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Fanus van Wyk | CEO | Agreenco

Agreenco Mine Services: Advance Environmental Change

Green mining for sustainable communities and delivering net positive impact!

Sustainable regeneration of social, economic, and ecologic interconnectedness has become top-of-mind in our modern world as the business case for ecosystem services gains momentum. As the extractive industry navigates the operational and cost complexities of ESG, the ethical and serious industry of the future and the now must urgently respond to deliver beyond compliance commitments and intentionally create net positive environmental outcomes during and after mining operations.

Agreenco understands how environmental harmony can be achieved during and after life-of-mine. In the midst of the challenges presented by the destructive nature of the industry, creative opportunity looms within the presence of a clear regeneration strategy, quality information, timeous planning, and professional delivery. Viable, sustainable, and novel enterprising present itself through natural- and business design thinking and outcome-based rehabilitation and remediation present the catalysis for successful regeneration and project close-out.

With unmatched knowledge and a successful track record in developing and executing revolutionary mine rehabilitation projects, Agreenco has established itself as a premier environmental rehabilitation organization. Self-sustainable ecosystem development requires a specialized and multidisciplinary approach, where the importance of finding creative, practical, and technically sound solutions cannot be overstated. With a skilled workforce and a steadfast dedication to environmental excellence, the Agreenco team rises to the challenge. Agreenco is at the forefront of bringing about positive change in the mining and extractive industries because of its comprehensive awareness and information based on the full scope of successful rehabilitation outcomes.

Its primary service as hands-on practitioners is to execute new-generation mine rehabilitation and environmental improvement projects, and under the direction of co-founder and CEO Fanus van Wyk, the business case of environment presents the basis for buy-in into viable, sustainable solutions. The organization uses a systematic method to integrate the mine’s environmental information and infrastructure into transformed minescapes to create thriving alternate natural and business ecosystems and repositioning their customers’ environmental liabilities as natural assets. All stakeholders profit from this strategy, which also guarantees long-term, sustainable results.

As the industry’s preeminent experts and practitioners, Agreenco excels at addressing the myriad environmental issues that mines encounter, such as tailings management, dust control, wastewater treatment, ecological improvement, and final mine closure procedures. From site-specific engineering design to implementation and ongoing maintenance, the company’s expert team creates customized solutions that incorporate the whole value chain. Agreenco uses a local alignment delivery model to provide a one-stop shop for all environmental rehabilitation and improvement needs, addressing the particular demand of each client.

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Journey and Passion

Fanus is a driven business leader and innovator in the mining and industrial greening space and has a passion for agri-tech, environmental engineering, and mine regeneration enterprising. He is at the forefront of information-based and long-term cost-benefit approaches to assist customers with decisions that would unlock real environmental sustainability. He holds firm that the current business drivers, which primarily focus on profit-based incentives and a tick-box approach to environmental compliance, will be insufficient to achieve long-term sustainable outcomes. His mission is to generate results-based value and annuity business outcomes for both customers and employees. He aims to achieve this by establishing a reputation for delivering proven but incremental environmental on-site success, scaling net environmental effect over time, and thereby generating sustainable value for all stakeholders in the long run. Fanus’s philosophy revolves around a unique decision-support approach, empowering excellent co-leaders to excel in a market that should be driven by sustainability information and outcomes. By implementing the best-cost-of-ownership environmental asset care model for large mining regions, Agreenco aims to solidify its position as a hybrid sustainability services vehicle.

Fanus firmly believes that this innovative approach has the potential to disrupt the market, get things done, and create long-term sustainability value. He envisions Agreenco reinforcing its value as a niche EPCM contractor, delivering more than environmental compliance, but to assist their customers to benefit from community goodwill generated through green mine projects. Fanus’s ultimate goal is to be the first to list an alternative land-use company on selected stock exchanges, further cementing Agreenco’s status as a leader in the industry.

Cutting-edge Approach to Environmental Improvement

Agreenco is at the forefront of the market, specializing in scalable Nature-Based Solutions. With mining and industrially affected land as their canvas, they utilize scientific and information-based solutions as their paintbrush. Their approach focuses on applying natural resource thinking principles to achieve sustainable and cost-effective environmental improvement in the long run. Its proposed solutions are supported by extensive data accumulated over many years. Their actions are guided by their comprehensive database, and they prioritize long-term project outcomes over cost or quality shortcuts.

Known for its commitment to quality information and delivering environmental results, it involves its customers throughout the entire journey, taking their inputs and key performance indicators (KPIs) into account. As a result of their involvement, it creates a significantly improved environment for mines, employees, and communities. They take pride in providing employment opportunities through their environmental entrepreneurship.

Agreenco not only lives for its triple bottom-line commitment to People, Planet, and Progress but also plays a crucial role in advancing the industry. Leading the industry comes naturally to them, and they frequently contribute to case information, scientific innovation, and policy contributions on national and international platforms. With their trusted proposals and a reputation as the preferred company for both customers and employees, Agreenco’s work stands out as a marvel in their field.

Turning Environmental Liabilities into Natural Assets – A Novel Narrative

Any changes made to the environment are seen as both an impact and a potential cost for Agreenco’s customers. However, Agreenco views these changes as opportunities to transform the affected landscapes into something new while still maintaining their original purpose. Referred to as “minescapes,” these altered environments are seen as a canvas with inherent productivity and potential for improvement. Agreenco knows how to utilize long-term environmental knowledge and existing mine infrastructure to minimize the environmental impact and turn it into an asset. They consider factors such as water treatment, soil replacement and improvement, and land rehabilitation maintenance to create a bankable end-land use project. Agreenco offers various commercial options that cater to industries like wood and fiber, renewable energy, food and dairy, agriculture, and water, as well as education and skills development.

It’s all about clean water…Reviving Abandoned Mines

Agreenco specializes in crafting projects of various durations that are designed to withstand the test of time. They carefully consider the immediate environmental risks faced by their clients while also helping them achieve their business objectives in order to meet sustainable closure requirements. Agreenco has a track record of involvement in minescape optimization projects, where they propose solutions to shareholders, regulators, and the wider community that address the social, environmental, and economic costs associated with such projects. One particular project involved the construction of super tailings dumps to contain millions of tons of tailings, which has the potential to cause vast environmental damage if not properly rehabilitated during life-of-mine.

The project was deemed non-viable during feasibility analysis due to the potential for groundwater contamination, capping requirements, and the long-term costs of water treatment. Agreenco stepped in and developed cost-saving models, including innovative cover designs and water treatment methodologies, to mitigate these risks and control dust during the rehabilitation process. As a result, the life-of-mine of the project was extended by 30 years, saving the mining company billions of rands. The landscape is restored to a functional and non-polluting state through the implementation of agroforestry, which also serves as a sustainable end land use. Agreenco ensures the containment and remediation of groundwater plumes beyond mine closure, and once the rehabilitation is complete, no further negative impacts are anticipated.

In another project, Agreenco successfully assisted a customer in reallocating their excessive water treatment budgets. Instead of costly water treatment, it implemented an innovative process using evaporative technologies to decontaminate water. This approach helped mitigate the effects of water contaminants and allowed the mine to irrigate previously sterilized land, transforming it into lush pastures for local community farmers. Agreenco’s solution not only eliminated both land and water liabilities but also restored mine-impacted land back to economic activities. These examples highlight Agreenco’s ability to utilize its unique and proprietary knowledge, providing practical solutions through its operational and supply teams. By addressing environmental concerns, Agreenco achieved a triple win for the environment, the customer, and the community at large.

Environmental Rehabilitation – Repurposing Minescapes Sustainably

Agreenco offers Engineering, Procurement, Construct, and Management (EPCM) services to cater to the environmental needs of its customers. By providing a comprehensive range of services, Agreenco ensures that its customers have a single point of contact for all their requirements, allowing them to focus on their core competencies while entrusting Agreenco with the expertise required for environmental management. It excels in delivering prompt solutions to its customers’ challenges, thanks to its streamlined processes and ability to provide comprehensive project timelines and outcomes faster than its competitors.

With expertise in bulk material procurement and knowledge of highly productive implementation and treatment models, Agreenco is able to generate significant cost savings for its customers while also mitigating their environmental liabilities. By remaining on-site throughout the maintenance and closure phases, it further assists its customers in reducing costs associated with end-of-life projects, which are often overlooked. This comprehensive approach ensures that it delivers value throughout the entire project lifecycle, taking full ownership and making significant contributions at every stage.

Leading Choice for Customers

Agreenco is recognized as the leading choice for customers due to the passion, expertise, and commitment of its people. The company’s propositions are based on credible and experience-backed solutions that are ready for implementation. Agreenco’s information baseline, which forms the foundation of its propositions, is unmatched. With extensive knowledge gained from numerous projects over several years, it can accurately predict the outcomes of its customers’ choices. The company is highly regarded by its customers, who consider it an integral part of their team and a trusted partner.

Unlike many competitors who offer limited services, it stands out by providing a comprehensive range of services. While others may focus on specific areas such as consulting, contracting, or merchandising, Agreenco has carved out a unique position as a business ecosystem for many of these companies. This has fostered a healthy synergy and “coopetition” among various stakeholders. However, Agreenco is known for its actions rather than mere words. The company is renowned for delivering results without making excuses.

Tackling Environmental Challenges Scientifically and Professionally

Agreenco was established as a university start-up company.. Its solutions are based on scientific principles and supported by modeled output and self-developed technological advancements. The company’s competitive advantage lies in its ability to provide site-specific solutions and applications without being tied to any specific product. When it comes to improving the natural environment, it understands the importance of considering site-specific factors. This includes consideration for different climate scenarios, knowledge about specific soil conditions and capabilities, understanding ecosystems, utilizing agricultural expertise and engineering capabilities, and incorporation of life-of-mine detail in our process.

Agreenco also prioritizes administrative, health, and safety protocols to support its on-site capabilities and track record. Customers trust that Agreenco will deliver projects within budget, adhere to specified timelines, and meet high-quality standards. This trust is seen as an art that Agreenco is committed to maintain.

The implementation teams at Agreenco prioritize the understanding of each customer’s business and KPI’s. Through its mine-specific knowledge, on-site readiness, a fleet of resources, and information-based solutions, it can mobilize quickly and effectively within the customer’s administrative systems.

The ability to deliver this integrated proposition on a large scale across various mining and industrial commodities is an extraordinary accomplishment. It serves as a testament to its strong leadership and the dedication and commitment of its team of professionals.

Prioritizing Stakeholder Interests and delivering ESG results

Whenever Agreenco becomes part of a customer’s journey, it takes complete ownership of the environmental improvement process and acts as a long-term project partner, often exceeding the customer’s tenure. Agreenco’s role in corporate knowledge and project memory is invaluable for ensuring the success and continuity of their customer’s projects. To achieve this, Agreenco actively engages with customer channels at various levels and across different timelines.

They also recognize the importance of community participation and regulatory inputs, as they play a crucial role in the success of any environmental improvement project and are the ultimate beneficiaries and custodians. Additionally, Agreenco aims to inspire young individuals to join the industry through internship programs and actively involves Small and Medium Enterprises in their local expenditure priority model. It understands that by ensuring the satisfaction of the community, it can also satisfy its customers and regulators, ultimately achieving the ultimate goal of sustainable environmental improvement.

Expert Advice

The industry’s ESG “Investment-grade” can be achieved sooner if there are incentives and monetization for environmental improvement. Instead of relying on “Copy and Paste” solutions, it is important to avoid unsuccessful attempts that diminish credibility in demonstrating environmental value. Furthermore, it is crucial to change the perception of environmental expenditure from a grudge purchase to a valued investment in a brighter future. Urgency is required for the industry to establish sustainability language that will convince action customers to prioritize environmental spending and invest in environmental intervention on an industrial and commercial scale. It is now also up to entrepreneurs to unlock green value through bankable business models, effective marketing, and credible solutions that will mobilize routine expenditures in this area.

Industry Leaders and Satisfied Clients

AngloGold Ashanti (Mr. Charl Human) – Agreenco is the most innovative environmental company of the past two decades.

Sibanye Platinum – (Me Carolina Cronje) – For all mining colleagues out there – You want to work with Agreenco, just on an entirely different level – they get things done.

Harmony Gold (Mr. Jozua Ellis) – Thank you, Agreenco, for your exceptional commitment to delivering quality projects, for setting the example of safe operations, and for being a trustworthy contributor to assist us in achieving our corporate social responsibility targets.

Glencore – (Mr. Pieter Swart) – Agreenco delivers next-level sustainability outcomes for our mines and communities, best-in-class solutions, and is a leader in mine impact management. Thank you for your passion in all your projects. What a superb company.

DRD Gold (Mr. Dave Rhodes) – Agreenco is a MVC – Most Valuable Contractor.

Anglo American Platinum (Mr. Hermanus Prinsloo) – Agreenco is a special company that delivers Regeneration and Biodiversity in Mining Projects professionally and without hassle – A competent company of note.

Northwest University – (Mr. Theunis Meyer) – We thank Agreenco for their valued input for more than 20 years as an industry specialist and applied knowledge for our post-graduate and continued education students.

Land Rehabilitation Society of Southern Africa (LaRSSA) – (Dr. Mark Aiken) – With sincere thanks to Agreenco for industry leadership and support beyond your call of duty. Thanks for sponsoring over a decade and for your contribution to so many professionals in our field.

Southern African Institute for Mining and Metals (SAIMM) – (Mr. John Wates) – Best contribution of tailings sustainability to Fanus van Wyk on the environmental design of tailings landscapes. Annual award 2014.

Sericea Management Services (Me Geroldine Strauss) – Agreenco is a charitable and special company – the people and community come first, and the founders have a heart and passion for what they truly believe in – a better future for youth and communities.

Unveil the Secrets to Success

Agreenco passionately believes that sustainable environmental change is achievable and scalable. The company prides itself on the rapid delivery of applied solutions within our customer’s site-specific processes and within committed timelines. Furthermore, it positions itself as a catalyst for novel applications in the mining and industrial sectors, challenging, costly short-term practices and delivering novel green mining services and concepts.

The company specializes in environmental compliance and innovation services to mining and industrial clients. Through its EPCM and dedicated subsidiary structure, the company can deliver the full value chain, including design, execution, supply, and maintenance services.

  • Mine Regeneration and End-Land Use
  • Land Rehabilitation and Project Closure
  • Biological Ground Water Treatment and Wetland Remediation
  • Dust Control Management and Clean Airsheds
  • Biodiversity Improvement and Decarbonization,
  • Environmental Infrastructure Design and Construction,
  • Water Treatment Operations, Refurbishment, Maintenance, and Sanitation Innovation.

Agreenco initiates each project with a meticulously crafted operational plan considering specific environmental targets and timeframes, and project specifications are, without exception, rooted in scientific and engineering principles. By considering various opportunity costs and potential interventions, Agreenco is able to provide valuable decision-support and operational improvement information to its customers. This approach empowers customers to make well-informed choices based on the best-cost options available. Agreenco’s commitment to applied solutions, supported by scientific interventions and a comprehensive, cost-based project architecture, sets the company apart.

Disrupting the traditional consultancy and contracting barriers that bring many delays, lack of ownership, and project inefficiencies, Agreenco gets things done. The company takes ownership of the entire value chain, offering sustainable outcomes through integrative thinking and an altruistic approach to environmental outcomes – something the market has lost. This integration of theory and practice, coupled with a focus on environmental results, distinguishes Agreenco and solidifies its competitive advantage in the industry.