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Full Disclosure 2016

Licences and authorisations required for operation

Licence Activity Applicable Legislation
Atmospheric Emission Licence Combustion installations co-feeding waste with conventional fuels in processes used primarily for steam raising or electricity generation.1 List of activities which result in atmospheric emissions which have or may have a significant detrimental effect on the environment2 and accordingly require an Atmospheric Emission Licence before commencement (GN 893): Category 1, Sub-category 1.6.
Atmospheric Emission Licence The storage and handling of petroleum products. GN 893: Category 2, Sub-category 2.4.
Atmospheric Emission Licence Coke production and by-product recovery.3 GN 893: Category 3, Sub-category 3.2.
Atmospheric Emission Licence Processes in which tar, creosote or any other product of distillation of tar is distilled or is heated in any manufacturing process.4 GN 893: Category 3, Sub-category 3.3.
Atmospheric Emission Licence Production of char, charcoal and the production and use of carbon black.5 GN 893: Category 3, Sub-category 3.4.
Atmospheric Emission Licence Activities specifically applicable to mineral processing, storage and handling which require an Atmospheric Emission Licence:
  1. storage and handling of ore and coal not situated on the premises of a mine or works as defined in the Mines Health and Safety Act, 1996;
  2. the drying of mineral solids including ore, using dedicated combustion installations;
  3. the production of bricks using clamp kilns;
  4. cement production (using conventional fuels and raw materials);
  5. cement production (using alternative fuels and/or resources)
  6. processing of lime, magnesite, dolomite and calcium sulphate;
  7. processing of lime, magnesite, dolomite and calcium sulphate where alternative fuels and/or resources are used;
  8. the production of glass containers, flat glass, glass fibre and mineral wool;
  9. The production of tiles, bricks, refractory bricks, stoneware or porcelain ware by firing, excluding clamp kilns;
  10. permanent facilities used for mixtures of aggregate, tar or bitumen to produce road-surfacing materials; and/or
  11. production of potassium or sodium sulphate or the treatment of ores by chloride salts whereby hydrogen chloride gas is evolved.
GN 893: Category 5, Sub-categories 5.1 – 5.11.
Water Use Licence Taking water from a water resource.6 National Water Act: Section 21(a).
Water Use Licence Storing water.7 National Water Act: Section 21(b).
Water Use Licence Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse.8 National Water Act: Section 21(c).
Water Use Licence Engaging in a controlled activity defined as such in section 37(1) or declared under section 38(1) of the National Water Act.9 National Water Act: Section 21(e).
Water Use Licence Discharging waste or water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe, canal, sewer, sea outfall or other conduit.10 National Water Act: Section 21(f).
Water Use Licence Disposing waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource.11 National Water Act: Section 21(g).
Water Use Licence Disposing in any manner of water which contains waste from, or which has been heated in, any industrial or power generation process.12 National Water Act: Section 21(h).
Water Use Licence Altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse.13 National Water Act: Section 21(i).
Water Use Licence Removing, discharging or disposing of water found underground if it is necessary for the efficient continuation of an activity or for the safety of people.14 National Water Act: Section 21(j).
Registration as dam with a safety risk The owner of a dam with a safety risk15 must register that dam within 120 days. National Water Act: Section 120 (read with the Dam Regulations).
Waste Management Licence The disposal of general waste to land covering an area of more than 50 square metres but less than 200 square metres and with a total capacity not exceeding 25 000 tons. List of waste management activities that have, or are likely to have, a detrimental effect on the environment16 and accordingly require a waste management licence (GN 921): Category A 3(10) (Category B 4(8) where the area is in excess of 200 square metres and the total capacity exceeds 25 000 tons).
Waste Management Licence The disposal of any quantity of hazardous waste to land. GN 921: Category B 4(7).
Waste Management Licence The construction of a facility for a waste management activity listed in Category A (not in isolation to associated waste management activity). GN 921: Category A 3(12) (or Category B 4(10) where the waste management activity is listed in Category B).
No licence, only compliance with Norms and Standards for Storage of Waste, 2013 The storage of general waste at a facility that has the capacity to store in excess of 100 cubic metres of general waste at any one time, excluding the storage of waste in lagoons or temporary17 storage of such waste. GN 921: Category C 5(1) (or Category C 5(2) where the storage is in excess of 80 cubic metres of hazardous waste).
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for the generation of electricity18 from a renewable resource where the electricity output is more than 10 megawatts but less than 20 megawatts or the output is 10 megawatts or less but the total extent of the facility covers an area in excess of 1 hectares. Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Listing Notice 119 (Listing Notice 1): Activity 1 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 1, where the electricity output is 20 megawatts or more).
Environmental Authorisation Development and related operation of facilities or infrastructure for the generation of electricity from non-renewable resources20 where the electricity output is more than 10 megawatts but less than 20 megawatts or the output is 10 megawatts or less but the total extent of the facility covers an area in excess of 1 hectares. Listing Notice 1: Activity 2 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 2 where the electricity output is 20 megawatts or more).
Environmental Authorisation The development of infrastructure exceeding 1000 metres in length for the bulk transportation of water21 or storm water with an internal diameter of 0.36 metres or more, or with a peak throughput of 120 litres per second or more, excluding where such facilities or infrastructure are for bulk transportation of water or storm water or storm water drainage inside a road reserve, or where such development will occur within an urban area. Listing Notice 1: Activity 9.
Environmental Authorisation The development and related operation of infrastructure exceeding 1000 metres in length for the bulk transportation of sewage, effluent, process water, waste water,22 return water, industrial discharge or slimes – (i) with an internal diameter of 0,36 metres or more; or with a peak throughput of 120 litres per second or more. Listing Notice 1: Activity 10.
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for the off-stream storage23 of water, including dams and reservoirs, with a combined capacity of 50 000 cubic metres or more, unless such storage falls within the ambit of activity 16 of Listing Notice 2. Listing Notice 1: Activity 13.
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for the storage, or for the storage and handling, of a dangerous good, where such storage occurs in containers with a combined capacity of 80 but not exceeding 500 cubic metres.24 Listing Notice 1: Activity 14 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 4 where the capacity exceeds 500 metres).
Environmental Authorisation Any activity including the operation of that activity which requires a prospecting right in terms of section 16 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Listing Notice 1: Activity 20.
Environmental Authorisation Any activity including the operation of that activity which requires a mining permit in terms of section 27 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Listing Notice 1: Activity 21.
Environmental Authorisation The decommissioning of any activity requiring: (i) a closure certificate in terms of section 43 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act; or (ii) a prospecting right, mining right, mining permit, production right or exploration right, where the throughput of the activity has reduced by 90% or more over a period of 5 years (excluding where the competent authority has agreed that such reduction does not constitute closure). Listing Notice 1: Activity 22.
Environmental Authorisation The development and related operation of facilities for the treatment of effluent, wastewater or sewage with a daily throughput capacity of more than 2 000 cubic metres but less than 15 000 cubic metres.25 Listing Notice 1: Activity 25 (or Listing Notice 2: Activity 25 where the capacity exceeds 15 000 cubic metres).
Environmental Authorisation The development of facilities or infrastructure for any process or activity which requires a permit or licence in terms of national or provincial legislation governing the generation or release of emissions, pollution or effluent, excluding activities which are identified in Listing Notice 1, activities which are included in the list of waste management activities published in terms of section 19 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (in which case that Act will apply), or facilities with a daily throughput capacity of less than 2000 cubic metres. Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, Listing Notice 226 (Listing Notice 2): Activity 6.
Environmental Authorisation Any activity including the operation of that activity which requires a mining right as contemplated in section 22 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Listing Notice 2: Activity 17.
Environmental Authorisation The removal and disposal of minerals contemplated in terms of section 20 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act. Listing Notice 2: Activity 19.
Environmental Authorisation Any activity including the operation of that activity associated with the primary processing of a mineral resource including winning, reduction, extraction, classifying, concentrating, crushing, screening and washing but excluding the smelting, beneficiation, refining, calcining or gasification of the mineral resource in which case activity 6 in Listing Notice 2 applies. Listing Notice 2: Activity 21.
Environmental Authorisation The clearance of an area of 300 square metres or more of indigenous vegetation except where such clearance of indigenous vegetation is required for maintenance purposes undertaken in accordance with a maintenance management plan.27 Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations Listing Notice 328 (Listing Notice 3): Activity 12.
Heritage Approval For large-scale developments of the following categories, the heritage resources authority in the applicable area must be notified (and having been notified will assess whether heritage approval is required):29
  1. the construction of a road, wall, powerline, pipeline, canal or other similar form of linear development or barrier exceeding 300 metres in length;
  2. the construction of a bridge or similar structure exceeding 50 metres in length;
  3. any development or other activity which will change the character of a site –
    1. exceeding 5 000 square metres in extent; or
    2. involving three or more existing erven or subdivisions thereof; or
    3. involving three or more erven or divisions thereof which have been consolidated within the past five years; or
    4. the costs of which will exceed a sum set in terms of regulations by SAHRA or a provincial heritage resources authority;
  4. the re-zoning of a site exceeding 10 000 square metres in extent; or
  5. any other category of development provided for in regulations by South African Heritage Resources Authority or a provincial heritage resources authority.
National Heritage Resources Act: Section 38.
National Forests Act licence The cutting, disturbing, damaging or destruction of any protected tree30 requires a licence in terms of the National Forests Act. National Forests Act: Section 15.
Mining permit / right Mining permit or right is required for any mining activities as defined. Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act: Section 27 / 22.
Land use approval Land in respect of which a mining right / permit application is made must be appropriately zoned for mining. The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) and applicable provincial legislation and municipal by-laws.

 

  1. Some mines have been exploring the option of establishing co-generation plants in an effort to reduce their electricity expenses.
  2. Published under Government Notice 893 in Government Gazette 37054 of 22 November 2013.
  3. Only applicable if coke is produced by the mining company.
  4. Only applicable if tar is processed by the mining company.
  5. Only applicable if this is produced by mining company.
  6. If water is not supplied by the municipality and is not authorised in terms of a general authorisation.
  7. Most mining processes require large quantities of water which may be stored on site in a dam.
  8. If any of the mining activities impede or divert the flow of water in a watercourse, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  9. The intentional recharging of an aquifer with any waste or water containing waste, is considered a controlled activity (section 37(1), National Water Act). This may happen when waste water is used by a mine to recharge an aquifer.
  10. Mines generally generate large quantities of waste water and if this is discharged in one of the ways described above, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  11. Mine waste and residue disposed on site may have detrimental impact on ground water quality.
  12. Mining processes generally result in the disposal of water containing waste.
  13. If any structures are constructed near or within watercourses, which result in the altering of its characteristic, a Water Use Licence may be required.
  14. Water often enters mine workings and the removal thereof may require a Water Use Licence.
  15. A “dam with a safety risk” is defined in the National Water Act as “a dam which can contain, store or dam more than 50 000 cubic metres of water, whether that water contains any substance or not, and which has a wall of a vertical height of more than 5 metres, measured as the vertical difference between the lowest downstream ground elevation on the outside of the dam wall and the non-overspill crest level or the general top level of the dam wall”, or is declared a dam with a safety risk under the National Water Act.
  16. Published under Government Notice 921 in Government Gazette 37083 of 29 November 2013.
  17. “Temporary storage” is defined in GN921 as “once off storage that does not exceed 90 days”.
  18. If the mining company generates its own electricity from a renewable energy source it may require Environmental Authorisation.
  19. GN 983, published in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  20. If the company generates its own electricity from non-renewable resources it may need to obtain Environmental Authorisation.
  21. If facilities are constructed to transport water to site and they meet the thresholds prescribed, then Environmental Authorisation is required.
  22. If wastewater is generated by the company and they construct facilities to transport such wastewater, this activity may be triggered.
  23. If water is drawn from water resources and stored on site, Environmental Authorisation may be required for the construction of such a water storage facility or infrastructure.
  24. If harmful chemicals are used during mining operations, the construction of facilities for their storage may require Environmental Authorisation.
  25. Most companies in this sector generate large quantities of waste water and would be required to treat it before discharging such water.
  26. Government Notice R 984 published in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  27. Applicable if indigenous vegetation is removed for the construction of any facility at a mine.
  28. Published under Government Notice R 985 in Government Gazette 38282 of 4 December 2014.
  29. Heritage approval is not required if heritage impacts are assessed as part of an environmental impact assessment process for Environmental Authorisation, provided that comments received from the heritage authority are incorporated into the final report (as per section 38(10) of National Heritage Resources Act).
  30. A protected tree is defined as a tree declared to be protected, or belonging to a group of trees, woodland or species declared to be protected, under section 12(1) or 14(2) of the National Forests Act.