DRDGOLD takes an integrated approach to both social and natural capital. They are inextricably linked, and delivering value in respect of the one, also brings us closer to our goals in respect of the other. Our aim is to leave an enduring legacy by permanently removing the many old mine dumps scattered around the Witwatersrand that were either created where they did not belong in the first place, or had become inappropriately situated because of the movement of people and establishment of a new urban reality.
We do this by reprocessing the dumps and redepositing resultant waste in modern, well-managed tailings storage facilities, cleaning environmentally sensitive areas and liberating valuable land for redevelopment. This yields both a substantial environmental dividend as well as a social dividend in improving the quality of life of communities previously affected, whilst, also creating financial value, allowing sustainable land use to take place in areas previously sterilised. The value delivery is therefore truly integrated and firmly aligned with the goals of sustainable development.
The use of technology in reversing this legacy of mining requires the use of a specialised skillset from our workforce, usage of material such as hazardous reagents and the use of scarce natural resources in the form of water and electricity from coal-fired power stations. Consequently, we must be mindful of the ESG factors emanating from the operations themselves, to ensure that we remain aligned with our goal of reversing the environmental legacy of early mining and that we conduct our operations in a manner that will ensure the sustainability of business, our communities and the earth’s natural resources.