'Working together to promote premier, multi-disciplinary research and development in the area of minerals beneficiation'

Licence to operate

The ‘Licence-to-Operate’ theme includes both environmental and social licence to operate. Continuing projects that will be included in this theme are the ARD characterisation work by Alex Opitz (PhD) and Annah Moyo (MSc Eng), as well as the MPhil student projects under the previous theme of community engagement and the social and legislative licence to operate. This includes twelve students, and entails co-supervision by academics from Universities of British Columbia, Cambridge and Queensland, as well as from the School of Economics and the Department of Architecture and Planning at the University of Cape Town.

The concept of Green Mining and its development by MtM in 2016 has arisen from several sources. One was the challenge from the ‘green finance’ perspective coming from Louise Gardiner, director of KudosAfrica, for tools that investors can use to identify innovative and resilient companies. Adj/Prof Wynand van Dyk is the project manager of Kropz’s Elandsfontein Phosphate mine, located 12 km from Langebaan; where sustainability principles have been incorporated into the design and operation of this mine and processing facility located in an environmentally sensitive region. The processing facility is in the construction phase and the partnership with MtM has facilitated three visits with different groups of students, the most recent including five law students—which provoked interesting discussions. An undergraduate project in 2015 focused on shared value creation between communities and mining companies that highlighted the effects of mining on social capital.

Arising from the discussions and contribution to the document, ‘Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals: A Preliminary Atlas’, in April 2016, a programme was initiated by Adj/Professor Mike Solomon and Professor Dee Bradshaw entitled ‘Operationalising the Sustainable Development Goals for Mining in Emerging Economies’. This forms part of the ‘Licence-To-Operate’ theme, with the first goal being to assess the extent to which mining companies already contribute towards the SDG objectives, in both quantitative and qualitative terms. The programme will then identify ways in which the sector should adapt and improve, implementing new operating procedures or methods to more effectively embed the SDGs in governance, management systems, organisational culture and disclosure. More specifically, the objectives are to:

Create an awareness of the SDGs within the mining industry from corporate Chief Executive Officers though mine management down to operational personnel; Embed the principles in corporate and operating culture at all levels in mining companies; and Inculcate this culture into the future leaders of the industry by building the principles into every aspect of their engineering and business education through undergraduate and post-graduate course work and assignments.






Alex Opitz
PhD (commenced 2015)
Project Title: The Development of an Integrated Approach for the Prediction of Acid Rock Drainage from Waste Rock
Supervisors: Prof Sue Harrison; Assoc. Prof Jenny Broadhurst; Dr Megan Becker

Annah Moyo
MSc (commenced 2016
Project Title: Characterizing the environmental risk potential of South African coal processing waste
Supervisors: A/Prof Jenny Broadhurst; Prof Sue Harrison; Dr Juarez Amaral Filho