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Full Disclosure 2016

Summary of updated findings

The 2014/2015 NECER states that “an inspection report was finalised and issued to” Assmang Cato Ridge. The authorities considered ARM’s response to the allegations in the inspection report, and decided that the facility must “be subjected to a WML integration and review process”, which took place in February 2015.1

The 2014/2015 NECER also confirms that Assmang Cato Ridge had illegally dumped slag in a valley outside the boundary of the facility. A section 31H Notice was issued to the facility in April 2014, “requesting a copy of the Contamination Assessment Report, for the soil contamination study which was undertaken at the identified area”. After “numerous internal meetings”, the facility was directed to follow the process set out in Chapter 4, Part 8 of the NEMWA, which deals with contaminated land.2

ARM’s 2015 Sustainability Report states as follows:

Contaminated land surveys were completed at Machadodorp Works and Cato Ridge Works in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (NEMWA). The outcomes of these studies have been included in the assessment of closure and rehabilitation costs and reflect in their financial provision towards closure and rehabilitation.3

This statement is repeated in ARM’s 2016 Sustainability Report.4

ARM does not disclose that, in respect of the Cato Ridge Works, the contaminated land site assessment was carried out as a result of the company having been directed to do so by the Green Scorpions pursuant to their ascertaining that the facility had illegally dumped slag. In these circumstances, it is not appropriate for the rehabilitation of the site to be done at closure of the facility.

The contaminated land provisions in NEMWA require that site assessment reports be submitted to the Minister of Environmental Affairs or relevant MEC, who must then decide if the site requires remediation and the measures which are necessary to neutralise the risk (at the cost of the relevant land owner or user). ARM should also disclose details of the outcomes of the studies, in particular the key findings and estimated cost of rehabilitation.

ARM’s 2015 Sustainability Report provides details of a pre-directive issued by the DWS at Modikwa, relating to the encroachment of waste rock into the river. The report also discloses the receipt by Two Rivers Platinum of a notification of intent to issue a pre-directive by the DWS, in relation to unlawful water use. The report states that “[a] comprehensive geohydrological investigation and risk assessment report was presented to the DWS in April 2015 and the matter is still under consideration”.5 This statement is repeated in ARM’s 2016 Sustainability Report.6

It is encouraging that ARM is disclosing these compliance-related activities.

ARM was one of the mining companies called to submit evidence to the South African Human Rights Commission’s National Hearing on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-Affected Communities in South Africa, held in September and November 2016.

  1. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2014/2015, at p43.
  2. National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report 2014/2015, at p43.
  3. African Rainbow Minerals 2015 Sustainability Report, at p89.
  4. African Rainbow Minerals 2016 Sustainability Report, at p125.
  5. African Rainbow Minerals 2015 Sustainability Report, at p42.
  6. African Rainbow Minerals 2016 Sustainability Report, at p48.