Mineral sands miner Kenmare’s 2020 Sustainability Report, published in April, shows the company met its first public sustainability targets last year and provides illuminating information on its sustainability actions.
The company, which operates the Moma titanium minerals mine, in Mozambique, categorised the targets according to people, environment and communities.
The report, aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative standards, aims to assist stakeholders to further understand Kenmare by providing transparent demonstration and disclosure of its sustainability performance.
It outlines the strategy, policies and management approach of Kenmare’s “longstanding and ongoing commitment to sustainability”. These efforts are underpinned by Kenmare’s corporate values and purpose to “responsibly meet global demand for quality-of-life minerals”.
“Building on previous years’ sustainability disclosures in our annual reports, this standalone report has been a natural progression for Kenmare. We continue to evolve and improve our approach, with more structured policies, processes and reporting to demonstrate how Kenmare is fulfilling its purpose to responsibly meet global demand for quality-of-life minerals,” noted Kenmare MD Michael Carvill.
People Sustainability Targets
Kenmare’s target in its people category included a reduction in lost time injury frequency rate to a target of 0.25 and zero community fatalities as a result of operations, which the company met. The previous year had a lost time injury frequency rate of 0.27.
Kenmare’s focus on workforce localisation led to 97% of the mine’s workforce being Mozambican with 62% of mine employees originating from local communities.
“Around 1 000 of our employees live locally in nearby communities, with the remainder residing in the camp located within the Mtiticoma village precinct.”
Higino Jamisse became Kenmare’s first Mozambican GM, which is the most senior position at the mine, in September 2020.
Kenmare invested $639 000 in more than 21 100 hours of training for its employees, as part of its commitment to equipping its employees with the skills and knowledge needed to perform efficiently and safely as well as meet the company’s goals. The training had a focus on safety, supervisory and leadership development and specialist skill enhancement.
Environmental Sustainability Targets
In its environmental category, Kenmare met its targets of zero reportable incidents and delivering strategic review of rehabilitation, while exceeding its target achieving 160 ha of rehabilitation. The company rehabilitated 180 ha of mine land, including planting 10 133 Casuarina trees in 2020.
Kenmare also generated 90% of electricity requirements in 2020 from renewable hydroelectric sources. The energy supply is generated at the Cahora Basa dam and transmitted to site through the Electricidade de Moçambique power network.
A challenge the company is currently facing is unstable power supply.
“During the summer months the electricity transmission network cannot maintain a stable power supply. As a result, the operation depends on diesel generators for electricity supply for four months of the year, which increases Kenmare’s carbon dioxide footprint and operating cost.”
To combat this issue, Kenmare conducted a feasibility study with the aim of identifying “the most suitable technology” to provide uninterrupted power supply to the mine’s mineral separation plant. The study investigated several options with Rotary Uninterrupted Power Supply (RUPS) chosen as the preferred option.
“RUPS comprises a set of four kinetic energy storage units operating through a flywheel with the ability to deliver reactive power in the event of a mains power dip or shortage. RUPS installation will [start] in early 2021 at a cost of $16-million.”
Communities Sustainability Targets
In its communities sustainability targets, Kenmare achieved its targets of building supply chain capacity in policy compliance and improving female representation in the workplace to meet a target of 8.5%. The supply chain policy compliance programme started with several key supplier audits conducted and “work will continue in 2021”.
“We are pleased at the significant improvement in gender diversity during 2020, from 8% to 10.64%. We look forward to seeing further improvement in female participation in the workforce and in leadership positions,” said Kenmare chair of the sustainability committee Elaine Dorward-King.
As part of Kenmare’s work with the community, 4 200 farms were resettled as part of the agreed Resettlement Action Plan, seven new settlement houses are under construction and 14 community complaints were received and resolved by the company.
“Kenmare takes seriously any complaint or grievance raised by the community or other stakeholders. Our community Grievance Procedure guides how we respond and the steps taken to resolve any complaint or grievance received.”
As part of its engagement with the community, Kenmare hosts formal bi-monthly community meetings in addition to ad hoc meetings as means to understand and discuss local concerns.
Additional highlights of the report include Kenmare being named the most transparent company in Mozambique by the Centro de Integridade Pública Extractive Industry Transparency Index 2019-2020, published in October 2020, as well as $2-million of continued investment in local communities provided by the company and $20.4-million in payments to the Mozambique government.
“Kenmare remains committed to advancing our efforts to be a responsible miner focused on the safety and development of our people, as well as strong environmental and social performance. We have also enhanced our disclosure, to increase transparency,” Dorward-King concluded.