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Assmang gets nod for trying to comply

Author: Business Report, Published on: 22 July 2011

Manganese producer Assmang yesterday showed off a R400 million capital spending programme, which will help to bring its Cato Ridge works in compliance with environmental laws, during a site inspection by Rejoice Mabudafhasi, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs...An environmental inspector on site confirmed that the Green Scorpions had identified dust problems at this plant during a 2007 visit to the Cato Ridge works, and that it still did not comply with regulations...Rico Euripidou, a researcher at environmental NGO groundWork, said there was no doubt that Assmang had made “huge improvements” at the Cato Ridge works since the 2007 inspection...Mabudafhasi told Assmang chief executive Jan Steenkamp that his company had been “the worst in the country” following the 2007 inspection, which found several transgressions relating to air pollution and waste disposal, among other things. But she was pleased the company had not erected a “concrete wall and become aggressive” after being issued with compliance notices.“Though you are not yet 100 percent, you are aiming there,” she said. Steenkamp said there were “a significant number of challenges” ahead at Cato Ridge. He said Assmang was funding a research project to evaluate whether it should update its aging technology: “Do we carry on maintaining and complying, or do we take the next quantum leap?”

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Related companies: Assmang (joint venture between Assore and African Rainbow Minerals)