On 21 July 2017 six members of the Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) visited the Bannerman Mining Resources Site about 40 km east of Swakopmund, near Goanikontes in the Namib Desert. Bannerman Resources undertakes a twice-yearly external environmental audit of its operations. This is done by Alex Speiser (A. Speiser Environmental Consultants). The NCE and its members were invited to participate, engage with Alex and the Bannerman team of Werner Ewald and Tinus Prinsloo, review what is being done and make suggestions.
We inspected all aspects of Bannerman’s operation including their demonstration plant and laboratory, their storage facilities and their rehabilitation work. In addition to rehabilitating their own drilling and bulk sampling areas, Bannerman has rehabilitated many kms of illegal off-road tracks made by irresponsible 4x4 owners. They have also erected signs informing people to not drive off road.
We found that Bannerman sets the highest environmental standards for all aspects of their operation. After much discussion, we had little to offer in the way of improvements – Bannerman was already doing everything right.
But perhaps the most important aspect of our visit was the fact that Bannerman Resources had opened its doors to external inspection, had invited us to review their operations and to make suggestions on how they could improve their environmental management. It is this transparency and commitment to seeking advice for improvement that is at the core of good environmental practice and governance. We applaud Bannerman for its openness and for setting an example. A few other mining companies have also opened their operations for inspection in the past, e.g. Navachab, B2Gold, Rossing Uranium, and we would encourage all mining companies to follow suit.
Photo: The Namibian Chamber of Environment and six of its Member organisations visited Bannerman – Environmental Compliance Consultancy, NACSO, NNF-NamPower partnership, African Conservation Services and Namibian Scientific Society, joining Tinus Prinsloo, Werner Ewald and Alex Speiser at the rehabilitated bulk sampling area (photos Jessica Mooney).