increase to R5.5 billion per year in Phase 2. The Minerals Council both understands and recognises the science of climate change; it recognises the role of fossil fuels in climate change, and that a shift to renewable energy sources is a global and national imperative. As such, it fully supports South Africa’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions in line with the Peak, Plateau and Decline (PPD) trajectory and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. But the planned carbon tax – in the absence of any other climate change measures in the overall ‘toolbox’ that includes incentives and not only disincentives and necessary 8

Respect

Trust

Honesty

Accountability

supporting regulation – is likely to be damaging to carbonintensive sectors with no pathways for offsets. The significant uncertainty associated with Phase 2 of the implementation of the carbon tax will be materially negative for South African mining, in the absence of any tax-free incentives. The Minerals Council believes that the transition to a lowemissions economy should be balanced and supported by a competitive tax system, which is critical for investment in capital-intensive industries such as mining. Mining projects involve high-risk exploration outlays, large upfront capital commitments, long-life assets, sophisticated technologies, and long lead times to profitability. Unpacking the impact The socio-economic implications of the tax and the regulatory uncertainty that negatively impacts on


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

the competitiveness of the mining industry remain significant concerns. In the past decade, South Africa’s economy grew by an average of only 1.5% a year. This has contributed to a continuous decline in GHG emissions per unit of GDP in a context where: • The composition of South Africa’s growth shifted away from carbon-intensive industries, like mining and manufacturing, towards less carbon-intensive sectors like financial services and retail. • The 523% increase in the electricity price in the past decade, in materially damaging the competitiveness of the mining and smelting industries, further contributed to the decline in carbon-intensive sectors. It is, therefore, highly likely that South Africa will achieve its Paris Agreement commitments without implementing measures such as a carbon tax. The Minerals Council proposes a toolbox of measures to mitigate climate change, but this should comprise both incentives and disincentives for behavioural change. It is extremely concerned about the implementation of carbon tax in isolation, and in the absence of all the other parts of the toolbox that should be applied to mitigate climate change. In Phase 1, mining companies qualify for a 60% taxfree portion. Given that the regulations to enable the implementation of the Performance Allowance, Carbon Offset, Carbon Budget and Trade Exposure Allowances are not finalised, it is impossible to determine whether mining companies will qualify for the remaining 35% tax-free portion. Based on this, the Minerals Council has no other option at this stage but to assume that mining companies will be liable for 40% of the R120/tonne CO2 equivalent (CO2e) on scope 1 emissions.

FACTS AND FIGURES The Minerals Council is of the view that it is critically important for data related to our industry to be freely available and easily accessible in order for stakeholders to be well informed. Download the booklet here https://bit.ly/2k6dHla In Phase 2, the carbon tax would have risen to about R170/tonne CO2e. Mining companies are assuming that the full R170/tonne CO2e will apply to scope 1 and 2 emissions. Applying these assumptions, it is estimated that this will cost the mining industry more than R5.5 billion in carbon taxes annually. These challenges are exacerbated by the fact that mining companies that want to invest in renewable energy (solar) are faced with material regulatory hurdles, including the need to obtain IRP 2010 exemptions, licenses from NERSA, agreements with Eskom on wheeling and transmission fees, and traverse a web of environmental authorisations. This significantly frustrates their ability to invest in and implement these new projects. Delay the implementation of the carbon tax The Minerals Council believes that the timing of the implementation of the carbon tax presents a major challenge and should be delayed until all the enabling regulations and the establishment of a legislative regime providing for carbon budget (as proposed in the Climate Change Bill) are in place. Also, the pathways to investing in green energy need to be clear and the whole toolbox should be capable of application. Failure to do so exacerbates the regulatory uncertainty, which in turn materially undermines investment in the mining sector.

www.mineralscouncil.org.za

#MakingMiningMatter 9


How can mining be more environmentally sustainable?

The mining industry uses a vast amount of natural resources, such as water, soil and minerals. While it is a vital industry that contributes to the economy of many countries, it can be damaging to the environment. There are, however, various ways that mining companies can become more environmentally sustainable.

Reduce inputs The mining industry uses a large amount of water and land in its operations. One solution to becoming more environmentally sustainable is to reduce the input of the mine. By diverting surface water and pumping groundwater, mines can reduce both the quantity and quality of water available downstream for aquatic ecosystems and other use. By reducing the energy usage, a mine can reduce greenhouse gases and extend the life of fossil fuel reserves. You will also be able to reduce the cost to produce the product and thus reduce the cost of the commodity itself.

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Reduce outputs Mining produces materials such as solid waste, mine water and air particles, all of which vary in their make-up and potential for environmental contamination. Waste management plans are required in order to prevent soil, air and water pollution. These plans are also in place to appropriately store the large volumes of waste produced at mine sites. To reduce waste output, mines can look at using sustainable equipment. Much of the modern equipment used today is geared toward being environmentally friendly. Using cleaner production techniques, environmental control technologies, using waste as a raw material and process re-engineering are other ways to reduce the waste output of mines. Proper waste disposal Correct waste disposal is vital to curbing the environmental impact of mines, as some mining companies do not dispose of their waste according to guidelines. Companies can invest in equipment that helps in turning waste into reusable material, as well as adopt policies that allow for more eco-friendly waste disposal. Water can be reused on mining sites as grey water for washing equipment or flushing staff toilets. Mining companies should aim to reuse and recycle water as much as possible, and be sure that all unusable water is disposed of safely and responsibly. Scrap materials can be recycled or sold to companies who can reuse them in order to reduce the amount of waste produced on-site. Improving the manufacturing process The efficiency of the mining process can often leave much to be desired, but improving the efficiency of this process can help in lessening the site’s environmental impact. This also allows companies to regulate processes that may be lacking in environmental-friendliness. Supervising the manufacturing processes will allow mining companies to change elements that are inefficient or that use too many natural resources. Close and reclaim shut-down mines Allowing shut-down mines to continue to stand open is a hazard – not only to the community but to the environment too. These mines often still have hazardous waste on the property, which can leak into the soil and water table, or come into contact with nearby communities and animals. These shut-down mines can also lead to illegal mining activity, which is why it is imperative to close and reclaim them. Mining companies can band together to commission small decommissioning groups and contractors to take apart the mining processing facilities and plants, which will allow the pipelines to be drained and wastes disposed of properly and safely. Replenishing the environment Mining companies sometimes overlook the importance of replenishing the environment. This simple act can go a long way towards increasing the environmental sustainability of mining. There are simple solutions that can be followed, such as replenishing native soils and grasses, cleaning excess waste, proper waste removal, site inspections, and replanting trees and natural forestry. By restoring the environment around the mine, the mining companies are contributing to positive environmental change, rather than making the environment more difficult to live in. The reclamation process of a shut-down mine should include such steps as removing hazardous materials, reshaping the land, planting native grasses or trees, and restoring the topsoil.

In order to lessen their impact on the environment, mining companies should look into using sustainable equipment and waste disposal procedures. They should also consider replenishing the local environment as often as possible, which will make the surrounding area habitable and able to return to a natural state once the mine has closed. Reducing both input and output of the mining process can also help to reduce the negative impact mines have on the environment.

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LEGISLATION

2 Draft Financial Provisioning Regulations nd

Earlier this year, the Minister of Environmental Affairs published the long-awaited second draft of the ‘Proposed Regulations Pertaining to the Financial Provision for the Rehabilitation and Remediation of Environmental Damage caused by Reconnaissance, Prospecting, Exploration, Mining or Production Operations’ (2nd Draft FP Regulations) for comment. By Garyn Rapson, partner at Webber Wentzel

O

riginally promised before the end of December 2018, the mining and oil and gas industries were, earlier this year, afforded a final opportunity to submit representations or objections on the 2nd Draft FP Regulations. The deadline for submissions was 1 July 2019. The 2nd Draft FP Regulations seek to entirely replace the NEMA Financial Provisioning Regulations, published on 20 November 2015, as amended (Financial Provisioning Regulations, 2015). Highlights of the 2nd Draft FP Regulations 1. Focus on facilitating environmentally sustainable mining • For the first time, the 2nd Draft FP Regulations highlight that the purpose of setting aside financial provisioning is to ensure that operations can be brought to the approved sustainable end state at closure. • Companies have the scope to define a credible sustainable end state in the final rehabilitation, decommissioning and mine closure plan (Appendix 2), which is to be submitted. Appendix 2 says that the sustainable end state must reflect local

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conditions, regulatory complexities, stakeholder expectations, environmental opportunities and technical solutions for the infrastructure and facilities to support the sustainable end state. • The mind shift from classic mine closure (returning the land to its pre-mining state) to thinking focusing on a transitional economy is hugely encouraging. Opportunities for agro-processing, water reclamation plants and power plants on mined-out areas are abundant and will become a legislative imperative. 2. Financial vehicles • The previous restrictions on the use of trust fund contributions have been removed and contributions to ‘closure rehabilitation companies’ continue to be recognised as a permissible financial vehicle. • Companies will have the leeway to structure their financial provisioning to best suit their needs. • The founding documents of a trust deed or closure rehabilitation company will need to be aligned to the minimum requirements set out in Appendix 6 and financial guarantees will need to be aligned with the template provided for in Appendix 7.


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3. Section 11 and 102 applications • The 2nd Draft FP Regulations continue to propose that applications for section 11 consent or section 102 amendments under the MPRDA will be formally regulated – i.e. updated financial provisioning reviews and adjustments are likely to be required as a prerequisite to obtaining these approvals. 4. Calculating financial provisioning • The proposed methodologies for calculating financial provisioning for new (Appendix 4) versus existing (Appendix 5) operations have been revised and simplified. • The calculation for existing operations includes all current disturbed areas, areas to be disturbed over the next 12 months, and residual and latent liabilit y associated with the premature closure. • Funds for the costs required to implement the activities for annual rehabilitation must be funded out of the operational budget of the holder. 5. Early access to financial provisioning • Withdr awal applications continue to be contemplated  to access funds required to

facilitate f inal rehabilitation and closure activities. Such applications will be strictly regulated – i.e. can only be submitted within a 10 -year period  before closure, one application  per  year, subject to ministerial approval, etc. 6. Timing • Holders of mining/prospecting rights or permits who applied for the right or permit before 20 November 2015 will be expected to comply with the new regulations by no later than three months following the first FYE of the holder post 19 February 2020. • Depending on the holder’s FYE, this will be a welcomed proposal. 7. Other • CEO sign-off. • Public access to f inancial provisioning documentation. • Third-party, independent specialist requirement to prepare financial provisioning reports and audits remain applicable under 2nd Draft FP Regulations.  13


SUSTAINABILITY IN MINING

What lies ahead for miners?

The world is changing and miners in many instances need to adapt their practices and product offering just to stay relevant.

N

ico Pienaar, director of surface mining industry association ASPASA (Aggregate and Sand Producers of South Africa), says years of tough trading conditions have reshaped the South African and global economies, and that tightening legislation surrounding health and safety, as well as environmental and sustainability issues have put compliance and financial pressures on miners in recent times. Added to this, commodity prices remain under pressure and certain mined goods have lost their sparkle on the local stage, while dwindling demand for others has reduced on global stages. This has led to some confusion in certain quarters and led the association to prod its members to gaze into the future. Examining trends “We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but at least we can examine emerging trends and try to plan for the future. That’s why we need to start debating the future and our position in it, both globally and locally,” says Pienaar. Although not exhaustive, the following list is a glimpse of the imminent future and it will pay off for mine managers and owners to spend a few minutes thinking about each point and how it may impact their future trading: • Internet of things (IoT) – Imagine having all the information you need about your operations,

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markets and equipment at your fingertips. What would you be able to do differently? • Water scarcity – Many mining processes are partly, or fully, reliant on water in order to extract or process commodities. Can future water supply be guaranteed and what happens if not? • Energy sources – Eskom has showed us the light in the dark. How do energy shortages affect your operation and what can be done to mitigate risks or find viable alternative energy sources? • Social currency – In the past, the bottom line was all that mattered and profitability was seen

We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but at least we can examine emerging trends and try to plan for the future. That’s why we need to start debating the future and our position in it, both globally and locally.


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Nico Pienaar, Director, Aggregate and Sand Producers of South Africa

to be the only measure of success. In a changing world, however, another currency is becoming equally important and is judged almost solely by the good that a company does in its geographical area and area of specialisation – social currency. Do you know the value of your mine’s social currency? • BBBEE – Sustainable or not, South Africa has a legacy and needs to redress the wrongs of the past. How can we invent a structure that is conducive for people of all walks of life without disempowering others? • Climate change – This may become one of the biggest challenges to mining in future as we’ll face more wet days, more dry days, more storms and stormy seas ahead. Climate change is reshaping our landscape and we need to do our bit to reverse

damage to our environment. What changes do you foresee in your children’s lifetime? • Sustainability – This is required in every aspect of our business, from environmental and human resources to in-pit operations and supply chains. Every aspect of our business nowadays needs to be carefully measured to ensure a sustainable future. Will your mine still be here in 10 years? “We need to start thinking about the future: what commodities will we need, how will we need to reshape our environment to survive, and how we can ensure that our mines will prosper and compete in years to come. We would like members’ feedback and, if need be, Aspasa can even hold workshops to help us plan for the future,” Nico concludes.

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SUSTAINABILITY IN MINING

Underground Wi-Fi for productivity Speaking to Anglo American’s innovation strategy, the introduction of underground Wi-Fi has improved productivity and working conditions for hundreds of miners at Anglo American’s coal mining operations in Mpumalanga, by enabling two-way communications between miners working underground and staff on the surface.

G

oedehoop Colliery recently became the Coal Division’s second operation to introduce intrinsically safe wireless communication

infrastructure and smartphones at its 4 Mt per annum Simunye shaft. Zibulo Colliery was the first Anglo American Coal mine in South Africa to introduce the technology in 2016. “We’re working in an environment where safety and productivity are paramount,” says Anglo American’s Edgar Simfukwe. “The introduction of underground Wi-Fi is a game changer. It allows our miners to communicate more easily, thereby making mines more productive. The main benefit is that breakdowns can be reported and resolved faster – in some cases, by contacting equipment manufacturers on the spot. “Not only that, employees can send photographs and video clips to aid troubleshooting,” says Simfukwe. “They’re also able to arrange for the immediate dispatch of spare parts, get work authorisations, and flag faults before they become major issues.” Out with the old

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return to the surface to get a message to a colleague, report a problem or access critical information. With the new Wi-Fi and smartphones, miners can communicate instantly via voice calls or text messaging to and from the surface, and from one underground section to another. Apart from resolving communication challenges, the Wi-Fi network also tracks key equipment through communication tags and allows for people to be located in the event of an emergency. “Up to 750 people work in an area of around 20 km2, so it’s important that we know where each of them are if an underground emergency occurs. Should an evacuation occur, we are able to determine from the control room whether anyone has been left behind underground, exactly who they are and their last known location,” says Simfukwe. Installing Wi-Fi underground is significantly more difficult than above ground. There are no cell phone towers underground, and signals are weakened and distorted by uneven surfaces, earthen walls and other obstacles in tunnels of different sizes.

Traditionally, coal mines use fixed underground

However, the benefits are extensive and will rapidly

telephones, which frequently require a long walk or

repay the initial R10 million investment, says

drive to reach. This means employees often need to

Anglo American.


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Anglo American on the future of sustainable mining Mining must transform in the decades ahead, starting now. Our industry must address critical challenges of safety, productivity, and the way we use land, energy, and water. As our global population grows, this leads to a greater demand for minerals and metals, core components of products and services that are essential to human progress.

provide the solutions to societal expectations. By solving the physical challenges of mining through restless innovation, and by constantly searching for more responsible ways to do business, we are changing the way our employees and stakeholders experience our business – creating enduring value for all stakeholders.

But it’s about more than just the work we do and the footprint we leave. We are part of people’s lives. People who demand and deserve more than just high product quality. Modern society rightly expects the mining industry to make a positive contribution to socio-economic development while reducing its environmental footprint and supporting biodiversity. Our definition of sustainability A sustainable business is purposeful, competitive, resilient and agile –it’s a business that thrives through both economic and social cycles. By understanding the context and listening to stakeholders, we stay ahead of evolving trends and

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LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY

Exxaro’s sustainability approach With a strong commitment to sustainability, South Africa’s largest blackempowered resource enterprise, Exxaro, says it strives to conduct business activities in a way that creates success not only for the company, but for society too.

F

rom how we mine to what we mine, we’re stewarding our natural assets and social capital and using them both to build happy, healthy communities for a better place to live,” the company states. But how exactly does Exxaro do this? Health Exxaro is committed to addressing the challenges of access to quality and affordable healthcare for its people. Given the importance of the health and wellness of its employees and contractors, Exxaro introduced the Occupational Health Incident Frequency Rate (OHIFR) two years ago and is driving awareness to improve the health of all its people. Safety The safety of the company’s employees and the communities where it operates are a priority. Exxaro aims to achieve zero injuries and zero fatalities by setting targets to improve safety performance each year. All its operational business units have international health and safety accreditation (OHSAS 18001).

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Governance) Rating Report on selected metrics for resource companies in 2018. Education To meet current and future skills requirements, Exxaro invests in its existing employees, future employees, and in the communities that provide its labour. At present, 99% of Exxaro’s labour is sourced in South Africa and, at any operation, over 70% is sourced from host communities. Exxaro’s education, bursary and skills development initiatives are geared towards empowering local communities to compete for positions in the company. And between 2008 and 2017, Exxaro spent just over R400 million on socio-economic development initiatives. The feminine approach

Environment

The year 2019 set out to be a big one for Exxaro. The mining group’s constant drive for business excellence, greater efficiency and sustainability through innovation resulted in a fruitful report, according to its interim financial results for the past six months, which ended on 30 June 2019.

Exxaro is a responsible corporate citizen and plays an active role in protecting and preserving the environment by reducing its carbon emissions footprint. The company ranked #1 in the ESG (Environmental, Social and

As stated in the report by Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, executive head: Coal Operations, Exxaro distributed R75 million to suppliers, of which R30.5 million was allocated to majority female-owned businesses.


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Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, Executive Head: Coal Operations, Exxaro This enterprise and supplier development investment has led to the creation of 178 permanent jobs to the country’s economy.

in underground mining, stating that “no female, whatever her age, shall be employed on underground work in any mine.”

The resource company prides itself on powering possibilities for budding entrepreneurs, especially in sectors that promote sustainability and socio-economic development initiatives in the communities.

Ensuring empowerment

By supporting local suppliers, especially those that are run by women, Exxaro aims to break down societal barriers and usher in diversity-driven change.

“Worldwide, history and research have proven that women’s economic empowerment increases their access to economic resources and opportunities including jobs, financial services, property and other productive assets, skills development and market information,” explains Tsengwa.

Historically speaking, it wasn’t until a few decades ago that women’s roles in the mining industry were even considered appropriate by the greater government. Article 2 of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention of 1935 prohibited the inclusion of women

More than just a mining business, Exxaro says it will continue to invest in impactful businesses to help empower the women within the organisation and beyond.

“For South Africa, this outlook has translated itself into vast areas of development where women are taking

Everything we do today is geared towards ensuring a safer and more productive tomorrow. Our sustainability is founded on creative, mutually constructive relationships and common values with our stakeholders. Exxaro Resources 19


the reins and actively contributing to their country’s development agenda. South Africa’s economic empowerment mechanisms for promoting the status of women, fully utilising government resources and effectively mobilising social resources provided for by corporate SA, lay an important foundation in the promotion of gender equality and women’s development.” Exxaro holds those committed to the same cause very close to its heart. It’s important now, more than ever, to empower women to inspire and develop their skills to become leaders in the mining sector. The primary objective of this approach is to improve the socioeconomic outlook, not only at a local and community level, but across the country and continent as a whole. Exxaro asserts that it strives to dispel the gender bias in the mining sector. With the latest figures from Stats South Africa, showcasing the 51% female gender slant, it becomes almost negligent to ignore the potential of transformation in the economy. Not to mention, a recent report conducted by PwC revealed that approximately 21.05% of women sit on the boards of South Africa’s top 100 listed mining companies. While this is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot more South Africa can do for gender empowerment. Exxaro targets digital transformation of women This year, Exxaro partnered with Ebonoko Foundation, Rebone Investment Holdings and Social Coding SA to expand the number of South African women who benefit from the digital transformation currently taking place in the world and South Africa. 20

The Exxaro #WomenIn4IR programme will provide South African women with mentoring as well as coding skills in a bid to improve women’s digital skills and acumen. The programme comprised two-day workshops where top businesswomen provided advice on how to run technology companies. Attendees were also be provided with coding lessons. “Powering better lives for South Africans is Exxaro’s mission and vision, and that is why we have prioritised upskilling women in technology. We know that the level of women who are currently par ticipating in the technology sector is unacceptably low. If South Africa does not empower its women, we will never achieve the levels of development required to improve the lives of South Africans. Exxaro is determined to make a positive lasting impact on South Africa and the national economy by creating sustainable black-woman-owned technology businesses and to improve the technology skills of South Africa’s women,” says Lusapho Njenge, manager: Enterprise and Supplier Development at Exxaro.


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LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable leadership When Themba Mkhwanazi was appointed CEO of Kumba Iron Ore in 2016, significant change was already under way: the business had just been through a restructuring, which resulted in some retrenchments; a new operating model had been introduced to improve operational efficiencies; and technology was becoming an area of focus for the business.

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khwanazi has been steadfast at the ship’s helm for almost three years now and Kumba is in a profitable position, despite the sometimes volatile iron ore price. Much of this positive turnaround can be attributed to Mkhwanazi’s leadership approach, a committed team, and a number of strategic developments. “Iron ore prices are not under our control and can be volatile. But my strategy, when I became CEO, was to deliver value by optimising all aspects of performance and focusing on what we could control, which included improving productivity, deploying new technology, improving operational efficiencies, and expanding our margins by achieving higher realised prices while reducing costs,” Mkwanazi states.

our programmes focused on embedding a culture of zero harm and ensuring safe working practices by all our employees and contractors. In last three years, we had zero fatalities, with lost-time injuries reduced by 36%. “Overall, Kumba delivered a stronger operational and financial performance in 2019, with headline ear nings increased by 239% to R10.1 billion, a strong balance sheet with net cash up R7.1 billion to R18.8 billion, and interim cash dividend of R30.79 per share,” Mkhwanazi states.

With the adoption of this operational-performancecentred approach, Kumba has since seen impressive financial results. It also had a fatality-free 2017 and 2018 – an especially notable achievement.

Kumba delivered an Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) margin up from 36% to 58%. A highly competitive lump ore ratio was maintained at 68%, with an average realised FOB export price of US$108 (R1 580) per tonne. The company’s operating efficiency improved from 63% to 67% in 2019, with cost savings of R460 million, on track to achieve a 2019 target of R700 million.

“First off, as safety is at the heart of everything we do, I am particularly proud that we have remained fatalityfree since May 2016. This was directly attributable to

Mkhwanazi asserts that the business was able to achieve this Ebitda by making good on his strategy to influence factors under Kumba’s control, as opposed to relying

Exceeding expectations

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on dynamics beyond the power of the company – i.e. the iron ore price. “Ultimately, we have been able to return a significant portion of earnings to our shareholders, while ensuring a robust capital structure,” he continues. Inside Mining asks Mkhwanazi to unpack this operating model and what exactly it entails. He explains, “Our operating model is designed to ensure more stable and efficient operations, and continues to deliver significant value to our business. It is a management system where every major task by every team on the mine is scheduled and tracked electronically. The model has, among other things, set the drum beat of how we do things and has contributed to our improved productivity and overall efficiencies. “Thanks to the roll-out of the model – which is simply about planning, scheduling and execution – we have seen productivity improvements at our operations and throughout our value chain.” Getting the most out of the Kumba portfolio Mkhwanazi says his focus as a leader continues to be on how Kumba can extract the full potential of its portfolio. “We’ve made some real progress on this over the past year, with a step change in productivity and break-even price, driven by a focus on operational excellence that has been well executed by the team,” he says.

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FIGURE 1 KUMBA ORE’S 3 HORIZONS Horizon 1 (current) • Kumba believes it has the potential to perform even better, which can be achieved through improving the performance of its current assets.

Mkhwanazi indicates how, alongside that progress, the business also underwent a comprehensive review to test every aspect of the value chain to see where improvements could be achieved. At the company’s annual results in February, he announced the outcome of this review process with Kumba’s full potential transformation strategy.

Horizon 2 (short to medium term) • Kumba will also look at investing to grow its core business over the medium term, developing new technologies to process lower-grade material and expand exploration activities, which will lead to the extension of the life of its mines.

“Reaching our full potential is a multiyear journey and we have a clear transformation agenda, which will focus on driving our operations to unlock Kumba’s full potential with Three Horizons,” Mkhwanazi shares (see Figure 1).

Horizon 3 (long term) • Kumba will evaluate other organic and inorganic opportunities that are value accretive and able to deliver sustainable value.


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Q2 2019 IN NUMBERS •

Export sales increased by 2% to 19.9 Mt, reflecting improved rail performance, partly offset by poor weather conditions and repairs to a stacker reclaimer in Q2 2019, which resulted in a 4.0% decrease relative to Q1 2019. Total production decreased by 11.0% to 20.1 Mt due to plant maintenance; however, demonstrating an increase in Q2 2019 relative to Q1 2019 by 11% to 10.5 Mt, as plant performance improved. Kumba’s total sales for the first half increased by 1.0% to 21.3 Mt (H1 2018: 21.2 Mt), with export sales increasing 2.0% by 19.9 Mt (H1 2018: 19.5 Mt). This reflects an improvement in rail performance, allowing the company to meet sustained demand for its premium-quality products. Operationally, total production decreased by 11.0% to 20.1 Mt (Q2 2018: 22.4 Mt); however, good progress was achieved with production increasing by 9.0% in Q2 2019 to 10.5 Mt relative to Q1 2019. This was largely driven by Sishen’s production improving by 13.0% from 6.4 Mt in Q1 2019. At Kolomela, production decreased by 12% to 6.3 Mt (H1 2018: 7.2 Mt) due to extended maintenance of the dense media separation plant. Kumba continued to focus on its value-over-volume strategy in line with the strong demand for highquality iron ore. The average lump-to-fine ratio was maintained at 68:32 and the average Fe quality of the product portfolio was stable at 64.3% Fe (H1 2018: 64.5% Fe). Kumba delivered a solid performance from its mining activities. Although waste stripping at Sishen decreased, as planned, by 4% to 82.8 Mt (H1 2018: 86.6 Mt), the primary mining equipment performed well in Q2 2019 with increased levels of availability. Full-year waste stripping guidance is unchanged at 170 Mt to 180 Mt. At Kolomela, productivity continued to improve, demonstrated by the haul-truck direct operating hours increasing on average from 14 to above 18 hours, owing to reduced cycle times. Waste stripping increased by 17% to 30.9 Mt (H1 2018: 26.4 Mt) with the full year guidance maintained at 55 Mt to 60 Mt. Given the unscheduled plant maintenance in the first half of the year, production guidance for 2019 is revised to 42 Mt to 43 Mt, from 43 Mt to 44 Mt. The full-year sales guidance is unchanged at 43 Mt to 44 Mt, as sales volumes will be supplemented from finished stock, which is at a healthy level of 4.5 Mt (30 June 2018: 6.2 Mt).

He admits, however, that there is still more that can be done in continuing to improve on the basics, such as better negotiations, understanding customers’ needs, the acquisition of new customers to ensure that Kumba has a diversified customer portfolio, and improving cooperation between marketing and operations to produce the products customers need. “The management team is totally committed to implementing all these measures and, more so, the company is in the best position to deliver sustainable cash flow and shareholder returns through challenging times, like those faced a few years back,” he adds. Diversifying its client portfolio At the moment, China is Kumba’s biggest customer; however, changing market conditions in the region and globally have meant that, in the long term, new geographies will need to be explored. “We value our customer base in China and this market will remain key for some time; however, we are expanding our marketing to new geographies such as Europe and the Middle East, where there is growing demand for high-quality products. Our aim is to have a more diversified client portfolio. Last year, we increased our sales outside of China by 9.3% to 15.2 Mt,” he continues. Notably, Kumba outperformed peers on the realised FOB price by an average $14 (R179) per tonne through 2017, despite the fact that most of its peers are geographically much closer to China. “Kumba’s products are of premium quality – and the demand for high-grade products continues to be very strong. We believe this shift towards higher-quality ores is structural and should support product premiums in future. “At the end of the day, we believe we have an opportunity to transform our business and build a legacy for generations to come,” Mkhwanazi concludes. 23


LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY

Shumba head speaks sustainability Shumba Energy is an energy investment holding company based in Botswana and listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange. Shumba has, over the last couple of years, progressed from an exploration company to an energy development company, and sits on over 4.5 billion tonnes of thermal coal.

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stablished in 2011, Shumba now owns a significant portion of advanced energy projects in Botswana and is uniquely positioned with its strategy to develop energy projects that are unaffected by the volatility of global commodity prices. Shumba is now beginning to reach the culmination of the first phase of its project company development, which is to establish a strong resource base in Botswana. The company has started to move into the second phase, which is to monetise the assets. Through this phase, the company will be working with more strategic partners and creating long-term revenues from projects that it is working on, whether a mining operation or a power station, and whether coal trading or a petrochemicals facility. Managing director Mashale Phumaphi says Shumba Energy has been on a very interesting journey since inception in 2011. The local energy sector as a whole, he says, has seen market fluctuations and a number of encouraging developments. “Notably, we’ve seen Botswana coal become more competitive in the region. For example, Shumba is now – through its Trading Division – selling coal into South Africa. Such things were not happening before and, further, if you look at new mines opening, such as Minergy, you can tell that Botswana coal has become a lot more competitive. The previous stigma that it was uneconomical has lifted,” he explains. “As a company, we undertook the strategy of diversifying our asset base, having started off with just one venture,

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the Sechaba project. In order to make sure that we minimise our risk, we have maintained our strategy of keeping our portfolio diverse. At the moment, we’ve got three coal projects and our Trading Division, and we’ve recently gone into the area of coal to liquids. In fact, we’ve recently added to our company a highly seasoned professional who has 21 years’ experience in the oil industry, during which he held various positions ranging from government and public affairs manager, to business development manager for BP. He is currently the general manager of Puma Energy Botswana and is coming on as a non-executive director at the moment,” Phumaphi explains. Industry conditions The coal industry in Botswana saw a dip due to market conditions and characteristics of the sale of good coal in the region. However, Phumaphi believes the industry is now buoyant. “Now is a really great time to be involved in Botswana coal, as the markets are really opening up for it. What is quite fascinating is that, from a pricing Shumba Energy expresses the need to satisfy the growing energy demand in the SADC region as a result of chronic power shortages. For Shumba, ‘Powering the Future’ means addressing chronic power shortages head on and supplying energy to affected African countries in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.


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to make sure that whatever processes we undertake are as environmentally friendly as possible. As Shumba Energy, we conduct our environmental and social impact assessments to World Bank standards in order to make sure that when our projects are running, they are sustainable in the long term and can be seen to have a minimal impact on the environment,” he adds. Phumaphi believes that, for the sake of future generations, it’s important that activities such as mining or power generation are able to first minimise the impact on their environment and then, once done, leave the environment in the same state as before mining, or even better off.

perspective, we’re seeing Botswana coal landing in South Africa cheaper than from traditional sources in South Africa itself. The competitiveness of the coal is coming into play and I think this has more to do with the cost of mining going up in South Africa due to higher labour costs and higher mining costs of the coal, given that the mines are a lot older,” he continues.

He is adamant that, for both companies and industry, there is a pressing need to have objectives that aim to improve the environments projects operate in. “Sustainability is not just about maintenance; it’s also about finding ways to improve the operating environment. There are many ways that you can look at that, for example, when you rehabilitate the area that you have worked. In some cases, you can even find ways to actually improve on the biodiversity present before a project started,” Phumaphi insists.

Shumba as a company has opted to focus its strategy on the entire energy sector, be it coal, petrochemicals or power.

Lessons only leadership can teach

“I think the future is bright, given the high growth of the African population and industry, particularly because there is a focus on increasing intercountry trade in Africa. And there is a lot of money being ploughed into the mining, power and petroleum sectors. I think, as an industry as a whole, things are looking positive,” he asserts.

“The first lesson is that, in order to be sustainable as a business, you need to keep your overheads as low as possible. The second thing is to make sure that you’ve got a diverse business in order to minimise single project risk. And the third thing is to make sure that you work with partners to optimise the monetisation of your project.

The sustainability conversation

“There’s only so much one company can do. But if you have the right strategic partners, it leads to you being able to achieve great things on the same project. From more of a strategic perspective, I have learned to be persistent, to never throw in the towel, and to make sure that I am optimistic in whatever the company does.

It is one thing to see an industry come out of a dip, but its sustainability is what really determines the future. Regarding this, Phumaphi says he’s in full support: “There are two aspects of sustainability, to my understanding. The first one is that, from a cost perspective, we need to make sure that our solutions are profitable in the long term to make sure that whatever projects we develop are in the lower quartile of the cost curve. “Second, it’s about producing products that are friendly to the environment. We should do the best we can

Inside Mining asked Phumaphi what lessons he felt he had learnt throughout his journey with Shumba.

“There’s a saying that goes, ‘Whether you think you’re right or wrong, you’re correct’. I believe that success is the manifestation of belief in what you’re doing. I have learned to stick to the vision and to keep my belief through the difficult times,” he concludes. 25


DATA MANAGEMENT

Changing mindsets With the rapid development of new technology and the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is disrupting traditional processes and the way we live and work, data is becoming a hot commodity.

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he challenge lies not in obtaining the data, but in how to use it to its maximum potential to add real value to customers and organisations, particularly in a technologically stagnant sector such as mining.

are aligning to create the most innovative solutions to address these challenges. This digital capability is being embedded in Worley’s day-to-day working, and the company is creating global service lines to make the digital capability available throughout its locations.

For a company like Worley that provides engineering solutions to the world’s energy, chemicals and resources challenges, harnessing the power of data is vital for the organisation and its customers to prosper in the new digital age. With a long history of innovation, Worley has already been active in this space for a number of years and has established a strong digital reputation.

“The world is changing at a rapid pace. Organisations across the globe have a strategic objective to ‘go digital’ or be at risk of becoming obsolete, but few know how to use technology to add real value to their operations,” says Worley’s Denver Dreyer, senior vice president: Mining, Minerals & Metals for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In South Africa, the project delivery company has positioned itself at the forefront of mining technology by developing various leading-edge data management tools, such as the Stepwise process, which makes it possible to expediently create option analyses to assist customers and prospective funders in making strategic investment decisions, and integrated design project tools to create a living digital twin of a facility that can reduce risk and improve productivity on a project.

“Worley has the knowledge and expertise to offer a roadmap to help our customers navigate what is unfamiliar territory for many. ‘Going digital’ is very different to the traditional way of doing work, particularly in the mining sector, which has seen very little change in mining methods in decades. It requires a change in mindset of the entire project team, including the customers’ side, right down to mine personnel. Our customers’ teams must be aligned with ours to embrace technology and understand the immense benefits of it,” he advises.

Knowledge and expertise Driven by teams of technical experts across the global organisation, who have the unique advantage of also having years of EPCM experience, Worley’s data management solutions are aimed at addressing the ongoing challenges that energy, chemicals and resources customers continue to face: how to increase productivity, reduce maintenance and operation costs, and improve safety. Through collaboration and the sharing of digital knowledge across Worley’s multinational regions, the company’s global digital teams 26


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Denver Dreyer, Senior Vice President: Mining, Minerals & Metals for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Worley

Value in integrated data Dreyer notes that it is vital to partner with a service provider that has industry experience as well as the technical expertise. Russell Du Plessis, manager: BIM, Worley, concurs. “In the mining sector, we’re seeing companies approach third-party providers to create 3D models of projects. While this may appear impressive on the surface, the picture on the screen is not the drawcard – it’s the underlying data that is of value, which is accumulated by industry experts over a long period of time. What really makes virtual reality models powerful is the integrated data that makes it possible to provide design accuracy, look pre-emptively forward, and create a scenario plan for a project. The objective is to deliver an intelligent and integrated project scope that runs from the design phase right through to construction. This can only be achieved by utilising data-centric integrated design principles combined with industry knowledge,” explains Du Plessis. Dreyer comments that although it will take time for the local mining sector to fully realise the benefits of digital transformation, the company intends to mainstream digitisation across its larger projects. Worley’s South African operations are currently collaborating with

What really makes virtual reality models powerful is the integrated data that makes it possible to provide design accuracy, look pre-emptively forward, and create a scenario plan for a project. one of their international counterparts to develop a groundbreaking ‘intelligent’ mine for a major mining client, which is set to be one of the world’s most technologically advanced mines. “We have people who understand data management and the application of data in an operational context, and can develop digital design techniques from concept development to detail design, implement data analytics to plant maintenance and operations – to improve maintenance and plant availability – and apply digital processes and smart tools through the design, development and implementation phases. With this capability, we can develop the intelligent mine concept into a full life-cycle service offering,” Dreyer concludes. 27


LEADERS IN SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability at the Kore Inside Mining talks with Brad Sampson, CEO of Kore Potash – an advanced-stage mineral exploration and development company incorporated in the UK and listed on three stock exchanges – to delve deeper into the company’s take on sustainability. Inside Mining: How would you describe your first year in the job?

its need for healthy, high-yielding crops and as the amount of available arable land per person falls.

Brad Sampson: Kore is at a crucial stage in the development of its assets, so I have been working to constantly improve my knowledge and understanding of the basin, and at the same time ensuring that the company is in the best possible position commercially.

As to where Kola and DX can fit into the market, what we can say for sure is that when either or both assets are in production, they will be among the very lowest opex mines in the world, with the shortest transport routes to customers, and be capable of supplying potash to farmers for multiple generations.

One factor that I was aware of when I took the job was that the scale of opportunity that Kore Potash and the Sintoukola Potash Basin in the Republic of Congo represent is huge. As long as the right development path is taken, there is the ability to supply potash fertiliser to the world’s farms for generations – possibly hundreds of years. If anything, my appreciation of the opportunity has grown since my appointment. With that in mind, as CEO, I do feel a sense of responsibility to get this project right – probably even more so than with other assets I have worked on.

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How can you ensure operational sustainability? As mentioned, operating costs at Kola and DX are very low. Why? Well, the deposits are among the highest-grade potash mines in the world, close to the surface and close to the sea. The inputs to get the potash out of the ground and to process it into MoP are much lower than many of the other large producing assets in the northern hemisphere, with no deleterious by-products or tailings.

With several developments at the mine, what is your take on the potash mining industry as a whole?

In addition, because of our location on the coast – in the middle of the west coast of Africa – distances to deliver our potash to our target markets are materially lower than the northern hemisphere producers, meaning both lower costs and lower environmental impacts.

The fundamental outlook for the potash sector is that demand is going to continue to grow, and new supply chains must be created to satisfy this. In the last 50 years, demand for potash has quadrupled and this trend can only continue as the global population grows along with

One simple way to look at it is days at sea. From our transhipment area to the Port of Recife in Brazil is about 11 days at sea for a bulk carrier; from Vancouver, takes at least double that. That means at least 11 days’ less bunker fuel is burned.


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Designing and developing potash projects that are inherently efficient over the life of the asset is one way for the industry to reduce emissions, improve its stewardship, and can arguably have a greater impact than almost any other means. What kind of lessons have you drawn from leading Kore Potash? My time at Kore has shown that even with tier-one deposits, a geographic advantage over competitors, and growing global demand, it takes careful and diligent work to get from exploration to development and construction. This has not been a surprise but it makes you remember that every project is different with unique complexities – and maybe makes you feel a bit more sympathy for your peers! What does the future hold for Brad Sampson and Kore Potash? Bringing these globally significant assets into production is my and Kore’s focus. Demand for potash is growing, especially in our target markets of South America and

the African continent. The quality of our assets and their location on the coast put us in a prime position. We have begun a PFS on the DX project, which the scoping study showed presents us with a low-risk, low-capex, rapid route to potash production. We are progressing the optimisation of the Kola project, which has already seen one proposal for US$415 million (R6.15 billion) in potential cost reduction, with more optimisation to come. Driving the work programmes at both deposits will allow us to provide maximum value to shareholders, to the Republic of Congo, and to our local communities, and ultimately help provide low-cost fertiliser to farmers worldwide.

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WASTE MANAGEMENT

Chemical fixation remediates polluted soil The remediation of an arsenic-contaminated site has successfully paved the way for new commercial uses.

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hen the Department of Environmental Affairs decided not to approve off-site disposal as a default remediation strategy, an alternative in situ methodology needed to be adopted in remediating a section of industrial land in Durban. The chosen approach was to use ferrous sulfate to stabilise the contaminated soil. “Our conceptual site model had identified potential risks to human receptors, as well as groundwater and surface water resources,” explains Richard O’Brien, principal environmental geochemist, SRK Consulting. “The human health risk meant that any action plan had to ensure that impacted soil would be capped with hardstanding paving to mitigate the exposure of workers to arsenic impacted soil.” The remedial strategy focused on protecting the groundwater resource, occurring at a depth of 7 m to 13 m below surface. The risk assessment involved site-specific geochemical analysis of arsenic mobility and partitioning within the soil – an uncommon approach in this part of the world, says O’Brien, but one that proved effective in assessing groundwater risks. Eastern and western zones Results from the initial soil assessment delineated the site into two in terms of soil arsenic concentrations. In the western portion, the concentration was usually over the soil screening value for industrial land use of 150 mg/kg; the eastern portion was primarily below this level. The eastern portion was subjected to an expedited approach using a field-portable X-ray fluorescence analyser to delineate hotspots for excavation and stockpiling: their concentrations did not indicate pervasive contamination. In turn, the western portion progressed to a detailed site geochemical characterisation and risk assessment using geohydrological modelling due to the high arsenic concentrations. 30

“Geochemical and hydrogeological evaluation enabled remediation target levels specific to the site to be calculated, and the stabilisation of the residual arsenic – by adding ferrous sulfate – was assessed in laboratory-scale bench experiments,” says O’Brien. This testing was followed by a small-scale field trial, which confirmed the efficacy of mixing the ferrous sulfate with soil. Full-scale remediation began in November 2017, with about 3 200 tonnes of arsenic-impacted soil being stabilised in batches with ferrous sulfate heptahydrate. The treatment of the soil entailed excavating to a depth of 1.5 m and placing the soil into stockpile layers of about 0.5 m. The ferrous sulfate was then thoroughly mixed into the soil using an excavator fitted with a skeleton bucket. “We also recognised that dust generation was an important safety issue, so our human health monitoring strategy included three different levels of dust monitoring,” he continues. “There were dust buckets, fence-line monitoring by an external air quality consultant, and an in-field dust monitor. It was also vital to protect the remediation crew through disposable overalls, and checking their health with medical entry and exit tests.” The sheer scale of the project is reflected in the logistics of packaging and transporting the ferrous sulfate. This comprised some 50 tonnes of the chemical delivered in 25 kg bags for distribution around the site before mixing. Subsequently, the site has been signed off for other industrial uses.


Service Providers

AESSEALÂŽ............................................... 54 African Mining Indaba............................ 4 Afrimat..................................................... 32, 44 Aurecon................................................... IBC, 58 Bauer Technologies................................ 49 Dispro Tech............................................. 33 ERWAT.................................................... 42 Johannesburg Water.............................. 46 Schweitzer Engineering......................... 34 Sibanye-Stillwater.................................. 40 Tega Industries....................................... OBC thyssenkrupp........................................... IFC, 56 University of Pretoria............................ 2 31


MINE REHABILITATION

A measurable strategy Afrimat Limited is a leading black-empowerment, opencast mining company that boasts extensive experience in the provision of construction and industrial minerals. The group’s core subsidiaries have been in operation for more than 45 years and have consistently enjoyed low staff turnover, which has resulted in a deep skills pool.

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eal transformation, starting with staff and management and extending to community upliftment, is integral to the group’s sustainability. In addition, the group has seen environmental conservation as an imperative part of their growth strategy Collin Ramukhubathi, executive head: HR & Sustainability at Afrimat, sat with Inside Mining to discuss the sustainability strategy the group has adopted. “For us, sustainability forms part of our triple-bottomline strategy. We don’t believe it is just a compliance issue but it is the right thing to do – and it gives us a competitive edge. For Afrimat to continue to grow, it cannot only be through financial profits – people and caring for the environment are where the longevity lies,” Ramukhubathi starts. Continuous assessment and improvement The group also indicates that a consistent drive towards efficiency and cost-effectiveness within its current operations positions the group well within the iron ore sector. As we know, opencast mining has a significant impact on the environment; however, Afrimat has demonstrated a commitment to the continuous improvement of its operations by using its resources responsibly with the aim of reducing its environmental impact. Ramukhubathi has been the head of Sustainability at Afrimat for three years and says: “All our mines have annual rehabilitation and closure plans; we ensure that all our mines operate according to these plans, and we

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measure performances annually. Our environmental team does an impeccable job in assessing performance and whenever we feel that the EMPs are outdated, we revise them to bring them back up to standard. These continuous assessments are in line with international best practice and we are committed to revising them accordingly, where we can,” he says. Mine rehabilitation With possible amendments to legislation concerning rehabilitation and mine closure, the way in which companies conduct mine closure is under the microscope. “If you look at the history of mining in the country or in the world, there has been an abuse of the environment by some of the old mining companies; this has led to authorities in South Africa becoming more stringent with regulations. Although I understand where the authorities are coming from, I just believe that we have swung the pendulum to the other extreme, where we have now over-regulated the industry. “For example, to be able to mine in South Africa, you may need environmental authorisation, a water-use licence, land-use departure ordinance or rezoning, adherence to the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (in the Western Cape), an air emissions licence and a waste licence. All these licences deal with the preservation of the environment; they can take up to four years and cost up to R3 million. You need to apply for all of these from five different ministries. However, in Canada, for


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

example, you only apply to one ministry, it takes less than a year and costs a fraction, and fewer specialist studies are required than in South Africa. “With that being said, Afrimat believes in the complete rehabilitation of our old mines. We do our best by leaving the land better than we found it. We are also busy looking at options on how we can utilise our old mines to the good of the communities in surrounding areas,” Ramukhubathi explains. Rehabilitation case studies Afrimat has a number of operations where rehabilitation measures have been implemented and carried out as a part of the business’s culture. “We ensure that our mines blend in aesthetically with the surrounding area in which they are located. An example is our Palmiet Quarry at Grabouw, situated

next to the N2 in the Western Cape. You cannot see the mine from the nearby highway, since we have built a berm and planted trees and flowers that blend into the area. Another example is at Glen Douglas, at Henley-on-Klip, Midvaal, where we have created what we call a bass lake, which is used for recreation purposes and diving training. “Essentially, we are busy working on a full carbon footprint strategy, which will see us explore ways to mitigate our carbon tax. Instead of seeing this tax burden as a liability, we believe there are incredible opportunities to do something great here. Watch this space!” he concludes.

www.afrimat.co.za

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SAFETY

Arc flash safety The mining industry has a reputation for being a high-risk business – these risks vary but are often serious and in some cases life threatening. The sustainability of the mining industry relies largely on safety, so it is important for miners to protect themselves accordingly.

M

ining doesn’t have to be unsafe. In fact, with the introduction of strict safety legislation and protocols, as well as advances in safety equipment, the industry has seen its fatality rate drop over time. Although the goal of zero harm has not yet been achieved, it remains the standard that mining companies continue to strive towards. Personnel safety is paramount for utilities and industries, including oil and gas, water and wastewater, and metals and mining. Among the dangers faced are arc flashes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, an arc flash “is a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electrical arc”. Arc flashes pose a very serious risk to the industry – so SEL has developed Arc-Flash Protection at the Speed of Light to address arc flash challenges. Causes of arc flashes

The energy produced by an arc flash event is proportional to the voltage, current, and duration of the event. It is measured in terms of arc flash incident energy (AFIE), calibrated in cal/cm2, and in turn used to determine the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) required to protect personnel from injury during an arc flash event. PPE is designed to protect workers from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with electrical or other workplace hazards. Arc flashes occur when the insulation or over-air isolation between energised components within an electrical circuit is compromised. Arc flash events can be caused by numerous factors, such as the shorting of two phases, 34

which creates a phase-to-phase fault. Common examples that cause phase-to-phase faults include dropped tools, accidental contact by maintenance personnel, the buildup of corrosion or conductive dust on conductors, and the presence of pests – like mice, rats or snakes – which come in contact with energised conductors. Arc flash events can cause dangerous and potentially fatal levels of heat, ultraviolet radiation, blast pressure, flying shrapnel, and deafening sound waves. To remedy this, design engineers have a few options to reduce system voltage or fault currents, including grounding practices and the application of currentlimiting fuses. However, the best and most direct way to reduce arc flash hazards is to reduce fault-clearing times, thereby reducing the overall incident energy, or to eliminate the need for personnel to be in harm’s way by using remote operation. Benefits of SEL Arc-Flash Protection • High-speed tripping: SEL relays reduce arc flash hazards by significantly reducing the total faultclearing time. • Incident energy reduction: The faster the extinction of the arc flash event, the smaller the incident energy. SEL relays detect arc flash hazards and send a trip signal to the breaker in as little as 2 milliseconds. • Improved safety: SEL arc flash detection (AFD) decreases the fault-clearing time, which reduces arc flash hazards, improves safety, and lowers PPE requirements. To validate the arc flash protection performance, a series of tests were performed at


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

a high-current laboratory. In these tests, arc flash incident energy levels were reduced by 88% using SEL technology. • Reduced damage to switchgear: With arc flash hazard protection, equipment damage is minimised during an arc flash event, returning affected equipment to service faster and with less expense. In addition, power system availability is maximised. • Maintained selective coordination: Arc flash events trigger an immediate response, while coordination is maintained with downstream protection for external faults. • Simplify procedures: AFD is always enabled. An operator or technician doesn’t have to modify protective settings before and after performing live work to be protected from arc flash events. Reduced potential arc flash energy also simplifies PPE requirements, limiting the requirement of bulky ‘moon’ suits and other movement-restricting PPE. • Stay outside the danger zone: Remain a safe distance away by remotely obtaining metering, event, and maintenance information from the relay with Ethernet or serial communications. Optional delayed

breaker tripping or closing via push buttons allows personnel to move to a safe distance. • Service and support: The SEL 10-year worldwide product warranty is proof of SEL’s confidence in the high-quality products the business designs, manufactures, sells and supports. This stated warranty and impeccable track record for never charging a customer to replace or repair a defective product are the best substantiation of true quality and durability. Worldwide, SEL support teams provide customers with local sales and technical service. The business’s commitment to quality extends through a product’s installation and life as part of customers’ critical infrastructure. Application and integration engineers, customer service representatives, and sales managers truly understand the importance of local support. SEL provides personalised, regional technical support to its customers from more than 85 offices, and contributes significantly to the sustainability of the mining industry.

www.selinc.com 35


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THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

WATER MANAGEMENT

Managing water demand Water shortages in the Rustenburg area placed significant pressure on mines and communities alike. By accurately modelling its water balance, Lonmin was able to achieve significant improvements in water use efficiency and water security for all.

A

lthough Rustenburg’s mines had initially developed in isolation, miners soon realised that cooperation and coordination was required to assist authorities with the constrained regional water sources. From this, it was identified that the accelerated implementation of water conservation and water demand management (WC/WDM) was needed.

objectives. This scenario included the installation of a cross-mine transfer pipeline between the three mines, developing boreholes from rehabilitated aquifers, and maximising local resources. The result was that no additional water was needed for the mining of tailings, and there was a reduction in Lonmin’s water purchases from Rand Water and environmental discharge.

Lonmin undertook a systematic approach, using water quality and demand requirements for various mining processes to develop a dynamic water balance model. The mining house’s WC/WDM programme aimed to ensure sustainable water supply and use, to improve compliance and to inform the development of the Lonmin integrated water resource management system.

Lonmin went on to base its long-term WC/WDM programme on the outcome of the optimised scenario. A number of projects were identified, planned and prioritised based on project outcomes in order to achieve the long-term goals.

A sizeable challenge Lonmin faced the significant challenges of water shortages and spills, impacted community water services and a substantial compliance burden. The company was also experiencing frequent plant stoppages due to water shortages, amounting to millions of rand per day in production losses. According managing director Mias van der Walt, Bigen Africa was able to identify several areas for improvement. The opportunity existed to optimise external water sources, for the inter-transfer between mining areas, and to reuse water in internal systems. In addition, discharges were not controlled and anthropogenic aquifers were not being used as storage sources.

Developing a solution The first step was to define the water demand for all of the mining areas. “That in itself was a huge effort because you need to understand the mining plan, what they are producing, the unit water consumption for the various sections, define the water sources, look at the water demand management strategies, and then develop the water balance. And with that water balance, come up with different water management scenarios and develop a portfolio and WC/WDM projects,” explains Van der Walt.

Significant water savings This cumulative scenario showed a significant improvement in relation to the base case. Lonmin’s acquisition from Rand Water could be reduced by 4.2 million m3/a – a substantial reduction of 46%. Similarly, environmental discharge could be slashed by 39%, or 643 148 m3/a. By reducing its demand, Lonmin was also able to free up more water for the surrounding communities, contributing to improved water security. To replicate these successes, Van der Walt believes a change in mindset around water is needed from management level down. Mine water systems, especially those evolving and expanding over many decades, are extremely complex and dynamic, but significant water efficiency improvements can be achieved. He argues that there is potential to ring-fence sections of water systems, which can also assist the balance sheet of the mine without burdening their balance sheet. It is clear that by revisiting and critically assessing an existing mine water system, a win-win scenario for all stakeholders can be achieved.

No single scenario addressed all success criteria; instead, a cumulative scenario was adopted in order to achieve the strategic 37


DATA MANAGEMENT

A solution for the mining digital revolution? Mining has always been an intensive industry, in terms of resources, time, labour and personnel safety. The ability to analyse and derive intelligence from vast amounts of data generated across the various aspects of any mine is a revolution in this sector.

W

ith the incorporation of the internet of things, as well as various geoscientific data sources, the potential is massive. The benefits are numerous, from proactive monitoring and maintenance to greater efficiency and therefore improved profitability, as well as the ability to protect the most precious resource in a mine – its people. However, given the volumes of data generated, effective data management is essential. Safety first “Mistakes in the mining industry are costly, not simply from a monetary perspective but also from the view of the human lives at stake. Digital transformation has had a significant impact, and the ability to collect and analyse sensor data generated from equipment in particular, can assist to improve safety in mining environments. Underground temperatures and levels of harmful gases can be carefully monitored in real time, equipment can be maintained before it breaks, and dangerous situations can be predicted before they can cause injury or loss of life,” explains Iniel Dreyer, managing director at DMP South Africa. “Furthermore, operational decision-making can become more proactive and efficiencies can be improved. These 38

add an element of competitiveness and enhanced profitability – essential in an industry where commodity prices are fixed,” he adds. Extracting data, extracting value Another area where data is revolutionising mining is in the field of geoscientific information about the physical and chemical properties of rocks and minerals. This data is recorded along with spatial coordinates so that the precise location of the information is known. It has many sources, and the collection of this information is not necessarily new; however, the potential for analysis has grown exponentially since it began to be digitally recorded and stored. This has enabled more information, at more granular levels of detail, to be captured, stored and used for analysis, with exciting possibilities. Says Mark Wanless, principal geologist and partner at SRK Consulting, “Geoscientific and geophysical data is used in many aspects of the mining value chain. It is used to target exploration programmes in areas where we think there may be concentrations of economically extractable metals. Surface mapping and drill hole data is used to map the presence of mineralisation underground. This enables the construction of 3D


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

With the right technology in place, decisions that would previously have taken months can be made in minutes.

virtual models of the mineralisation and rocks, which allows mining engineers to design the mines in virtual reality to allow for the extraction of metals from underground. In operational mines, the mapping, drilling and sampling allow for the refinement of the models that enable the mines to operate more efficiently by targeting the mineralisation more accurately.” Managing and securing the data With the right technology in place, decisions that would previously have taken months can be made in minutes; and with automation taking place in many areas, a large number of improvements can be realised. However, while the potential for data analysis is exciting, the volumes of data generated pose a significant challenge for many mining organisations. The more data that is generated, and the greater the levels of detail collected, the more complex and costly data storage becomes. Datasets can easily grow to hundreds of terabytes, which requires leading-edge hardware to be able to store and process effectively. It is also essential to secure

data, since leaks could cause significant financial loss, and any malware breaches could result in danger to the lives of the people physically in the mines. Managing data while reducing costs, complexity “Effectively leveraging data means that the legacy of siloed information simply can no longer exist. If you are going to get maximum value from data analysis, it is critical to have a single view of data across the enterprise. In fact, data lies at the core of all operations today; the speed of data availability is essential and IT infrastructure is crucial. However, the cost and complexity of maintaining data management in-house can be prohibitive, and mining experts are not data experts. This is where DMaaS (data management as a service) comes in. By utilising a service-based model, mining organisations can reduce capital expenditure and have access to skilled resources who understand data and how to work with it,” Dreyer concludes. 39


INNOVATION

Sustainable gains Sibanye-Stillwater is now the largest primary producer of platinum and the second largest palladium producer in the world, with a massive portfolio of operations across the mining sector. We get to understand how the group is uplifting communities and improving lives through innovation and sustainability.

T

contributed R1.4 billion in 2018 towards social economic development.

Albeit conservative, the overall economic outlook for the rest of the year is positive, with economists forecasting that South Africa is expected to grow 0.7% during 2019. However, Sibanye-Stillwater is investing in innovative projects to ensure its value extends beyond just the minerals it extracts.

The company also has several ongoing projects and upcoming initiatives in the pipeline that seek to create shared value for all its stakeholders which includes its host communities and the environments in which it has operations.

his year has not been easy for South Africa’s economy. The mining sector specifically saw a 10.8% drop in mining production for the first quarter of the year. While the latest Statistics SA figures indicate positive overall growth of 3.1% during the second quarter – up from -3.2% quarteron-quarter – despite its challenges, it is clear that mining continues to form a significant portion of the economy, generating 7.5% of GDP and directly employing 450 000 people. The sector contributed R351 billion to the economy in 2018.

Sibanye-Stillwater is the world’s number one primary platinum producer, the second largest primary producer of palladium and, on a gold-equivalent basis, it is the third largest producer of the precious metal. In addition to being a leading global recycler and processor of spent PGM catalytic converters, the company has rolled-out and contributed to several other projects and initiatives that are defining it as a game changer within the industry. Sustainable Investment By demonstrating its commitment to improving lives through developing and investing in the local economies it operates in, Sibanye-Stillwater has 40

The company is geared towards driving sustainability in the business as a whole, whether it is through strategy, operations or corporate social responsibility and this is more apparent in how the company operates, with local communities at the fore of its engagement with stakeholders. To this end, SibanyeStillwater has rolled-out a Community and Indigenous People Policy that “is designed to respect local customs, traditions and cultures while encouraging in open, honest and constructive dialogue”.

Creating the Mine of the Future Although gold mining has been referred to as a ‘sunset industry’ due to safety concerns the deeper miners go underground to extract minerals, it is innovation and technological advancements that will prolong the life of mines. Sibanye-Stillwater is constantly innovating to ensure that the mining industry can continue to contribute to the economy in a safe, fatality-free manner in line with Vision Zero – a global prevention strategy developed by the International Social Security Association (ISSA). To this end, the company invested in DigiMine at Wits Mining Institute with safety at the forefront.


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

The Platinum Incubator (TPI) With the aim of creating young entrepreneurs in the North West, the Platinum Incubator (TPI) is a one-stop shop that assists entrepreneurs and graduates to develop commercial products using platinum group metals. First launched it in 2008 and then again at the Orbit TVET College in Rustenburg in April 2018, Sibanye-Stillwater is helping small businesses housed by the Platinum Incubator make an entry into markets that were previously inaccessible. Thirty-year-old Matete Siliane started his career in high-end men’s jewellery in 2015 when he was studying Jewellery design at Tshwane University of Technology. His passion for jewellery expanded to women’s jewellery. “My sense of style of jewellery comes from fashion. I found lapel flowers to help me design and the work began. I am currently looking into marketing and growing my business,” he says. Siliane works with all precious metals and sometimes non-precious metals. He has managed to rise up and build a small business that he is proud of and was a finalist in the 19th Annual PlatAfrica 2018 jewellery design and manufacture competition. The competition is at the forefront of discovering the country’s talent in jewellery manufacturing using beneficiation of our minerals. Sibongile Shongwe, CEO of the Platinum Incubator, says that Sibanye-Stillwater has played a critical role in supporting small businesses and making sure that TPI get a stake of the market, which was previously an almost impossible task.

Sibanye-Stillwater’s CSI investments

R593.4 million (US $45 million) spent on training & development in 2018

R1.4 billion (US $106 million) on local development in SA in 2018

100+ organisations

Corporate social responsibility is measured in terms of businesses improving conditions for employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment. However, moral responsibility goes further, reflecting the need for corporations to address fundamental ethical issues such as inclusion, dignity, and equality. - Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum The DigiMine is a ground-breaking programme at the University of Witwatersrand, which provides a safe, mock mining environment in which students can research digital technologies for application in underground mining, without the risks involved in a real-life situation. Wits MSc candidate Mosima Matlhwana says it’s an amazing place for innovators, as they can get to learn technologies and get practical experience but are also able to immerse themselves in mining culture. For Sibanye-Stillwater, it is an opportunity to put the brightest minds, with their fresh perspectives, on to real-world issues and opportunities present in the mining world. DigiMine is a one-of-a-kind laboratory with a vast research agenda to transfer digital surface technologies into an underground environment and to identify and mitigate the typical risks mine workers are exposed to on a daily basis. Sibanye-Stillwater believes that DigiMine will unlock new opportunities and possibilities for South Africa’s mining industry.

supported in the US by Community Giving

30,000ha

of land contributed to Bokamoso Ba Rona agriculture initiative in SA

www.sibanyestillwater.com 41


ERWAT

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THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

WASTE MANAGEMENT

From waste to resource

The first phase of the Tweefontein Water Reclamation Plant is now fully operational, providing 9 MLD of clean drinking water.

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ocated 8 km east of the small town of Ogies in Mpumalanga, Glencore Operations South Africa has established the Tweefontein Water Reclamation Plant, which treats mine-affected water to potable standards for the surrounding community.

water reclamation plant different from the next. The difference between the Glencore plant and other plants in the area exists not in the technology employed, but rather the manner in which the process was designed, resulting in the lower use of chemicals in the recovery,” she continues.

The first 9 MLD phase of the plant is fully operational, and produced its first water in November 2018. Glencore is in discussions with eMalahleni Local Municipality (ELM) on the possible upgrade of the plant in order to increase the throughput to 14 MLD. “There is potential to increase the capacity further depending on all the governing variables, including excess water in the mines and demand increase from ELM,” explains Shivani Chetram, head: Communications, Glencore Operations South Africa.

Significant infrastructure investment

Supporting the community Prior to the establishment of the Tweefontein Water Reclamation Plant, the surrounding community was often without running water for extended periods of time, largely due to growing demand and lack of capacity. Although initially conceptualised as a way to manage mineaffected water in Glencore’s Tweefontein, Goedgevonden and iMpunzi complexes, the plant also offered the opportunity to provide potable water to Phola Township, north of Ogies. The fully fledged reverse osmosis plant treats the mineaffected water to drinking water standards, complying with SANS 241-2015. Water is extracted from mined-out underground workings used for the storage of mine-affected water. Typical of water emanating from coal mining activities, the water entering the reclamation plant has a high sulfate level. This said, with the current process, the plant recovers approximately 96% clean water from the feed. With a further technological introduction, the plant will soon be recovering in excess of 99% clean water from the contaminated body of water, says Chetram.

The by-product of the treatment process is highly concentrated brine, which is stored in an evaporation brine pond. Established solely by Glencore Operations South Africa, this pond had to be constructed along with the entire infrastructure necessary to make the plant a reality. This included boreholes and pumps, electrical infrastructure, reservoirs, transfer pump stations, pipelines, lined storage ponds for plant feedwater, sludge and brine, as well as the complete reverse osmosis plant. Associated support infrastructure – such as fencing, offices, security, operations and maintenance – was also necessary. A 16 km pipeline was established between the water reclamation plant and Phola Township, where a potable water treatment facility, together with a reservoir and pump station, was established on the site to supply water to the area. “We can now supply 9 MLD that was not available for consumption prior to the establishment of this plant, contributing to the overall water security of the area,” says Chetram. “At the same time, the Tweefontein Water Reclamation Plant will assist in reducing our water usage footprint from other water sources such as dams and rivers, while providing an effective solution for our current mining operations as well as the long-term management and treatment of water decant at eventual mine closure.”

“The process to clean mine-affected water is very similar for all plants recovering water from old mine workings. Unfortunately, the water from different mining areas can differ significantly in respect of composition, making every 43


®

Glen Douglas mine

Responsible practices, sustainable futures Recycling of water

Reducing energy consumption

Reducing emissions

Decreasing noise pollution

Good relations with the communities

Recycling products

Mine rehabilitation

Afrimat Limited is a leading black empowered open pit mining company providing an integrated product offering ranging from aggregates, industrial minerals, commodities (iron ore), concrete products (bricks and pavers) to readymix concrete. Afrimat has established a strong foothold in contracting services comprising mobile crushing, screening, drilling and blasting. Backed by more than 45 years’ experience, Afrimat listed on the JSE Limited in 2006. As part of its continued diversification strategy, the group is expanding its footprint into Africa. The group’s capabilities enable Afrimat to service projects of any scale from major infrastructure and construction projects for state-owned enterprises and parastatals through to small private sector contracts.


OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT The group manages its environmental footprint through

formal

Environmental

Management

Programmes (“EMPs”) in line with local and international regulations and best practice. The EMPs focus on responsible mining, reducing emissions

through

upgrades

to

diesel-driven

equipment, decreasing noise pollution, recycling products where viable and maintaining all plants at optimum working levels and efficiency. Active programmes to reduce the group’s carbon footprint have also recently been introduced.

OUR COMMITMENT

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

With Afrimat committed to continually upgrading and improving its EMPs, it has today become wellrenowned and respected in the industry in this regard. Further, third-party audits by ASPASA, SARMA and external consultants support our environmental conservation and protection efforts and provide added opportunity for refinement of its EMPs.

Environmental progress reports are submitted annually to the Department of Mineral Resources in terms of mining rights requirements. In addition, mine rehabilitation assessments are conducted by external consultants and provisions are raised to meet these future obligations.

SUSTAINABILITY AT AFRIMAT Sustainability at Afrimat, open cast mining operations

Complying with legislation automatically helps us to be more

essentially consist of stripping of the overburden to get

sustainable. For example, better management and recycling

access to the ore body or mineral required, followed by the

of water and reducing energy consumption helps us to reduce

drilling, blasting, loading and hauling and processing of the

the cost of doing business. Good mine planning that includes

mineral. Selling and despatching of the final processed

complying with legislation assists us to be more sustainable.”

product is the final step.”

Water consumption and carbon footprint continue to be

This can have a negative impact to the biodiversity of the

aspects we need to monitor closely and reduce. Our relations

area. If operated well, the negative impact can be minimised.

with the communities we operate in and plans for mine

The positive impact is job creation and increase in economic

closures are also important.”

activity, community skills development and local infrastructure development.”

Collin Ramukhubathi, Executive Head: HR & Sustainability

www.afrimat.co.za Tel +27 21 917 8840 Fax +27 21 914 1174 info@afrimat.co.za


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PIPE PIPE REPLACEMENT REPLACEMENT PROGRAMME ACROSS PROGRAMME ACROSS THE CITY OF THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG

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Johannesburg Water is a service-delivery oriented Entity which has identified key programmes to ensure delivery of reliable and quality services to all residents, including marginalised areas.

Johannesburg Water is a service-delivery oriented Entity which has identified key programmes to ensure delivery of reliable and quality services

The key programmes among others include infrastructure development and access to basic services. The rolling out of the pipe replacement to all residents, including marginalised areas. programme will ensure that the number of bursts per kilometre and the number of blockages per kilometre is reduced, resulting in improved levels of service to consumers in the City.

The key programmes among others include infrastructure development and access to basic services. The rolling out of the pipe replacement programme will ensure that the number of bursts per kilometre and the number of blockages per kilometre is reduced, resulting in improved The water and sewer network infrastructure pipes that have a remaining useful life of less than two years will be replaced at a cost of R2.8 billion. levels of service to consumers in the City. Key Performance Indicators as of 30 June 2019

The water and sewer network infrastructure pipes that have a remaining useful life of less than two years will be replaced at a cost of R2.8 billion.

• 132 km of water pipes were replaced against an annual target of 80km. Performance Indicators as of 30against June 2019 • Key 43 km of sewer pipes were replaced an annual target of 42 km. • 8 287 households were provided with access to basic water against an annual target of 8 004 households. • •6132 528km households werewere provided with against access an to basic against an annual target of 4 834 households. of water pipes replaced annualsanitation target of 80km.

• 43 km of sewer pipes were replaced against an annual target of 42 km. • 8 287 households were provided with access to basic water against an annual target of 8 004 households. • 6 528 households were provided with access to basic sanitation against an annual target of 4 834 households.


Pipe bursts Pipe bursts During the 2018/19 financial year 42 977 burst pipes occurred, which is a decline from the 43 301 burst pipes in the 2017/18 financial year and

45 177 burst pipes reported in 2016/17 financial year. This decrease is mainly attributable to improved pressure management and an accelerated During the 2018/19 financial year 42 977 burst pipes occurred, which is a decline from the 43 301 burst pipes in the 2017/18 financial year and pipe replacement programme. 45 177 burst pipes reported in 2016/17 financial year. This decrease is mainly attributable to improved pressure management and an accelerated pipe replacement programme. Sewer blockages Sewer blockages During the 2018/19 financial year, 61 928 sewer blockages were experienced in the system, this is also a decline from the 62 835 sewer blockages. During the 2018/19 financial year, 61 928 sewer blockages were experienced in the system, this is also a decline from the 62 835 sewer blockagIn the past three years, JW has managed to replace a total of 191 km and 99 km of water and sewer network respectively. JW aim to replace a es. total of 404 km of water pipes and 170 km of sewer network in the current IDP period. In the past three years, JW has managed to replace a total of 191 km and 99 km of water and sewer network respectively. JW aim to replace a total of 404 km of water pipes and 170 km of sewer network in the current IDP period. This programme is designed towards ensuring a continued reduction of Non-Revenue Water(NRW), pipe bursts and sewer blockages throughout theprogramme City. This is designed towards ensuring a continued reduction of Non-Revenue Water(NRW), pipe bursts and sewer blockages throughout the City. It is estimated that on average JW pipe replacement per year should amount to R415 million for water and R435 million for sewer, in order to meet the pipe targetJW of pipe replacing 1.5% ofper its year assetshould value amount per year. forwardforJW will and invest more on the replacement It is estimated thatrenewal on average replacement to Going R415 million water R435 million for pipe sewer, in order to programmes. meet the pipe renewal target of replacing 1.5% of its asset value per year. Going forward JW will invest more on the pipe replacement

programmes. Through Preventative maintenance programme, the sewer cleaning programme has increased from just over 1 000km to 1 500 km covered in the past financial year, which will have a positivethe impact residentsprogramme lives. Through Preventative maintenance programme, seweroncleaning has increased from just over 1 000km to 1 500 km covered in the past financial year, which will have a positive impact on residents lives. The rolling out of pipe replacement will ensure that the number of bursts per km and the number of blockages per km is reduced, which will result The out levels of pipeofreplacement will ensure the number of bursts per km and the number of blockages per km is reduced, which will result in rolling improved service to customers in that the City of Johannesburg. in improved levels of service to customers in the City of Johannesburg.

The organisation has also placed a high emphasis on investment in marginalised areas with R99.6 million spent on 22 projects implemented in The organisation has also placed a high emphasis on investment in marginalised areas with R99.6 million spent on 22 projects implemented in Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Soweto, Ennerdale. Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Soweto, Ennerdale. Going into the 2019/20 financial year, we will be implementing the following major projects: Going into the 2019/20 financial year, we will be implementing the following major projects: • Soweto Infrastructure Renewal, • Soweto Infrastructure Renewal, • Orange Farm Infrastructure Renewal as well as • Orange Farm Infrastructure Renewal as well as • Pressure Management in the rest of the City • Pressure Management in the rest of the City

ces

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on. illion. City CityofofJohannesburg Johannesburg Johannesburg JohannesburgWater Water(SOC) (SOC)Ltd Ltd 17 17Harrison HarrisonStreet Street Marshalltown Marshalltown Johannesburg Johannesburg @JHBwater @JHBwater

www.johannesburgwater.co.za www.johannesburgwater.co.za 24 Hour Water Hotline 011 375 5555 / 24 Hour Water Hotline 011 375 5555 / 0860 - JOBURG or 0860 562 874 0860 - JOBURG or 0860 562 874 JW SMS Line : 076 333 5052 JW SMS Line : 076 333 5052 email: customer@jwater.co.za email: customer@jwater.co.za Johannesburg Water Providing Water. Providing Life Johannesburg Water Providing Water. Providing Life PO POBox Box 61542 61542 South Africa South 2107 Africa 2107


LEVEL 1 WATER

RESTRICTIONS

Spring Season – A Reminder Of Level 1 Water Restrictions In The City Of Joburg As the country embrace the beginning of spring season which will lead to hot summer months soon, residents of the City of Johannesburg are reminded that level-1 water restrictions are still in full force. It is empirical that water conservation remains a strong priority in Johannesburg to ensure a continuous supply and avoid limitations of reservoirs due to high water demand outstripping supply. All residents are also reminded that as the City of Johannesburg, we rely on supply from other Provinces that feed into the Vaal Dam system in order for us to have water on our taps, and should always be mindful of the amount of water we use daily. Under level-1 water restrictions: Watering of gardens is not allowed between 6 am and 6 pm in summer months (1 Sept to 31 March) and furthermore, It is not allowed for residents to wash paved areas and driveways using hose pipes Residents are urged to report all leaks Water saving tips: - Do not leave taps dripping. - Wash your car on the grass, this will water your lawn at the same time. - Shorten your showering time. - Use a glass of water to rinse when brushing your teeth. - Take shallow baths and avoid filling your bath to a depth greater than 100mm. - Re-use grey water to water your garden or pot plants. Residents are also urged to continue to report all burst pipes, leaking water meters, open hydrants to: 011 375 5555/086 056 2874 SMS 076 333 5052 www.johannesburgwater.co.za @Jhbwater - Twitter Johannesburg Water - Facebook Johannesburg Water is committed to providing sustainable water and water restrictions will be enforced by fines to consumers who contravened the Water Services By-law and consumers are urged to report non-compliance to the JMPD 24/7 hotline on 011 758 9650.


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION

Groundbreaking, in more ways than one

The Bauer Group is a leading provider of services, equipment and products dealing with groundwater and the ground itself. With over 110 subsidiaries, Bauer can rely on a worldwide network on all continents. The Group’s operations are divided into three forward-looking segments with high synergy potential: Construction, Equipment and Resources.

B

auer profits enormously from the collaboration of its three business segments, enabling the Group to position itself as an innovative, highly specialised provider of products and services for demanding projects in specialist foundation engineering and related markets. Bauer, therefore, offers suitable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, such as urbanisation, growing infrastructure needs, the environment, as well as water, oil and gas. The Bauer Group was founded in 1790 and is based in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria, Germany. In 2018, it employed about 12 000 people in around 70 countries and achieved total Group revenues of €1.7 billion (R27.5 billion). Bauer Aktiengesellschaft is listed in the Prime Standard of the German Stock Exchange. FalCon project On 17 June 2019, Bauer Maschinen GmbH, together with a JV partner, successfully completed the first 228 m cutter bulk sample on the FalCon project in Canada. This depth had never been reached by a trench cutter in any commercial application worldwide before and the project proved that Bauer cutter technology cannot only be used in specialist foundation engineering, but is also suitable for the exploration and mining industry. 49


The FalCon project of Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc and Star Diamond Corporation aims to prove the commercial viability of the Fort a la Corne kimberlite fields in Saskatchewan, Canada. Due to the low grade of the kimberlites, Rio Tinto decided to use Bauer trench cutter technology to provide large-volume, high-quality kimberlite samples for the final evaluation of the project in regards to diamond content and recovered diamond quality. A Bauer BC 50 cutter on a Bauer MC 128 duty-cycle crane is used for bulk sampling to a maximum depth of 250 m. In addition to the cutter and the base carrier, Bauer Maschinen GmbH supplied a BE 550 desanding plant and other accessories from its branch Bauer MAT Slurry Handling Systems. The equipment was delivered to site on time and tested in September 2018.

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Bauer, together with a local joint venture partner, achieved a milestone and successfully completed the first cutter bulk sample to a depth of 228 m.


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

After a long winter break, operation started at the end of May 2019. The kimberlite is washed and bagged into bulk bags for further evaluation in multiple steps by the experts of Rio Tinto. The Star kimberlite on the FalCon project is covered by approximately 120 m of overburden, which poses a significant additional challenge to the project. Bauer, together with local joint venture partner Nuna Logistics Limited from Edmonton, has now achieved a milestone and successfully completed the first cutter bulk sample to a depth of 228 m. “Groundbreaking, in more ways than one – this is a significant milestone in using proven technology for a very different application. For us, it means that we will be able to make important exploration decisions on what has been one of the most challenging diamond evaluation projects in the

CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT RESOURCES industry. We look forward to continuing working with Bauer to embed this technology and other new innovations in our programme,” says Gary Hodgkinson, project director at FalCon. Under the present contract, Bauer will execute several more bulk samples in 2019 on the FalCon project, with the option to be extended into 2020.

The BAUER Group is a leading provider of equipment and turnkey services for exploration and mining. BAUER Mining Solutions are deployed for bulk sampling, dewatering, remediation of tailings dams and mine infrastructure projects around the world. BAUER Technologies South Africa (PTY) Ltd • Unit 215 • Palms Office Park 519 Nupen Crescent • Midrand 1695 • South Africa • info@bauersa.co.za

www.bauersa.co.za


WATER MANAGEMENT

Water-saving solutions Whether from groundwater or surface water sources, the availability of and access to water that meets quality and quantity requirements is a critical need across the world. Industry carries a large chunk of responsibility when it comes to the management, efficient use and saving of this scarce resource.

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hen it comes to mining, water is used within a broad range of activities, including mineral processing, dust suppression, slurry transport, and employee requirements. Over the last few decades, the industry has made much progress in developing closed-circuit approaches that maximise water conservation; however operations are often located in areas where there are significant competing municipal, agricultural and industrial demands. Of late, there has been significant growth in the use of mechanical seals across processing indus tries. Specifically, the mining industry presents many application challenges; for example, a scarcity of seal water and high-pressure transport slurry pump applications demands the development of innovative solutions. Seals manufactured by Aesseal® have been used successfully in a variety of applications, even mining, in addressing these said challenges.

introduction of smaller pumps operating at higher speeds made mechanical packing a less desirable sealing alternative. Additionally, stringent health and safety regulatory controls have made product leakage unacceptable. Then there’s the obvious financial implications of leakage. As the cost of raw materials increases, so has the need for reliable fluid sealing, and the yield loss of expensive process fluids can be reduced by positively sealing the process equipment.

AESSEAL® water management systems offer energy savings to the pulp & paper industry

MINERAL SANDS MINE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA Massive improvements in the physical condition of the pump area thanks to AESSEAL®

9 gallons per minute!

BEFORE

The growth in mechanical seal use can be attributed to a number of factors; for one, traditionally, many sites used mechanical packing in their pumps. However, the 54

& less water! AFTER

Another reason is that mechanical packing damages the rotating equipment. Shaft sleeve wear and bearing failure caused by excessive leakage are common complaints among clients. More so, the chemical attack of the concrete base and ductile iron pump components occurs when corrosive chemicals are allowed to leak from packed glands.

Mechanical seals have also become a preferred option because the periodic maintenance associated with alternatives demands the need to constantly monitor and adjust packed glands. Reductions in costly flush water can occur when using properly designed and specified mechanical seals. The cost of clean water, process evaporation


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

TOTAL ANNUAL WATER USAGE JET SUMP PUMPS 293,760,000.00 ULTRA SEPS 188,006,400.00 MOLDINGS 220,320,000.00 TOTAL ESTIMATED WATER CONSUMPTION OF PUMPS IN OPERATION ON NO. 2 PLANT lt/sec per pump

lt/min per pump

lt/hr per pump

0.80

48.00

2,880.00

702,086,400.00

m3/day per pump m3/3,679 days per pump 69.12

254,292.48

Total water savings in m for all eight pumps in one day 3

m3/365 days per pump

25,228.80 552.96 m3

Total prospective savings for the eight pumps at the Ultraseps per annum

201,830.40m3

Total water savings in m3 for all eight pumps over 3,679 days running in m3

2,034,339.84

Total water savings for all pumps fitted with Aesseal seals at No. 2 plant to date ®

and wastewater treatment makes the conversion to mechanical seals beneficial and cost-effective. Finally, most seal chambers operate under vacuum conditions; positive sealing from properly designed mechanical seals eliminates air ingress through the seal housing. Mechanical seals and water management systems designed and manufactured by Aesseal® have been used successfully in a number of industries, including the processing industry. Asseal® water-saving solution Aesseal®, which recently celebrated its 40th year in business, has developed a range of modular systems that have introduced a unique approach to mechanical seal support methodology. One of the first systems to use this revolutionary concept was the SW02 water management system. Aesseal® has since sold thousands of water management systems, usually in combination with the CDSA double seal, a modular seal ideal for the containment of hazardous process fluids. The systems are maintenance-friendly, requiring no external compressed air or gas pressurisation. They are also largely self-regulating and self-operating and do not require any manual intervention for refilling, with the total annual operating cost of a CDSA seal and SW02 water management system providing typical return on investment in 200 days.

2,764,211.84

Applications The largest diamond mine in the world, located in an extremely arid region of Africa, and where water is a scarce resource, utilised Aesseal® water-saving solution. Large Warman F-frame pumps were sealed with gland packing that required 19 gpm of gland water per pump. To reduce water consumption in 2004/5, double mechanical seals and tank systems were fitted to 18 Warman X4 E-frame, and 12X10 F-frame slurry pumps at Plant #2. Currently, these 18 seals are running successfully, with reported total savings of 1.1 billion gallons of water with a value (in this desert country) of US$3.9 million (R56.6 million). From a holistic perspective, financially and in managing environmental impacts, double mechanical seals and tank systems eliminate a number of problems associated with packing and can greatly reduce a mine’s water footprint. This occurs while also reducing the human capital required to care for the packing and increasing the uptime of equipment. In those cases where the process is sensitive to dilution, double mechanical seals can save millions of dollars per year in lost product – which is an incredible win for the mining industry.

www.aesseal.co.za 55


INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Sustainable partnerships build sustainable industry T

In 2019, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa proudly celebrates 60 successful years of engineering excellence in Africa. This milestone bears testament to the diversified industrial group’s enduring commitment to delivering exceptional, premium-quality, holistic solutions to its valued customers.

hrough its expert business units – Minerals Processing, Materials Handling and Process Industries – thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has kept its promise of commitment to digital transformation, offering the latest technologies and innovations to industries including mining, power, petrochemical, cement and agricultural. Comminution specialist Minerals Processing offers customers a wide range of crushing and grinding technologies tailored to bespoke plant process requirements. To meet Africa’s growing demand for energy, Minerals Processing created a dedicated Power & Energy Division, which delivers efficient innovations such as turnkey biomass-fired plant solutions, from boiler supply to building the complete plant around the boiler. The Materials Handling BU delivers exceptional pit-to-port solutions for efficient bulk handling solutions, with equipment such as drum reclaimers, stackers, travel cars, ash spreaders, conveyors and ship loaders. The Process Industries Division comprises expertise and technology in the electrolysis, polymers, base chemicals and fuel storage sectors, as well as modular solutions for chemical and fertiliser plants. Safety at the forefront This year, thyssenkrupp once again earned the country’s highest safety award – the NOSCAR. “Health and safety are no-compromise zones at thyssenkrupp,” states Christo de Beer, manager: Quality Management, Health and Safety, thyssenkrupp Industrial

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Solutions South Africa. “The sought-after NOSCAR and Winner of Sector awards in our achievement portfolio echo the fact that thyssenkrupp operates as a tier-one company and is a serious competitor within the various industries we serve.” There is no greater testament to the company’s commitment to safety; the awards display that thyssenkrupp leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to implement all necessary measures in order to maintain safe workplaces, as well as to prevent accidents, occupational diseases and occupational health hazards.


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

Venturing into Africa In line with its drive to expand its presence in Africa, in a bid to get closer to customers, thyssenkrupp has set up offices in Morocco, Mozambique, Tanzania and, most recently, Ghana. “thyssenkrupp is focused on developing exceptional skills in Africa for Africa, to further grow the continent, countries and local communities,” says Philipp Nellessen, CEO: South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. “We are able to tap into our global network to deliver to Africa our combined technologies, coupled with our extensive local knowledge and experience.” He highlights the current modular chlorine plant project in Tanzania as a prime example of successful global-local collaboration. Building ties that last thyssenkrupp’s passion for community development and empowerment to assist in alleviating high unemployment and the skills shortage faced by the country, spurred the opening of its groundbreaking Technical Training Academy in Q4 2018. thyssenkrupp’s investment into the academy, of nearly R20 million, includes an 831 m2 workshop that houses state-of-the-art equipment such as lathes, milling machines, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical simulators, as well as all practical models required for the technical training. The 483 m2 first floor is equipped with high-end tools to conduct, simulate and annotate certain principles and circuitry within the classroom environment. The academy offers excellent technical training programmes aimed at developing and upskilling exceptional candidates for thyssenkrupp’s workshop and site team environments. The academy boasts customised programmes developed in-house in accordance with thyssenkrupp standards, which will be presented using a blend of e-learning, classroom training, as well as practical applications. “Since its inauguration, the company has vastly developed, expanded and diversified, and this is only possible thanks to the steadfast commitment of our highly skilled employees to whom I extend my sincere gratitude!” Nellessen said at the official opening. In 2019, thyssenkrupp saw a 100% pass rate for apprentices coming out of the programme, with all third-year apprentices from the training facility at its service centre achieving a 100% pass rate on the first attempt of their trade tests!

By developing employees internally to feed the company’s development pipeline, thyssenkrupp is also looking beyond the here and now. During the trade tests, the apprentices – four mechanical fitters, two boilermakers, a welder and a machinist – were also assessed on their theoretical and practical acumen. Upon successful completion of the trade tests, each apprentice was issued with a detailed report of the assessment results, as well as a trade test certificate. “We are extremely proud of our apprentices,” states Willie Potgieter, apprentice programme manager: Artisan Training at thyssenkrupp’s Technical Training Academy. “These excellent results bear testament to their hard work and dedication, and are also a good reflection of in-depth knowledge-, skills- and experience-transfer between the facilitators and the apprentices. There is no doubt that their future career paths hold infinite possibilities.” Prepared to make a difference Upon leaving thyssenkrupp’s Technical Training Academy, successful participants will be armed with vital work experience and knowledge so that they will be able to make an economic difference through the quality of training they received. By developing employees internally to feed the company’s development pipeline, thyssenkrupp is also looking beyond the here and now. Due to thyssenkrupp’s diverse product range, it is imperative that the company invests time and energy in training and nurturing apprentices to fulfil their roles within the workshop and field service environments. This includes ongoing training on new and existing equipment and processes within the thyssenkrupp field of expertise – yet another way we see thyssenkrupp contributing effectively to the sustainability of the industries it operates in.

www.thyssenkrupp-industrial-solutions.co.za 57


SUSTAINABLE MINING

Aurecon’s criteria of sustainable asset transformation With the latest draft of the National Environmental Management Act (No. 107 of 1998) Financial Provisioning Regulations released for comment, it remains clear that mining companies will have to find ways to reduce their closure and post-closure liabilities during the operational cycle of a mine.

T

he latest draft has a number of changes that will make the mining industry far more comfortable than the previous revisions of the regulations. However, the negative balance sheet impact that compliance will have on the mining companies has not changed. Pieter Scholtz, technical director, Aurecon, recently presented a paper on sustainable asset transformation at the South African Mine Closure Conference in Sandton. He shed light on what it takes to transform a mining asset, reaching its end of life, to ensure financial sustainability for the mine, socio-economic sustainability for the communities living in the area, and environmental sustainability. “Sustainable asset transformation is such a behemoth task that most mines have not even considered it yet. With the new legislation this will change; because if mining companies don’t get this right, their investor attractiveness and financial health will deteriorate. Is it really possible though for them to create value for their shareholders during the development, operational and closure phases, while also creating value for the communities in which they operate in the short term, but without destroying value for the original and post-closure landowners and stakeholders in the long term? It depends,” said Scholtz.

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Within the context of the mining sector, asset transformation can be described as reducing a mine’s closure and post-closure liabilities and costs by transforming them into new business ventures that will ensure environmental and socio-economic sustainability post closure. “Aurecon has developed a process whereby we guide clients to sustainable asset transformation,” added Scholtz. “From our experience, we identified five of the most important criteria to be met.” Sustainable asset transformation will be near impossible unless… 1. Asset transformation planning starts long before the mine reaches its end of life. To enable the identification and co-development of possible sustainable businesses that can be developed in a way that also drives the reduction of liabilities and costs for the mining company is not a quick process. To get this right, in-depth stakeholder desirability, technical feasibility, and financial viability studies need to be done. “A co-development approach needs to be followed with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the envisaged businesses will not fall apart once the


THE SUSTAINABAILITY ISSUE | VOLUME 1 | SEPTEMBER 2019

Pieter Scholtz, Technical Director, Aurecon mining company withdraws from the area. Based on our experience, we believe that if you don’t start when you are five years or more away from closure, it will be impossible to identify the right opportunities, attract the right investors and create buy-in from all the relevant stakeholders in time. The further away from closure mining companies start with their asset transformation planning, the greater their financial rewards will be,” said Scholtz. 2. The various departments within the mine are fully integrated. Diverse teams that are well led are much more successful than monotypic teams. When it comes to asset transformation, this is especially true: integrated and diverse teams are an imperative for asset transformation success. “Mining companies often create silos for the different competencies that exist within the business. There will be a social and labour team, the environmental team, the engineering team, the beneficiation team

and the mining team, all with their own skills, goals, and plans. This approach may work well during the operational phase of a mine, but unless these skills, plans and ways of thinking are fully integrated, planning for asset transformation becomes very difficult,” asserted Scholtz. 3. The transformed asset has a balanced mixture of industrial, commercial and agricultural businesses. Apart from the local and international market trends needing to be understood; an understanding is required of the capabilities and existing assets of the post-closure beneficiaries; the constraints imposed by the existing infrastructure, as well as the postclosure land capability; asset transformation will only succeed if the right blend of agricultural, commercial and industrial businesses for that area is developed. “If this blend is not optimised, it becomes impossible to create both an effective circular economy and a constant inflow of foreign currency. Unless these

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two requirements are met, it will be impossible to create sustainable post-closure economies,” added Scholtz.

will be very difficult for the closure teams to implement the measures required for sustainable asset transformation,” warned Scholtz.

4. There is comprehensive stakeholder buy-in and support. By far the greatest influencer of asset transformation success, said Scholtz, is how effectively all stakeholders work together to codevelop the post-closure development concepts.

Sustainable asset transformation is more complicated than it appears to be and, as the mining industry globally embraces this initiative, we will continue to learn of new pitfalls that will have to be considered, but also of new ways to improve on successes.

“Engaging effectively with the local communities, unions, municipalities, governments and NGOs is the most difficult component of mine closure and the most important requirement for asset tr ansfor mation,” he added.

“Although asset transformation will not become easier. The exponential evolution of technology and the resultant continued evolution of the global population’s needs will likely increase the complexities around asset transformation planning and execution. Regardless of how difficult sustainable asset transformation is, it is possible, but more than it being possible, it is our duty to get this right. As the custodians of our children’s future, we will commit a crime against humanity if we can’t leverage our means, ingenuity and intellectual capabilities to ensure sustainable asset transformation of our depleted mines,” concluded Scholtz.

Besides the challenges that can be experienced if the regulators or the interested and affected par ties are not aligned with the planning, sustainable asset transformation is not possible unless the stakeholders, who will have to ensure the continued success of the transformed businesses, are not fully invested in these businesses. “We have found that unless the post-closure economy stakeholders have taken full ownership for the success of these businesses, everything will come to a standstill once the mining company withdraws its presence and money,” said Scholtz. 5. The operational KPIs are amended to not only focus on the short term. Because it is not a priority for the mine management whose bonuses are based on the operation’s shor t-term safety, financial and production figures, long-term asset transformation or mine closure planning doesn’t get the focus it deserves. This is especially true if the execution of these plans will require more engagement with stakeholders and a greater budget allocation to the ‘soft’ services departments on the mine. “Unless mine management’s performance measurement is also linked to long-term triple bottom line sustainability for the company, it 60

www.aurecongroup.com Besides the technical know-how, Aurecon has all the tools and mechanisms to help members of the mining industry steer through the governance, programme feasibility, set-up, milestone measurements, assurance and reporting requirements to ensure their boards, executive committees, stakeholders and managers are aligned to facilitate successful asset transformation.


We place humans at the heart of all we do, using our engineering, technical and design expertise, to collaborate with our clients and make a positive contribution to the communities we serve. For more information, contact: Pieter Scholtz Technical Director, Asset Transformation and Minerals Processing E pieter.scholtz@aurecongroup.com T +27 12 427 2160 M +27 82 825 2926

aurecongroup.com


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Inside Mining Sustainable Development handbook 2019  

3S Media’s Sustainable Development in Mining handbook is aimed at identifying and providing insight and engagement on the key issues affecti...

Inside Mining Sustainable Development handbook 2019  

3S Media’s Sustainable Development in Mining handbook is aimed at identifying and providing insight and engagement on the key issues affecti...

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