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.
Fatality free shifts
and provident fund
COVID-19 clinic, isolation, and
Community is a
Provide infrastructure services
Direct employment of
and learnership programmes
in AET programme
Direct taxes paid of
Indirect taxes paid of
US$55 million spent on Vulcan Plant
and ~1 000 contractors for construction and new direct employment of over 100 people
Establishment of Climate Change and
This is the first time I write to you as chair of our newly formed Climate Change and Sustainability Committee. Given the importance of addressing climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for Tharisa, we concluded that this Committee should include all members of the Board of Directors, such that the Board is fully informed to make strategic investment decisions in the context of our plans to deliver a sustainable future.
The Committee’s activities complement those of our SHE Committee and Risk Committee and ensure that we have a clear picture of our current carbon footprint and the pathway to net zero. I look forward to reporting back to you in a year’s time on the initial achievements of the programme we have in mind.
Just as our business is continuously evolving, so do the risks and challenges a modern resource company such as ours must address. Having become the standard for risk analysis in our industry, the annual EY Mining Risk report this year highlights Environment and Social and Decarbonisation as risks numbers 1 and 2 respectively. Our licence to operate (risk number 3 this year and number 1 in 2020) is something that we have always focused on as a right that must be earned through being better custodians of the environment, having better relationships with our communities and stakeholders, and making our world a better place to live. Mitigating the potentially adverse impacts of mining on the environment and human health and wellbeing have always been a priority for Tharisa. We must now also concentrate on ensuring that our values on sustainability and mitigating climate change are reflected through our value chain.
The first step for Tharisa this year was to calculate our baseline from which future improvements would be calculated. We have set achievable and realistic goals in our endeavours to contribute to meeting global carbon reduction targets. We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 (from a 2020 financial year baseline that uses 2019 data). We are also developing a roadmap to be net carbon neutral by 2050 (decarbonisation targets). As already stated, investment decisions taken by Tharisa’s Board will be informed by these decarbonisation targets, alongside the current financial investment criteria.
Our care for our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic is something about which the Board is proud. Not a single employee lost their job as a direct result of COVID-19, and we have upgraded our medical facilities substantially to become an accredited vaccination site available to not only our employees but also to the community neighbouring the Tharisa Mine. It is also worth noting that our community is a 6% shareholder in the Tharisa Mine and has benefited financially, alongside other stakeholders, from the strong return generated by the Company over the past year.
The safety and health of our people is a core value, and it is a privilege to report to you that in the year under review we achieved five million fatality-free shifts with the Company being six years fatality free. While our lost time injury frequency rate at the end of September was 0.34, up from previous quarters, we are only all too acutely aware of the psychological impact that COVID-19 has had on the focus of our employees, and their general wellbeing. With a devastating 4th wave hitting South Africa where we operate from, I can only compliment our team wholeheartedly on how they, despite these circumstances, managed to not only produce output safely but managed to improve on all matrixes on a year-by-year basis. I salute the Tharisa Team.
Bearing in mind the evolving requirements of stakeholders, we have improved our disclosure on various levels and enhanced disclosure of our activities beyond mining.
Our ambition is to provide stakeholders with a more holistic perspective of our business, our values, and how we are approaching the globally significant challenge of addressing climate risk. This will be with us for decades and we appreciate that there will be many additional challenges on the road ahead. With the right application and focus throughout the organisation, we look forward to reporting our progress to you in a measurable and proportionate way as Tharisa delivers its contribution to decarbonisation and greater sustainability while continuing to deliver economic returns.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. I would like to pay tribute to the Tharisa management team, which has worked tirelessly and risen to the challenge again over the past year to ensure the wellbeing of colleagues and safe operations at the mine. They are ready, as is this Committee and the Board, for what lies ahead.
Dr Carol Bell