Environmental management at our operations is characterised by an increased focus on conducting mining and its related activities in a sustainable manner. We endeavour to conduct prospecting, new projects, mining and mineral processing in accordance with the generally acceptable SD principle of integrating social, economic and environmental factors so as to secure our licence to operate, minimise harm and deliver long-term benefits to our stakeholders. Environmental compliance and cost pressures, such as increasingly stringent legislation and rising prices, make it more costly to produce commodities through standard processes. In coming to grips with these pressures we have set targets for reducing energy inputs and water use at our operations and compliance with all applicable legal and other requirements.
Our environmental mission is based on engagement, review and
best-practice advice to minimise harm to the environment, from
exploration to beyond closure. The Environmental Department, in close
collaboration with the SD
Department, sets its strategy to achieve this mission. To ensure that
we strive towards continual improvement to comply with legal and other
requirements, all our managed operations have environmental management
systems (EMSs) that are certified against theISO
14001: 2004 standard. Furthermore, the system and performance
standards contained in the Anglo Environment Way (AEW)
support the operationsí efforts to improve our environmental
performance beyond compliance.
Since the initial milestone of ISO 14001 certification in 2004, all mines, concentrators, smelters and refineries in operation have maintained their certification to date. During 2011, all operations (except at Amandelbult) were reassessed by an independent service provider, the DQS German Association for Certification of Management Systems Proprietary Limited against the ISO 14001: 2004 standard. Amandelbultís 2011 recertificationISO 14001 audit was postponed to 2012 owing to operational reasons. One of the key performance objectives during theISO 14001 audits in 2011 was to avoid the repeat of major non-conformances. The environmental managers for mining and processing conducted internal ISO 14001 reviews at each operation before each external DQS audit. The outcome was a total of only three major non-conformances for the Group in 2011, compared with the seven major non-conformances the previous year. These non-conformances were raised at three process operations in the Rustenburg mining area and were the result of the improper close-out of previous findings. The major non-conformance at Waterval Smelter was closed out within the 90 days prescribed by the assessment. However, owing to late resolution of the findings, the two major non-conformances at the two refineries will be closed in 2012, after the completion of follow-up legal reviews.
At one operation, Mogalakwena Mine, no major or minor non-conformances were raised. This indicates the extent to which theISO 14001 system is embedded at the operation. The newly commissioned Unki Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe achievedISO 14001 certification for the first time in July 2011.
Two of our joint venture operations, the Modikwa Platinum Mine and the Pandora Joint Venture, are currently not certified in terms of ISO 14001. Modikwa intends to get recertified in 2013. The Bokoni Platinum Mine Joint Venture maintained itsISO 14001 certification in 2011, with no major non-conformance reported. The Bafokeng-Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM) Joint Venture also maintained itsISO 14001 certification, without major non-conformances being reported. Other joint ventures, such as Aquarius (Marikana and Kroondal) in Rustenburg and the Mototolo concentrator that forms part of the Xstrata Joint Venture, also maintained theirISO 14001 certifications in 2011.
Anglo American Platinum Limited does not require its joint-venture partners to implement and maintainISO 14001, but legal compliance with environmental obligations is mandatory.
Each operation is responsible for considering all the aspects of
activities that interact with the environment; and for developing a
related-aspects register. Detailed understanding of each aspect
and its related environmental impact provides the basis for a baseline
risk-assessment based on the Anglo American 5 x 5 risk matrix. As part
of the risk-assessment process, all applicable legal and other
requirements are identified through the assistance of a legal
register. Specific measurable and practicable objectives and targets
are set for each significant aspect,
and are then tracked through the operational EMS. The process is
supported by means of a monthly report that provides a comprehensive
overview of each operationís targets and progress against the set
targets. The monthly report is verified and communicated to the senior
environmental manager, as well as to the general manager at each
operation. This assists each operation to maintain its focus on the
key risk areas and show continued improvement over time.
In addition to this, the monthly report also requires each operation to indicate the top three environmental aspects posing the highest risk to that operation. This provides a good basis for the identification of material environmental risks in the Group. In 2011, the material environmental risks identified were related to water and air (mostly unauthorised water discharges and exceeded air-quality permit conditions). Apart from breaching legal requirements, such incidents can also have negative reputational consequences. Another material risk related to water is that three of our water-use licences have not yet been approved by the Department of Water Affairs, despite significant effort by the operations to obtain these licences. Where the science is uncertain, Anglo American Platinum Limited will always act to diminish harm.
Our demand for and consumption of materials are dependent on the
availability of non-renewable resources. Considering the worldwide
focus on greenhouse gases (GHGs)
and their direct relationship with the eco-efficiency of materials,
more emphasis is being placed on materials recycling and reuse, and on
ways of cutting GHG emissions.
Key bulk materials used include rock mined in underground and open-pit operations, liquid fuels, coal, grease and lubricants. Bulk-material use increases over the years as operations expand. Other key materials used include wood, chemicals and packaging. Although different types of packaging materials are used, their volumes are minimal and therefore not material. Anglo American Platinum Limited does not currently use waste, processed or unprocessed, from external sources.
The combined rock broken and mined tonnes for managed operations were 8.8% higher in 2011 than in 2010, mostly as the result of increased production at the Mogalakwena and Unki mines. This contributed to an increase of 14% in liquid fuels usage such as diesel.
Tonnes milled from managed operations decreased marginally compared with those for the previous year, by 2.6%. Other materials showing significantly reduced consumption included grease (down by 38%) and LPG (down by 13%).