Environment

Environment [icon]

As the SDO operates within the environmental footprint of our host mine, we adhere to the culture and standards of their policies and practices at all times.

Helmet [icon]

In the past financial year, there have been no reportable environmental incidents, which is testament to the work ethos of the teams at the operations. The Company generates minimal hazardous waste due to the nature of the processing of the tailings, and waste removal is conducted by a contractor with the necessary permits to remove and transport hazardous waste to a designated landfill site.

Water drop [icon]

All Sylvania plants form part of the integrated water reticulation circuits of their respective host mines. The figures listed below do not take any water consumption figures of the host mine into account. Water enters the Sylvania circuit through the current arisings it receives from the host mine, and it leaves the circuit through either its products (Cr2O3 concentrate or PGM concentrate) where it is lost to the process (consumed) – alternatively through the tailings stream. The tailings are deposited onto a tailings dam where most water is recovered into the return water dam and recirculated to the host mine process. Losses on the tailings dams take the form of evaporation into the atmosphere. Make-up water is derived from the dewatering of the host mine underground mining areas.

Risk Profile and Management of Sylvania Tailings Storage Facilities in South Africa [PDF - 507KB]

All Sylvania plants total volume of water in cubit metres (m3)

  FY2019 FY2018 FY2017
Water consumed in products 62,000 72,060 76,100
Water deposited onto tailings dams 12,067,000 11,807,000 9,749,900

The reduction in water consumed is attributable to an increase in slurry density of the final PGM concentrate. The increase in water deposited indicates a slight increase year-on-year due to the increased production tonnage.

Sylvania metals energy consumption

During the year, our electrical teams continued to endeavour to streamline the power supply process in the interests of the operations andthe environment.

Average power consumption per plant

  FY2019 FY2018 FY2017
Plant Average
kVA
Average
kW
Average
factor
Average
kVA
Average
kW
Average
factor
Average
kVA
Average
kW
Average
factor
Millsell 1,750 1,680 0.96 1,870 1,850 0.99 1,760 1,290 0.73
Mooinooi 3,430 3,210 0.94 2,750 2,710 0.98 2,700 2,550 0.94
Lannex 1,810 1,390 0.77 1,640 1,250 0.76 1,230 1,050 0.85
Doornbosch 2,710 2,050 0.76 2,690 2,100 0.78 1,140 1,050 0.92
Tweefontein 1,720 1,490 0.87 1,820 1,480 0.81 1,710 1,480 0.87
Lesedi 1,320 950 0.72 1,160 840 0.72

The plants have been running fairly consistently except for the addition of the Project Echo MF2 module at Mooinooi

The Mooinooi power factor has reduced slightly, awaiting the installation of additional capacitors in September 2019. This is due to the increased load and installed capacitors running at maximum.

The new dedicated power supply at Millsell has resulted in a more reliable source with less outages. However, the return water system is still being supplied by the Council and outages are frequent – the supply will be re-routed to the same source as the plant in September 2019.

An increase in consumption at Lesedi is due to the additional spiral plant. The new mill, to be commissioned in August 2019, will result in an even higher load. However, power factor correction equipment will be installed in September 2019, which will vastly reduce the overall energy consumption as well as the cost of power as this plant is billed directly according to the national power utility rates and maximum demand is included.

Lightbult [icon]

12.6%

Tweefontein and Lannex have been co-generating electricity. Lannex is generating 12.6% of total power consumed. At Tweefontein, it is 9.6%. The Lannex co-generation will not be required after August 2019 when the new national power utility supply will be commissioned (three months later than planned). The new national power utility supply to Tweefontein, planned for January 2020, will eliminate the requirement to co-generate power.

Power factor correction equipment is planned for Lannex to further reduce the overall energy consumption of the mine. Doornbosch plant consumption has been consistent but the mine is also experiencing power constraints from Eskom supply. The need may arise to co-generate power during peak periods. One generator has been refurbished and sent to the plant while a second is being planned. Power factor correction equipment is being investigated to reduce overall energy consumption.

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