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Anglo American Platinum’s ZW2L journey and learnings

Date 08 March 2023
Location Online Event
Resources Webinar Anglo American Platinum_s ZW2L journey and learnings 22022023.pdf
We are no longer accepting registration for this event

Globally, the mining industry’s journey towards sustainability has been gathering pace over the past decade as it shapes a future in which mining operations will have a radically different footprint. Mining companies are increasingly investigating and deploying technologies that reduce harm to the environment, improve efficiency, and move people out of harm’s way. The future is focused on the circular economy, or closed-loop systems, that aims to diminish over-consumption and eliminate waste by making the most of resources through re-use and recycling.
Back in 2013, Anglo American Platinum set its Zero Waste to Landfill (or ZW2L, as it became known) target. It reflected a realisation that with the world’s population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, we cannot continue to consume resources at the same rate. We cannot just dispose things into a waste bin when we are done with them. To ensure that our children inherit a sustainable future, for the benefit of our health and the natural environment, and to ensure compliance with environmental regulations, we had to radically reinvent our approach.
We started with a bold target: by the end of 2020, we would live up to the name of the strategy, and literally send no waste to landfill. At the time, and with an admittedly bigger operational footprint, we were sending more than 22,000 tonnes of waste to landfills each year.
By the end of December 2020 all hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams that had confirmed re-use, recycling, recovery and treatment solutions were diverted from landfill. Five streams remained without final recycling/re-use solutions, namely: fibreglass-related waste, base emulsion (explosive waste), vanadium pentoxide, zeolites and Lead waste. In 2021 and 2022, 22 tons and 67 tons of these remaining ‘problematic waste streams’ were sent to landfill respectively. Compared to the baseline in 2013 of 22 120 tons, the waste eliminated from landfill equates to 0.1% in 2021 and 0.3% in 2022, effectively achieving in excess of 99% of waste diverted from landfill.
Being the first mining company to implement the ZW2L approach across the business, unintended consequences and valuable learnings were inevitable, which include for example on-site waste accumulation, inadequate resources and significant increase in waste management costs. The next step for Anglo American Platinum is to address these challenges to ensure ZW2L is more sustainable into the future and will ultimately lead us to a circular economy of zero waste.

Dustin van Helsdingen
Anglo American Platinum
Dustin van Helsdingen (39 years of age) is the Environmental Principal for Anglo American Platinum’s smelters and refineries and also has a BU specialist focus on air quality and waste. He has a Masters in Environmental Management obtained through the North West University and has a total of 19 years work experience in the environmental field. Dustin is the lead on the ZW2L project in Anglo American Platinum.

Camielah Jardine, Head of Conferencing
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