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Issue 35 of 38 Next Issue | Previous Issue | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
December Edition
In this issue, Lonmin Announces Two Major Initiatives; Responsible Mining – The Key, outlines the winners of the Green Mining Awards; Projects for a Better Life is an article on TEBA; and Intsika Skills Beneficiation Project is an MQA article; We also have an article on Anglo Coal’s Isibonela Colliery wins Environmental Award; Voerspoed Mine Reopens After 94 Years; Life-changing Literacy Programme at Tshikondeni and Five Women Springboard their Careers at Nkomati
 
Lonmin Announces Two Major Initiatives

During a recent corporal social investment tour attended by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lonmin chief executive officer, Brad Mills, announced two major new initiatives – one in education and the other in housing.

The company is to invest R65-million over five years to improve education in the areas around Lonmin’s mines in Marikana and Limpopo, in partnership with the Department of  Education.  This investment will be utilized in a number of areas, including improving school infrastructure and supporting educators and learners.

“Lonmin is committed to making a measurable and long-lasting difference in education in the Greater Lonmin Community, recognizing that education is a key to achieving economic and social prosperity,” says Mills.

In terms of the housing initiative, Lonmin announced that it was in talks with Rand Merchant Bank to secure a R700-million loan that will provide an additional 6000 employee homes, effectively eliminating all hostel accommodation for Lonmin employees over the next five years.

Currently 38% of the company’s workforce is accommodated in hostels.

Lonmin approached the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation 18 months ago to assist in bridging the gap between the company and the communities in which it operated.

Lentswe

In another effort to improve the historically poor relationship between the company and its employees, a body of people drawn from the communities around the Lonmin operations – the Greater Lonmin Community – and the representatives of Lonmin management and unions have initiated the Lentswe process.

This process involves other key stakeholders from the tribal authority, local and provincial government, and the aims to shape the future of the Lonmin community. This group today numbers around 150 and meets on a regular basis.

“The Lentswe group has helped Lonmin redefine its efforts and focus on key areas of concern to the community,” says Mills. “The areas selected were education and skills development, health and environment, safety and security, employment, small, medium, and micro enterprise development and sports, arts and culture.

“Groups were created to look at breakthrough projects in these areas and successes to date include the approval of the installation of 14 Apollo lights in the communities and the screening of 484 children with eye problems of which 149 were treated for viral conjunctivitis and 41 received new pairs of glasses.

“We also have facilitated the creation of five eco-schools establishing food gardens to feed the learners and introduce a holistic approach to the environment, including waste recycling and resource management.

“In terms of employee wellness, we now have more than 500 patients on antiretroviral therapy.

“In the workplace we’ve made great strides in improving our relationship with our unions and this has shown in the improvements in Lonmin’s safety performance with our lost time injury frequency rate now some 36% lower than a year ago. We have reduced the number of fatalities by 75%,” says Mills. 

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Responsible Mining – The Key

The winners of the Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards, which seek to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that responsible mining makes to the economic development of southern Africa, were announced recently at a ceremony at Nedbank’s head office in Sandton. 

The winners are:

  • Anglo Coal for its Isibonelo Wetlands project in the environmental category

  • Palabora Mining Company for the Palabora Foundation in the Socio-Economic Category

  • Anglo Platinum for the company’s sustainability programme in the Sustainability Category

Mark Tyler, head of mining and resources at Nedbank Capital says: "Nominations received for this year’s award were encouraging, bearing in mind this is the first official year where nominations were called for. No award was granted in the Limited Resource Category, as nominations did not satisfy all the award criteria. This demonstrated that stringent judging played a major role in determining the winners.

“Sustainability is a philosophy, something that all mining companies should be striving for. Yet it is a complex and multi-faceted issue to measure, and therefore genuine success is difficult to determine.  The bar for demonstrating sustainability is constantly being raised, whilst at the same time the ground upon which the principles of the philosophy stand, is constantly moving. It is against this background that the winners were chosen.”

The Environmental Award presented to Anglo Coal’s Isibonela Wetlands Project is innovative and extends beyond compliance. Anglo Coal and its partners pioneered ‘off-site’ wetland rehabilitation in South Africa as mitigation action for on-site wetland loss. Anglo Coal recognizes that owing to its Isibonela opencast operations, a portion of the Steenkoolspruit wetlands would be destroyed.  As a mitigation measure for this loss, the company committed to rehabilitate a wetland area elsewhere in the Upper Oliphants River Catchment. It created a precedent, which other mining companies are following.

Palabora Mining Company’s Palabora Foundation, winner of the Socio-Economic Award, was recognized for its significant contribution in terms of social and economic upliftment of  the communities surrounding the mine. Noteworthy characteristics of the Foundation’s work include the benefits of the programme, especially in the fields of mathematic, sciences and environmental education, educator development, schools governance programmes, skills development training, small, micro and medium enterprise programmes and healthcare.

While the concept of mines forming trusts to benefit communities that surround them is not unique, Palabora’s win demonstrates a clear intent to ‘push the boundaries’ to ensure the benefits are sustained way beyond the life of the mine.

Anglo Platinum, winner in the Sustainability Category, has made a substantial effort in converging economics, the environment and society for the benefit of present and future generations with its Sustainable Development Programme.  The programme is strategic, has executive buy-in and is mainstreaming sustainability at Anglo Platinums operations.  The programme comprises a range of projects including the Anglo Platinum Converting Project, which is acknowledged for its innovative approach to reducing sulphur emissions

To well below the legal limit and in doing so setting a new standard for the platinum industry, and working with the community in resolving key issues.

In particular, Rustenburg Platinum Union Section’s Community Environmental Outreach Programme has fostered an appreciation for the environment among learners and encourages them to make a positive contribution to the environment. The project has demonstrated a fruitful partnership between the environmental and corporate social responsibility departments of the mine, whereby a shared vision has reached tangible rewards.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Projects for a Better Life

To date TEBA Development has implemented more than R80 million worth of development projects in Southern Africa which have significantly contributed to improving rural communities through a range of sustainable development initiatives.

HIV/AIDS home-based care programme

HIV/AIDS home-based care is managed through a levy on employers, thereby ensuring medical assistance to employees. TEBA Development utilizes its extensive database to trace a person who needs home-based care.

Agricultural programme

There are two main focuses: commercial farming and homestead food gardens. The first supports emerging farmers for the purpose of income, while the second addresses food security for households. Projects of this nature have been implemented in Lesotho and the Eastern Cape.

Skills Development and training programme

The re-skilling of mine workers is of utmost importance.  Too many have too little education and if they are retrenched from the mines they are economically inactive. TEBA Development’s projects, therefore, work to ensure mineworkers are re-skilled through sustainable livelihood programmes, which are extended to the mineworkers’ immediate family.

Schools assistance programme

To assist the education of children in rural areas, TEBA Development improves the infrastructural systems that provide the base for education. This unique approach considers the human factor, that is the broad needs of the child. It provides safe classrooms by replacing mud and stick classrooms.  It also builds additional classrooms.  It replaces and repairs school furniture.  It ensures clean water and sanitation for school children as well as school gardens.

Water and sanitation provision programme

Interventions are for the benefit of the broader community. Activities include restoring boreholes, providing health centre with water and community households with taps. Most activity has been in Mozambique and Lesotho.

Social and labour plan support

TEBA Development assists the mining houses, its clients, to develop their social and labour plans to submit to the Department of Minerals and Energy. It also assists the mining houses to implement the plans.

Apart from these five project areas, TEBA Development also administers a number of smaller projects on behalf of other companies. For example, it administers an education fund on behalf of the mining houses to ensure the mines can support or sustain the education of children of mineworkers who have died while working. Another project is the Spinal Cord Injury fund, which ensures a spinal cord injured mineworker has sanitation and water and that the home is made accessible to a wheelchair.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Intsika Skills Beneficiation Project 

Intsika Skills Beneficiation Project recently received its Mining Qualification Authority (MQA) accreditation. The project is financially supported by Barrick Gold and together they celebrated Intsika’s success on 6 October at a lunch that was held in the gardens of Rand Refinery’s offices in Germiston. 

Intsika Skills Beneficiation Project is a Selection 21 ‘not-for-profit’ organization. It currently provides jewellery designing and manufacturing skills to 20 historically disadvantaged beneficiaries in Germiston. The project was established to contribute to the improvement of socio-economic conditions in South Africa, with those involved recognizing the high rate of unemployment and the need for mineral beneficiation projects. 

Stanley Mkize, managing director of Intsika Skills, gave a speech at the event during which he said: "We are very proud and fortunate to be associated with Barrick Gold.  If it was not for its continuous support and mentoring, we would not be celebrating the achievement of being accredited and nationally recognized.  The support from Barrick Gold’s head office is amazing and we would especially like to thank Jean Chawapiwa-Pama, director of corporate affairs and her team. 

The students who attended the lunch were enthusiastic about their future in the jewellery industry.  They were proud to be associated with the design and manufacture of African jewellery and look forward to obtaining good jobs with jewellery companies or even setting up their own companies. 

The MQA accreditation is not Intsika’s first achievement.  The project is a member of the Jewellery Council of South Africa and obtained their ISO 9001:2000 accreditation in January 2006.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Anglo Coal’s Isibonela Colliery wins Environmental Award 

Isibonela Colliery, the newest of  Anglo Coal South Africa’s nine operating collieries, has been recognized for its pioneering wetlands project which earned high praise in the prestigious Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards. 

The competition acknowledges companies in the mining sector that strive to promote sustainable development and give something back to society.

The Mpumalanga-based operation, which took top honours in the environmental category, was officially opened in April this year.  Even before mining began,  Anglo Coal had decided how it would make up for the unavoidable damage that would be caused to wetland areas on the exploration site, and its efforts have been described by Nedbank Capital as being innovative and “extending beyond compliance”. 

Hand-in-hand with government, the Mondi Wetlands Project, Working for Wetlands and special environmental consultants, a multifaceted action plan was set in motion as part of the company’s wide-ranging sustainable development programme. In addition to modifying its mining plan to ensure that exploration would impact the floodplain as little as possible, Isibonelo committed to rehabilitating the habitat that would be damaged on site. 

Realising that certain areas would never be restored to their former condition the mine went a step further by endeavouring to rehabilitate degraded wetlands that are completely separate to the mining area.  Two wetlands in the Upper Olifants River Catchment in Mpumalanga were selected for off-site rehabilitation which is being conducted in partnership with Working for Wetlands and has provided employment for 15 local community members who carry out the rehabilitation work. 

Prior to the commencement of mining, bulbous plant species were transplanted to beds located on mine property to be used to replenish the on- and off-site wetland areas. Plants were also collected by the South African National Biodiversity Institute for the establishment of a wetland habitat at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens. 

“We are particularly proud of Isibonelo’s achievement  and are delighted that it is living up to its name (Isibonelo means ‘an example’ in isiZulu),” said Anglo Coal South Africa CEO Ben Magara who expressed his hope that other companies across the Anglo American Group, South Africa and around the world would follow suit with similar off-site mitigation initiatives.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Voerspoed Mine Reopens After 94 Years

De Beers unveiled its plans to reopen Voerspoed mine near Kroonstad in the Free State on 23 October.

Construction of the mine follows the issuing of the company’s first New Order Mining rights. The mine and the recovery plant will cost about R1 200-million to build and create jobs for around 700 people during the development phase and up to 400 jobs as the mine reaches full production in the second quarter of 2009.

Attending the sod turning ceremony were the managing director of De Beers South Africa, David Noko, the minister of minerals and energy, Buyelwa Sonjica, Free State premier, Beatrice Marshoff, Manne Dipico, deputy chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines and head of Ponahalo Holdings, and Nicky Oppenheimer, the chairman of De Beers.

Ponahalo Holdings is a black economic empowerment company comprising people from the community, women, disabled people, and employee and pension empowerment groups.

“This is the first new mine for De Beers Consolidated Mines as a black empowered standalone South African company within the global De Beers family of companies,” said Manne Dipico at the sod turning ceremony. “We are always conscious of the good diamonds can do for communities where we have mines. In the case of the new Voerspoed mine we have a local economic development plan that includes in its scope a community trust, the De Beers Matlafalang Business Development programme, the De Beers Fund community social investment programmes and the Voerspoed Mine Business Plan, which seeks to foster local procurement of goods and services whenever viable.”

He went on to say that the mine, “epitomizes the approach we as a company have adopted, an approach of partnership with governments, with communities and one that ensures that diamonds work for good.”

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Anglo Gold Ashanti takes ABET to the Community

“Anglo Gold Ashanti has reinstated a sense of pride and self-worth within us. They have given us education – an achievement nobody can take away from us.”

So said learner Patrick Plaaikie, during the Wedela Community Adult Basic Education Training (ABET) certification ceremony held in October.

Patrick, who received his ABET3 certificate, is one of 99 learners from Wedela who received certificates of achievement for completing various ABET levels successfully.

What made this certification ceremony all the more noteworthy, was that it resulted from an initiative started in early 2006, when AngloGold Ashanti’s Training and Development Services ventured into the Weleda community.

This effect tively brought ABET to the doorstep of the disadvantaged and providing free education to the community members who have never had an opportunity to complete their schooling.

Evodia Mathe, who was awarded a certificate for being one of the best learners, remarked that while the journey of completing her studies had not always been easy, the outcome was tremendously rewarding and an opportunity that everyone who wants to better their education should grab with both hands.

Jan Norval, manager for human resources development within AngloGold Ashanti, said he was pleased to see that such a large number of women had enrolled and successfully completed their ABET courses.

“One of AngloGold Ashanti’s values is to invest in our host communities – Wedela is part of our responsibility and we want to help you to gain knowledge.

“All you need to do is to come to class and to do your bit.

“Today, we honour this group of men and women who have made an investment in their own future. We salute you,” Jan said.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Life-changing Literacy Programme at Tshikondeni 

When Kumba Resources’ Tshikondeni Mine introduced adult literacy training two years ago, 54-year-old Maria Mudau had no idea of the impact it would have on her life. 

Being employed as a cleaner in the mine’s guesthouses since 1989, Maria had never attended school or received any formal education. 

The mine is situated in the Vhembe district in the very far north-eastern province (formerly Venda) on the border of the Kruger National Park. People coming from this area are traditionally poorly educated with very little, if any, literacy skills. 

As a result of changes in legislation, as well as pressure from the Mining Charter regarding the delivery of ABET as part of the governmental drive to uplift the skills and knowledge level of all South African citizens, including historically disadvantaged South Africans, Tshikondeni Mine implemented the ABET delivery to the workforce as part of its training portfolio.  The training is made available to all employees of Kumba Resources, as well as to contractors working on the mine. 

In February this year Maria joined the ABET programme and in the space of six short months, her life changed enormously. 

Facilitator Retha Alers says, “Although Maria is only on ABET Level 1, she can actually read the inventory lists on the fridges in the guesthouses.  Before, she had to ask the other cleaning ladies to help her as she had no idea what was written on the lists. 

Another change for Maria is that she can now read and speak English. Maria is fluent in Afrikaans but we frequently get guests who speak only English and now this outgoing and friendly person can greet these guests and have a basic conversation with them in English. 

“Using an ATM machine is now also a reality for Maria and this in particular has meant a lot to her, giving her more control over her own finances.” 

Tshikondeni Mine utilizes the Media Works training material, which involves computer-assisted learning material supported by a workbook and a facilitator. Media Works trained the mine’s ABET facilitators and regularly evaluates learner progress.  There are currently 106 learners on the ABET programme at the Tshikondeni Training Centre, which is  an MQA accredited training provider.

Source:  Mining News December 2006


Five Women Springboard their Careers at Nkomati 

Nkomati Mine’s  recently launched ABET programme has proved so successful that five women who were previously office cleaners, have used the programme as a springboard to advance their careers further than they ever dreamed. 

Juliet Sindawa is now plant receptionist for Nkomati, Regina Tshabangu is a grade officer in geology, Sibongile Mashaba and Mary Jane Sindawa are weighbridge officers, while Paulina Malaza has become an ABET administrator and facilitates the basic oral ABET learners. 

The Nkomati ABET programme rolled out in December 2005 using the Media Works computer based programme that allows employees to pursue their studies at times most convenient for them. 

Nkomati’s ABET programme aims to assist the mine’s employees to become literate, mainly in English and to make them aware that in order to pursue life long learning, people need to be literate in the English language. 

All ABET learners are taken through the National Qualifications Framework and the fundamental unit standards. The concepts of fundamental, care and electives are explained to the Nkomati learners as facilitators have found that the learners are more positive about ABET and life-long learning once they have grasped these concepts. 

Being a relatively small operation, Nkomati took the decision to include mine contractors and the cleaners in the ABET programme. 
 
 

 

Last Quarter Carlos Sombane was recognized as the ABET Student for the Quarter, based on his commitment to the ABET programme. 

Nkomati, owned by ARM and LionOre, is South Africa’s only primary nickel producer and produces copper, cobalt and platinum group metals as by-products. 

Media Works 

Many people employed on mines have not had access to a great deal of formal education and so a high level of illiteracy or semi-literacy is found among mine workers. 

Before they can embark on any formal training, these employees need to learn the basics of how to read and write.  To meet this need, several mines have implemented the computer-assisted ABET programme developed by adult education expert, Media Works. 

Learners do a portion of their ABET learning at a computer and a portion in workbooks.  Using the computer as the primary tutor takes away the need for one-on-one tuition with an instructor or teacher. 

The Media Works approach also allows employees to gain valuable computer skills at the same time they are learning to read and write.  Even totally illiterate learners learn to operate a computer from the very first lesson. 

One of the big advantages of the Media Works multimedia ABET programme is that it is computer assisted, so shift workers can work through the programme at times that suit them. 

Media Works is the only ABET provider to offer its programme in all of South Africa’s official languages. 

Source:  Mining News December 2006

 

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