The ground shudders and heaves, then slowly rips apart, pulling whatever is nearby — houses, trees, cars, factories — into a newly-formed, gaping hole.
It sounds like a scene from a science fiction film, but over the last several decades, this scenario has played out thousands of times — entirely unscripted — near South Africa’s largest city.
The city's landmark Top Star Drive-in site is a shadow of its former self, after the mine dump it perched atop was levelled and re-mined for gold.
An aerial view of the old Top Star Drive-in in Johannesburg.
by Zwanga Mukhuthu of M&G
Fears that a facility to treat acid mine drainage could contaminate plants, animals and people. Government is forging ahead with a R1-billion project for the treatment of acid mine drainage in Ekurhuleni – despite a fierce backlash by residents and environmental experts over the millions of cubic metres of toxic, and possibly radioactive, sludge the project will churn out.
The 19th century gold rush that built Johannesburg left many abandoned mines in the city that still lure hundreds of people every day who enter them illegally searching for what little gold that remains.
THE Gauteng agriculture and rural development department launched a five-year plan this week, to treat the problem of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the province.
In the past few years people living around Johannesburg have become aware, thanks to environmental activists and visible evidence, that highly tainted water from old gold mines, dubbed AMD, is rising to surface and polluting water sources.
by Charlotte Mathews
In this four part series we begin with the protest action in Kagiso early this year. The residents of Kagiso on Johannesburg's West Rand are calling for the complete shut down of Mintails Mogale Gold. This mining operation began unrestrained blasting only 100m's away from their homes late in 2013. People describe an earthquake type effect which cracked their walls and foundations. The community then mobilised to have the mine shut down stating in their list of grievances various laws that had been contravened by the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) Mogale City and the mining company.
Published by Media for Justice on 18 Apr 2014
"..in the light of the continuing pollution of one of our country's major river systems and one of our countries largest aquifers, and given the inadequacy of the current treatment plant, it does notmake any sense that several new opencast mine pits could have been authorised right on top of the recharge zone of the Western Basin Mine Void".
Mintails continue to contribute to the recharge (and subsequent decant from) of the Western Basin Mine Void water (by increasing the number of opencast areas through which recharge occurs), which [FSE] rightly say flow at about 20-30 Ml/day form the 17 and 18 Winze shaft areas. However, currently it is probably flowing at double that rate, due to the huge recharge surface area of the new opencast mine pits.
by Charlotte Matthews of Business Day
TACKLING the lethal and unsightly legacy of abandoned gold mines around Krugersdorp is not a task for the faint-hearted. But Australian-listed Mintails believes it can play a major role, at the same time as making money for its shareholders.
It is going to cost a lot of money and require some controversial decision-making to address the complex social and environmental problems on the West Rand that reflect illegal mining, communities encroaching on toxic mine tailings, and poisoned water.
PRETORIA. – Die departement van minerale hulpbronne gaan tot einde April R2,534 miljoen bestee aan bemarkingsveldtogte vir onder meer die omstrede nuwe mynbouregulasies. Dit sluit regulasies vir skaliegas in.
Living in the shadow of the old mine dumps, the dust is forever unsettling
Johannesburg sits atop the world's most productive gold reef -- a staggering 40,000 tons of the precious metal has been mined from it during a history tracing back 130 years. That legacy of riches has left behind a toxic inheritance: radioactivity from uranium hauled up in the mining process.
Scientists have found uranium quantities in rivers west of the city to be as much as 4,000 times natural levels and in tap water as much as 20 times higher. A soil sample taken by Bloomberg News and tested by government-certified WaterLab Ltd. from pumpkin roots grown a little more than a mile from a recently closed gold mine contained five times more uranium than background levels considered normal by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Die beleërde myngroep Mintails, wat goudherwinning uit ou mynhope aan die Wesrand doen en reeds vir langer as n week stil staan, het nou ook waarskuwings van die departement van waterwese ontvang.