Exxaro report selector 2019

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Exxaro Resources Limited
Environmental, social and governance report

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Hazardous waste management

We uphold our licence to operate through

  • Management procedures (including waste classification and reporting)
  • Authorisation (waste management licences)
  • Waste handling, transportation and disposal method
  • Waste efficiency reports

Waste management is a critical factor in upholding Exxaro's social licence to operate. Our group standard enforces the use of a waste management hierarchy, which in turn promotes waste prevention or minimisation, reuse, recycling and energy recovery while ensuring safe disposal of waste in line with the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act 59 of 2008) and supporting legislation. The mines receive a rebate for recycling all recyclable waste such as paper, used oil and scrap metals. Exxaro has developed a group environmental policy and waste management standard for hazardous and non-hazardous waste, which will introduce initiatives such as waste prevention, practice reuse, recycling, recovering energy and ensuring safe disposal of waste to reduce environmental and health risks, and contribute to the sustainability of the business units.

Recycling targets were set in 2013 to be business unit-specific requirements. The targets are aligned to the National Waste Management Strategy, which aims to achieve 25% of recyclable waste diverted from landfill through reuse, recycling and recovery. Exxaro recycles all recyclable waste (paper, cardboard, plastic and aluminium cans).

Each business unit has a training and awareness programme on responsible waste handling (generation, storage and disposal) aimed at continuous improvement and applying the cradle-to-grave principle.

Exxaro also participates in the Department of Environmental Affairs industry waste management forum initiatives to address waste-related issues, which are also addressed through Business Unity South Africa and the Minerals Council South Africa. Changes in waste legislation are tracked internally and communicated to the business units.

We are exploring opportunities with industrial partners and research institutions to use viable solutions for converting waste into renewable energy. Exxaro is in a process of appointing a contractor to present a solution for reprocessing all waste tyres in a responsible manner in order to reduce environmental liabilities.

Our business units capture our hazardous waste volumes monthly. Any business units producing more than 20kg of hazardous waste daily — including used and contaminated soil, medical waste, PPE and sewage — are registered with the South African Waste Information System for compliance. Each business unit has its own registration certificate.

Our operations do not have processes for waste treatment on site. Oil or hydrocarbon spillages are addressed by external contractors, on standby, who clean the area and take the waste to a hazardous landfill. Medical waste at the Matla and Grootegeluk on-site clinics is managed by medical professionals.

Exxaro is committed to diverting waste away from landfills towards reuse. The Grootegeluk abatement plans for waste tyre stockpiles have been submitted as per requirements published by the Department of Environmental Affairs in September 2017.

The total weight of hazardous waste generated at our managed coal operations in 2019 increased by 34% to 4 090 tonnes (2018: 2 694 tonnes). Arnot contributed significantly (1 725 tonnes) in December 2019 to waste removed due to the clean-up operation, which required EnviroServ to remove silt from the pollution control dams for safe disposal to a registered hazardous landfill at Holfontein.

2018 versus 2019 total waste
volumes (tonnes)

Hazardous waste sent to landfills