Scrap recycling at Impala Rustenburg

Impala’s refineries, SpringsImpala’s refineries, Springs

In August 2004, Chicane Refurbishment & Salvage Management Services (Pty) Limited (Chicane), a professional salvage company, was contracted to carry out the salvaging, reclamation, sorting and recycling of waste as well as the refurbishment of old equipment at Impala Rustenburg’s operations. Founded in September 2000, Chicane was initially established as a black economic empowerment (BEE) venture by Anglo Platinum. As a result of its contract with Impala Rustenburg, Chicane has been able to provide additional employment for approximately 230 people from local communities in the vicinity of Impala Rustenburg’s operations.

Chicane has designated sorting areas at every shaft and at the two salvage yards. Sorting is focused on the separation of all waste as it is delivered from underground. Once sorted on site, the waste is sent to one of Impala’s two salvage yards where equipment identified as being salvageable is collected, refurbished and sold back to Impala at reduced prices compared to purchasing new equipment. This has led to a considerable cost saving to Impala. Approximate saving during FY2009 was calculated at R2.67 million. All waste that cannot be refurbished by Chicane is sold to an approved recycling company.

In terms of the contract, teams from Chicane sort the waste for, among other things, ferrous and non-ferrous material, plastic material, and hazardous waste. The waste is sorted into various recyclable streams and then sold onto various scrap dealers who all have legally licensed recycling processes. Particular attention is given to the sorting and processing of metals so as to ensure that revenue is maximised.

While Chicane takes responsibility for the initial sorting of hazardous waste, the final collection and transportation is carried out by another reputable waste contractor. Disposal of hazardous waste is done at a pre-defined and permitted hazardous landfill site.

The advantage of this enterprise is that most of the scrap material, which is mostly metal, plastic and wood, generated by the Impala Rustenburg operation is sold and recycled in terms of various off-set agreements in compliance with legal requirements. The prices paid for metals (both ferrous and non-ferrous) are determined in the agreement as a function of those ruling on the London Metals Exchange. In FY2009, a total of 6 868 370 kilograms (6 868 tonnes) of scrap material were recycled with almost two-thirds of this being scrap steel. The total revenue generated by the sale of scrap material was R7.90m.

Computerised, audited records are kept of all the waste sorted, disposed of and/or processed. In terms of its agreement with Impala, Chicane undertakes to recruit people to work on this project, to conduct the relevant medical exams, to monitor the hours worked, and to provide the necessary personal protective equipment and the relevant training.

Implats Sustainable Development Report 2009