Alarm over plan to pump acid mine drainage into the Vaal

Mail and Guardian 14 October 2012.

Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane must intervene to ensure a solution is found to acid mine drainage, said DA Gauteng spokesperson Jack Bloom.

“The acid mine drainage crisis in Gauteng has been mishandled from the start, characterised by inexcusable delay and policy zig-zags,” he said.

Bloom was responding to a Sunday Times report that government planned to pump partially treated acid mine drainage (AMD) into the Vaal River…

Click here for the full, depressing article

Mining industry increasingly seeking water solutions

Engineering News 27 September 2012.

JOHANNESBURG ( – The global mining water and wastewater sector was expected to grow as the focus on sustainable water solutions within the mining industry increased, a recent report by Frost & Sullivan found.

In its ‘CEO 360 Degree Perspective of the Global Mining Water and Wastewater Treatment Market’ report, the firm said that continuing investments into improving water treatment levels, resource recovery and desalination capacities were expected to push the sector’s revenue from $2.29-billion in 2011, to $3.60-billion by 2016…

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Rand’s acid water costs double, but state has no extra funds

Business Day Live 31 August 2012.

THE projected costs of initially solving the Witwatersrand’s acid mine drainage problem have more than doubled to R2.2bn, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

The Treasury has allocated R433m to sort out the acid mine water that has already polluted the region’s western basin. Experts say acid mine water could decant into the central basin, which encompasses parts of Johannesburg, within a year and the eastern basins soon after that…

AMD feasibility study to be completed in 2013

Engineering News 9 July 2012.

JOHANNESBURG ( – A feasibility study to find long-term solutions for acidmine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand would be completed in February next year, said Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

In her response to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s Gareth Morgan, she stated that the R17.72-million study, which started in January, was conducted by the Department’s Chief Directorate: Integrated Water Resource Planning, supported by three professional service providers and specialist advisers…

(Editorial note: Surely it is not that complicated? Make the current polluters pay and pay an engineering firm to put treatment plants into the abandoned mines – one doesn’t need to pay a bunch of consultants R18 million.)

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.





Pleas to regulate toxic waste heard in Parliament

Mail and Guardian 30 May 2012.

Parliament has heard that it is unclear who is responsible for managing radioactive and toxic mining waste outside Witwatersrand mine properties.

Mpumalanga town faces acid water crisis

Business Report 20 February 2012.

Municipal authorities in Carolina, Mpumalanga, are pouring lime into the town’s polluted water system in an attempt to neutralise high pH levels, it was reported on Thursday.

Suspected seepage from two abandoned coal mines in the Nkomati catchment area had made the town’s water supply too acidic, and thus undrinkable, the Beeld reported…