Independent assurance report TO THE MANAGEMENT AND STAKEHOLDERS OF NORTHAM PLATINUM LIMITED
We have been appointed by Northam Platinum Limited (“Northam Platinum”) to conduct an independent assurance engagement in Accordance with AA1000AS on selected information for the Zondereinde mine and metallurgical complex related to Northam Platinum’s sustainable development report for the financial year ended June 2013.
SCOPE AND SUBJECT MATTER
The identified subject matter in the assurance scope as agreed with Northam Platinum, for a moderate level of assurance, are as follows:
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 application: Northam Platinum’s self-declared B+ level of GRI-G3.1 application under Reporting in line with GRI;
- AA1000 AccountAbility Principles: Northam Platinum’s adherence to the AA1000 AccountAbility Principles of Inclusivity, Materiality and Responsiveness; and
- Selected Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the Zondereinde mine and metallurgical complex as follows:
- Materials used (including timber, explosives, oxygen, sulphuric acid, grease, lubricating and hydraulic oils) in tons under Natural capital;
- Energy used from electricity, diesel, petrol, coal, jet fuel and paraffin in gigajoules under Natural capital;
- Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in kilotons under Natural capital;
- Volume of water used and recycled in 1 000m³ under Natural capital; and
- SO2 emissions in tons under Natural capital.
Health and safety performance:
- Fatality injury incidence rate (FIIR) under Human capital;
- Lost time injury incidence rate (LTIIR) on page under Human capital;
- Total injury incidence rate under Human capital;
- Reportable injury incident rate (RIIR) under Human capital; and
- New cases of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) under Human capital.
- Total workforce (number of employees and contractors) under Human capital;
- Training and education (budget) under Human capital;
- Number of women in mining as a percentage of total workforce under Human capital;
- Number of historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSA’s) in management under Human capital; and
- Corporate social investment/local economic development (CSI/LED) spend under Social capital.
SUMMARY OF WORK PERFORMED
STANDARDS AND CRITERIA USED
STANDARDS AND CRITERIA USED
We performed our work in accordance with the AccountAbility AA1000 Assurance Standard (AS) 2008 Type 2 requirements. We used the following assessment criteria when undertaking our work: AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard (APS) 2008, Northam Platinum’s Sustainable Development Data Reporting Guidelines and the GRI-G3.1 application level criteria.
LEVEL OF ASSURANCE AND ENGAGEMENT LIMITATIONS
We planned and performed our work to obtain all the information and explanations that we believe were necessary to provide a basis for our assurance conclusions as to whether the reported information set out in ‘Our Brief’ was free from material misstatement at a moderate assurance level as per AA1000 AS 2008.
The evidence gathering procedures for moderate assurance are more restricted than for high assurance and therefore less assurance is obtained with moderate assurance than for high assurance as per AA1000 AS 2008.
The reliability of the reported information and data is subject to inherent uncertainty, given the available methods for determining, calculating or estimating the underlying information. It is important to understand our assurance conclusions in this context.
A multi-disciplinary team of sustainability and assurance specialists with experience in Northam Platinum’s industry sector performed work at corporate level and at its operating location. Our assurance activities included:
- Face-to-face interviews to understand and test the processes in place for reporting on the AA1000 Principles and the KPIs, and the underlying data management systems;
- A site visit to Northam Platinum’s Zondereinde operation, which involved testing, on a sample basis, the measurement, collection, aggregation and reporting processes in place;
- Reporting our assurance findings to management as they arose to provide them with the opportunity to correct them prior to finalisation of our work; and
- Reviewing the presentation of information relevant to the scope of our work in the Report to ensure consistency with our findings.
RESPECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES AND ERM’S INDEPENDENCE
Northam Platinum is responsible for preparing the report and for the collection and presentation of information within it. ERM’s responsibility is to express our assurance conclusions on the agreed brief.
ERM maintains strict policies related to conflict of interest and we have confirmed our independence to Northam Platinum in delivering our assurance engagement.
OUR ASSURANCE CONCLUSIONS
In our opinion, based on the work undertaken for moderate assurance, we conclude that the information selected for this assurance engagement has been prepared in accordance with the defined reporting criteria in all material respects:
- Northam Platinum’s self-declared B+ level of GRI-G3 application under Reporting in line with GRI;
- Northam Platinum’s adherence to the AA1000 Principles of Inclusivity, Materiality and Responsiveness; and
- The selected KPIs as referenced.
OUR KEY OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on our work set out above, and without affecting our assurance conclusions, our key observations and recommendations for improvement are:
IN RELATION TO THE INCLUSIVITY PRINCIPLE
Northam Platinum has implemented a stakeholder engagement policy and engages with its identified key stakeholders at corporate and operational level through various forums.
IN RELATION TO THE MATERIALITY PRINCIPLE
Northam Platinum has applied due process in determining and reporting on its material issues. A detailed and on-going risk assessment process is in place that together with an annual materiality determination workshop involving the CEO and the discipline heads ensures that material sustainability issues are considered.
IN RELATION TO THE RESPONSIVENESS PRINCIPLE
Northam Platinum responds to stakeholders through a dedicated public relations company, Russell and Associates, that also reports on stakeholder responses to key decision makers at board level on a regular basis.
IN RELATION TO THE SELECTED PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Northam Platinum reports data in accordance with its sustainability reporting guideline. Findings and recommendations resulting from the assurance process have been communicated to Northam Platinum management for implementation. A notable matter to be addressed for the next reporting period is a level of inconsistency in the interpretation of lost time due to work injuries. It is recommended that Northam Platinum ensures the consistent implementation of the reporting guideline going forward.
Environmental Resources Management Limited (ERM)
Johannesburg, 27 September 2013
ERM is an independent global provider of environmental, social and corporate responsibility consulting and assurance services.
Our assurance statement provides no assurance on the maintenance and integrity of the website, including controls used to maintain this, and in particular whether any changes may have occurred to the information since it was first published. These matters are the responsibility of Northam Platinum and no control procedures can provide absolute assurance in this area.