Dwarsrivier Chrome Mine developed a comprehensive Biodiversity
Action Plan (BAP) in early 2015. The BAP was compiled with the
assistance of various ecological specialists in the field of biodiversity
management. Protecting, and even enhancing, the biodiversity of
the mining area is key to long-term sustainable mining in the
Steelpoort Valley. The mining and surrounding areas fall within the
Endangered Sekhukhune Mountainlands region and are formally
classified as a Critical Biodiversity Area (CBA).
For these reasons, biodiversity management is a key pillar of the
Environmental Management System at the mine. One of the biggest
biodiversity threats in the area is the proliferation of alien and
invasive plant species. Eradication of alien and invasive plant species
is one of the aspects addressed in the mine's BAP.
As part of the planning process the mine, together with the
ecological specialists, identified a number of priority areas – ranging
from riparian areas (high priority) to mining office blocks (low
priority). In addition, a number of priority invasive plants were
identified in line with the latest legislative requirements. The initial
focus of the programme concentrated on high priority plant species
located in the high priority sensitive areas such as the riparian areas.
It was also important for the mine to clearly decide on and set out
the principles of the Alien and Invasive Plants Control Plan (AIPCP).
Some of these principles include the following:
- Avoiding impacts by not performing environmentally detrimental
- Minimising impacts by limiting aspects of an action which could
lead to environmental damage.
- Rectifying impacts through rehabilitation and restoration of the
- Minimising impacts by optimising processes, structural elements,
and other design features.
- Provide ongoing monitoring and management of environmental
impacts of development and documenting of any digressions and
To implement the requirements of the BAP, in relation to alien and
invasive plant species, the mine partnered with a specialist company
in 2018. As part of the partnership agreement, the specialist
company provides a qualified supervisor to oversee the invasive
plant removal programme and provide training to local employees.
Over time the trained employees would be able to assist with
increasing awareness on biodiversity threats in the area, specifically
those relating to alien and invasive plants.
A number of successes have been achieved since the initiation of
the AIPCP. Within a relatively short period, several alien and invasive
plant species have been successfully controlled at our South Shaft.
There has also been good capacity building with the appointment of
local employees from the Steelpoort area.
The AIPCP is in its first year of implementation and we hope to build
on the successes already achieved in the coming years.
Alien and invasive pest control at Dwarsrivier