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Planejamento para o fechamento prematuro de minas; Planning for early mine closure

Sanchez, Luis Enrique
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.84%
Planos de fechamento de mina são hoje bastante difundidos entre empresas de mineração no Brasil. No entanto, a principais diretrizes brasileiras e internacionais abordam principalmente o fechamento programado de uma mina, ou seja, aquele que ocorre após a exaustão das reservas, segundo um plano de lavra predeterminado. Esse trabalho revê dois casos recentes de fechamento prematuro de mina na Austrália e propõe, com base nas boas práticas internacionalmente recomendadas para o planejamento do fechamento de minas, critérios para avaliar o grau de preparação das empresas para o fechamento prematuro. Os critérios são testados em planos de fechamento de duas minas de ferro.; Several mining companies operating in Brazil have been preparing mine closure plans describing end of life actions to ensure long term physical stability, land rehabilitation and, to a certain extent, socioeconomic measures. Most Brazilian and international guidelines, however, skip early closure and only feature guidance to closure planning after reserve depletion. In this paper, two cases of early closure in Australia are reviewed, causes for early closure are explored, criteria to evaluate preparedness to early mine closure are proposed and tested in two mines. It concludes that...

Planejamento para o fechamento prematuro de minas; Planning for early mine closure

Sanchez, Luis Enrique
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
POR
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.84%
Several mining companies operating in Brazil have been preparing mine closure plans describing end of life actions to ensure long term physical stability, land rehabilitation and, to a certain extent, socioeconomic measures. Most Brazilian and international guidelines, however, skip early closure and only feature guidance to closure planning after reserve depletion. In this paper, two cases of early closure in Australia are reviewed, causes for early closure are explored, criteria to evaluate preparedness to early mine closure are proposed and tested in two mines. It concludes that, despite recent advances, planning for mine closure seldom take account of early closure risks.

Provisão de recursos financeiros para o fechamento de empreendimentos mineiros. ; Provision of financial resources for the closure mine.

Taveira, Ana Lucia Silva
Fonte: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP Publicador: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 01/12/2003 PT
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.92%
A fase de fechamento de uma mina, se não for bem administrada, causa impactos ambientais que atingem de forma direta a população do entorno. Historicamente, as minas exauridas eram abandonadas sem que se fossem tomadas providências para reduzir riscos e impactos sócio-ambientais. Na atualidade, em diversos países, as empresas de mineração são responsáveis pela reabilitação das áreas mineradas e por tomar providências visando mitigar os impactos negativos do fechamento de minas. No entanto, muitas vezes ainda se vê uma atitude negligente por parte de certos empreendedores, abandonando a área minerada ou implantando somente medidas insatisfatórias para um adequado fechamento da mina, sob alegação de que não possuem meios para financiarem as medidas necessárias numa fase em que não há mais geração de receita, pois não se fez a provisão de recursos durante a operação do empreendimento. Tal situação é inaceitável diante dos novos rumos tomados pela humanidade, que exige, ainda que de forma incipiente, a promoção do desenvolvimento sustentável. Surge daí, a necessidade de se pensar em métodos para concretizar a implementação de um plano de fechamento para cada mina, de forma a satisfazer às expectativas da comunidade e demais interessados. Neste cenário...

Tratamento de incertezas no planejamento do fechamento de mina.; Dealing with uncertainty in the mine closing planning.

Neri, Ana Claudia
Fonte: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP Publicador: Biblioteca Digitais de Teses e Dissertações da USP
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 23/05/2013 PT
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.92%
Incertezas são inerentes ao planejamento de fechamento de mina, atividade que requer o trato de complexas questões técnicas, sociais, econômicas e ambientais em perspectiva de longo prazo e com base em informação e conhecimentos fragmentados e não sistemáticos. Incertezas nas tomadas de decisões podem resultar em ações de fechamento ineficazes e/ou ineficientes, ou seja, que não alcancem os objetivos esperados e/ou demandem vultosos recursos financeiros, humanos e outros. Esta pesquisa procurou compreender a natureza das incertezas presentes no processo de planejamento de fechamento de mina por meio da definição de suas causas, tipos e formas de tratamento e analisar como são abordadas em guias de boas práticas. Incerteza, no contexto do planejamento de fechamento de mina, é entendida como uma situação na qual há conhecimento incompleto, imprevisibilidade ou não há um único entendimento do processo a ser gerenciado. Nesse contexto, as principais causas das incertezas são, respectivamente, insuficiência de conhecimento, variabilidade do comportamento dos componentes do processo, no tempo e no espaço e diferentes enfoques ou recortes da situação analisada. Foram definidos oito tipos de incertezas pertinentes ao planejamento de fechamento de mina...

Fechamento da mina : aspectos tecnicos, juridicos e socioambientais; Mine closure : technical, legal, social and environmental aspects

Jose Cruz do Carmo Flores
Fonte: Biblioteca Digital da Unicamp Publicador: Biblioteca Digital da Unicamp
Tipo: Tese de Doutorado Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em 18/12/2006 PT
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.98%
o fechamento de mina insere-se como uma nova fase na vida do projeto de mineração. Seus principais objetivos são garantir que a saúde e a segurança públicas não serão comprometidas no futuro; que os recursos ambientais não serão expostos a posterior deterioração biológica, física e ou química; que o uso pós-mineração da propriedade será benéfico à comunidade e sustentável no longo prazo; e que quaisquer impactos socioeconômicos adversos serão mitigados. Os conceitos e procedimentos relativos ao fechamento de mina vêm se expandindo rapidamente, em termos de escopo e responsabilidade dos principais grupos interessados, dentre eles governo, empresas, comunidades impactadas e organizações não-governamentais (ONGs), instituições financeiras de crédito e outros componentes da sociedade civil. O Direito - como ciência social que o é - vem explicitando a consciência e a preocupação da sociedade com o adequado e seguro fechamento das minas, e internalizando as melhores práticas par.a se atingir seus objetivos. Esta tese dedica-se ao estudo e análise da arte do fechamento de mina sob os seus diversos aspectos. Ressalta-se a importância econômica e social da mineração, através da análise dos aspectos positivos e negativos desta atividade humana. Introduz-se o fechamento de mina como uma nova fase do projeto de mineração. Apresentam-se os conceitos de alguns termos usualmente encontrados nos trabalhos relativos ao tema fechamento de mina. Apontam-se as principais causas que conduzem ao fechamento...

An assessment of NRM-20 as a guideline and as an enforcement tool to mine closure in Brazil

Lima,Hernani Mota de; Flores,José Cruz do Carmo; Dias,Jardel Carvalho
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/12/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.77%
This paper assesses the effectiveness of the NRM-20 as a guideline and a enforcement tool to mine closure in Brazil; assesses the analysis criteria and approval procedures adopted by DNPM to base their decisions on mine closure issues, and looks for gaps in the NRM-20 regarding technical, legal, environmental and socio-economic issues. The study was based on administrative mining proceedings deposed DNPM of Minas Gerais. Were assessed 32 mining proceedings. The study shows clear evidence that DNPM does not have specific criteria to guide the technical analysis of the closure plans required for, which makes the analysis subject to a personal interpretation. This study supports the conclusion that after twelve years of its publication, the NRM-20 lacks in proper regulating and guiding mine closure in Brazil.

An?lise da aplicabilidade do plano de fechamento de mina no plano de aproveiramento econ?mico.

Resende, Alessandro Gomes
Fonte: Programa de P?s-Gradua??o em Engenharia Mineral. Departamento de Engenharia de Minas, Escola de Minas, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto. Publicador: Programa de P?s-Gradua??o em Engenharia Mineral. Departamento de Engenharia de Minas, Escola de Minas, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto.
Tipo: Dissertação
PT_BR
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.9%
O presente trabalho baseia-se numa proposta de analisar o grau de atendimento por parte das empresas de minera??o com opera??es no Estado de Minas Gerais, no que diz respeito ?s exig?ncias previstas no C?digo de Minera??o e na legisla??o em vigor, notadamente a apresenta??o do plano de fechamento de mina, conforme a NRM-20, quando da elabora??o do plano de aproveitamento econ?mico - PAE. Para a execu??o deste trabalho foi realizado um estudo de todas as concess?es de lavra do Estado de Minas Gerais, de forma a propiciar uma vis?o geral sobre a situa??o das minas, al?m de demonstrar a aus?ncia da estrutura??o de uma pol?tica de fechamento de minas e controle r?gido das minas com suspens?o tempor?ria de lavra ou abandonadas. A partir do mapeamento das concess?es de lavra foram estudados e analisados 30 planos de aproveitamento econ?mico com foco principal na abordagem dada ao plano de fechamento de mina. O resultado mostrou que nenhuma empresa contemplou o plano de fechamento de mina, quando da elabora??o do PAE para requerer a concess?o de lavra ou mesmo no momento em que foi feita alguma atualiza??o desse estudo t?cnico-econ?mico ao longo dos anos de opera??o. Verificou-se tamb?m que dos 30 PAE?s estudados, 13 minas contemplaram na an?lise econ?mica da jazida algum custo com fechamento de mina...

Financial Surety : Guidelines for the Implementation of Financial Surety for Mine Closure

Sassoon, Meredith
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.91%
It is now accepted practice that when a company relinquishes a mining title, whether for an exploration or mining site, it is responsible for carrying out the rehabilitation of that site prior to departure. To ensure this is the case, most jurisdictions now require some form of closure plan or rehabilitation program to be submitted to the regulatory authority prior to the start of any work on the site. It is an increasingly common requirement for the closure plan to contain details of the estimated cost of rehabilitation and for a financial surety to be established at the same time. This report aims to provide governments with the information they need to make their own informed decisions. It is based on a review of existing financial surety systems in a number of countries. Questionnaires were sent out to a total of fourteen regulatory authorities; of these, nine provided sufficient detail about their existing financial surety systems to be included as full case studies. These are presented in the section case studies along with a summary of the latest European Union (EU) waste directives. Except where otherwise stated...

Mine Closure and its Impact on the Community : Five Years After Mine Closure in Romania, Russia and Ukraine

Haney, Michael; Shkaratan, Maria
Fonte: World Bank, Washington, DC Publicador: World Bank, Washington, DC
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.92%
Against the backdrop of economic transition, several countries in Eastern Europe have undertaken far-reaching programs to restructure their coal sectors, which in the 1990s were in a state of deep crisis. One aspect of restructuring has been the closure of loss-making mines, which are often located in communities where the coal industry is the dominant employer, and the significant downsizing of the workforce. Mitigation efforts that are implemented at the time of mine closure (such as severance payments) are usually intended only for the laid-off workers. The authors examine the impact of mine closure on the entire community five years after mine closure in Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods and based on interviews with national, regional, and local experts, and members of the affected population, the authors describe the effect of mine closure and evaluate the various mitigation efforts that have been used by governments in such cases. They conclude with policy recommendations of broad relevance to programs of industrial restructuring in communities dominated by a single industry.

Hydrological conceptual model characterisation of an abandoned mine site in semiarid climate. The Sierra de Cartagena-La Uni??n (SE Spain)

Robles-Arenas, Virginia Mar??a; Candela, Lucila
Fonte: Universidad de Barcelona Publicador: Universidad de Barcelona
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica
ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.35%
A comprehensive study at Sierra de Cartagena-La Uni??n (SE Spain) abandoned mine site was carried out to characterise the regime and water quality of the groundwater system after the mine closure. The system consists of five geologic fractured blocks belonging to the Alpujarride and Nevado-Filabride complexes. The aquifer units are composed of limestone and dolostone materials. Recharge is mainly controlled by the N-130 fault system, man-made induced fractures, open-pits and underground workings. Discharge is indicated from open pit lakes by the proximal dome-shaped groundwater level contours. Aquifer natural recharge, assessed by fracture density maps and chloride mass balance, provided consistent results. The water hydrochemical facies show a marked sulphate concentration and acidic pH (average pH of 2.53-6.30). A maximum concentration of 4,100 mg/L of Zn and 40,000 mg/L of sulphate was observed in open-pit lakes. Springs present the lowest residence time and are low mineralised with an average pH of 7.6. Geochemical modelling based on the PHREEQCI code indicates water undersaturation with respect to almost all related mineral species and anoxic conditions prevail in the system. Although an adequate understanding of the regional system is provided...

A review of landscape rehabilitation frameworks in ecosystem engineering for mine closure

Drake, J.A.; Greene, R.S.B.; Macdonald, B.C.T.; Field, J.B.; Pearson, G.L.
Fonte: Australian Centre for Geomechanics; http://www.acg.uwa.edu.au/ Publicador: Australian Centre for Geomechanics; http://www.acg.uwa.edu.au/
Tipo: Conference paper; Accepted Version Formato: 9 pages
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.59%
Mining causes changes to the environment and rehabilitation is necessary at mine closure. There is a lack of appropriate frameworks for mine site rehabilitation. In most cases, restoring the mine to previous conditions is challenging. Alternatively, mining companies can engineer ecosystems to suit new site conditions and aim for a self-sustaining and resilient ecosystem. In ecosystem design there should be consideration of the four key dimensions of any ecosystem; landscape, function, structure and composition (LFSC). Alcoa’s Bauxite mines and Barrick (Cowal) Limited’s Gold Mine have considered LFSC in their rehabilitation practices. From this, a framework based on LFSC is proposed as a means of planning, undertaking and monitoring mine rehabilitation, which together aim for a self-sustaining and resilient ecosystem. Elements of this framework are being utilised in the industry, and are supported by research. The framework could be used as an industry standard, utilised by regulatory bodies and potentially used in conjunction with other models and in other rehabilitation environments.; Each page is watermarked "In Press"

Towards Sustainable Decommissioning and Closure of Oil Fields and Mines : A Toolkit to Assist Government Agencies

World Bank
Fonte: Washington, DC Publicador: Washington, DC
Tipo: Publications & Research; Publications & Research :: Working Paper
ENGLISH; EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.98%
Globally, an increasing number of mines and hydrocarbon fields are nearing depletion, following decades of resource exploitation. These operations and the associated infrastructure will require complex and costly dismantling; technical and environmental restoration and rehabilitation measures; and socioeconomic investments to counteract retrenchment, post-closure economic downturns and other effects associated with the end of the project's productive life. The intent of this Toolkit is to serve as a resource to support the development of flexible but systematic regulatory approaches to key components of a sustainable decommissioning and closure planning and implementation process. This Toolkit is organized around what are believed to be core components of a practical approach that governments may adopt or adapt in the process of identifying and managing decommissioning and closure needs. The Toolkit structure is organized as: introduction and overview sets the stage on the purpose and objectives of the Toolkit...

Economic and financial aspects of mine closure

Kahn, James Randall; Franceschi, Dina; Curi, Adilson; Vale, Eduardo
Fonte: Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto Publicador: Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto
Tipo: Artigo publicado em periodico
EN_US
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.8%
Today, mine reclamation is a key component to a successful mine plan. Most of the industrialized nations have recognized the need to make mining activities relatively environmentally friendly, if they want to continue to benejt from the economic gains from mineral resource development. Countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa are leaders in the j e l l and have implemented relatively sophisticated legislation to ensure environmentally correct mine closure. These countries rely on a combination of strict control strategies and economic penalties to ensure compliance. Yet, from the firm's perspective, reclamation activities are counterproductive as they cut into propjets. In order to attract economic development and earn much needed economic capital, most of the rest of the world, articularly the developing countries, lack effective mine closure legislation. The traditional command and control type of legislation that is sometimes used is either vague and therefore avoided, or not enforced appropriately, resulting in an undesirable level of environmental degradation. With the use of case studies from Brazil, this article shows that direct controls are effective in some instances and not in others. It proposes that economic andjnancial tools may be more effective than the traditional direct controls in getting arms to comply with environmental standards...

The long post-closure period of a kaolin mine

Jesus,Camila K. Conegundes de; Sánchez,Luis Enrique
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/09/2013 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.88%
Aiming at deriving good practice recommendations for mine closure, this paper reviews the case of a kaolin mine whose production ceased more than ten years ago, but as yet didn't meet its completion criteria. Document review, interviews and site visits showed that: (i) rework was needed to satisfactorily implement land rehabilitation measures such as contouring, slope stabilization, erosion and sediment control and revegetation; (ii) underground water quality was affected during mine operation, causing the mine to be included in the State contaminated sites register. Despite being a small operation, the closure of this mine illustrates a number of problems faced by mining companies in planning and implementing mine closure measures: (1) lack of clear land rehabilitation objectives; (2) the need to manage liabilities related to contaminated sites; (3) loss of organizational memory. The research found that good practices, generally recommended in guidebooks, were not adopted by the company. The main lesson from this relatively simple case - a small mine situated near a dynamic and expanding urban area - are that decommissioning and closure cannot be a makeshift add-on to mine management; these are not trivial activities and require careful planning and integration with mine planning itself.

Financial guarantee for mine closure

Lima,Hernani Mota de; Costa,Flávio Luiz da; Peixoto,Robson; Caldeira,Valdecy
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/07/2003 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.44%
This paper deals with the determination of the amount of a closure guarantee, the most common financial instruments available to the mining companies to satisfy the regulatory agencies' current and anticipated requirements, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages pertaining to these instruments as well as the problems faced by mining companies and governments to implement such instruments.

Tools and criteria for the management of temporarily inoperative iron ore mines

Picarelli,Simone; Vieira,Gersonito; Resende,Alessandro Gomes; Castro,Jeanne Michele; Silveira,Filipe; Araújo,Germano; Beirigo,Elder; Cota,Ana Carla; Lima,Hernani Mota de
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/03/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.7%
This paper presents a tool for managing inoperative mines under the responsibility of the Mine Closure and Projects Management/Ferrous Planning and Development Department - Vale S.A., Brazil. Inoperative mines are defined as mines where mining operations are temporarily suspended and there is no definitive strategy regarding their closure. The main management challenges are to: (i) act in a variety of environments and conditions based on action priorities; (ii) identify the main company's image risks; (iii) plan for maintenance and monitoring; (iv) take care of environmental conditions of the sites and follow up audit recommendations; (v) coordinate the field operations and site rehabilitation; (vi) re-evaluate the rehabilitation performance of the site over time, (vii) support the mine closure team. The tool is based on the consolidation of field information through qualitative and quantitative analyses of the environmental risks and quality of each mine. These analyses support the decision-making process and the prioritisation of action to be taken. The tool provides a performance evaluation of the sites, allowing evaluation over time of the maintenance and rehabilitation actions carried out. The input for the tool consists of primary and secondary data (geotechnical and environmental) collected during fieldwork...

Overview of mine closure in Minas Gerais, Brazil

Castro,Maíra Fonseca Moreira; Lima,Hernani Mota de; Flôres,José Cruz do Carmo
Fonte: Escola de Minas Publicador: Escola de Minas
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/06/2011 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
66.93%
Despite closure regulations being recent in Brazil, many mining companies are attempting to adopt best practice and are facing the challenge of closing their mines properly instead of simply complying with current legislation or abandoning the mine site. This paper summarizes mine closure according to both the Brazilian legislation and the "Deliberação Normativa" COPAM Nº 127, that establishes the directives and procedures for environmental assessment at the mine closure stage. Even with the lack of laws and regulations addressing mine closure, the Brazilian mining industry today is at the forefront of environmental impact minimisation techniques. Some case studies in Minas Gerais State, two of them located in the Iron Quadrangle, provide excellent evidence of the industry's rehabilitation expertise. This paper presents an overview of mine closure legislation in Brazil and in the State of Minas Gerais and gives some examples of mine closure programmes in effect. It is intended to highlight the changes on mine closure requirements as well as the best practices on mine closure in the State.

Hydrological conceptual model characterisation of an abandoned mine site in semiarid climate. The Sierra de Cartagena-La Unión (SE Spain)

Robles-Arenas, Virginia María; Candela, Lucila
Fonte: Universidade Autônoma de Barcelona Publicador: Universidade Autônoma de Barcelona
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: application/pdf
Publicado em //2010 ENG
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.35%
A comprehensive study at Sierra de Cartagena-La Unión (SE Spain) abandoned mine site was carried out to characterise the regime and water quality of the groundwater system after the mine closure. The system consists of five geologic fractured blocks belonging to the Alpujarride and Nevado-Filabride complexes. The aquifer units are composed of limestone and dolostone materials. Recharge is mainly controlled by the N-130 fault system, man-made induced fractures, open-pits and underground workings. Discharge is indicated from open pit lakes by the proximal dome-shaped groundwater level contours. Aquifer natural recharge, assessed by fracture density maps and chloride mass balance, provided consistent results. The water hydrochemical facies show a marked sulphate concentration and acidic pH (average pH of 2.53-6.30). A maximum concentration of 4,100 mg/L of Zn and 40,000 mg/L of sulphate was observed in open-pit lakes. Springs present the lowest residence time and are low mineralised with an average pH of 7.6. Geochemical modelling based on the PHREEQCI code indicates water undersaturation with respect to almost all related mineral species and anoxic conditions prevail in the system. Although an adequate understanding of the regional system is provided...

Post-mining land use opportunities in developing countries - a review

Limpitlaw,D.; Briel,A.
Fonte: Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publicador: Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/11/2014 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
46.54%
The origins of mine closure practice have influenced the way in which it is implemented by companies and regulators. Mine closure practices essentially started developing in the 1970s in countries with advanced economies and mature mining industries. In these settings, the emphasis was justifiably placed on restoration of the landscape and an attempt was made to return to the 'natural' pre-mining land cover. These practices continued to evolve and incorporated socio-economic and cultural aspects, especially after the Brundtland Report in 1987 and the subsequent Earth Summit in 1992. Today mining is increasingly occurring in remote parts of developing countries where there may be significant need for infrastructure such as roads, clinics, and schools. The costs of returning land to low (economic) value pre-mining use may be far greater than establishing a viable post-mining land use that could potentially add value to the community and take pressure off sites for greenfield development elsewhere. Furthermore, natural resource limitations (such as topsoil availability) may limit the degree to which the historical land cover can be re-established. Establishing post-mining land uses may aid in mitigating the loss of employment that is inevitable when mines close. Stakeholder participation in establishing post-mining land cover and land use options is critical for long-term success. Similarly...

Threats and opportunities for post-closure development in dolomitic gold mining areas of the West Rand and Far West Rand (South Africa) - a hydraulic view part 1: mining legacy and future threats

Winde,Frank; Stoch,EJ
Fonte: Water SA Publicador: Water SA
Tipo: Artigo de Revista Científica Formato: text/html
Publicado em 01/01/2010 EN
Relevância na Pesquisa
56.53%
For long periods in the history of South Africa gold mining formed the backbone of an otherwise agriculturally-dominated economy, initiating rapid urbanisation in often remote and underdeveloped farming areas. This paper explores examples from a mined-out goldfield west of Johannesburg (West Rand), where consequences of mine closure can currently be observed, as well as from an active goldfield on the Far West Rand. Both areas are linked by the Wonderfonteinspruit, a stream drawing much national and international media attention for its high levels of radioactive pollution. Dating back more than 120 years, the impacts of gold mining and later uranium mining on the natural environment are profound and complex, perhaps most affecting the rich groundwater resources found in the exceptionally well-karstified dolomite that underlies most of the catchment area. Mining-related impacts such as large-scale land degradation associated with dewatering of karstic aquifers and widespread pollution of surface water and groundwater systems are discussed. Based on this, potential threats and opportunities for post-mining scenarios are identified in a series of 3 papers. Part 1 of this series outlines impacts of mining, particularly on the natural water resources...