Johannesburg – Gold producer AngloGold Ashanti [JSE:ANG] has been charged with contaminating water in Stilfontein by the Federation for Sustainable Environment, a report said on Wednesday.
Head of the federation Mariette Liefferink told the Mail& Gaurdian that the charges had been laid due to repeated spillages, when water leaked out of AngloGold’s tailings dam in Stilfontein in the North West. These are dams where waste is kept and no leakages should occur.
The leakages started in March last year.
The polluted water is allegedly spilling in an area of dolomitic rock that affects the groundwater and could potentially contaminate the nearby Vaal River, posing a severe health risk.
Liefferink said the dangers were evident in the deaths of grazing cattle as a result of radioactive contamination.
She said the federation had approached the energy minister and the National Nuclear Regulator, with no luck.
She said the next step was to pursue criminal action against AngloGold, in the hope that the company’s directors will be fined and held criminally liable.
An AngloGold spokesperson told M&G that the company had just been notified of the charges and would study them first.