At Sibanye-Stillwater we aim to avoid and minimise impacts to heritage sites by continuously reviewing, updating and assessing our heritage resource risks and impacts on these areas.
- As an integral part of governance and under the custodianship of the Group Risk Department, a comprehensive enterprise-wide risk management process is used to assess and rank, heritage related risks in the Group, and to implement strategies to eliminate, mitigate or control risk.
- Independent heritage consultants are appointed to conduct Heritage Impact Assessments to determine if any sites, features or objects of heritage significance occur within the boundaries of the areas earmarked for proposed developments.
A comprehensive heritage resources inventory has been developed for all our operations and the heritage sites have been mapped and loaded onto our Geographic Information (GIS) System. In order to proactively ensure that no identified heritage site is impacted on by any mining or related activities, the identified heritage sites form part of our mining master maps/plans to ensure that they are avoided. This is a preventative measure to eliminate this risk of disturbing our heritage sites. The Heritage Resources Inventory is updated on an on-going basis.
Deterioration and the effects of weathering are an inevitable part of the history of any structure. In order to conserve, minimise risk and slow down the rate of deterioration as well as to show honour and respect, we maintain graves and graveyards as part of our operational maintenance programmes. This is also a legal requirement of our operational Environmental Management Programmes (EMP’s) and has to be fulfilled as part of legal obligations. Our maintenance plans are currently being reviewed and aligned with the legal and strategic requirements as it pertains to heritage resource management. Below are some of the practical ways in which we manage and maintain our heritage resources.
Below are some practical examples of how we manage and maintain our heritage resources.
Marikana cemetery clean-up
The Marikana operation has completed a clean-up campaign of several of on-site cemeteries in 2021, and the clean-up continues during 2022.
The demarcation of heritage resources and the clearing of vegetation at the Kroondal and Rustenburg SA Platinum Group Metals (PGM) operations are undertaken in accordance with the Operational Maintenance Plan.
Erecting fences and clearing of vegetation at the Bokamoso/Mamba graves (Marikana)
At the SA gold’s Burnstone operation, the clearance of vegetation around graves and grading of the access road leading to the graveyard are undertaken monthly, according to a Maintenance plan.
Clearing of vegetation around graves at the Burnstone operation
Grave relocation project at Marikana K3
Ten graves are located within the catchment and footprint of the return water dam of the K3 shaft, where access for the respective family members is a challenge.
Family members of the deceased have therefore approached Sibanye-Stillwater with a request to relocate the remains in the ten graves to cemeteries of their choice. The exhumation and relocation of human remains is regulated by legislation and includes amongst others, obtaining consent from the next of kin to do so as well as obtaining several permits including from the provincial heritage resources agency and local authorities.
The project is still in ongoing and Sibanye-Stillwater has appointed a reputable and independent heritage consultant to assist and guide the process.
‘Know your area’ campaign
This is an on-going awareness campaign on heritage and heritage resources management, delivered to specific internal target audiences, to raise the level of awareness on heritage issues within the Group. It includes amongst others, what constitutes heritage resources both externally and within the Sibanye-Stillwater context, and the management programmes and procedures in place to deal with heritage resources impacts and aspects. The target audiences include amongst others the operational environmental compliance, engineering and property teams, that is, those teams responsible for and involved with on-site heritage management.