Mining News

Monday, 13 February 2017 09:54

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been accused of “authorising pollution”, after its water quality tests for its acid mine drainage (AMD) plants in the Witwatersrand surpassed the government’s own water resource quality objectives.

Friday, 10 February 2017 10:02

Blyvooruitzicht, a once prosperous mine town, has become a haven for criminals.  Residents fear for their lives following the closure of the town's gold mine in 2013.

Sunday, 18 December 2016 05:01

Johannesburg - Three former directors of Blyvoor Gold who were meant to revive the troubled Blyvoor gold mine have been described as the alleged “masterminds” behind the staggering R10 million theft of valuable mining equipment.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 12:39

Fifteen years ago, the cost to fill South Africa’s sinkholes exceeded R1 billion. That number has risen, and the effects are more than disastrous, writes Mark Olalde

Friday, 18 November 2016 19:07

"Various organisations have done critical work on understanding the impacts on mining in 2016. The Centre for Environmental Rights has exposed the brutal reality of poor governance and its entrenched nature. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies has clearly shown that the Social Labour Plans, promising a new life for those whose lands are destroyed, has failed to deliver. The writing is on the wall. Mining does not work for people." 

Download the full report:www.groundwork.org.za

Monday, 31 October 2016 17:02

The 'West and Central Rand' have historically contained some the biggest gold deposits on Earth. But extracting this resource has left a dangerous environmental legacy, says the Harvard Law School in a new and alarming report. Sheree Bega examines some of its findings

An eerie silence hangs over the dead waters of Robinson Lake and the crumbling ruins of the abandoned buildings that encircle the wasteland.

Friday, 28 October 2016 17:11

A new hard-hitting report from Harvard Law School details how South Africa has failed to meet its human rights obligations concerning gold mining in and around Joburg. Bonnie Docherty, who led the research, spoke to Sheree Bega

Johannesburg - Great riches and high risks. That’s the story of gold mining on the Witwatersrand, where the sparkle of the gold rush led to a boom that would give rise to Joburg, turning it into one of the most powerful cities on the continent. But the hunt for gold would also irrevocably alter our socio-political and natural landscape.

Monday, 03 October 2016 17:14

The Federation for Sustainable Environment (FSE) has submitted comments to the South African Human Rights Commission  on South Africa's environmental compliance, enforcement and monitoring system. 

Thursday, 07 July 2016 04:34

The signs of trouble started soon after Luciano Williams was born.  When he was only one month old, he suddenly stopped breathing. It’s a moment his frightened grandmother, Ann, won’t ever forget. Little Luciano was lying in her arms: “I saw his eyes turning in his head. He couldn’t breathe. I was so scared. I asked his uncle to run to get a mirror to hold it in front of his mouth. But there was nothing coming out,” remembers the 60-year-old.

Wednesday, 06 July 2016 19:27

  A new Finnish technology could revolutionise treatment of acid mine water and industrial waste. 

Saturday, 25 June 2016 20:20

In 2010, workers at DRDGold’s Blyvooruitzicht gold mine near Carletonville toyi-toyi -ed to protest against a bid for the distressed mine by Aurora Empowerment Systems, whose reputation was already marred by events at Grootvlei and Orkney.  Blyvoor traded itself out of its difficulties then, but only three years later, Village Main Reef, which was managing the mine pending the completion of a deal to buy it from DRDGold, put the mine into provisional liquidation.

Monday, 20 June 2016 08:37

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Government’s acknowledgment of the severity of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the Witwatersrand, Gauteng, and the subsequent priority given to taking steps to alleviate the problem are of “significant importance”, states Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) CEO Mariette Liefferink.

Sunday, 22 May 2016 16:55

South African minister of water and sanitation announced earlier in the month that her department was ready to implement a long term strategy to deal with acid mine drainage. The acid has been a source of pollution known to gold miners and activists for over 100 years. Angelo Coppola of CCTV has more.

View here: www.youtube.com

Media

Friday, 29 April 2016 16:40

At Blyvooruitzicht, a 77-year-old gold mine southwest of Johannesburg, almost everything had been stolen except gold-bearing ore in the looting after the operation was closed in 2013.

Now, New York University graduates Bastiat Viljoen, 31, and his brother Dane, who was an intern at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., want to revive the ailing mine, which they say may contain 9 million ounces of gold, worth almost $11 billion at current prices. They are partly financed by South African mining entrepreneur Peter Skeat.

Saturday, 19 March 2016 06:17

The department of mineral resources has been left with a R30-billion rehabilitation bill to clean up the damage left by failed mining firms.

MINING

Residents left in the dark over AMD treatment

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been accused of “authorising pollution”, after its water quality tests for its acid mine drainage (AMD) plants in the Witwatersrand surpassed the government’s own water resource quality objectives.

From Gold Town to Ghost Town

Blyvooruitzicht, a once prosperous mine town, has become a haven for criminals. ...

Blyvoor Gold directors accused of R10m theft

Johannesburg - Three former directors of Blyvoor Gold who were meant to revive t...

SA NEWS

Lauded for research on SA acid mine drainage

The launch of Acid mine drainage in South Africa: Development actors, policy impacts and broader implications, by Suvania Naidoo, took place on 10 February 2017. The book has proven to be a timely publication because of the incipient water crisis in South Africa. The event was hosted by Unisa’s Department of Development Studies in the College of Human Sciences. The guests were welcomed by the chair of the department, Prof Gretchen du Plessis, who expressed that “development studies is an ever-changing discipline and is a space where different issues converge”. She further stated that the book fills a void in our knowledge about acid mine drainage (AMD) and that the publication is “an example of hard work which results in big achievements”.   This publication is the culmination of the findings of the research conducted for Naidoo’s master’s dissertation. The book focuses on assessing the responses of the various development actors involved in addressing the issues of AMD, and its socio-economic and developmental implications. Prof Dirk Kotzé, from the Department of Political Sciences at Unisa and programme director for the event, said that AMD research is generally analysed from highly technical, engineering, and natural science perspectives. He also said that the purpose of the publication was to identify and explain the different conceptual understandings of AMD and its implications. Kotzé acclaimed the publication as being one of the few cases where a social science approach successfully ventures into the domain of the natural sciences.   Naidoo uses sustainable development and, specifically, environmental sustainability as the departure for this research, which is directly linked to water and food security. She said the book concentrates on AMD as “a phenomenon in water management in South Africa and its potential impact on sustainable development, as well as mining and the quality of water in South Africa and the impacts of AMD”.   She emphasised that one of the most important contributions of her research is conceptual in nature and said “the manner in which AMD is defined determines how it is assessed as a water management, environmental, and social problem. It also means that the response to AMD is determined by how it is defined by government”. Naidoo highlighted that, while the South African government has made strong and valuable attempts to address the issues surrounding AMD, the conclusions of her research showed that there was no clear indication in policy as to what the socio-economic impacts caused by AMD are, and how they should be responded to.   Keynote speaker, Mariette Liefferink, CEO of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, and a leading activist in this field, provided a detailed account of the historic and contemporary context of AMD. She alerted the audience to a significant fact that AMD dates as far back as 1903. She used a more current example to illustrate the impact of AMD on South Africa’s water systems by explaining how the problem of AMD in the West Rand Basin, Gauteng, was left untreated for almost 10 years. She said the immediate short-term treatment of AMD only commenced in 2012 and said that a feasibility study for the long-term treatment of this phenomenon was conducted in 2013 at a cost of R25m. Liefferink said that the long-term treatment plan for AMD was launched on 18 May 2016 but would only be implemented by 2020. She warned that this might have a significant impact on water security. She stressed that academics who employ their research for the benefit of society should be applauded and endorsed Naidoo’s publication as having a definite economic and social value impact.   Zachary Romano, editor at Springer, New York, via a pre-recorded video, said: “Suvania’s research was a perfect candidate for our SpringerBriefs edition, in Earth Sciences, Geography and Environment at Springer Nature. This series is targeted at publishing interdisciplinary case-studies that speaks to larger issues, particularly from young researchers with promising careers. As South Africa’s water systems are under much stress from climate change and pollution already, this is a timely document and we are confident that many academics and professionals will find it to be a great resource”. He also said that the book proposal was reviewed by several leaders in the field, all of whom were impressed by the final product. He further mentioned that the publisher is looking forward to future collaborative work with Naidoo.   The event was extremely well-attended by key stakeholders and experts in this field.

Truth of the dust that brings death

  A new hard-hitting report from Harvard Law School details how South Africa has failed to meet its human rights obligations concerning gold mining in and around Joburg. Bonnie Docherty, who led the research, spoke to Sheree Bega

Harvard Report: The Cost of Gold

A report has been published by the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic titled "The Cost of Gold: Environmental, Health, and Human Rights Consequences of Gold Mining in South Africa’s West and Central Rand.   The reports states, "The complex web of responsible government agencies and repeated legislative changes to that organizational structure have impeded the development of a coordinated plan to deal with the negative effects of mining. The limited scope of action, inadequate attention to at-risk communities, and insufficient consideration of environmental concerns have undermined the completeness of any response."

SA hasn't protected residents from gold mine pollution: Harvard report

JOHANNESBURG South Africa has failed to protect residents affected by pollution from contaminated water and mine dumps over more than 130 years of gold mining near Johannesburg, an independent investigation by the Harvard Law School said.

WATER

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green because the sprinklers run all day. There's little sense of alarm at the fast-declining water levels in the Vaal water system after which the suburb is named.

Objection: Sedibelo Platinum Mine Water Use Licence

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment has objected to the Water Use Licen...

Corruption seeps into South Africa’s R26 billion water project: report

Water affairs and sanitation minister Nomvula Mokonyane is in the cross-hairs of...