Friday, 06 November 2015 01:43

Hazards of Uranium

Uranium mining and processing poses a tremendous threat to workers and the population in the surrounding areas through the release of radiation and exposure to heavy metals and chemicals.

Published in RESEARCH

Uranium has been considered both a radiological and also a heavy metal poison, following calcium in its distribution within the body, i.e. building up in bone, and with the principle target for toxicity being the lung and the kidney. Recently, it has been shown that uranium also targets the brain.

Published in RESEARCH

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.

Published in MINING
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 06:23

Mitigation measures at Uranium Mines

Uranium mining operations have high impacts on environment and society, and can lead to deterioration of health of workers and communities. Uranium mining activities are increasing in Africa, where mining is not always strictly regulated and controlled. Mitigation of negative impacts from uranium mines by national governments and international mining companies can have a positive effect on society and environment.
An assessment of the mitigation measures is addressed in the report "Uranium from Africa" by World Information Service on Energy (WISE) and Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO)


Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations.

 

The report assesses what mitigation measures governments and industry are taking in Namibia, South Africa, and the Central African Republic. Practices are compared with Canada and Australia, where regulation is more strict.

"It is surprising that South Africa has no specialised institutions which have adequate knowledge on the impacts of (uranium) mining operations and can monitor, educate, and advise on all mining-related health and environmental issues".

EXTRACTS from the report are contained in this article. The FULL REPORT is available to download.

Published in RESEARCH
Monday, 26 April 2010 15:16

Reprocessing tailings

The reprocessing of tailings by Rand Uranium is an important step forward in rehabilitation of an environment that has been badly scarred by earlier mining activities.

Published in COMMENT
Saturday, 10 April 2010 09:48

Hazards of Uranium

Uranium mining and processing poses a tremendous threat to workers and the population in the surrounding areas through the release of radiation and exposure to heavy metals and chemicals.

Published in NUCLEAR

Uranium has been considered both a radiological and also a heavy metal poison, following calcium in its distribution within the body, i.e. building up in bone, and with the principle target for toxicity being the lung and the kidney. Recently, it has been shown that uranium also targets the brain.

Published in NUCLEAR
Monday, 16 March 2009 06:20

Uranium in the Karoo: what it may mean

The social and environmental costs associated with uranium mining are difficult to predict and regulate. By the time environmental and socio-economic consequences become noticeable, the mines have typically closed, changed ownership or become insolvent and thus cannot be compelled anymore to contribute to the remediation, either financially or through other actions. The trust funds are often substantially inadequate to address environmental impacts.

Published in COMMENT
Monday, 16 March 2009 05:54

Submission: PBMR Fuel Plant

Poor institutional control of radioactive waste for the last one hundred years now poses a threat to communities and the natural environment.

Published in COMMENT
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 01:43

'Move campus or see you in court'

The management and lecturers of the Central Johannesburg College are likely to face off in court over the bosses' refusal to relocate a campus from the Crown Mines area.

Published in SA NEWS
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MINING

FSE COMMENTS - Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project

Comments on the Millsite Tailings Storage Facility Reclamation Project: Wetland Sensitivity Mapping and Impact Assessment Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Lindum Railway Decommissioning Freshwater Resource Assessment in the Vicinity of the Proposed Millsite Reclamation Surface Water Assessment Report Groundwater Assessment Report Integrated Water Use Licence Application for the Sibanye-Stillwater Rand Uranium/Cooke Operations Integrated Water and Waste Management Plan in support of the WULA   The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Federation for Sustainable Environment (FSE). The FSE is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. Their mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries.  

Presentations at the conference "Sustainable Use of Abandoned Mines in the SADC Region"

Presentations, including the FSE’s presentation, held at the conference “Linki...

Palmietkuilen Coal Mining Project Rejected

The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) has refused ...

SA NEWS

Battle to save Marico's river

De Beers has secured rights to prospect for kimberlite in the sensitive catchment of Groot Marico, but residents worry that minim firms could damage their pristine river, writes Sheree Bega

Saturday Star - No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water

Saturday Star January 27 2018 No holds barred in draft National Master Plan for Water   Sheree Bega   South Africa’s water scarcity could rapidly get worse as supply contracts and demand escalates due to growth, urbanisation, unsustainable use, degradation of wetlands, water losses and a decline in rainfall because of climate change. This is one of the warnings contained in the new draft National Master Plan for Water and Sanitation. Based on current demand projections, the water deficit confronting the country could be between 2.7 and 3.8 billion cubic metres, a gap of about 17%, by 2030. As of July last year, according to the draft plan, South Africa has consumed more water per capita at about 237 * /c/d than the world average of around 173 * /c/d. To address crippling water shortages, desalinated sea water in coastal areas, and treated waste water, will increasingly be brought into the water mix - together with an increase in the use of groundwater. Desalination plants should “not be implemented as an emergency scheme, only to be used intermittently or during times of drought and inadequate supply from the conventional water resources,” the draft plan cautions. “These schemes are too costly to be moth-balled for any length of time.”

THE IMPACT OF MINING ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY AND LIVING STANDARDS

  POLITICS WEB MINING AND PEOPLE: THE IMPACT OF MINING ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY AND LIVING STANDARDS INTRODUCTION AND SYNOPSIS There are two ways of looking at mining in South Africa. The first is to see it as a sunset industry plagued by rising costs, technical difficulties, and political hostility. The second is to see it as an industry well positioned for a new lease of life despite all the vicissitudes. Even though the attractiveness of South Africa for mining investment has declined, the country still has the world's richest reserves of precious minerals and base metals. Companies both large and small would like to exploit these. Some are doing so despite the political threats. Even more will do so if the threats can be effectively managed or reduced. According to the Chamber of Mines, investment over the next few years could almost double in the absence of threats.

FSE’s Preliminary Comments on the Minister of Water and Sanitation’s decision to consolidate the 9 Catchment Management Agencies into one Catchment Management Agency.

  (Reg. No. 2007/003002/08) NPO NUMBER 062986-NPO PBO No. (TAX EXEMPT) 930 039 506 Postnet Suite 87 Private Bag X033 RIVONIA 2128   COMMENTS ON THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION’S DECISION TO IMPLEMENT A SINGLE CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT AGENCY (CMA) TO PERFORM WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FUNCTION IN THE NINE WATER MANAGEMENT AREAS.  The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment. The Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE) is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. The FSE’s mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries.  

WATER

SUBMISSION ON THE DWS MASTER PLAN

WRITTEN SUBMISSION ON THE DRAFT 2.6: NATIONAL WATER AND SANITATION MASTER PLAN (NW&SMP)  In this document, the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (“FSE”) submits comments on the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan, draft 2.6 (the “draft plan”).  THE FSE:  The FSE is a federation of community based civil society organisations committed to the realisation of the constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being, and to having the environment sustainably managed and protected for future generations. Their mission is specifically focussed on addressing the adverse impacts of mining and industrial activities on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities who live and work near South Africa’s mines and industries.    In accordance with the above-mentioned mission, the FSE’s comments are limited to matters pertaining to the mining industry. The FSE’s comments will be substantiated by real examples within the scope of the FSE’s experience and our active participation in a significant number of environmental impacts assessments, environmental management programme reports, water use license applications, environmental authorisations, steering committees, forums, task teams, teams of experts, academic research groups, boards, etc. over a period of 15 (fifteen years).[1] [1] Kindly note that the Legal Resources Centre assisted with this publication.

Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area

Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that...