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Key frameworks and principles

We subscribe to key frameworks and principles which include a focus on heritage resources management:

ICMM (International Council on Mining & Metals)

Principle 3 “Uphold fundamental human rights and respect cultures, customs and values in dealings with employees and others who are affected by our activities;

Principle 4 “Risk Management” includes the following – “Implement risk-based controls to avoid/prevent, minimise, mitigate and/or remedy health, safety and environmental impacts to workers, local communities, cultural heritage and the natural environment, based upon a recognized international standard or management system: globally there is an increased focus on cultural heritage

Visit www.icmm.com


WGC (World Gold Council)

Requires respect for communities in which we live under Principle 7, which refers to cultural heritage; also Principle 2 (understanding impacts; stakeholder engagement & management systems)

Visit www.gold.org


UNGC (UN Global Compact)

Refers to preservation of cultural heritage under United National Development Plan (UNDP) Standard 4 Cultural Heritage, as well as in their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 Blueprint Business Action 2. 

Visit www.unglobalcompact.org


International Finance Corporation (IFC) – World Bank Group

Performance Standard 8 (Cultural Heritage [2012]) aims to guide companies in protecting cultural heritage from adverse impacts of project activities and supporting its preservation.  

Visit www.ifc.org


IRMA (Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance)

The IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining – Chapter 3.7 “Cultural Heritage” requires mining companies to “protect and respect the cultural heritage of communities and indigenous peoples”

Visit //responsiblemining.net/


Classification of our heritage resources

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s) usually require Heritage Impact Assessments to be conducted as part of a suite of specialist investigations. Heritage sites are then identified and recorded on the Company’s local operational planning databases. Through this process, Sibanye-Stillwater classifies the significance and conservation status of each identified heritage resource in accordance with the applicable regulatory framework in the different jurisdictions in which we operate. Potential impacts are identified and if required, mitigation and management measures are proposed and implemented after consultation and approvals from relevant stakeholders.

In South Africa, the National Heritage Resources Act (NHRA) of 1999 prescribes a three-tier system for heritage resources management and by using a grading system, it distinguishes between the following three categories of heritage resources:

  • Grade I: Exceptional heritage resources of special national significance. These are identified and managed by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)
  • Grade II: Resources which are particularly significant within a province or region. These are identified and managed by the Provincial Heritage Resources Authorities (PHRAs)
  • Grade III: Other heritage resources worthy of conservation. The local authority is responsible for identifying and managing them

Field rating categories as prescribed by South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)

Field ratingGradeSignificanceRecommended mitigation
National Significance (NS)Grade IConservation; National Site nomination
Provincial Significance (PS)Grade IIConservation; Provincial Site nomination
Local Significance (LS)Grade IIIAHighConservation; Mitigation not advised
Local Significance (LS)Grade IIIBMediumMitigation (Part of site should be retained)
Generally Protected A (GP.A)High/MediumMitigation before destruction
Generally Protected B (GP.B)MediumRecording before destruction
Generally Protected C (GP.C)LowDestruction

In the USA, the National Register Criteria recognises different types of values embodied in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects. These values fall into the following categories:

  • Associative value (Criteria A and B): Properties significant for their association or linkage to events (Criterion A) or persons (Criterion B) important in the past
  • Design or Construction value (Criterion C): Properties significant as representatives of the man-made expression of culture or technology
  • Information value (Criterion D): Properties significant for their ability to yield important information about prehistory or history

Heritage resource protection protocols

In terms of our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) framework insofar as stakeholders are concerned, we respect the human rights of stakeholders and we conduct our business with integrity by adhering to good governance principles and ensuring legal compliance. We strive to manage and protect the environment in which we operate and to engage openly with communities with respect, mindfulness, and inclusivity, underpinning our approach.

Sibanye-Stillwater has established protocols including controls and measures to ensure the appropriate management of heritage resources.  These controls and measures include:

  • Compliance to the applicable legislation through the requisite permits, licences and authorisations
  • Adherence to the approved Sibanye-Stillwater heritage management position statement, plans and procedures
  • Embracing and operationalising the principles and performance criteria of global frameworks and standards to which Sibanye-Stillwater subscribes, such as International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the World Gold Council Responsible Mining Principles (WGCRMPs)

Due to the intricate and complex nature of heritage resources management, an integrated approach is necessary. Therefore, a wide range of technical and supporting services from Sibanye-Stillwater in collaboration with regulatory bodies, research institutions, independent heritage specialists, non-governmental organisations, indigenous groups and local communities are involved in the management of heritage resources.

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