News from Affiliates

Monday, 12 August 2013 07:29

FSE:Comment on DWA AMD Solution

The FSE is of the firm opinion that many persons and companies want to financially profit from the current situation. This is resulting in failure to holistically identify and manage the AMD impacts and challenges. The reason might partly be that the situation is a political problem as well.

Published in MINING

For most of its history, the mining industry in South Africa has not been subjected to comprehensive environmental regulation.

In recent years, however, this has changed significantly and the industry is now required to comply with a complex web of mining and environmental policy and legislation. This chapter outlines the most relevant legislation and policy documents that govern sustainable mining in South Africa.

Download the document here (82kb)

Published in LEGISLATION
Friday, 25 July 2008 02:28

The Benchmark Institute Report

The persistent activism of Mariette Liefferink, the C.E.O. of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment has kept the media attention on the impact of uranium and gold mining on the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment area for a number of years.

Published in RESEARCH
Sunday, 03 February 2013 04:25

Small victory in blighted mining landscape

Mariette Liefferink’s red high-heeled sandals sink into the watery earth. She totters to a mining pit overflowing with copper water that is stained like blood. That this is filled with partially treated acid mine drainage (AMD) is a small victory for the environmental activist.

Published in FSE PRESS
Sunday, 10 February 2013 19:58

Tailings Storage Facility

It has been noted, not without serious concern that the Project will result in:

  • The loss of a wetlands system and that no mitigation methods can be realistically prescribed for this activity;
  • The placement of the TSF within or next to wetland areas will impact on the underlying geohydrology of the system;
  • The surface hydrological dynamics would be altered which will have both water quality and quantity implications for the catchment; and
  • The subsequent loss of ecological services (an important ecological service identified for the system is the enhancement of water quality) provided by the wetland units within this catchment area;
  • The TSF area may have water quality and quantity implications for the downstream water users;
  • The selected TSF site may not be ideal for tailings construction from a wetlands perspective since it is surrounded by wetlands on three sites and very close to the riparian zones of uncommon unchannelled valley bottom wetlands as well as the fact
  • that pans occur in the centre of the site;
  • An offset strategy is recommended but the strategy has not been compiled in consultation with the relevant authorities and interested and affected parties.

A full comment is available to download.

Published in COMMENT


Die Blou Skerpioene het verlede week toegeslaan op Platmin, wat ‘n reuse-oopgroefmyn in ‘n beoogde erfenis-gebied op die voorstoep van die Pilanesberg-natuurreservaat bedryf.

Published in FSE PRESS

In a first for SA, a mining company has pleaded guilty to breaking environmental laws while prospecting for coal in a protected wetland -- in return for a relatively light penalty.

Published in LEGISLATION

Allegations that former convicts Kenny Kunene and Gayton McKenzie defrauded poor Sowetan communities by persuading them to participate in a mining rights application for Central Rand Gold in Johannesburg are being investigated.

However, there is widespread confusion over the status of the police investigation.

Published in MINING
Thursday, 22 March 2012 00:00

Govt vows to solve acid mine water crisis

The Department of Water Affairs says it is committed to solving the country's acid mine water crisis. Farmers in Mpumalanga have issued a warning that polluted water could lead to food shortages. Now an upgraded treatment plant is to be opened in Gauteng but the government concedes more needs to be done.

Published in MINING


The Department of Water Affairs and civil society organisations have agreed that "some degree" of desalination should be added to the short-term plan for treating acid mine water threatening the water supply to the Witwatersrand

Published in SA NEWS
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MINING

Tours of West Rand gold fields

The FSE conducts regular tours with interested and affected parties, of the West Rand gold fields and Sibanye Gold’s operations. 

Mine Shafts: Accidents waiting to happen

  Eighty-two shafts without warning signs.  Twenty-two open shafts.  Three wate...

Residents left in the dark over AMD treatment

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been accused of “authorising po...

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”.

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

Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water.  This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous. 

SABC Health Talk, Environmental Health: 25 February 2017

Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment....

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green be...