Our Material Issues

Defining our material issues

Petra defines a material issue as an issue that could significantly impact the delivery of the Company’s strategy and future performance.

While communication with our stakeholders and engagement about matters important to them is an ongoing part of our daily business, in FY 2016 Petra carried out a formal stakeholder engagement process to confirm the Group’s material sustainability issues.

This process involved canvassing both internal (the Petra Board, Senior Management and employees) and external (top ten shareholders, mining analysts, contractors, suppliers and local communities) stakeholders. An independent consultancy was engaged in order to ensure an impartial and transparent process, as well as to encourage honest and frank feedback.

Following the collation of the data, the consultancy then prepares a sustainability matrix to map the top-rated sustainability issues per the various stakeholder groups. Petra management, including Petra’s CEO, then conducted a one-day workshop, led by the consultancy, in order to debate and identify the top ESG issues material to the sustainability of the Group.

Material topics identified are aligned with internal governance processes and operational imperatives, and are therefore managed as part of internal processes that answer to both regulatory requirements and internal KPIs.

FY 2016 Material Issues

The following were identified as Petra’s ‘Material Aspects’, in accordance with the G4 process and guidelines.


Occupational health and safety

Allowing our people to go home safe from work is Petra’s number one priority and ingrained into everything we do. However, we also aim to encourage a healthy and happy lifestyle for our employees, taking into account prevalent local health issues, both physical and mental.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s operations in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana, and regulatory compliance in these jurisdictions.

Corporate governance

Effective corporate governance is the backbone of Petra and enables each part of the business to operate efficiently, successfully and sustainably. It is essential from a mandatory perspective to comply with the various governance regulations in each of the jurisdictions in which Petra operates. However, it is also integral to the ethical conduct and culture of the business.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s business as a whole.

Legal compliance

The mining sector is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world. This is particularly relevant given the strategic importance of certain commodities to host governments, thereby ensuring the extraction of these resources in an ethical and sustainable manner. Regulations applicable to mining companies are subject to continual change and Petra has therefore put the necessary management structures in place at each mine in order to maintain its adherence to all local legislation.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s business as a whole.

Environmental management

Managing our environmental impacts is a priority for Petra, particularly with regards to minimising our energy usage and associated carbon emissions, protecting local water sources, recycling resources wherever possible, containing our environmental footprint and protecting local biodiversity. In so doing, we align our interests with those of our local communities.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to operations in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana, and regulatory compliance in these jurisdictions.

Consumer perceptions of mined diamonds

If consumers no longer aspire to buy and own diamonds, then there is no future for our business. While diamonds occupy a unique cultural position in that they are used to celebrate our most special moments, their continued acceptance is reliant on the assurance that they are sourced by ethical means and with due consideration for the environment. Petra seeks to influence sustainable consumer demand via its role as a founding member of the Diamond Producers Association.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s business as a whole.

Labour relations

The labour relations climate in South Africa has been notably volatile. While Petra has experienced stable labour relations over the last two years, failure to prioritise and manage this area could lead to issues such as work stoppages and poor company morale. Petra therefore places great emphasis on internal employee communications and initiatives such as the Itumeleng Petra Diamonds Employee Trust, which aimed to align employee and management interests.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s operations in South Africa and Tanzania.

Political risk

While Petra has long-term experience of successfully operating in Africa, certain stakeholders see political risk as a material issue. Topics that are raised by stakeholders include lack of clarity on legislation, potential resource nationalisation, currency fluctuations, government and local community expectations of the mining sector and operating cost inflation. Petra places great emphasis on both compliance and regular and transparent communication with regulators.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s business as a whole.

Stakeholder engagement and community development

Maintaining supportive relationships and playing a positive role in our local communities is vital to the sustainable success of our operations. Our mines are typically located in remote areas where there are limited employment opportunities and, as such, are vitally important to the current and future prosperity of their local communities.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s operations in South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana.

Employee retention and development

To deliver on our ambitious growth plans, we require a skilled and engaged workforce, pulling together as a team to achieve our shared vision. Petra therefore has a wide range of personal development programmes in place in order to develop our people. Our ‘can-do’ company culture, whereby employees are empowered and held accountable for their actions, also plays a key part in staff retention.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s operations in South Africa and Tanzania.


Petra recognises the importance of diversity, given numerous studies have identified the benefits to business of more diverse teams when it comes to improved problem solving and decision making. However, improving diversity is also a mandatory requirement for companies operating in South Africa and a best practice requirement for UK-listed companies.

Aspect Boundary

Applies to Petra’s business as a whole.