Summary of findings and company response
Implats published the following Environmental Policy Statement in 2013:
Implats is a PGE1-focused mining company that undertakes its activities in a manner that strives to minimise or eliminate negative impacts and maximise positive impacts of an environmental nature. The Company is committed to responsible stewardship of natural resources and the ecological environment in a sustainable manner.2
Implats approved a five level incident classification system for managing environmental performance was in 2013. The system is not due to be implemented until 2015. Over the period covered in Full Disclosure therefore, reporting conventions were not standardised across the group. No information is provided on compliance inspections at Implats’ operations.
In his response to Full Disclosure, Paul Finney, Group Executive: Refining and Marketing, stated that “environmental incidences will be reported as per the then fully tested and functional five-tier matrix in the relevant public reports for FY 2016 (spanning the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016), onwards.”
The Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of Water and Sanitation are responsible for compliance monitoring and enforcement of environmental and water laws by mining companies. Thus far, unlike the Department of Environmental Affairs, neither department has published any information on its compliance monitoring and enforcement action. This means that it is impossible to know whether or not the level of disclosure on environmental non-compliances by mining companies in their annual reports is accurate or incomplete.
For more information please see Enforcing the Law: the challenges undermining environmental compliance monitoring and enforcement in South Africa.
A Technical Memorandum attached to an Implats Environmental Impact Assessment indicates a number of non-compliances, in relation to waste activities in particular, at the Impala Springs Refinery.
Mr Finney referred to an error pertaining to the entity discussed in the Technical Memorandum. He also sought to clarify the group structure of Implats, which he stated we had incorrectly represented in Full Disclosure. Mr Finney provided a detailed explanation of the status of the waste management licence application process for Impala Refinery in his response, which can be viewed at http://cer.org.za/full-disclosure/company/impala-platinum-holdings-limited?correspondence, as well as clarification and further information on the other areas of concern raised in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Mr Finney extended an invitation on behalf of the Implats Management Team for the CER to visit the Impala Platinum Refineries.
- Platinum Group Element
- http://www.implats.co.za/implats/downloads/2013/environmental_policy_statement.pdf (last accessed on 7 August 2015).