Mining giant invests in environmental, community sustainability

22nd March 2013

By: Sashnee Moodley

Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


Font size: - +

Diversified miner Anglo American aims to add to South African mining’s environmental sustainability and green economic growth through a R100-million investment in its Green Fund, which falls under the company’s enterprise development arm Zimele.

Green Fund manager Teresa McNeill says she is developing a five-year strategy for the Green Fund, which was launched in 2011.

As the fourth fund under the Zimele umbrella, it aims to help Anglo American meet its green agenda through various projects that focus on waste, energy, emissions and water management and employment creation in communities.

McNeill says she is attaining the environmental plans of Anglo American’s business units and these plans will be incorporated into the fund’s blueprint.

“There are several exploratory projects that the Green Fund is hoping to undertake and implement this year. “Each project will cost between R1-millon and R10-million,” she notes.

These include a tyre recycling project to deal with the problem of abandoned off-road tyres at openpit mines.

Discarded tyres are a common problem in openpit mining. Massive, heavy-duty vehicles are used during operations, with these vehicles’ tyres usually discarded at the mine.

McNeill points out that the size of the tyres poses a challenge, as it is usually difficult to disintegrate.

The fund is investigating a solution that would rid stockpiles of these tyres and create sustainable businesses for the surrounding communities using two locally developed technologies.

“One technology breaks down the tyres, while the other turns the broken-down tyres into revenue by generating by-products,” she adds.

McNeill notes that these discarded tyres are health, safety and environmental hazards.

“This project aims to deal with the tyre challenge and provide the community with employment and future opportunities. “Once the mine is closed, the community would still benefit from the business of converting tyres,” she says.

Meanwhile, the Green Fund is also investigating an opportunity with a waste beneficiation business that will turn waste streams at mines into usable extruded products, which can be sold in industrial markets or through Anglo American’s supply chain.

Creating fuel efficiency, and reducing emissions using a fuel additive, as well as creating affordable solar-powered lighting for rural communities are the other businesses that the Green Fund is hoping to establish.

McNeill says that, while the company plans to implement these projects in the year ahead, some challenges with regard to the tyre- and waste-beneficiation projects remain, as there are certain legislative requirements that can be time consuming.

She stresses that Anglo American will ensure that the companies comply with all relevant legislation and regulations prior to implementation.

Further, although the Green Fund is a private Anglo American fund, McNeill says the company is looking for opportunities to partner with State-owned enterprises or other investment organisations.

“We are open to different partnerships, as there could be opportunities to create joint projects that will increase the projects’ scalability,” she concludes.

Edited by Megan van Wyngaardt
Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


The content you are trying to access is only available to subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, you can Login Here.

If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now, by selecting one of the below options.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?