Sibanye engages on environmental matters through active participation and involvement in catchment forums. Regular meetings are held and relationships are built with key stakeholders in terms of the stakeholder-engagement plan. Ongoing engagement, issue flagging as well as assurance are provided by the Vice President: Sustainable Development.
Environmental compliance with legislation is managed by a non-certified EMS (based on the principles of the ISO 14001 international standard), a legal register, Management Code of Practice and Sustainable Development assurance processes. Both internal and external inspection and audits are conducted regularly. The environmental legal register is updated internally and reviewed by Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. Sustainable Development provides assurance and protocols and standards for site integration of environmental management.
Engagement with key stakeholders on a range of environmental issues is ongoing. To this end, 12 meetings were held with the Chamber of Mines Environmental Policy Committee (EPC) in the past year with particular focus on policy and regulatory issues. Proposed amendments to three important pieces of legislation were discussed, including the NEM Laws Amendment Bill 2013, amendment of the NEM: Air Quality Act, and the MPRDA Amendment Bill 2013.
In all three instances, comments and suggestions from the respective mining houses were co-ordinated through the EPC. Final comments were then sent to the relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and, where needed, representatives from the Chamber of Mines also met with officials from the relevant government department (the DWA and the DEA on the NEM Laws Amendment Bill and the DMR on the MPRDA Amendment Bill).
The broad objective of the additional meetings with the respective regulators was to further entrench the position of the members of the Chamber of Mines on key policy issues pertaining to the proposed legislative changes. With regard to proposed amendments to NEM laws, the general consensus from the EPC members was that, while some of the proposed amendments would benefit business and the mining industry in general, other proposed amendments would sow further confusion within the regulatory framework for the mining industry, especially in light of the proposed amendments also mooted in the MPRDA Amendment Bill.
Sibanye was represented by the Chamber of Mines in a comprehensive commenting and advocacy process accompanying the MPRDA Amendment Bill, including attendance of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources. Through this process, specific issues and concerns were raised about the proposed changes to the beneficiation/exports, transfer and amendments to mining rights, environmental and water-related issues as well as socio-economic aspects of the MPRDA.
Other important issues currently on the agenda of the EPC include the state of environmental planning and management within the mining industry, water conservation and water demand as a DWA-driven project with a view to setting consumptive targets for the mining industry, and the Carbon Tax Policy Paper, influenced by the Business Unity South Africa advocacy process.