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Climate Change

We aim to be a market leader in the diamond mining industry with innovative concepts for addressing climate change, both by tackling the risks and maximising the opportunities associated with this global challenge.

Diamond mining is less energy intensive than other types of mining, as evidenced by the fact that energy consumption (specifically electricity) only represented 13% of total cash on-mine costs in FY 2020 (FY 2019: 16%). However, it is recognised that non-renewable energy sources are finite and therefore likely to become increasingly scarce over time.

Our short-term strategy is therefore to minimise overall energy usage wherever possible, while our long-term strategy is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel energy resources. We do this by continuously evaluating opportunities to implement initiatives to reduce energy consumption, by designing all new projects to be as efficient as possible and by continuing to evaluate the strategic case for renewable power sources.

We recognise the growing importance of climate change, both to our Company and to our stakeholders. By better evaluating and understanding the risks and uncertainties that climate change represents to our business, we will be able to manage our assets in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner possible.

As driven by the unprecedented Paris Agreement and the global call to action from the UN’s SDG on ‘Climate Change’, we are supportive of the onus on industry to be actively involved in projects and programmes to reduce the effects of global warming and climate change, as caused by human activities. We believe that amidst present policy uncertainty and future carbon constraints, the development and implementation of a comprehensive climate change adaptation framework is not only crucial to our Company’s competitive position but is also an essential component of our commitment to a sustainable environment.

FY 2012 was the first year that we reported on our carbon emissions, and since this time we have aimed to continue to improve on the way that we gather the necessary information to determine our carbon footprint.

Limiting our carbon emissions is one of the core aims of driving energy efficiency across all our operations. Petra experienced a 23% decline in direct carbon emissions (scope 1 emissions) in FY 2020.

Read more in our FY 2020 Annual GHG Emissions Report 


Petra’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

In FY 2020 we continued to develop the Petra Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (“PCCAS”).  The PCCAS is an important step into the future as it:

  • provides a position statement to our internal and external stakeholders who are concerned with climate change vulnerability and its impact on the Company;
  • supports Petra in meeting international obligations and investor expectations by defining the Company’s process to identify its vulnerabilities, plans to reduce the vulnerabilities and maximisation of opportunities; and
  • acts as a common reference point for climate change adaptation efforts within Petra, providing guidance across all levels and disciplines.

The strategic framework for Petra’s Climate Change Adaptation consists of 11 steps:

  1. a) climate change scenario analysis;
  2. b) identification of climate change exposure (relevance);
  3. c) identification of climate change receptors;
  4. d) identification of potential climate change impacts;
  5. e) vulnerability assessment;
  6. f) identification of climate change adaptive capacity/capability;
  7. g) prioritise adaptive needs;
  8. h) identify appropriate action;
  9. i) prioritise climate change adaptation action plans;
  10. j) implementation of climate change adaptation action plans; and
  11. k) monitor the effectiveness of adaptation action plans.

The climate change scenario analysis for each operation has now been completed. The scenarios used are RCP 8.51 and RCP 2.6, which cater for both the worst-case and best-case emissions future.

Implementation of the PCCAS will span over five years with Phases 1 and 2 completed in FY 2020. Phase 3 (completion of operational vulnerability assessments) is now underway and will be followed by Phase 4 (implementation) and Phase 5 (ongoing monitoring) thereafter.

Carbon emissions

In 2013, Petra started tracking Scope 1, 2 and 3 (limited) emissions at all operations and used this information as the ‘base year’ from which to calculate the Company’s carbon footprint. In FY 2016, the base year was then reset on the basis of material changes in the Company, with an intensity value of 0.20 tCO2-e/ct. Further changes in the Group structure at the end of FY 2018 necessitated a further recalculation of the base year; thus FY 2019 is now regarded as our base year.

The scope of our carbon footprint covers all of Petra’s mines, as well as our offices situated in Johannesburg and London.

The following activities are included into the carbon footprint calculation:

Scope 1:

  • Fuel consumed for electricity generation
  • Fuel consumed by trackless mobile machines
  • LPG
  • Business travel (Company jet)
  • Fugitive emissions (R22 gas is separately reported on)
  • Process emissions: water treatment (domestic effluent)

Scope 2:

  • Electricity purchased from Eskom (South Africa)
  • Electricity purchased from Tanesco (Tanzania)
  • Electricity consumption of the London office (UK)

Scope 3:

  • Waste disposal
  • Water pumping (potable)
  • Paper consumption
  • Business travel:
  • Commercial airlines
  • Charted flights
  • Car rental
  • Employee commute
  • Scrap metal for recycling

Petra uses the GHG Protocol on the reporting of greenhouse gas as well as IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories of 2001 to calculate and report on our carbon footprint. This provides us with confidence that the correct information is portrayed to our stakeholders and enables us to be held accountable for the figures presented. .Read Petra’s inaugural GHG Emissions Report here.

Carbon sequestration at Petra is implemented through the maximisation of indigenous vegetated areas. According to research, each hectare of natural vegetation is responsible for the sequestration of 300kg of carbon per annum; thus, the approximate 6,981 ha of protected area under Petra’s control results in the sequestration of 2,094 tonnes CO2 per year.

In addition, Petra is participating in a project in collaboration with other major diamond producers and academic institutions that focuses on the potential of carbon sequestration through mineralisation.

Significant air emissions

Petra has no significant sources of air emissions. Non-point sources of dust and particulates (i.e. environmental drop-out dust and particulate matter pm10) as a result of surface activities are strictly regulated and annual results are submitted to authorities for evaluation.

During FY 2019 a number of real-time monitors were procured to assist with environmental monitoring. These instruments provide the operations with continuous data on dust and noise levels combined with ambient weather information. In FY 2020 the monitoring network was expanded with the installation of a second real-time monitoring instrument at Cullinan.

Petra does not produce, import or export any ozone-depleting substances.

Reporting to the CDP

Petra has participated in voluntary reporting to the CDP since 2013, with year-on-year improvement of disclosure scores on every report. During 2016 and 2017, Petra scored a ‘C’ (the ‘awareness’ band), which is in line with industry and region scores. In 2018 and 2019, we improved our score to ‘B’ (the ‘management’ band). This is above average for the industry and region alike. In 2020, Petra was delighted to achieve an A- score, thereby placing the Company in the industry leadership category, meaning that we are ‘implementing current best practices’.

The CDP 2020 questionnaire has been significantly revised to incorporate both the recommendations of the TCFD and improved alignment with other reporting frameworks.

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”)

Petra is committed to meeting the requirements of the TCFD, which aims to develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to the financial markets and other stakeholders.

The PCCAS has been compiled with reference to the TCFD to ensure that Petra can meet these recommendations. It should be noted that post Year end, the Company completed submission of the 2020 CDP climate change questionnaire, which has recently been updated to include the recommendations of the TCFD. Therefore, Petra considers that its 2020 CDP submission provides all the disclosures required in relation to TCFD. However, the Company will continue to evaluate how best to consolidate and integrate the TCFD recommendations into its climate change practices and reporting in a way that best meets the needs of its stakeholders.