We are committed to protecting the environment for present and future generations and work to avoid, minimise and mitigate any negative environmental impacts where we operate. We aim to improve lives through responsible environmental practices including verifiable compliance, risk management and environmental and water footprint management in anticipation of post-mining socio-economic closure.
1:35am on Apr 16, 2021
Level 4 and above
decrease in water use intensity
3.5% decline in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from 2018 to 2019 excluding Marikana operations
environmental management system implementation
underway at US PGM operations
The environmental component of our ESG strategy is focused on four pillars:
- Maintain environmental licence to operate: We commit to conduct our business activities to recognised standards and guidelines, only in the areas to which our permits and licences are designated. We manage and mitigate the environmental risks our activities pose to the communities near our operations and foster collaborative, symbiotic relationships with them.
- Effect continuous improvement: Our internal governance practices and our processes are constantly evolving to drive value creation through cost-effective implementations of technology and innovation.
- Responsible use of environmental resources: We vigilantly strive to reduce our emissions and energy and water footprints, to proactively manage our waste facilities while planning for eventual mine closure and restoration of the natural environment.
- Drive environmental consciousness through awareness, stewardship and communication on environmental issues: By continually engaging with key stakeholders and communities, we raise awareness of environmental issues, manage expectations and protect our environmental reputation.
Water usage & quality
Water is a critical resource and is important to every aspect of our operations. We take an integrated approach to the management of our water footprint and have committed to the responsible use of water in a manner which is sustainable to production and to our host communities. We are committed to using alternative available underground water sources to replace purchased water and are identifying and reducing the waste of water through the improved meter, water balance management, leak detection, and repair initiatives.
We monitor and measure emissions from direct fuel sources, such as diesel, as well as indirect emissions associated with purchased electricity and materials, for greenhouse gas emission monitoring and reporting and atmospheric emission license compliance requirements. Within our air quality efforts, control of dust from tailings storage facilities is a key focus area.
Carbon management and energy efficiency
Climate change is one of the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time, and we are committed to contributing to a global solution by proactively managing our carbon footprint. We strive to reduce our carbon emissions year-over-year with an aim to reduce emissions annually by an average of 2.1%.
The implementation of energy efficiency projects has been instrumental in the continuous reduction of our carbon footprint. These include initiatives relating to ventilation optimization at our gold operations, compressed air optimisation projects at our PGM operations, and the installation of solar arrays.
Protection of the biological resources near our activities is a key element of our environmental strategy. We continually monitor all operational activities that can potentially impact the mine site environmental management plans. In addition, at each operation we develop biodiversity action plans to avoid and mitigate any impact on sensitive species, habitat or ecosystems. These include programs to remove alien and invasive vegetation implemented in South Africa by way of local economic development projects.
Responsible storage, handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste is pivotal in our approach to environmental care. We focus first on minimising the generation of waste and residue, then on recycling and re-using waste or by-products. When material cannot be recycled, we dispose of it in an acceptable way.
Sibanye-Stillwater is committed to the safe and environmentally responsible stewardship of our tailings storage facilities and is dedicated to ensuring that systems, standards and resources are in place to prevent catastrophic tailings facility failures. Sibanye-Stillwater, on its journey of continual improvement, fully supports and is committed to align all tailings facilities at our operations with the intent and requirements of the Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management. We further confirm our timeframe for conformance of our tailings storage facilities to the Group Industry Standard ( as issued by the ICMM on 5 August 2020) is in accordance with our commitments as a member of the ICMM. For more information, refer to the ICMM website at www.icmm.com.
Tailings storage facilities
Closure & reclamation
We recognize our responsibility to return land disturbed by mining to stable and productive post-mining uses. Reclamation planning begins in the early stages and is regularly updated throughout the life of each mining operation. This process entails an extensive analysis of land use options, environmental factors and community development concerns and objectives and involves dialogue and collaboration with host communities and other stakeholders.
We work closely with regulators across all our operations and adjust our closure plans as regulatory requirements evolve.
- CDP climate change submission 2020
- Celebrating International Biological Diversity Day 2020
- Policy statement: Environmental management
- Policy statement: Water management
- Policy statement: Carbon management
- Policy statement: Stakeholder engagement
- Policy statement: Tailings stewardship
- Integrated Report 2019: Minimising our environmental impact
- Fact sheet 2019: Working together: The Good Neighbor Agreement
- Fact sheet 2019: Biomonitoring of rivers and biodiversity
- Fact sheet 2019: Generating clean energy: Beatrix methane capture and destruction project
- Environmental incidents in 2019: Level 3 and higher
- [Stillwater County News] Good Neighbor Agreement turns 20