Curbing mine pollution with legislation

While South Africa has made significant progress in shifting policy frameworks to address mine closure and mine-water management, and the mining industry has changed their practices to conform to new regulations, vulnerabilities in the current system still remain.

The pollution reality of gold mining waste is illustrated by a case study in the West Rand area, where decant from gold mines started in 2002. Potential receptors of the pollution include neighbouring property owners, a game reserve and, further afield, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

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AMD: Solutions to a 100-year-old problem

South Africa has an estimated 6 000 abandoned mines that are described as ticking time bombs by environmental groups. Government and the mining industry are in a scramble to fix this problem that began over a century ago.

It was the threat of rising acid mine water in a gold mine in Johannesburg that prompted public attention. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) describes acid mine drainage (AMD) as ‘one of the most hazardous threats facing our water resources’.

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Fracking in the Karoo, yay or nay?

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking, as it’s popularly known, has more enemies than allies. Invented in the 1940s in the United States, fracking was – and still is – used as an alternative to supplying gas to the country.

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Examining health risks caused by mine dumps

Globally, over the years the mining industry has experienced case after case of health issues that either miners or residents in close proximity of the mine have experienced or are experiencing. This is an issue that mining veterans and experts should address.

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