Exxaro Resources Limited
Environmental, social and governance report 2022

Environmental liabilities and rehabilitation

Understanding that responsible mining practices continuously evolve, we have a holistic and integrated approach to mine closure, taking into account environmental protection, social wellbeing and financial performance.

Environmental rehabilitation is an opportunity to uplift our employees and communities with sustainable alternative land use.1

Our approach

We manage our environmental liabilities and rehabilitation in compliance with legislation and evolving responsible mining practices. Our licence to operate depends on a holistic and integrated approach to land management, mine closure and concurrent rehabilitation. Our approach therefore considers impacts on employees, communities, the environment, government and infrastructure. Further, our proactive management of environmental impacts minimises residual liabilities (ie water quality and quantity, and topsoil health) that could affect Exxaro's financial performance by completing concurrent rehabilitation timeously and to prevent water ingress into rehabilitated areas.

Independent technical and financial specialists, and our internal sustainability and finance departments, with expertise and experience in environmental management, calculate financial provisions in terms of GNR 1147 (financial provision for prospecting, exploration and mining operations).

We await promulgation of draft financial provision regulations for mine closure and rehabilitation (GN 765) issued on 27 August 2021. In the meantime, discussions continue between the environmental policy committee of the Minerals Council, on behalf of Exxaro and our mining peers, and the DMRE. The proposed regulations will repeal GNR 1147. All our BUs will be continuously assessed according to GNR 1147. In the meantime, we conduct annual external assessments as necessary (at Matla, Belfast, Grootegeluk, Hlobane and Durnacol in 2022).

Minerals Council's position on financial provisioning (www.mineralscouncil.org.za)

Annual environmental liabilities update

Liabilities are approved through internal governance processes and updated accordingly.

Accountability and responsibility

Our sustainability managers, supported by the rehabilitation team and on-site environmental specialists led by the executive head: sustainability, oversee the implementation of our policy and practices.

1 Mine rehabilitation is the restoration of the post-mined landscape to the intended post-mining land use.

Integrated stages of mining and mine closure planning

We strive to integrate land and rehabilitation liability management in daily mine planning to minimise final closure costs for each operation and optimise final land use after closure.

Information management

  • Use cutting-edge systems and tools to manage environmental liabilities and rehabilitation
  • Use cutting-edge systems and tools to manage environmental liabilities and rehabilitation


We are working towards transferring 90% of post-mining land to emerging farmers in local communities by 2026.

To effectively and efficiently manage Exxaroowned land to support current and future operations, assist with biodiversity offsets and create social impact, we categorise our land parcels as follows:

Long-term agricultural leases Our minerals succession programme supports farmers by enabling access to resources (funding, mechanisation, inputs and training) in a three-year contract with an external service provider.

Available land for emerging farmers and communities

  • Mpumalanga
    • Strathrae: 5 447ha (seven farmers on 4 495ha of land used for crop and cattle farming)
    • Sheepmore: 740ha (two farmers on 740ha of land used for cattle farming)
  • KwaZulu-Natal
    • Durnacol: 190ha (110ha leased to one female farmer for cultivation)
  • Limpopo
    • Lephalale: 296ha (112ha leased to three entities for intensive vegetable farming)
  • Land is used for diversified agriculture (dry land maize, soya bean cultivation and livestock farming)
  • Internal and external audits evaluate farm transfer success
  • Minerals succession programme supports farming project growth


  • Donate land where either a right is established (land claim or labour tenant) or social impact can be achieved through donation to local municipalities (such as cemeteries)
  • Donate property with land claims to government for redistribution
  • Support resettlement and local government in areas where our operations impact communities
  • Help uplift communities (such as Phumlani agri-village in Belfast) through livelihood restoration programmes

Biodiversity and conservation (such as Manketti Game Reserve)

  • Ensure operations co-exist in harmony with the surrounding natural environment
  • Maintain biodiversity management plans (including alien invasive control) and sensitive ecosystem enhancement to uphold our environmental licence to operate
  • Control invasive alien plant growth to improve water quality and surface water runoff, keep indigenous vegetation healthy, increase species diversity and ensure availability of productive land

Human resources

  • Equip employees with portable skills, eg vegetable farming to pursue alternative employment and participate in gainful economic activity
  • Develop and implement a communication plan for employees
  • Employee training to implement and manage mine closure plans


Infrastructure (such as power lines, water pipes, buildings and dams) that can be used to implement and support a sustainable final land use is retained and incorporated into the final closure environmental management plan. Such infrastructure is then normally donated to a relevant entity managing the implementation of such plans.


Any redundant but serviceable assets (such as vehicles and furniture) that can be utilised to support any social impact programmes are retained and transferred to a relevant entity managing the implementation of such plans.

Operations in active closure in 2022: Tshikondeni, Durnacol, Hlobane and Strathrae (2021: four)


We annually review mine closure and rehabilitation financial provisions and rehabilitation plans and closure objectives are amended after environmental management programme performance assessments. Cost estimates of activities in the concurrent and final closure rehabilitation programme are reviewed and adjusted. External auditors visit our sites, review documents and audit the provisions twice a year.

Exxaro's Environmental Rehabilitation Fund (EERF) and additional bank guarantees provide for new developments and cover shortfalls in financial provisions. The EERF's assets are managed in terms of asset and liability modelling aligned with risk, return and liability on each site. The objective is to maximise investment growth in the cost of liability provisions. An external specialist supports EERF trustees with technical skills required to profile and identify suitable structures for assessment by the trustees. Current implementation includes:

  • Two income building blocks benchmarked to cash rates and investing in government treasury bills, banks and corporate paper
  • Three growth building blocks targeting inflation-linked returns and investment in insurance and bank-guaranteed products
  • Equity-driven portfolios without explicit investment guarantees but portfolio managers controlling capital risk by managing volatility
  • Quarterly contributions to the EERF based on closure cost estimates at LoM without considering guarantees in place

Total unscheduled closure costs in 2022: R8 427 million (2021: R7 581 million)

Growth of Exxaro and Matla rehabilitation trust funds (combined): R19 million (2021: R217 million)

Mainly cash contributions, interest earned on investments and fair value adjustments.

Bank guarantees at year end: R3 606 million (2021: R3 606 million).

Update provisions twice a year highlights potential rehabilitation alternatives that could decrease the long-term closure liabilities of operations.

Health and hygiene

  • Programmes to address health and safety issues as well as employment opportunities for communities are in place.

Mining plan

Each BU has five-year conceptual concurrent rehabilitation plans, schedules and associated budgets to:

  • Set measurable targets
  • Avoid backlogs and related liabilities
  • Enable managers to implement strategies without cash flow constraints
  • Include concurrent rehabilitation in operational tracking

Safety and risk control

Health and safety at mines in closure is just as important as any operational mine. We apply the same health and safety standards and policies to all Exxaro's operations, including mines in closure. Security risks are a major challenge at any closed operation and infrastructure and assets need constant safeguarding during a closure process.

Interested and affected parties

  • Socio-economic activities that must continue after mine closure
  • Identify the needs and expectations of stakeholders and socioeconomic impacts
  • Assist host communities in acquiring skills for commercial activities and infrastructure use after mine closure
  • Ensure opportunities are available to improve quality of life
  • Align closure with community expectations to honour SLP commitments
  • Develop and implement plans for engagement with communities, government and NGOs, among others
  • Develop and implement plans for engagement with communities, government and NGOs, among others


The disturbed footprint includes buildings, roads and mining areas to be rehabilitated in terms of the environmental management programme and the final land use plan (when maintenance and monitoring are needed).

How we performed

Land disturbed versus land rehabilitated


Refer to the databook for more detail on land disturbed versus land rehabilitated.

Future focus

We will align our mine closure and rehabilitation approach with the Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy in 2023.

Our strategic objectives include:

  • Embedding concurrent rehabilitation and mine closure in the management of operations at BUs
  • Aligning with rehabilitation standards that ensure sustainable alternative post-mining land use (including vegetation that can be used for carbon sequestration)
  • Clear and measurable concurrent and ongoing rehabilitation targets
  • Building accountability into operational management KPIs
  • Reducing financial environmental liability

Case study: Novel approach to rehabilitation at Grootegeluk (sustainability, case studies tab)

To mitigate the impacts of expanding the Grootegeluk complex, Exxaro is recreating non-perennial pans within the landscape.

Phumlani agri-village in Belfast

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