Waste management update – striving for creative ways to reduce our impact
In 2017, our focus in terms of waste management expanded to include proactively minimising waste as well as responsibly managing its disposal. Waste streams were evaluated at all our sites and opportunities to reduce waste were identified.
As a result of this process, we re-evaluated the analysis of incinerator ash that is produced at Letšeng. This ash had previously been classified as hazardous, which meant that it would need to be transported across national borders for proper disposal. Its reclassification meant that we could look for more sustainable methods of disposal. The ash could be mixed with treated sewage sludge and used in our rehabilitation trials to prevent erosion, and as a potting material in seedling beds.
We also looked more broadly for opportunities to reduce waste at our mining sites. One area that we identified for improvement was in the cleaning materials used on sites. They were reassessed and replacements identified based on the sustainability of their packaging and the biodegradable nature of their contents.
In order to ensure that our utilisation of natural resources is done in an efficient way, water monitors were installed at our Letšeng accommodation facilities. This allows us to track water usage patterns and establish a baseline that we can use to plan how to better manage water consumption in these areas.
At our sorting and cutting operation in Antwerp, our employees chose to do away with bottled water in favour of water coolers, reducing plastic and water waste.