The concept of sustainability is embedded in the company’s culture. It supports our strategy and business model, underpinning Northam’s ability to deliver value to stakeholders by creating growth, transforming lives and securing our future. Our approach is guided by a constant focus on minimising negative environmental impacts and maximising our positive contribution to the future of our people, our communities and our country

Reporting frameworks; disclosure guidelines; global endorsements

Our ESG disclosure is guided by the following organisations/frameworks/standards:

Meeting IRMA objectives

Northam is committed to meeting the environmental and social performance criteria of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA).

  • F2023: High-level gap analysis
  • F2024: Finalise group alignment action plan
  • F2026: Complete self-assessment process
  • F2028: Third party assessment


The concept of materiality is a critical criterion in assessing the aspects which are most significant to determining the sustainability of our business; the social and economic and physical environments in which we operate and which fundamentally influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders. We undertake regular independent assessments of these issues in order to inform our disclosure and reporting.

F2023 materiality assessment

Northam appointed an independent company to undertake a materiality assessment to support and guide our reporting. Our assessment process and approach to materiality has been guided by the GRI standards, as well as the Integrated Reporting Framework and SASB standards (both part of the IFRS foundation). While the financial materiality was not assessed during this process, the company’s risk assessment process and principal risks were considered.

Phase 1: Benchmarking


Review two international sustainability frameworks (GRI and SASB) and eight peer companies


A snapshot of how the sector views sustainability challenges and opportunities; shortlist of 24 most common material topics to take forward to materiality assessment in Phase 2

Phase 2: Materiality assessment


A snapshot of how the sector views sustainability challenges and opportunities; shortlist of 24 most common material topics to take forward to materiality assessment in Phase 2


Internal leadership and key stakeholders identified the sustainability issues they felt were most material to the business; interviews provided a list of 26 most-commonly identified issues

  • Seek to understand which issues are emerging or waning in importance, and whether issues are considered to be a threat or opportunity

Phase 3: Validation of material topics


Survey internal and external stakeholders to confirm and validate the top 25 material sustainability issues, indicating their relative importance to a) Northam and its ability to create and erode value; and b) to external stakeholders

  • 49% response rate overall; 58% of responses from internal stakeholder and 42% from external stakeholders (mix of investors, suppliers and customers)
  • Wide-ranging agreement between internal and external stakeholders the most material topics
  • Areas of divergence: Tailings management, and attracting and retaining talent considered as top topics internally, but less so externally. Improving transparency, disclosure and reporting, and fair and transparent remuneration that incentivises sustainability performance considered as top topics externally, but less so internally

Phase 4: Finalisation and reporting


Workshop with management to finalise material topics


The material topics were reviewed by management for the final determination of issues to reflect future plans and emerging issues. Material topics were grouped into the following material themes:

  • Responsible and ethical corporate citizen
  • Positive relationships
  • Response to climate change
  • Caring for the natural environment
  • Protecting and developing our people
  • Mutual respect
  • Value creation

Material themes

Material theme reported in this report and description Material topics
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Protecting and developing our people

Caring for our people, their safety, health and wellbeing helps us succeed, by attracting and retaining the right people to Northam. We’re committed to empowering all our people, and developing their talents through offering a range of learning and development opportunities.

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Mutual respect

We aim to show kindness, empathy, and compassion to everyone we do business with, treating them with the respect, giving them a voice, and ensuring an inclusive approach. A cooperative and open engagement with all our stakeholders is fundamental to our growth.

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Positive relationships

Our local communities play a meaningful role in our decision making. We recognise specific needs at our different sites in South Africa, and so we proactively engage at many levels to develop stronger relationships, support community wellbeing and improve socio-economic status.

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Responding to climate change

Through our climate change roadmap, we are developing our approach to combat climate change and decarbonise, by reducing our energy costs, GHG emissions and energy intensity, and moving towards more sustainable energy sourcing and supply.

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Caring for the natural environment

We take, seriously, our responsibility to safeguard the needs of our local communities, as well as looking after our natural environment. We aim to minimise our adverse effects on our environment by optimising water use and waste recycling, as well as managing our emissions and discharges, according to all relevant legislation.