Harmony urged to appeal against ruling on acid mine drainage

Business Day 6 July 2012.

The High court ruling, if it stands, has serious implications for the mining industry as it means liability for environmental degradation cannot be sold off.

IT WOULD be good if Harmony Gold, the fifth-largest gold producer in the world, did appeal against a North Gauteng High Court ruling that it must continue paying for treating acid mine drainage from a West Rand mine it sold in 2008, commentators said on Thursday.

This would make it clear whether Judge Tati Makgoka’s precedent-setting ruling was correct, and, if so, broaden the precedent from the North Gauteng High Court’s jurisdiction to the whole country.