CONSERVING NATURAL CAPITAL
We are committed to consistent improvements to our strong environmental performance through continued stringent compliance and through planned investments in the Kell Processing Plant.
average Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions per year (2016-2021)
rock mined in 2021 (2020: 0.0015 tCO2/tonne
online air quality monitoring stations at Pilanesberg Platinum Mines (PPM) two local villages and a local nature reserve
47 MW load
Wind energy project to supply 50% of PPM’s energy needs
in carbon emissions through Kell Process Technology
4 MILLION M3
water usage per year average over five years
OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROGRAMS
SEDIBELO HAS MADE A FIRM DECISION TO EMBARK ON TWO AMBITIOUS PROGRAMS TO REDUCE OUR GHG EMISSIONS
Program 1: Renewable energy
In March 2021 we appointed a consortium consisting of Sturdee Energy Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd and juwi Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd as the preferred bidder to supply renewable energy to PPM. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the consortium and detailed negotiations are underway towards finalizing the contract for the following two projects:
- A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with Sturdee Energy for the supply of 47 MW of wind energy to PPM via a wheeling arrangement. The project is planned to commence operation in 2025.
- The development and construction of a 35 MW solar plant at or adjacent to the mine for the direct provision of power to meet PPM’s growing energy needs, planned to commence operation in 2026.
We expect the projects to:
- Reduce the mine’s emissions by about 50%
- Result in significant cost savings
- Take pressure of the Eskom grid.
Program 2: Pioneering a Kell Plant as an alternative to smelting
At present, Sedibelo makes use of third-party smelters to process our concentrate. Smelters use huge quantities of electricity and produce large-scale emissions and other pollutants. Although these are Scope 3 emissions for Sedibelo, they are directly related to the production of our product.
Sedibelo is an indirect co-owner of Kelltech S.A., through its Kelltech Limited subsidiary. Kelltech S.A. holds the exclusive license to use patented Kell Process Technology in South Africa and the SADC region.
When compared with traditional smelting, we expect that Kell will reduce electricity consumption and emissions significantly. This may put us in a position to supply PGMs that have 25-30% lower ‘embedded carbon’ than PGMs treated in a smelter.
CARBON REDUCTION TARGETS
WE ESTIMATE THAT SOLAR AND WIND ENERGY WILL TOGETHER ENABLE US TO MEET 50% OF OUR ENERGY REQUIREMENTS OVER A 24-HOUR CYCLE.
In time, we expect battery storage to become more affordable and hope to make use of this technology as our requirements grow. If hydrogen storage solutions evolve successfully, this may provide an additional option as we envisage a future when we no longer rely on the national grid.
Based on the information and technologies currently available, we estimate that we will be able to meet the following targets:
|Year||Targeted % of electricity demand met by renewable energy and storage|
|2025||50% of requirements|
|2030||70% of a greatly increased load|
Sedibelo operates in South Africa, a water scarce country. Consequently, we aim to manage our use of water and our impact on water resources in line with regulation and best practice. Furthermore, we are committed to using water sparingly and re using as much as possible.
Our target is to meet 35% of our water needs from recycling.
WASTE MANAGEMENT, INCLUDING TAILINGS STANDARDS AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT
OUR WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY REQUIRES US TO PREVENT WASTE GENERATION WHERE POSSIBLE, MINIMIZE WASTE AND THEN EITHER RECYCLE OR TREAT WASTE ON SITE. LANDFILL IS CONSIDERED A LAST OPTION.
At PPM, mineral waste consists mainly of mining waste rock and overburden, DMS material (also referred to as low grade ore) and tailings disposed of at authorized on-site storage facilities.
Much of the generated waste rock is disposed of and backfilled into the Tuschenkomst pit as part of the Environmental Management Plan commitment for partial backfilling and rehabilitation of the pit.
MINERAL WASTE AND TAILINGS
Waste material from the processing plant is directed to the tailings dam. Tailings waste of 3.6 million tonnes/annum disposed onto on the Witkleifontein Tailings Storage Facility remained within the maximum annual permissible disposal rate of 3.9 million tonnes/annum.
Tailings management – mitigating our impact
TAILINGS MANAGEMENT – MITIGATING OUR IMPACT
Sedibelo places great emphasis on the management of our tailings facility. We recognize the inherent dangers of tailings facilities and acknowledge our responsibility to ensure that these facilities are managed diligently and with foresight. We also recognize the importance of reporting on our tailings management. Our management team is supported by independent experts who provide regular input to ensure that our facility is safe and is managed in line with best practice.
HERITAGE AND BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT
OUR OPERATIONS ARE LOCATED CLOSE TO AN IMPORTANT BIODIVERSITY RESERVE AREA KNOWN AS THE PILANESBERG NATIONAL PARK – A UNIQUE GEOLOGICAL FEATURE AND LANDMARK THAT IS CONSIDERED A NATURAL HERITAGE SITE AND PROTECTED AREA
Protecting biodiversity and minimizing any impact thereon in the vicinity of and adjacent to our operations is a material sustainability issue for Sedibelo. We undertook a biodiversity assessment and developed biodiversity monitoring and assessment tools in 2020 to integrate all commitments made in the approved Environmental Management Plans and ecological monitoring and assessment reports. No protected species in the IUCN Red List were identified in the biodiversity assessment.
Various Late Iron Age heritage sites of cultural importance – the Phatshwane, Mogare and Mmatone mountains (known as Heritage Triangle) – are located within the area covered by our mining rights. These sites are considered culturally significant by the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela community. Over the life of the mine, every effort will be made to limit the mining footprint to remain outside these areas to minimize our impact on natural and heritage resources.