ESG Highlights

Total Tharisa operations achievements demonstrate our commitment to the Minerals Council’s Khumbul’ekaya “remember home” safety initiative, which aims to ensure that the mining industry becomes fatality free, and to fight the pandemic.

5 years

Fatality free

5 million

Fatality free shifts

Commitment to Minerals Council’s

“remember home” safety initiative

Established a

COVID-19 Command Centre

Appointed a


Built an

Occupational Health Centre
and quarantine facilities

Provided food parcels to

over 3 000
at the height of the infection

2020 in review — A letter from the Chairman of the SHE committee — David Salter

I may be justified in describing 2020 clichédly as a watershed year but in no way was I prepared to deal with the circumstances that have enveloped our Company for the past year, with no end in sight. But it is also a great pleasure to write this synopsis of our ESG and SHE achievements as I cannot describe in enough words how proud, I, as the Chairman of the SHE Committee, and my fellow directors are of the results Tharisa has delivered in these times. Our commitment to ever increasing our focus on safety, the development of our people and instilling pride in every single employee and ensuring they are #proudlytharisa was evident in the manner in which we all analysed, planned, tackled and thus far, have beaten the odds of the pandemic.

Safety is a core value and we base all our decisions on this. Tharisa has celebrated five fatality-free years and a number of other significant milestones, including four million fatality-free shifts, that are outlined in this report. Our operations are modern, open pit and mechanised. By design they are as safe as possible but we are not complacent. In this regard it was pleasing to see that our in-house audit against the principles of the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management showed compliance.

We were ultra-cautious in our return to work policy when we got the green light from government to return to production, albeit at reduced levels in early April, following the lockdown in South Africa on 27 March 2020. This return meant operating on a completely new shift system to minimise the number of people on site and the crowds at shift change. Our people took these changes in their stride as did those who were able to work from home connected on our secure networks.

We prepared well, put in place all safety measures and communicated to and with our employees. To date, we have conducted over 10 000 rigorous screenings, conducted over 170 COVID-19 tests, and are fortunate that we have had only 56 positive cases, yet we are saddened by the loss of one of our colleagues. The reality of COVID-19 is evident in his passing, yet we have also bravely shown that we are able to overcome this global pandemic if we work collectively, whilst at the same time maintaining our important work on HIV/AIDS and TB in the workplace.

The commitment and drive shown by management to establish, equip and staff a 125-bed quarantine facility, a 24/7 COVID-19 and Occupational Health Clinic, and a 24/7 COVID-19 Command Centre is simply magnificent.

Our renewed focus is now on ensuring we remain a safe mine as we turn our energy to expanding our operations and developing our new projects. At the same time, we are all too aware of the environmental impact we, as an extractive industry, have, both on our immediate vicinity and as far away as our customers.

Our journey towards a more sustainable future begins with our social licence to operate and Tharisa has demonstrated its commitment to its stakeholders and I believe has demonstrated that it truly has this licence. Our initiatives on people development reach beyond the mine gate and we are proud of having facilitated adult basic education for over 275 people over the last two years. We have had over 58 engineering learnerships and over 40 interns and graduates at Tharisa. We have supported the immediate community through the provision of basic services and are proud of our ability to recruit locally with over 700 members of our workforce being from our community. The more vulnerable members of the community received food parcels during the most severe phase of the pandemic and blankets and clothing were distributed during a particularly cold spell. Sanitisers, face masks, thermometers and educational posters and information packs were supplied to three local schools and social distancing barriers and handrails were installed. The recent community sports day showed that our community is as vibrant as ever despite these trying times.

The past year has also been one when sharp focus has turned to making concrete steps towards mitigation of climate change. Our attention is firmly on this and our next focus will be on the active role we can play in reducing our carbon footprint. Together with our major suppliers, we have initiated programmes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our large vehicle fleet. We are also assessing renewable energy opportunities in power generation at our operations.

Furthermore, we are directing our research and development budget towards the decarbonisation of energy and the place our produced commodities have in delivering this in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement goals.

Alongside this, our programmes to reduce our water and energy consumption continue.

I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their commitment to making Tharisa the resource company that we can all be proud of and wish them a safe journey into 2021 with us.

David Salter