Context and approach

Our approach to environmental management is a precautionary one, based on a sound assessment of potential risks and their mitigation throughout the life cycle and value chain of our operations.

By its very nature, mining has adverse effects on the environment. We seek legislative compliance as a minimum, while aiming for leading industry practice and continual improvement.

Accountability for environmental management, including the risks associated with climate change, resides ultimately with our Board and Executive Committee, supported by management on both corporate and operational levels. Our Group Environmental Department ensures adherence to our Safety and Sustainable Development Policy through the implementation of programmes, guidelines, standards and systems.

Stakeholder collaboration and feedback on environmental matters

We have an environmental stakeholder forum that meets twice a year, which is attended by community members and various other stakeholders. Topics discussed during the meetings include monitoring results and the capturing of stakeholder concerns.

In addition to the forum, we have various complaints registers and we use a SMS system to notify stakeholders of updates on environmental matters. We have an open door policy and try and address stakeholder concerns where possible.

Explanation of whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organisation.

The Lonmin Integrated Environmental Strategy for 2011 to 2014 supports the Safety and Sustainable Development Policy with the following key objectives performance indicators and projects:

  • Striving to ensure compliance with existing and new environmental legislation.
  • Continually progressing towards environmental maturity.
  • Implementing uniform and integrated systems.
  • Using resources efficiently.
  • Minimising our environmental footprint, pollution, degradation and social liability by integrating short-, medium- and long-term closure planning into operational environmental plans.
  • Maintaining a good business and stakeholder standing by facilitating environmental integration within business, strengthening relationships with stakeholders and enhancing community wellness and development through the implementation of environmental community projects.

Lonmin Sustainable Development Standard 11 encourages suppliers and contractors to establish and maintain systems that are consistent with our environmental practices.

Contractors with on-site premises are audited on their environmental standards to entrench a culture of environmental accountability. These contractors also form part of the ISO 14001 systems of the relevant business unit and are therefore also audited by the external ISO 14001 auditing body. The chrome plants on the Marikana property have also obtained individual ISO 14001 certifications to ensure that they drive and maintain environmental compliance.

The material safety data sheets received for all chemical and hydrocarbons suppliers' products used on site are reviewed against specific environmental criteria. Should products have high risks associated with their storage and use, they are flagged and a process to source an alternative product with a preferred risk profile is followed. New and alternative products undergo comprehensive trials prior to purchase to ensure the same performance is achieved and to confirm their lower risk profile.

Safety, health, environmental, company and financial criteria are audited by our personnel, to determine whether vendors or suppliers who have their company premises off site comply with set criteria in our vendor audit protocol. The environmental criteria of these audits are related primarily to legal and self-regulatory compliance. This process helps us to identify quite clearly, the companies with whom we would prefer to work.

The Lonmin Supply Chain Standards Committee has been established to discuss, monitor, evaluate and action issues including safety, environment, community and general vendor auditing, which are placed on a standing agenda to be discussed with senior and middle management. The focus given to Green Procurement is driven through this forum and allows for and ensures that Green Procurement is also filtered through the business.

We endorse the ICMM Position Statement on mercury risk management. We do not produce mercury and we do not use mercury or mercury compounds in any of our processes.