Land management, rehabilitation and closure

G4:

MM1
Amount of land (owned or leased, and managed for production activities or extractive use) disturbed or rehabilitated
MM2
Number and percentage of total sites identified as requiring biodiversity management plans according to stated criteria, and the number (percentage) of those sites with plans in place
MM10
Number and percentage of operations with closure plans

In 2013, Sibanye owned or held licences over approximately 36,690ha of land; only 7,449ha of land has been disturbed by mining and processing activities.

All Sibanye operations require biodiversity action plans (BAPs). A BAP has been developed for Driefontein, while a biodiversity assessment that will inform a BAP for Kloof is underway. A similar process will be undertaken for Beatrix in 2014.

Sibanye aims to work towards the final end land use at all stages of operation. A land-use survey was, therefore, conducted to determine current and proposed future activities within the areas of operation. See case study: Land-use survey maps stakeholders. Importantly, the Group’s aim is to link its LED projects with land management and rehabilitation to ensure sustainable land use that will be viable once mining operations come to an end.

By way of example, at Kloof, all structures in two areas are in the process of being demolished, after which the disturbed land will be rehabilitated. Areas suitable for agriculture, but disturbed by mining activities, have been identified and a pilot agricultural project has been initiated, which serves a dual purpose – to rehabilitate the area to a state where it is suitable for agriculture and also link an LED project to it.

Closure planning is closely linked to the Group’s life-of-mine plans for all operations. Interim closure plans are in place and are reviewed every two years. Detailed closure plans will be developed for all operations as from 2014. Where possible, demolition and rehabilitation takes place during the operational phase.

Sibanye’s closure liabilities are assessed on an annual basis by Golder Associates Proprietary Limited, and it has the requisite trust funds and insurance guarantees in place to provide for closure.

Land management (ha)
  2011 2012 2013
Total land under management 36,690 36,690 36,690
Land disturbed by mining and related activities during the period 0 0 0
Cumulative total of land disturbed by mining and related activities 7,449 7,449 7,449
Land rehabilitated during the period to agreed land use 0 0 0
Cumulative total of land rehabilitated 0 0 0
Closure liability and associated financial provision for 2013 (Rm)
OperationBeatrixDriefonteinKloofTotal
Closure liability as at 31 December 2013
Closure costs (unscheduled)512.11,085.1840.22,437.9
Total funded (fund and guarantees) as at December 2013
Fund balance at end November 2013277.4641.9595.51,514.8
Guardrisk guarantee value216.1402.8228.4847.3
Guardrisk investment value at December 201318.640.416.575.8

Only unscheduled closure costs are reflected above (closure liability costs at the point of unexpected, unplanned closure of a mining operation, and not according to life-of-mine plans).

Closure and rehabilitation costs (Rm)
  2011 2012 2013
Total cost for Sibanye operations 1,840 2,130 2,438

Only unscheduled closure costs are reflected above (closure liability costs at the point of unexpected, unplanned closure of a mining operation, and not according to life-of-mine plans).

Case study: Rooting out invasive tree species

Environmental legislation requires alien invaders (plants imported into South Africa that grow aggressively, such as black wattle and pine) to be eradicated as they consume vast amounts of water and are, therefore, considered a threat to water security.

Following the successful eradication of alien invader tree species at the Kloof Operation, Sibanye has spread the initiative to the Driefontein Operation – working in partnership with the Merafong City Local Municipality, mainly on municipal land.

The benefits of this initiative are two-fold: there are opportunities to create a sustainable, financially viable business for the local community, and the clean-up reduces pressure on scarce water resources. SLP requirements are satisfied by involving the local community, and environmental laws in respect of alien eradication are upheld.

From January 2012 to December 2012, this Alien Vegetation Project cleared 7,965 invasive plant species using local SMMEs. The initiative has so far created employment for more than 45 people from the Driefontein and Kloof mine communities.

“Sibanye has helped us with the capital injection necessary to increase our revenues and we are grateful for that,” says Samuel Moloke, one of the principal SMME partners in the project.

As revegetation is necessary, the goal for 2014 is to formalise processes necessary to ensure that revegetation is done on cleared areas. More SMMEs will be appointed to implement the process, creating an estimated 30 additional jobs.

At least 5t of felled trees have been sold to a local charcoal-manufacturing facility. Sibanye is currently evaluating the feasibility of creating its own plant to boost the project’s financial viability.

Kloof contributed R2.5 million when the project began in partnership with the local Westonaria Municipality in 2009. With the expansion of the project to Driefontein, a further R2 million has been budgeted by each of the two operations.