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Environment

As a responsible corporate citizen, we aim to minimise our impact on the environment and support economic activity once mining has ceased

See our Environmental policy

For the latest information on our performance in terms of managing and mitigating the impacts on the environment, refer to the Minimising the environmental impact section of the integrated annual report 2017.

MANAGING OUR IMPACTS

Environmental incidents

In 2017, the SA region saw a 37% reduction in level 3+ environmental incidents – twelve level 3 incidents were reported during the year, of which nine were reported at the gold operations and three at the SA PGM operations. In the US region, a total of six level 3 and higher environmental incidents are reported of which three were carried over from previous years as reoccurring events. For further detail on these incidents, refer to the Environmental incidents summary 2017.

Water quality

Sibanye-Stillwater’s vision for water management is to create value for all stakeholders through the optimal management of the water resource and our water infrastructure, ensuring water safety, security and regulatory compliance by the effective use of knowledge and innovative technology. See FACT SHEET: Biomonitoring of rivers [1.17MB] and FACT SHEET: Water conservation and water demand management [168KB]

Climate change

Sibanye-Stillwater considers climate change is one of the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time. Sibanye-Stillwater recognises the importance of proactively managing its carbon footprint in the global context and is committed to contributing to a global solution through the deployment of responsible strategies and actions. See Carbon management for a sustainable future [237KB]

Air quality

Six dust complaints were received during 2017 compared with three dust complaints in 2016. Effective dust suppression measures were implemented to reduce the observed dust levels.

Land management

To mitigate impacts that may arise from mining operations, Sibanye-Stillwater’s activities are monitored constantly in terms of EMPs, approved by the DMR. In the interests of legal requirements, sustainable development, land and waste management, alien vegetation initiatives and Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) will be developed for all our operations.

Waste management

The enforcement of sound waste management practices including monthly waste management meetings with waste contractors as well as visible felt leadership sessions on waste management opportunities continued to see improvements at our SA operations.

Several strategies are employed to reduce the amount of waste generated by the US operations. For example, at the Metallurgical Complex’s smelter, solution from the scrubber that is used to reduce air emissions is treated in a process that converts the SO2 to synthetic gypsum, which is then sold for use in agricultural operations. The Group also minimises hazardous waste generation across US operations by optimising purchasing decisions on the front end.

Planning for closure

In the SA region, ahead of the planned implementation of the Financial Provisioning Regulations in February 2019, much preparatory work has been done to clarify, confirm and align definitions for planning around mine closures, closure methodologies and the calculation of liability provisions.

Since their inception, mines in the US region have embraced interim reclamation of mine disturbances. Waste rock and tailings are non-acid generating and meet all applicable regulatory standards, such that soils and vegetation are unlikely to be affected at final reclamation and closure.