Client: Northam Platinum Limited
Environmental Management Programme Amendment Report for the Proposed Expansion of the Existing Eskom Substation
Northam own and operate the Zondereinde mine located on the farm Zondereinde 384 KQ approximately 35 km south of Thabazimbi and 18 km northwest of Northam along the R510, in the Thabazimbi Local Municipality and Waterberg District Municipality of the Limpopo Province. In broad terms the Zondereinde mine consists of underground mining (UG2 and Merensky reefs); a concentrator plant complex; a tailings storage facility; a smelter and base metals recovery (BMR) plant complex including a slag recovery plant and slag dump; and supporting infrastructure (offices, workshops, living quarters, product stockpiles, topsoil stockpiles, dirty water containment facilities, conveyor, roads and powerlines).
The Shaft 3 Complex requires temporary power until such time as the new Eskom yard at the shaft complex has been established. This temporary power will be supplied by the Smelter Complex via their existing Eskom yard. The Eskom yard at the Smelter Complex currently has a capacity of 6.6 kV, and, in addition to catering for the Smelter Complex’s supply, can supply the Shaft 3 Complex with temporary power (1.5 MW) for the next two years. After two years, additional capacity will be required to continue supplying the Shaft 3 complex with temporary power. The Eskom yard at the Shaft 3 complex is unlikely to be established by this time. To accommodate for this increase, Northam proposes to expand the Eskom yard at the Smelter Complex to 132/33 kV/80 MVA. The transmission of power from the Smelter Complex to the Shaft 3 Complex will be via a 11 kV overhead transmission line (OHT).
As part of this process, commenting authorities and IAPs were given the opportunity to review the background information document (BID) and the EIA and Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) Amendment Report and to, submit questions and comments to the project team.
The EIA and EMPr Amendment Report was initially distributed for a 30-day comment period from the 06 October 2020 to 06 November 2020 in order to provide I&APs with an opportunity to comment on any aspect of the proposed project and the findings of the EMPr Amendment Process. Thereafter, the report was updated to include the comments and concerns received from I&APs. In addition, specific requests from commenting authorities were addressed. In this regard, the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) requested that a Phase I Heritage Impact Assessment be undertaken for the proposed project, specifically the 11 KV OHT route. As a result of the inclusion of new information, this report will be distributed for an additional 30-day comment period from the 13 January 2021 – 12 February 2021.