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Sustainability

The last year has continued to present both the corporate world and governments with constant challenges. Indeed, the most popular new word in 2022 was 'permacrisis', according to the Collins Dictionary.

This suggests that being in a state of crisis is now a permanent condition, at least for some decades, as we strive to mitigate the effects of climate change to reach net zero by 2050. Too often, in dealing with urgent short-term problems, companies postpone addressing longer-term but critically important issues. Despite commodity price volatility, Tharisa believes that we need to continue to focus on reducing our carbon footprint over the longer term while aligning our business to thrive in a decarbonised world for our stakeholders’ benefit.

We have previously announced our intention to reduce our carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and I am happy to report that plans to deliver this are well underway. More importantly, we have a role to play in producing the metals that are vital for the energy transition away from fossil fuels, which is essential to achieving a sustainable future for the planet.

The most advanced of our projects to reduce our carbon footprint by 30% by 2030 is a solar power generation project, on which we are working in conjunction with Chariot Transitional Power and Total Energies. The necessary consents have been received and construction is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2024. This will create jobs for about 200 people, mainly from local communities. The project will generate up to 40 MW of photovoltaic (PV) electricity to supply the Tharisa Mine. This will reduce our dependence on Eskom, which mainly produces electricity at coal-fired power stations, from 100% to 69%.

Chariot Transitional Power is also a partner of our subsidiary Karo Platinum in Zimbabwe, where a similar approach to renewable power generation is being deployed.

From mine to megawatt

As a precious metal miner, innovation has always been a core driver at Tharisa to optimise PGM metal recovery. This culture of continuous innovation has enabled us to research a new concept in battery storage for the electricity that cannot be used immediately from our solar farm development at the Tharisa Mine. Over the past four years, we have developed a redox flow battery solution within a recently formed subsidiary, Redox One.

Redox One has pioneered a low-cost electrolyte using chrome – a product of the Tharisa Mine – that is safe, stable, and environmentally friendly. This will be deployed initially at the Tharisa Mine but may potentially be marketed to other users.

Embedding sustainability across our business

Over the year, we have made considerable strides in implementing systems and procedures across our operations to have greater control over the ESG factors that affect our daily business. For a second year, our data has been assured by IBIS as we align our disclosure to best practice. We continue to be acutely aware of our role beyond the mine gate within local communities. Many of our skilled workforce come from these communities and we aim to strike a fair balance between the economic benefits brought by our activities and the impact of our operations on the broader community. A community engagement process is underway with the community members most affected by our mining operations.

Our expenditure through procurement in the area of influence around the Tharisa Mine over the year was ZAR18.9 million, which positively impacts on the community. We have taken a similar approach with respect to the development of the Karo Mine in Zimbabwe, where as much as possible is being procured locally. Furthermore, by the year end we were employing over 1 100 people on site at the Karo Platinum Project, of which 21% were female.

In conclusion, the mining industry has a great deal to contribute to a more sustainable world not only as a supplier of the required metals but also as a source of employment and broader economic benefits for the communities in which it operates. I am delighted to report that our initial promises to address climate change are now turning into concrete plans and attractive investment opportunities. Moreover, how we gather information to measure our progress on this path has been embedded in our operations, enabling better decision making. What has been achieved over the past year shows real evidence of the commitment Tharisa has to a just transition away from fossil fuels, which through continuous innovation, has the potential to contribute beyond the decarbonisation of its own activities.

Dr Carol Bell

Chairman of the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee and Lead Independent Non-Executive Director

Sustainability highlights

Climate change

  • Investment in solar power and Redox One battery technology will improve the sustainability of our operations
  • Proposed 30 MW PV solar plant to supply energy to the mine thereby ensuring a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030
  • The future energy plan for Tharisa is proposed as:
    • FY2023 – 100% Eskom power
    • FY2024 Q4 – 63% Eskom and 37% solar
    • FY2025 Q4 – 9% Eskom, 37% solar and 53% wheeled

Water management

  • As part of the water conservation strategy for the operations, a reverse osmosis (RO) water plant has been constructed in FY2022 supplying the mining changing facilities instead of using municipal lines
  • The project for installation of flow meters to ensure we can account for and report on water used and reused volumes accurately, started in FY2022 and is in progress

Extraction and land management

  • Alien invasive plant (AIP) management through chemical and mechanical means by an independent service provider who employs locally to identify and remove AIPs. This AIP management promotes natural vegetation establishment as well as stimulating local employment

Stakeholder

  • Tharisa Community Trust is a shareholder in Tharisa plc with dividends to the Trust derived from all group activities
  • US$2.3 million spent on skills development training

Governance and taxes

  • Board controlled by majority independent non-executive directors
  • Board compliant with Cyprus, South African and UK governance guidelines
  • Currency inflows into South Africa (direct and indirect) US$451.6 million
  • Global direct taxes, indirect taxes and royalties paid of US$64.2 million

KEY DATA

Safety

Fatalities

1
(2022: 0)

LTIFR (Tharisa Minerals)

0.13
(2022: 0.41)

Environment

Total energy consumption GJ

2 241 328
(2022: 2 238 622)

Total CO2 emission (Scope 1) tCO2e

123 555
(2022: 135 077)

Diesel used (M litres)

42
(2022: 42)

Tailings Volume (Mm3)

1.15
(2022: 1.37)

Health

Number of employees and contractors who underwent hearing tests (via medical surveillance programme)

7 934
(2022: 8 281)

Number of employees screened for TB/silicosis (via medical surveillance programme)

3 094
(2022: 3 014)

Occupational diseases (number of new silicosis/TB and NIHL)

0
(2022: 0)

Number of employees and contractors voluntarily tested for HIV/AIDS

3 876
(2022: 3 432)

Social

Employees who received learnerships, bursaries, internships and skills and enterprise development training

75
(2022: 127)

Total amount spent on SLP

ZAR18.5m
(2022: ZAR13.1m)

Total amount spent on procurement from HDP, women and B-BBEE compliant companies

ZAR2.27bn
 

Total spent on local/host community suppliers

ZAR18.9m