Salmah Brown | 20 June 2023
An introduction to Royal Bafokeng Platinum
Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) was born out of a joint venture that was formed between Anglo American Platinum and Royal Bafokeng Holdings, known as the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine Joint Venture (BRPM JV). In January 2010, RBPlat obtained a 67% majority interest in the JV and took over operational and managerial control of the operations. In November 2010, RBPlat made history by becoming the first community-owned business to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Our strategy is based on the pillars of: operational excellence; organic growth; pursuing value-enhancing opportunities and building flexibility to ensure sustainability. A performance-driven culture and aspiration to zero harm underlie the company’s goal of consistently striving towards operational excellence. Assets are managed with high optionality and flexibility, which allows for quick and appropriate action in line with changing market conditions. Central to the company’s strategy is achieving ‘More than Mining’. In line with this ‘More than Mining’ philosophy, the company has a proud track record of positive social impact as a transformation leader.
Over the years, RBPlat has been led by a team of strong, committed, and dedicated Board and Executive Committee members. The teams have shown effective leadership through ensuring governance, good performance, and subscribing to ethical leadership.
Our operations are based near the town of Rustenburg in the North West Province. RBPlat owns and operates the Bafokeng Rasimone Platinum Mine (BRPM), the Styldrift Mine (Styldrift), the BRPM Concentrator, and the Maseve Concentrator. BRPM’s North and South shafts are both twin decline shafts with an average mining depth of 450m while Styldrift is a twin vertical shaft with an average mining depth of 680m and with a life of mine in excess of 40 years. Our BRPM Concentrator is a 250ktpm capacity traditional MF2 process plant and the Maseve Concentrator is a 180ktpm capacity traditional MF2 process plant.
More than mining
We have always recognised the important role that relationships play in our ability to deliver on our purpose of creating economic value for all our stakeholders, and building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with our stakeholders is an integral part of our value creation process. Our constructive engagement processes and strong relationships with the communities in which we operate, our employees, our union, and society as a whole, are key to maintaining our social licence to operate and creating value for society. Our relationship with the union is characterised by regular consultation and collaboration on various employee matters, which is demonstrated by the signing of our landmark three-year wage agreement in 2011, and again the signing of two subsequent five-year wage agreements in 2014 and again in 2019, which were the first for the mining industry. We understand that ongoing positive relationships with our union and employees is critical to ensuring the stability of our business. Over the years, labour stability and employee engagement have proved to be our key strengths and they have always been driven by mutual respect and teamwork.
In addition, our strong community relationships fostered through established community engagement structures, have allowed us to deliver on our Social and Labour Plan commitments and contribute to the delivery of our aspiration of achieving ‘More than Mining’.
For our employees and their families, we have built over 1 500 houses in a modern estate in the Rustenburg prime area of Waterkloof Hills Estate, which is currently home to over 5 900 people. This was followed by a 50/50 partnership with the Department of Education to build two new schools in the estate at a cost of approximately R150 million to date and with an enrolment of 1 425 learners from our employee housing estate and the neighbouring communities.
We have also put in place a Local Economic Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development strategy which is aimed at not only increasing the opportunities available for our host community businesses but also increasing their sustainability and capacitating them enough to also be able to do business beyond the mining industry. This has resulted in 45% of our total discretionary procurement spend being with local Historically Disadvantaged businesses which for 2022 alone amounted to R2.9 billion, up from R2.3 billion in 2021.
Pursuing value–enhancing opportunities
We have always looked at merger and acquisition activity through the eye of consolidation in the Western Limb of the Bushveld Complex to allow economy of scale, integration of synergies, revenue, a bigger base for cashflows, and a larger dividend flow. Therefore, we have always considered all possible merger and acquisition opportunities, and possible synergies with our neighbours and beyond.
Soon after our incorporation in 2010, we entered into cooperative agreements with Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (Implats) in terms of which they were to mine areas of our ore body that are close to their shafts where we had no infrastructure. These agreements have thus far generated income for us to the tune of R2 billion. In 2017, we purchased the neighbouring PTM/Maseve operations, owned by a Canadian-listed company, to increase our concentrating capacity. The Maseve Concentrator, with an initial capacity of 110ktpm, was upgraded in 2022 to treat up to 180ktpm of ore. In 2018, we purchased the 33% participating interest of Rustenburg Platinum Mines’ (RPM), a subsidiary of Anglo American Platinum, in the BRPM Joint Venture, for around R2 billion and became the sole owners of our operations.
Operational excellence has been key to us achieving our objective of growing organically. Styldrift, our organic project, is a modern, state-of-the-art, fully mechanised, twin vertical shaft operation built at a cost of approximately R14 billion by a fully black-owned and managed company. It boasts a design output of 2.8 million tonnes per annum, with an estimated 320koz PGM 4E metals in concentrate at steady state. Styldrift, once fully ramped up, will be one of the largest underground PGM mines in operation. Since listing in 2010, we have doubled concentrating capacity, grew revenue from R2 billion to around R16 billion with a market capitalisation that was once R4 billion and is today over R40 billion.
Building flexibility to ensure sustainability
In addition to building operational flexibility, ESG is also a key focus area towards ensuring business sustainability. Our areas of focus have been on addressing climate change, decarbonisation, power, and water issues, amongst other concerns. We are alive to the need to reduce our carbon footprint and have developed and put in place our climate change roadmap with the aim of achieving net zero, by 2050.
We are currently finalising a bankable feasibility study for the construction of a 98 MW modular solar PV plant, which would introduce renewable energy into our energy mix, which will be completed in the third quarter of 2023, depending on the receipt of regulatory approval. This is intended to provide green energy and reduce our emissions profile. At RBPlat, we are doing ‘More than Mining’.
Visit our website: www.bafokengplatinum.co.za
‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.