Environmental management at Anglo American Platinum is characterised by a focus on a sustainable future and on ensuring that mining bestows a positive legacy.
Effective and responsible environmental management will secure our licence to operate, minimise harm and deliver long-term benefits to our stakeholders. We are also in the fortunate position that some of the PGMs we produce are used in autocatalysis, which reduces toxic emissions from internal combustion engines; thus contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment.
The board is responsible for the strategic direction set with regard to environmental management and Company performance. The strategic intent of our environmental mission is to drive implementation of best practice through effective engagement, reviews and related recommendations that will secure our licence to operate, minimise harm and deliver long-term benefits to our stakeholders. The legacy we leave must add value to the Company, reduce long-term risks and liabilities, and enable host communities to use mining as a foundation for a better future.
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMSTo ensure that we continually make improvements to our environmental management, all our managed operations have environmental management systems (EMSs) that are certified against the ISO 14001:2004 standard. Furthermore, the system and performance standards contained in the Anglo Environment Way (AEW) support our operations’ efforts to improve their environmental performance beyond mere legal compliance.
Since 2004, we maintained certification for all our managed mining and process operations. In 2012, 23 operations were recertified by Bureau Veritas (BV) South Africa. BV replaced the previous service provider, the DQS German Association for Certification of Management Systems Proprietary Limited in January 2012. The change was as a result of a decision made by Anglo American to use the same certification body for all business
units within the Group.
During 2012, 54 major non-conformances and 115 minor non-conformances against our management systems were raised by the BV auditors. All major and minor non-conformances were cleared, except for the 12 minor non-conformances (which are in the process of being cleared) raised at Union Mine in December 2012. The majority of non-conformances (39%) were related to the “operational control” section of the ISO 14001:2004 standard, which include a lack of housekeeping and non-adherence to standards. As a result, a new awareness programme, called “Environmental Matters”, will be rolled out in 2013 to re-emphasise the importance of environmental management in general, and good housekeeping and adherence to standards in particular.
Two of our joint-venture operations, the Modikwa Platinum Mine and the Pandora Joint Venture, are currently not certified to ISO 14001. Modikwa intends to apply for certification in 2013. The Bokoni Platinum Mine Joint Venture, Bafokeng-Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) Joint Venture, Aquarius (Marikana and Kroondal) in Rustenburg and the Mototolo Concentrator that forms part of the Xstrata Joint Venture, all maintained their ISO 14001 certifications in 2012, without any major non-conformances reported.
Amplats does not require joint-venture partners to implement and maintain ISO 14001; compliance with applicable environmental legislation is clearly mandatory.
GREENING THE FUTURE
Anglo American Platinum received the Mail and Guardian’s ‘Greening the Future’ business award – environmental management category on 28 June 2012 for accomplishing quite a difficult feat – creating a management plan for sustainable development and successfully translating it into practice at Mogalakwena Mine.