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Friday, 18 November 2016 21:07

The Destruction of the Highveld

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"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

Friday, 28 October 2016 19:11

Truth of the dust that brings death

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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, 31 October 2016 19:02

Gold rush leaves toxic hangover

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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.

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 06:34

Mining's dark shadow

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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.

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

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.

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.

The World Health Organization is collecting hair samples west of Johannesburg to see if residents are suffering from excessive uranium pollution due to ore dumps from 130 years of gold mining.

The Geneva-based United Nations unit will analyze hair samples from about 1,600 people living in neighborhoods near mine-waste dumps, mainly west of Johannesburg, it said in an e-mailed response to questions. Uranium, which can cause cancer, can be ingested through drinking contaminated water or inhaling dust.

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.

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