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Exxaro Resources Limited's disclosure of environmental non-compliances in annual reports

Exxaro’s company reports contain some information on environmental non-compliances.

2009 company reports

During the 2009 reporting period, dust rates exceeded permitted standards 12 times.1 There were also 5 exceedances of the permitted particulate matter (PM) rate at KZN Sands and 1 exceedance of SO₂ at Zincor.2 Exxaro has an incident reporting system which categorises incidents on a level of 1 to 3 depending on severity (3 being the most severe). The 2009 report reported 20 Level 2 incidents.3 These included:

  • overflow of contaminated water into a clean area;
  • stack exceedance of Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act permit requirements;
  • pollution dam spill into clean area;
  • excessive smoke and particulate matter;
  • soil pollution from coal spillage;
  • water and soil pollution caused by flooding of sewage treatment plant;
  • leaching of run-of-mine pipeline into neighbouring property;
  • erosion of sensitive area following rainfall; and
  • coal and hydrocarbon spillage.4

There were also 1361 Level 1 incidents during the reporting period.5

2010 company reports

Exceedance of the permitted dust rate was also reported in the 2010 Annual Report6 as were 2 exceedances of PM at KZN Sands.7 A directive was also issued by the Department of Water Affairs due to mining operations intruding onto a wetland area during the year.8 During the reporting period, there were 931 Level 1 incidents and 30 Level 2 incidents.9 The Level 2 incidents included:

  • accidental diversion of reclaimed slimes dam water to an unlined slimes dam causing localised pollution;
  • discovery of graves during mining;
  • the breaking of a slit damwall resulting in slurry running into field;
  • the failure of a slimes transfer pipeline;
  • sediment washing into river due to breach in berm;
  • discoloration of river;
  • slimes spraying onto neighbouring property;
  • surface runoff to neighbouring properties resulting in damage to crops;
  • stack emission exceedance;
  • sewage discharge;
  • coal sediment and contaminated water spill into clean environment;
  • pollution dam overflow; and
  • evaporation dam overflow.10
2011 company reports

In the 2011 Annual Report it was reported that there had been 28 Level 2 incidents and again exceedances of the dust limit.11 In this report it was also noted that the company’s compliance with environmental and water use legislation at mines in Mpumalanga “was an issue raised by stakeholders”.12

No further information on environmental non-compliances is provided, other than the statement by Exxaro that “no material incidents of non-compliance occurred in 2011″.13

2012 company reports

In 2012, exceedances of permitted dust limits were again reported.14 The following fines and directives were also reported to have been issued during the reporting period:

  • at the North Block Complex, the above ground diesel tank was authorised following a fine for non-compliance;
  • Grootegeluk was instructed to clean up its industrial waste;
  • Leeuwpan received notices from Department of Water Affairs for mining activities close to a wetland area (dealt with below under ‘Community, media and NGO reports’);
  • at the North Block Complex a directive was received from the Department of Water Affairs for not having a water use licence;
  • a directive was also issued by the Mpumalanga Department of Mineral Resources requesting information on rehabilitation activities and water management; and
  • Tshikondeni received a notice from the Department of Water Affairs Limpopo on water compliance gaps.15

There were also 11 Level 2 incidents and 411 Level 1 incidents.16 The Level 2 incidents included the following:

  • overspray from mining activities;
  • exceedances of stack emission limits and air quality standards;
  • smelter spillages;
  • overflow of subsurface drainage;
  • oil spill;
  • water overflow into Veld; and
  • water flowing into mini-pits resulting in potential groundwater pollution.17
2013 company reports

In the 2013 report it was reported that there had been 7 Level 2 incidents.18 There had also been 175 Level 1 incidents.19 The Level 2 incidents related to:

  • the overflow of a dam;
  • a slimes line spill resulting in ground pollution;
  • major water overflow from a pollution control dam leading to ground and surface water pollution;
  • exceedance of dust threshold; and
  • dam overflows leading to potential ground water and surface water pollution.20

Exxaro’s dust fallout rate had also exceeded the industrial limit for three months.21 In the 2013 report it was also stated that no material fines or penalties had been received for non-compliance during the reporting period.22

2014 company reports

In 2014 it was reported that there had been 152 Level 1 incidents and 3 Level 2 incidents. The three Level 2 incidents related to dam and reticulation system overflows, and in two of the incidents there was “possible soil/groundwater pollution”.23 Two operations also exceeded the non-residential limit for dust fallout during the reporting period.24

  1. Exxaro Annual Report 2009 at p99, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2010/exxaro_ar2009/downloads/exarro_ar2009.pdf
  2. Exxaro Annual Report 2009 at p100, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2010/exxaro_ar2009/downloads/exarro_ar2009.pdf
  3. Exxaro Annual Report 2009 at p108, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2010/exxaro_ar2009/downloads/exarro_ar2009.pdf
  4. Exxaro Annual Report 2009 at p109, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2010/exxaro_ar2009/downloads/exarro_ar2009.pdf
  5. Exxaro Annual Report 2009 at p109, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2010/exxaro_ar2009/downloads/exarro_ar2009.pdf
  6. Exxaro Annual Report 2010 at p106, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2011/exxaro_ar2010/downloads/exxaro_ar2010.pdf
  7. Exxaro Annual Report 2010 at p107, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2011/exxaro_ar2010/downloads/exxaro_ar2010.pdf
  8. Exxaro Annual Report 2010 at p109, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2011/exxaro_ar2010/downloads/exxaro_ar2010.pdf
  9. Exxaro Annual Report 2010 at p115, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2011/exxaro_ar2010/downloads/exxaro_ar2010.pdf
  10. Exxaro Annual Report 2010 at p116, available at http://financialresults.co.za/2011/exxaro_ar2010/downloads/exxaro_ar2010.pdf
  11. Exxaro Annual Report 2011 at p66, available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2011/integrated/pdf/integrated_annual_report.pdf
  12. Exxaro Annual Report 2011 at p38,available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2011/integrated/pdf/integrated_annual_report.pdf
  13. Exxaro Annual Report 2011 at p52,available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2011/integrated/pdf/integrated_annual_report.pdf
  14. Exxaro Annual Report 2012 at p124, available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2012/integrated/pdf/integrated.pdf
  15. Exxaro Annual Report 2012 at p124, available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2012/integrated/pdf/integrated.pdf
  16. Exxaro Annual Report 2012 at p125, available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2012/integrated/pdf/integrated.pdf
  17. Exxaro Annual Report 2012 at p126, available at http://www.exxaro-reports.co.za/reports/ar_2012/integrated/pdf/integrated.pdf
  18. Exxaro Annual Report 2013 at p20, available at http://www.exxaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Exxaro_IR_2014-final_web.pdf
  19. Exxaro Supplemental information 2013 at p34, available at http://www.exxaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Exxaro_WEB_2014_web1.pdf
  20. Exxaro Supplemental information 2013 at p34, available at http://www.exxaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Exxaro_WEB_2014_web1.pdf
  21. Exxaro Annual Report 2013 at p56, available at http://www.exxaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Exxaro_IR_2014-final_web.pdf
  22. Exxaro Annual Report 2013 at p74, available at http://www.exxaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Exxaro_IR_2014-final_web.pdf
  23. Exxaro 2014 Supplementary Report at p86, available at http://www.exxaro.com/ar/2014/Supplementary_Our_environment.pdf
  24. Exxaro 2014 Supplementary Report at p88, available at http://www.exxaro.com/ar/2014/Supplementary_Our_environment.pdf