Comment: Sibanye Gold Tailing Re-treatment Project

Written by  Tuesday, 05 May 2015 03:55
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment's (FSE) position on the re-mining and consolidation of  poorly managed, poorly constructed and poorly monitored historical tailings storage facilities, which are significant sources of water and windblown dust pollution,  has been published in a number of academic papers, government reports and comments and response reports.

While the FSE is in support of the re-mining of historical tailings storage facilities and the reclamation of Au, U and sulphur and the consolidation of mine residue in a regional tailings storage facility, the FSE wishes to raise the following issues of concern and call upon the Applicant to address these [an extract from the document which is available to download in full]:

  • In the past dump reclamation activities, a number of cases have been identified where the re-mining of dumps was not completed, either due to a lack of funding on the part of the miner or due to the heterogeneity in the dumps which were mined. Any new application to exploit mine residues should only be approved if it involves the removal of an entire residue deposit and the rehabilitation of the remaining footprint. If this is not the case, rather than consolidating contaminated sites, the reprocessing activities result in the creation of two contaminated sites, where one previously existed.
  • The past practice of granting rights and authorization for the reprocessing of individual residue deposits may need to be reviewed insofar as it allows the selective extraction of value from portions of a site without ploughing some of that value back into the rehabilitation of the entire mining area. It must be accepted that the reprocessing of some mining residues will never be economically viable and that these will need to be transported to the regional tailings storage facility.
  • Radiometric surveys over previously reprocessed mine residue deposit footprints have, in some cases, shown elevated levels of residual radioactivity in soils. In these cases, it must be accepted that some areas will never be suitable for unrestricted development and that these areas will need to be demarcated as such, and appropriated land-uses proposed and implemented.
  • The latent impacts on biota, including humans, of bioaccumulation and exposure to elevated levels of metals and NORMs are established in the international scientific literature. The mining industry should have gained enough experience from the asbestosis and silicosis catastrophes in South Africa to justify application of precautionary principles in respect of other suspected latent impacts. We recommend that gold mining operations in South Africa adopt the precautionary approach, and consider the following risks when determining re-mining, rehabilitation, closure and financial provisions for rehabilitation and closure:
    • The near certainty of contaminated water, which will require some form of decontamination treatment, decanting from closed underground mines, or from lower-lying interconnected neighbouring mines;
    • The near certainty of sulphate, chloride, metal and NORM contamination of soils and sediments by seepage from unlined tailings storage facilities (TSFs), tailings spillages and plant discharges and the potential for contamination of downstream /downwind soils and sediments;
    • The near certainty of sulphate, chloride, metal and NORM contamination of surface water bodies and their sediments, and ground water, by seepage from unlined tailings storage facilities, tailings spillages, plant discharges and underground workings. In addition, the potential contamination of surface soils overlying shallow polluted groundwater via evaporative pathways during dry seasons.

MINING

turn mine enviro hazards into jobs generator

http://www.miningweekly.com/article/booklet-outlines-guide-to-turning-mine-enviro-hazards-into-job-generator-2017-07-28 booklet outlines measures to turn mine enviro hazards into jobs generator 4th August 2017 By: Ilan Solomons - Creamer Media Staff Writer MARIETTE LIEFFERINK The project would be in the position to supply jobs to 100 people, who would be responsible for the rehabilitation of Tweelopiespruit and surrounding areas Photo by: Duane Daws  

It’s all about the money

The hazardous mining by-product raises two questions – who’s to blame and who sh...

Down in the dumps, there's hope

"WHERE there's waste, there's opportunity," said mining hydrologist Kym Morton, ...

SA NEWS

Addressing waste and pollution of the past

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment is proud to announce the launch of the booklet titled “Rehabilitation of Mine Contaminated Eco-Systems. A Contribution to a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy to Combat Unemployment and Climate Change” by Mariette Liefferink of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). The booklet was commissioned by the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in collaboration with the Friedrick Ebert Stiftung.

Nuwe myn ‘sal duisende hul huise kos’

Byna 10 000 mense sal verskuif moet word as Anglo Operations Ltd en Canyon Coal hul sin kry om ’n massiewe oopgroefsteenkoolmyn oos van Springs te begin.

SA coal mines leave legacy of ruin

Johannesburg - A 19-month data investigation of mine closures indicates that since at least 2011 no large coal mines operating in South Africa have been granted closure.

Besoedelingklagte: Mynbase daag nie by hof op

Drie direkteure van die Blyvooruitzicht- en Village Main Reef-goudmyn buite ­Carletonville kan ’n boete van tot R10 miljoen of tien jaar tronkstraf opgelê word weens die beweerde besoedeling en agteruitgang van die omgewing.

WATER

Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area

Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that has been resisting the proposed coal mine inside a protected area and strategic water source area in Mpumalanga launched further proceedings in the Pretoria High Court.

Project to heal polluted river . System will·create stream·of jobs

THE POTENTIAL to create 100 climate jobs and to help : bring a "dead river syste...

'Mine Water can be treated, safe'

SOUTH Africans have to "change their mindsets" that they can't drink acid mine d...