integrated

Chief executive officer’s review / Intergrated Annual Report
 

Chief executive officer’s review

Dear Shareholders

My first year as chief executive has been challenging and eventful. The platinum industry is facing its toughest time yet with depressed PGM metal prices, low productivity, cost pressures and industrial relations challenges. The Implats team has, during the course of the year, come to grips with the considerable operational and industrial relations challenges faced specifically by the Impala Rustenburg operations and we now have a plan in place to deliver on safety, health and production performance, among others. We aim to do this with the necessary respect and care, deserving of our stakeholders.

Overview of 2013

Safety, health and the environment

I am pleased with the progress we have made in improving our safety performance and during the year, we significantly re-energised our safety efforts. Our strategy is built on changing the culture of the organisation (as included in the industry cultural transformation framework), improving our supervision and adopting and implementing various technical initiatives which aim to improve workplace safety.

The Group fatal injury frequency rate improved by 25.3% to 0.065 per million man-hours worked and there were no fall-of-ground fatal accidents throughout the Group, which is a considerable achievement. The lost-time injury frequency rate improved by 15.1% to 4.21 per million man-hours worked. However, nine work colleagues died while on duty and I extend, on behalf of the Group, my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. We remember Joseph Matatiele, Albert Mlamleli, Gaoagiwe Wesi, Sonwabile Sidinana, Tembekile Nomvethe, Joel Selebogo, Daniel Motenalapi, Gwebindlala Bhola and Gaopelo Moalusi.

There were some notable safety achievements at our operations during the year, as highlighted below:

Operation   Achievement  
Zimplats   10 million fatality-free shifts on 26 March 2013 
Impala refineries   9 million fatality-free shifts 9 November 2012
Impala 1 Shaft   6 million fatality-free shifts on 13 December 2012
Impala 12 Shaft   4 million fatality-free shifts on 9 May 2013
Mimosa   3 million fatality-free shifts on 22 April 2013  
Impala 16 Shaft   2 million fatality-free shifts on 1 March 2013  
Impala 10, 14,
20, 6, 12 Shafts  and marula
Each achieved 1 million fatality-free shifts during the year  
Mimosa   Improved its lost-time injury rate by 78% for the year  
Marula   Improved its lost-time injury rate by 53% for the year  

An increased focus on leading indicators and actions has been implemented and for the year the Group completed a total of 662 152 breathalyser tests (an annual increase of 192%), 39 820 road behaviour checks (an annual increase of 59%), and 71 545 STOP® visible felt leadership observations (an annual increase of 43%). Furthermore, there were 3 528 internal work stoppages (an annual increase of 51%).

The diagram below depicts the overall Group safety strategy, with some commentary on certain areas thereafter.

 

“Ensuring the sustainability of our business requires us to deliver on shortterm performance measures and to focus on overcoming the strategic challenges which are likely to impact our business over the long-term”

Terence Goodlace

Nets and bolts have been adopted and implemented on 90% of the Impala Merensky Reef horizon stopes and 45% of the UG2 Reef horizon stopes. All development ends have safety nets in use. It is planned to complete the full roll-out of this initiative at Impala in 2014. Nets and bolts are fully implemented at the Marula operation. The South African operations have now equipped 79% of the trackless vehicle fleet with “Proximity Detection Systems” and we plan to complete this programme in 2014. In addition, a decision was made to equip all underground employees with self-contained self-rescuers and all units have now been purchased for a full roll-out over the coming year. A decision was made late during 2013 to replace the entire centralised blasting system over a period of two years. The South African operations have chosen the Sasol SafeBlast® system used in conjunction with the SafeStart® detonators, which offers much-improved levels of safety and reliability over our current blasting operations. The system has been installed at Marula and at the Impala 20 and 6 Shaft complexes. The Group has also made a decision to replace all of its conveyor belts with fire retardant conveyor belts. A fully revised methane management plan and associated initiatives was developed to cater for increased flammable gas intersections being encountered on some of the deeper shafts at Impala (11,11c, 14, 16 and 20 Shafts).

Employee health has also received renewed focus and attention during 2013, with 90 000 employees and contractors undergoing occupational screening examinations during the year across the Group. For non-occupational healthcare, medical aid membership of the Impala Medical Plan increased by 7% and there are now 20 386 people on the scheme. The antiretroviral uptake increased by 13.5% in 2013 and there are now 4039 people on the programme. Initiatives to mitigate against noise induced hearing loss include the silencing of machines, the provision of custom fitted hearing protection devices, audiometric screening of all employees and the reporting and counselling of all early 2.5% to 5% and 5% to 9.9% noise-induced hearing loss cases. Compliance to the wearing of the customised, fitted hearing protection is still not at the required 100% level and programmes are in place to drive this initiative forward and improve in this area. Alignment with the Department of Health and National Health Insurance continued and the Job Thabane Hospital Neonatal Unit and the Freedom Park Clinic were renovated and handed over to the Department during the year under review.

Protection of our natural resources and respect for the environment in which we operate remains paramount to our sustainable development strategy and all Implats’ operations are ISO 14001 certified, with Marula having obtained certification in September 2012. The Group has continued with various initiatives to manage air quality emissions, increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption through increased water recycling. The back-filling of open pits is ongoing at specifically Impala and Zimplats, as is the full rehabilitation of previously back-filled sites through grassing and chemical amelioration.

Implats compiles an annual Group carbon footprint for all operational areas and participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and a new five level environmental incident classification system was approved for managing environmental performance.


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