ERM Breakfast Session: Safeguarding our shared liquid asset - a business imperative across the mine lifecycle

Monday, 6 February 2017
7h00 - 7h30

Water-related constraints, including the supply of quality water and the ability to attain the necessary licences, are currently having wide-ranging impacts across industries, including the mining industry, and will continue to do so especially when compounded with other risks, such as climate change, driving more extreme and variable weather or increasing social instability - a situation sometimes referred to as ‘water-energy-food-climate’ nexus. How are you and your peers navigating these risks?

We invite you to join ERM and our panel of experts in a breakfast session discussion where we will explore sustainable approaches to water management in mining, including water stewardship, as well as the challenges facing the management of arguably our most precious shared liquid asset inside and outside of the fence.

Pressure on shared water resources is increasingly recognised as a global concern. Many mines operate within water-constrained environments, a situation that can be exacerbated by under-investment in the water sector and over-burdened water regulators. As a result, there is increased exposure to water risks that could result in consumer perception and reputational issues, water allocation cuts as well as regulatory and operational risks that could significantly compromise operations and result in considerable costs.

Not surprisingly, public interest in water resources and scrutiny over private water usage is increasing as a result. Mining’s need to manage scarce water resources throughout the cycle of exploration, development, extraction, and processing has driven the industry to seek innovative solutions to ensure water sustainability for the mine and neighbouring users in order to minimise costs and disruptions.

Yet even with concerted corporate and collective action and technological improvements, mines risk having ‘stranded assets’ that cannot be developed without water. Water is thus becoming a critical constraint to - and enabler of - mine development and the social licence to operate.

Our panel:

  • Dr Johanita Kotze: Water Manager Africa, Anglo American Plc
  • Tracey Davies: Programme Head: Corporate Accountability & Transparency, Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)
  • Clémence McNulty: Principal Consultant, ERM

The panel discussion will be facilitated by Marinda van der Merwe of ERM, additional panellists to be confirmed shortly.

Speaker Profiles

Dr Johanita Kotze, Water Manager Africa, Anglo American Plc
Johanita has a MSc and PhD in hydrogeology from the Institute of Groundwater Studies, UOFS, and has served on the International Association for Mine Water Committee since 2015. She has more than 26 years of experience in mine water management, water resources management, mine dewatering, and contamination and remediation across the mining, chemical and agrochemical sectors. In her current role as Water Manager Africa at Anglo American Plc, Johanita drives development and implementation of the water strategy for South African operations, undertakes capital investment reviews, performs water assurance, and ensures the implementation of best practice and technology towards enabling a step change in water management across the company. In 2016, Johanita was named one of the 100 Inspirational Women in Mining.

Tracey Davies, Programme Head: Corporate Accountability & Transparency, CER
Tracey heads the Centre for Environmental Rights’ (CER) Corporate Accountability and Transparency Programme, which is aimed at improving corporate compliance with environmental laws in South Africa, and compelling greater transparency around corporate environmental liability. Tracey is qualified as an attorney in South Africa and as a solicitor in the United Kingdom, where she spent five years working in criminal and commercial litigation before joining the CER as a senior attorney in 2013. Tracey holds a BA LLB from the University of Cape Town, and an LLM from New York University.

Clémence McNulty, Principal Consultant, ERM
Clémence supports clients to develop, quantify and deploy integrated corporate sustainability and resource management strategies along their value chains and throughout their asset lifecycle. She has worked with a range of clients to clarify the water risks and opportunities facing them, such as licensing, supply and quality constraints or stakeholder risks tied to water, and define fit for purpose solutions that prioritise action and investment in the most critical areas. Clémence has extensive experience of the mining value chains and planning for regulatory, stakeholder and technical driven changes to business models especially considering interrelated challenges such as energy, climate and water.

Marinda van der Merwe, Managing Partner, ERM Africa and Middle East
(Panel Facilitator)
Marinda has a background in mining and over 15 years of consulting and corporate experience in water and waste management, sustainable development, safety improvement, and performance assurance and due diligence auditing.


The Ballroom
One & Only
V&A Waterfront
Dock Road, Cape Town

Register for this event

In order to promote a relaxed and collaborative atmosphere we are restricting our audience size, so places will be limited. Please register your interest with Merle Finch at

Investing in African Mining Indaba

This session will take place before the the first day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba. If you are not eager to make your way across to the Mining Indaba straight after the breakfast and the panel discussion you are welcome to remain behind to talk informally to the panellists and colleagues from other organizations.