Corporate Responsibility Report 2007

Corporate Responsibility Report 2007

New legislative requirements

New legislative requirements

South Africa

The government has published new legislation relating to environmental management, with the most significant being the National Environmental Management: Waste Management Bill. This Bill published for comment on 12 January 2007 makes provision for penalties up to R10 million or 10 years’ imprisonment. It is expected that this bill will be enacted by the end of the 2007 calendar year.

In this Bill the definition of ‘waste’ no longer excludes wastewater and mining waste. The definition of ‘industry’ also expressly includes mining activities. The proposed act will therefore apply to slimes, tailings, waste rock and other mineral waste generated during the course of mining activities. This could have serious cost implications to mining operations in future as surface and ground water pollution from these sources will have to be eliminated or controlled in line with the minimum requirements which were published by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry a few years ago. Currently ‘mining waste’ is excluded from the definition of ‘waste’ and is controlled under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

Zimbabwe

New regulations under the Environmental Management Act were gazetted in January 2007. The regulations will control the following:

  • effluent and solid waste disposal;
  • air pollution;
  • hazardous waste management;
  • environmental impact assessment and ecosystem protection; and
  • hazardous substances, pesticides and other toxic substances.

The most significant changes that were introduced through these new regulations are:

  • lining of tailings dams with impermeable substrate;
  • contribution towards the rehabilitation fund which is administered by the Environmental Management Agency;
  • extremely high quarterly environmental monitoring fees for licences to discharge effluent and waste;
  • rehabilitation after mine closure to take place within 12 months;
  • hazardous waste may not be disposed; and
  • requirement for suppression of dust from gravel roads within an operation.

Impala Platinum Holdings Limited – Corporate Responsibility Report 2007