By Dawn Mokhobo, Chairperson of Wesizwe Platinum
By Dawn Mokhobo.
While it may no longer dominate the South African economy as it did a few decades ago, the mining industry remains a key source of income for many, despite the many job losses in this sector. All is not lost as many mining houses are looking into appropriate risk management strategies to weather currency and volatilities during this crucial time.
BPM has been at an advantage in the sense that we only started construction in 2012, and we were able to evade the negative effects of the weakening price of PGM over the years, but that doesn’t mean we are in the clear. And to make sure we stay on an advantageous position in the market, we have optimized our production plan to a modular approach which will allow us to reach our first steady state of production in 2021.
We have made some impressing developments over the past year that include;
· Licensing the main shaft that is being utilized to ferry personnel, materials and rock.
· Appointed the Capital Footprint Developer (CC5C), who formally established site and commenced with their first blast in July 2018.
· Completed the loading facility automation and the surface headgear bin to the transfer gear.
The past couple of years has been tough for the South African mining industry due to the drop in the price of PGM that has seen many other mining houses forced into retrenchments and closing of shafts. We have been advantaged by amending our approach, which enabled us to endure, to adapt and to be ever-mindful of the employees, the communities, the environment and all other stakeholders and shareholders.
BPM takes an integrated approach to environmental management demonstrating a responsible attitude to all the resources required during the construction phase. As construction progresses, greater quantities of energy and water will be consumed. it is therefore important that as a company we introduce measures to address security-of resource supply while minimizing impacts on natural resources and surrounding societies. Our ultimate goal is to fully align the Environmental Management Systems to the company’s environmental policy, the intended outcomes of which include: enhancement of environmental performance; fulfilment of compliance obligations; and achievement of environmental objectives.
Stakeholder engagement is an integral part of our approach, that allows us to mitigate social risks and provide solutions to social challenges. In the past year we were able to successfully complete the 2014-2018 Social Labour Plan. To ensure an open and transparent consultative process with our stakeholders, we will continue to invite participants to our Stakeholder Engagement Forum (SEF), convened quarterly with participants comprising different stakeholders. The SEF is convened primarily to serve as a platform for information sharing and to discuss issues that affect the company as well as the community which we operate in.