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GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENT

AND CONSERVATION

MINING AND ENVIRONMENTAL


IMPACT GUIDE

MINING AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT GUIDE


GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ENVIRONMENT
AND CONSERVATION
Diamond Corner Building
68 Eloff Street
Johannesburg
PO Box 8769
Johannesburg
2000
Telephone: (011) 355 1900
Fax: (011) 337 2292
Email: gdace@gpg.gov.za

2008
PRODUCED BY STAFF OF DIGBY WELLS AND ASSOCIATES, GROWTH
LAB AND THE COUNCIL FOR GEOSCIENCE

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF FIGURES.
LIST OF TABLES...
LIST OF BOXES.
LIST OF APPENDICES.
TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS..

x
xiii
xiv
xv
xvii

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION1


CHAPTER 1:
1.1
1.2
1.3

INTRODUCTION

1-4

Background..
Purposes of the Manual
Overview of the Manual.

1-5
1-5
1-5

CHAPTER 2:

2.1
2.2

2.3
2.4

THE HISTORY AND ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF MINING IN


SOUTH AFRICA.

2-1

Introduction..
History and Economic Contribution of Mining in South Africa ....
2.2.1 Copper.
2.2.2 Diamonds
2.2.3 Gold..
2.2.4 Coal..
2.2.5 Iron and Steel
2.2.6 Tin.
2.2.7 Chromium...
2.2.8 Fluorspar
2.2.9 Manganese.
2.2.10 Platinum Group Metals...
2.2.11 Vanadium
Recent Trends in Mining in South Africa.
Constraints on Future Growth in the South African Mining Industry..

2-3
2-6
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2-7
2-8
2-11
2-12
2-12
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2-14
2-14
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2-17
2-17

CHAPTER 3:
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4

MINING HOT SPOTS IN GAUTENG..

3-1

Introduction..
Mining Activity.
Mine Water Decant Points
Contaminated Wetland Sediments

3-3
3-4
3-5
3-6

CHAPTER 4:
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
1

ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS IN GAUTENG

4-1

Introduction..
Wetlands
Ridges
River Systems..
Conservation Areas
Dolomitic Land
Erodible Soil.
Archaeological and Cultural Sites.

4-3
4-3
4-6
4-7
4-7
4-7
4-9
4-10

Cover page Kennecott Copper Mine, Utach, U.S.A (Source: Touring Machine, 2006)

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

CHAPTER 5:
5.1
5.2

5.3
5.4
5.5

5.6
5.7

PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION METHODS.

5-1

Introduction..
Geophysical Methods
5.2.1 Magnetic Methods
5.2.2 Electromagnetic Methods..
5.2.3 Gravity Method..
5.2.4 Seismic Methods..
5.2.5 Radiometric Methods..
Geochemical Sampling.
Drilling
Delineation and Evaluation..
5.5.1 Resource Calculations
5.5.2 Reserve Calculations..
Feasibility Studies..
Environmental Impacts of Exploration.
5.7.1 Water Impacts
5.7.2 Soil and Vegetation Impacts.
5.7.3 Visual, Noise and Dust Impacts
5.7.4 Socio-Economic Impacts and Consultation with Interested and
Affected Parties

5-3
5-4
5-4
5-4
5-6
5-6
5-6
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5-7
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5-8
5-9
5-9

CHAPTER 6:
6.1
6.2

6.3

6.4

7.3

7.4

5-9

MINING METHODS...

6-1

Introduction..
Surface Mining.
6.2.1 Open-pit Mining
6.2.2 Quarrying
6.2.3 Borrow Pits
6.2.4 Strip Mining
6.2.5 Dump Reclamation..
Underground Mining..
6.3.1 Bord-and-pillar Mining
6.3.2 Other Shallow Underground Mining
6.3.3 Longwall Mining
6.3.4 Wits Gold Mining..
Planning and Rehabilitation of Mining Operations...
6.4.1 Planning of Mine Infrastructure
6.4.2 Rehabilitation of Disturbed Area..
6.4.3 Mine Waste Management Plans...

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6-9
6-10
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6-14
6-17
6-17
6-19
6-20
6-21
6-21
6-23

CHAPTER 7:
7.1
7.2

Table of Contents

CURRENT MINING IN GAUTENG.

7-1

Introduction..
Aggregate (sand and crushed stone)
7.2.1 Uses and specifications.
7.2.2 Prospecting
7.2.3 Mining..
7.2.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.2.5 Gauteng Resources.
Brick Clay..
7.3.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.3.2 Prospecting
7.3.3 Mining..
7.3.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.3.5 Gauteng Resources.
Fire Clay....
7.4.1 Uses and Specifications.

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7.5

7.6

7.7

7.8

7.9

7.10

7.11

7.4.2 Prospecting
7.4.3 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation
7.4.4 Gauteng Resources.
Coal.
7.5.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.5.2 Prospecting
7.5.3 Mining..
7.5.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.5.5 Gauteng Resources.
Diamonds..
7.6.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.6.2 Prospecting
7.6.3 Mining..
7.6.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.6.5 Gauteng Resources.
Dolomite and Limestone...
7.7.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.7.2 Prospecting
7.7.3 Mining..
7.7.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.7.5 Gauteng Resources.
Fluorspar...
7.8.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.8.2 Mining..
7.8.3 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.8.4 Gauteng Resources.
Gold
7.9.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.9.2 Prospecting
7.9.3 Mining..
7.9.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.9.5 Gauteng Resources.
Silica...
7.10.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.10.2 Prospecting
7.10.3 Mining..
7.10.4 Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation.
7.10.5 Gauteng Resources.
Uranium.
7.11.1 Uses and Specifications.
7.11.2 Prospecting
7.11.3 Mining..
7.11.4 Gauteng Resources.

CHAPTER 8:
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.6
8.7
8.8
8.9
8.10
8.11
8.12
8.13

Table of Contents

7-13
7-13
7-13
7-15
7-16
7-16
7-16
7-17
7-17
7-19
7-19
7-19
7-22
7-22
7-22
7-23
7-23
7-25
7-25
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7-26
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7-27
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OTHER MINERAL OCCURRENCES IN GAUTENG...

8-1

Introduction..
Asbestos...
Baryte....
Copper...
Gemstones
Iron..
Lead
Manganese
Mercury..
Peat.
Silver..
Soda
Sulphur..

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

8.14
8.15
8.16
8.17

Talc.
Tin...
Vanadium..
Zinc.

CHAPTER 9:

9.1
9.2
9.3

9.4

9.5

9.6
9.7

9.8

9.9

9.10

9.11

9.12

9.14
9.15

9.16

Table of Contents

8-16
8-17
8-17
8-18

ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACTS
ASSOCIATED
WITH MINING
OPERATIONS AND MINERAL EXTRACTION PROCESSES..

9-1

Introduction..
Aim of this Chapter
Principles and Process of Environmental Planning in Mining...
9.3.1 Evolution of the environmental assessment and planning
framework in mining
9.3.2 Authority consultation process
Approaches to Environmental Description and Planning...
9.4.1 Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
9.4.2 Environmental Management Programme (EMP)..
9.4.3 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)..
9.4.4 Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP).
9.4.5 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
Scope of Environmental Assessment Criteria to be covered in an
Environmental Management Programme (EMP)....
9.5.1 Phases of Development during Life-of-Mine
9.5.2 Assessment criteria and significance rating scales...
9.5.3 Minimum levels of description detail..
Background information for environmental assessment categories...
Geology.
9.7.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.7.2 Common Impacts.
9.7.3 Data Requirements..
Climate or Meteorology.
9.8.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.8.2 Data Requirements..
Topography..
9.9.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.9.2 Common Impacts.
9.9.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
9.9.4 Data Requirements..
Soil..
9.10.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.10.2 Common Impacts.
9.10.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
9.10.4 Data Requirements..
Pre-Mining Land Capability..
9.11.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.11.2 Common Impacts.
9.11.3 Data Requirements..
Land Use...
9.13
Natural Vegetation / Plant Life..
9.13.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.13.2 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
Animal Life
Surface Water..
9.15.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.15.2 Common Impacts.
9.15.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
9.15.4 Data Requirements..
Groundwater
9.16.1 Theoretical Considerations...

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Table of Contents

9.16.2 Common Impacts.


9.16.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
9.16.4 Impacts on Wetlands..
Air Quality.
9.17.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.17.2 Common Impacts.
9.17.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
Noise..
9.18.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.18.2 Common Impacts.
Sites of Archaeological and Cultural Interest.
Visual Aspects
Regional Socio-economic Structure.
9.21.1 Broad Based Socio-Economic Empowerment (BBSEE) Charter and
Scorecard for the South African Mining Industry
9.21.2 Social and Labour Plan..
Interested and Affected Parties..
9.22.1 Public Participation.
Financial Provision for Rehabilitation..
Explorations or Prospecting Operations.
9.24.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.24.2 Common Impacts.
9.24.3 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
Mine Waste and Residue..
9.25.1 Theoretical Considerations...
9.25.2 Mitigation and Rehabilitation
9.25.3 Benefits of Waste Minimisation
9.25.4 Domestic Waste
9.25.5 Industrial Waste
9.25.6 Mineral and Rock Residue.
9.25.7 Common Impacts.
9.25.8 Decommissioning and Closure of residue dams and dumps..
9.25.9 Rehabilitation
9.25.10 Remediation of Contaminated Soils
9.25.11 Disposal of Slimes...
Mineral Extraction Processes.
9.26.1 General Impacts
9.26.2 Air Quality..
9.26.3 Groundwater Pollution
9.26.4 Acid Mine Drainage..
9.26.5 Cyanide Contamination..
9.26.6 Toxicity of Underlying Soils..
9.26.7 Spontaneous Combustion.
9.26.8 Radioactivity..

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CHAPTER 10: FUTURE TRENDS IN GAUTENG...

10-1

10.1

10-3
10-3
10-4
10-4
10-5
10-8
10-8
10-9
10-9

9.17

9.18

9.19
9.20
9.21

9.22
9.23
9.24

9.25

9.26

10.2

10.3

Climate Change in Gauteng.


10.1.1 Current Climate.
10.1.2 Driving Forces...
10.1.3 Sectoral Driving Forces..
10.1.4 Impacts
Effects of Climate Change in Mining.
10.2.1 What is Climate Risk
10.2.2 Assessing Climate Risk..
10.2.3 Incorporating Climate Knowledge into Mine Management...
10.2.4 Considering Climate Change at Each Step of the Project Life
Cycle
Changes in Natural Resource Use.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

10.4

10.5
10.6

10.7

Table of Contents

10.3.1 Energy Resources


10.3.2 Water Resources..
10.3.3 Agricultural Resources...
Changes in Land Use.
10.4.1 Current Land Use.
10.4.2 Driving Forces...
Social and Demographic Changes.
Responses to Environmental Change in Gauteng
10.6.1 Responses to Climate Change.
10.6.2 Responses to Energy Resources Use
Blue IQ Projects..

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PART 2 PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES


CHAPTER 11: THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY.

11-3

11.1
11.2

11-5

11.3

11.4

Introduction..
The Historical Development of Mineral and Mining Legislation in South
Africa..
The Role of the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME)...
11.3.1 Legal process at the DME..
11.3.2 Legislation administered by the DME.
11.3.3 Applicable Regulations..
11.3.4 Transitional provisions and the effects on EMPs when converting
old order rights to new rights...
Consultation Process by the DME and Appeal Process for GDACE to
DME

CHAPTER 12: THE ROLE OF THE GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,


CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENT..
12.1
12.2

Introduction..
Environmental Laws Related to Mining
12.2.1 Minerals Act (Act 50 of 1991)
12.2.2 Minerals Act (Act 50 of 1991), Regulations GN R992 (GG 2741 of 26
June 1970)..
12.2.3 Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (Act 29 of
2002).
12.2.4 MPRDA Regulations GN R527 (GG 26275 of 23 April 2004).
12.2.5 Environmental Conservation Act (Act 73 of 1989) ECA.
12.2.6 National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)
NEMA...
12.2.7 NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations GN
R385 (GG 28753 of 21 April 2006)
12.2.8 The National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act 39
of 2004) - NEM: Air Quality Act.
12.2.9 Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act (Act 45 of 1965) - APPA
12.2.10 National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998).
12.2.11 NWA Regulation GN R1191 of 1999 as revised by GN R399 (GG
26187 of 26 March 2004).

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12.3

12.4

12.5
12.6

Table of Contents

12.2.12 NWA Regulation GN R398 (GG 26187 of 26 March 2004)..


12.2.13 NWA Regulations on Use of Water for Mining and Related
Activities Aimed at the Protection of Water Resources GN R704
(GG 20119 of 4 June 1999).
12.2.14 Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (Act 43 of 1983)
CARA...
12.2.15 CARA Regulations GN R1048 (GG 9238 of 25 May 1984)..
12.2.16 Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act (Act 109 of 1996)..
12.2.17 Communal Land Rights Act (Act 11 of 2004)
12.2.18 Restitution of Land Rights Act (Act 22 of 1994)..
GDACE policies and guidelines..
12.3.1 Ridges Guidelines (September 2001, reviewed and updated in
January 2004 and April 2006)
12.3.2 Background Document to Red List Guidelines (September 2001,
reviewed and amended in January 2004 and June 2006)..
12.3.3 Red List Plant Species Guidelines (26 June 2006)..
12.3.4 Development on Dolomite, Conservation and Environment
Presentation by Dr Sue Taylor, Malcolm Roods and Frans
Scheepers February 2005...
12.3.5 Protection of Agricultural Land in Gauteng, Revised Policy (June
2006)
12.3.6 Gauteng Provincial Integrated Waste Management Policy (IWM
Policy) (GDACE, September 2006)..
12.3.7 Gauteng Strategy for Sustainable Development (GSSD) (July 2007,
Version 5)
12.3.8 Addendum to the Gauteng Strategy for Sustainable Development
(GSSD): Targets and Reporting Requirements
International guidelines
12.4.1 Equator Principles
12.4.2 IFC Performance Standards..
12.4.3 IFC Guidelines...
Functions of GDACE..
Aspects GDACE has to comment on
12.6.1 Environmental report to be compiled for the application of a
reconnaissance permission, prospecting right or mining permit..
12.6.2 Environmental reports to be compiled for the application of a
mining right

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CHAPTER 13: THE


GAUTENG
DEPARTMENT
OF
AGRICULTURE,
CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENT REVIEW PROCESS.

13-3

13.1
13.2
13.3
13.4
13.5
13.6
13.7
13.8

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13-4
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13-5

Introduction..
Reconnaissance Permit
Prospecting Right...
Progress Report..
Retention Permit.
Mining Permit..
Mining Right.
Performance Assessment Report..

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Table of Contents

Closure Certificate and Plan

13-5

CHAPTER 14: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS..

14-1

14.1
14.2
14.3
14.4

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Introduction..
What is a GIS?
Applications.
Mapping Requirements for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) ..
14.4.1 Regional Setting...
14.4.2 Local Setting..
14.4.3 Site Plan..
14.4.4 Land Tenure...
14.4.5 Topography
14.4.6 Sensitive areas..
14.4.7 Fauna and flora ....
14.4.8 Technical Issues..
GIS Layers....
14.5.1 Layer 1: Mineral Deposit Locations in Gauteng..
14.5.2 Layer 2: Outline Position of Gold, Silver and Uranium Deposits in
Gauteng..
14.5.3 Layer 3: Outline Position of Coal Deposits in Gauteng.
14.5.4 Layer 4: Outline Position of Alluvial Diamond Deposits in
Gauteng..
14.5.5 Layer 5: Outline Position of the Kimberlite Diamond Deposits in
Gauteng..
14.5.6 Layer 6: Outline Position of the Iron Deposits in Gauteng...
14.5.7 Layer 7: Outline Position of Manganese Deposits in Gauteng
14.5.8 Layer 8: The Malmani Subgroup..
14.5.9 Layer 9: Mining Hot Spots in Gauteng
14.5.10 Layer 10: Geology of Gauteng..
14.5.11 Layer 11: Tectonic Lines
Metadata
Sensitivity Mapping
14.7.1 Vegetation..
14.7.2 Red & Orange List plants...
14.7.3 Red List mammals
14.7.4 Red List birds
14.7.5 Red List amphibians (Giant Bullfrog)
14.7.6 Red List reptiles
14.7.7 Red List invertebrates.
14.7.8 Wetlands.
14.7.9 Rivers (non-perennial / perennial) ..
14.7.10 Ridges.
14.7.11 Caves ..

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CHAPTER 15: GLOSSARY

15-1

15.1

15-3

14.5

14.6
14.7

General terms and definitions.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

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15.3

Table of Contents

Definitions in terms of the Minerals Act 35 of 1991 .


Definitions in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development
Act 28 of 2002 .
Regulations of the Minerals Act (2002) Regulations
Vegetation types
Red List & Orange List plants
Red list mammals ..
Red List birds .
Red List amphibians .
Red List reptiles .
Red List invertebrates ..
Protected Areas .

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REFERENCES ...

15.4
15.5
15.6
15.7
15.8
15.9
15.10
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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Table of Contents

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2-1:
Figure 2-2:
Figure 2-3:
Figure 2-4:

Figure 3-1:
Figure 3-2:
Figure 3-3:

Figure 3-4:

Figure 4-1:
Figure 4-2:
Figure 4-3:
Figure 4-4:
Figure 4-5:
Figure 4-6:

Figure 5-1:

Figure 6-1:
Figure 6-2:
Figure 6-3:
Figure 6-4:
Figure 6-5:
Figure 6-6:
Figure 6-7:
Figure 6-8:
Figure 6-9:
Figure 6-10:
Figure 6-11:

Distribution of major geological formations in South Africa...


Overview of the Witwatersrand Geological Formation (Source:
West Wits Mining, 2008)
Estimated World gold production in tons (1990-2006) (Source: Gold
News, 2008)....
Mines in the Bushveld Igneous Complex (Source: Jubilee
Platinum, 2008).
Mineral Hot Spots in Gauteng...
Mineral Commodities and Mine Openings in Gauteng .....
Iron compounds and suspended solids precipitate in water
clarifying tanks at the Grootvlei Mine on the Blesbokspruit (Source:
SAWCP, 1998)...
Water pollution in the Wonderfonteinspruit, resulting from effluent
discharge from nearby mines (Source: Beeld, 2007).

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3-7

Partially treated mine water from the Grootvlei Dam enters the
Blesbokspruit (Source: SAWCP, 1998)...
Environmentally sensitive areas in Gauteng
The Roodepoort Botanical Gardens
Conservation Areas in Gauteng (Source: ENPAT, 2000).......
Soil erosion potential categories (Source: GDACE, 2004)....
Aerial view of old gold mine dumps in Johannesburg (Source,
Shields & Shields, 2000)...

4-10

Example of an aeromagnetic map showing different mineral


deposits with different magnetic properties (Source: Griesel, 1999)
...

5-4

Aerial view of an open pit coal mine showing disruption of the


earth surface
A modern open-pit mine with benches (Source: Wells et al., 1992).
Map and cross section of an open-pit mine (Source: Terezepoulos,
1993).
Photograph of a granite quarry in South Africa (Source: Trade
International, 2008)....
Emerging wetland formed from an old borrow pit (Source:
Biebighauser, 2008)...
Strip mining with concurrent rehabilitation (Source: Wells et al.,
1992).
A typical slimes monitoring operation (Source: Wells et al.,
1992).
Ikonos satellite image of an East Rand tailings dam undergoing
reclamation
Idealised cross-section of a mine (Source: Scoble, 1993)..
Typical bord-and-pillar layout (Source: Wells et al., 1992).
Cross section of typical bord-and-pillar layout (Source: Scoble,
1993).

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

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Figure 6-13:
Figure 6-14:
Figure 6-15:
Figure 6-16:
Figure 6-17:

Figure 7-1:
Figure 7-2:
Figure 7-3:
Figure 7-4:
Figure 7-5:

Figure 7-6:

Figure 7-7:

Table of Contents

Collapse in old shallow bord-and-pillar workings (Source: Wells et


al., 1992)..
Collapsed old bord-and-pillar workings near Witbank (Source:
Wells et al., 1992)..
Longwall mining...
Retreat longwall mining..
An example of undulating topography that could result following
longwall mining (Source: Wells et al., 1992)...
Idealised layout of a typical West Wits gold mine (Source:
Whiteside et. al., 1976)
Aggregate quarry in Muldersdrift, Gauteng (Source: Buildworks,
2008).
Clay-brick wall (Source: GreenbuildlingElements, 2008)..
Fire clay bricks.
Idealised kimberlite pipe
The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological
features of the West Rand, Central Rand and East Rand gold fields
(Source: Robb & Robb, 1998)..
The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological
features of the West Wits Line (Carletonville) gold field (Source:
Robb & Robb, 1998).
The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological
features of the South Rand and Evander gold fields (Source: Robb
& Robb, 1998)

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Figure 8-1:
Figure 8-2:
Figure 8-3:
Figure 8-4:
Figure 8-5:
Figure 8-6:
Figure 8-7:
Figure 8-8:
Figure 8-9:
Figure 8-10:
Figure 8-11:
Figure 8-12:
Figure 8-13:
Figure 8-14:
Figure 8-15:
Figure 8-16:
Figure 8-17:

Asbestos (Source: California Geological Survey, 2008)....


Baryte (Source: James Madison University, 2008).....
Copper (Source: Weinrich, 2008)...
Smoky quartz (Source: Mineral Miners.com, 2008)....
Iron ore (Source: Brazil Brand, 2008)....
Galena (Source: Veevaert, 2008)...
Manganese ore (Source: Recon Industries, 2008)..
Cinnabar gossan (Source: Alden, 2008)..
Klip River Wetland (Source: SANBI, 2008).
Rietvlei Spruit (Source: City of Tshwane, 2008).
Argentiferous tetrahedrite (Source: Thames Valley Minerals, 2008).
The Pretoria salt pan (Tswaing) crater (Source: HartRAO, 2008).
Pyrite (Source: 3DChem, 2008)..
Talc (Source: MII, 2008)
Cassiterite (Source: Fabre Minerals, 2008)..
Magnetite (Source: Rutnik, 2008)...
Sphalerite (Source: Carnegie Mellon, 2005)..

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Figure 9-1:
Figure 9-2:

Overview of an Environmental Management System.


Quartzite of the Witwatersrand Supergroup (Source: UCT Geology,
2000)....
Archaean granites in the core of the Vredefort Dome (Source: UCT
Geology, 2000)...
Calcareous dolomites of the Malmani Subgroup (Source: South

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Figure 9-3:
Figure 9-4:

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Figure 9-5:
Figure 9-6:
Figure 9-7:
Figure 9-8:
Figure 9-9:
Figure 9-10:
Figure 9-11:
Figure 10-1:

Figure 10-2:
Figure 10-3:
Figure 10-4:

Figure10-5:
Figure 10-6:
Figure 10-7:
Figure 11-1:
Figure 11-2:

Table of Contents

African Tours and Travels, 2008).


Resource Protection and Waste Management Hierarchy.
Sinkhole formation, where a tailings dam has collapsed into old
surface mine workings (note the leachate visible on the surface).
Oxidation of pyrite in an underground exposure in a Witwatersrand
gold mine
Procedure for assessing the acidity of mine waters in the field
..
View across Robinson Lake (Randfontein) from the point where pH
neutralised acid mine water is discharged...
238
Decay series of U.....
Decay series of 232Th...

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Grasslands plant species. From top left clockwise: Aloe marlothii,


Erythrina lysistemon, Grewia flava and C. apiculatum (Sources:
Bushveld, 2004; Van Wyk & Van Wyk, 2007; Kyffhuser, 2008; and
Bushveld, 2004) .
Future distribution of malaria (Source: Rogers & Randolph, 2005)..
Land Use in Gauteng (Source: ENPAT, 2000)...
Skull of Mrs. Ples (Austrolapithecus africanus) discovered in 1947
by Dr. Robert Broom and John T. Robinson (Source: Maropeng,
2008).
Kliptown to the south of Johannesburg (Source: Joburg, 2008a)....
The Old Johannesburg Fort (Source: Joburg, 2008b)..
Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown (Source: Newtown, 2008)...

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Department of Minerals and Energy Organic Structure highlighting


the Mineral Development Branch.
Mining Right Application Process...

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Table of Contents

LIST OF TABLES
Table 5-1:

General Prospecting Timeline..

5-3

Table 7-1:
Table 7-2:

Brick-clay Masonry Classification...


Description of variables for the classification of coal

7-8
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Table 9-1:
Table 9-2:
Table 9-3:
Table 9-4:

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Table 9-10:
Table 9-11:
Table 9-12:
Table 9-13:

Environmental assessment criteria.


Other environmental assessment criteria.
DWAF Classification system for mines.
DWAF Best Practice Guidelines for the South African Mining
Industry...
DWAF classification of aquifer types.
Classification of dust..
DEAT guidelines for dust fall-out.
Seven pillars of the BBSEE Charter
Factors to be included in the assessment of the schedule of
financial provision
Methods for clean-up and rehabilitation of contaminated sites..
Groundwater contaminants..
Toxicity variation of three different cyanide-species.
Redioelement concentrations of some common rock types

Table 11-1:

Legislation administered by the DME.

11-9

Table 14-1:
Table 14-2:
Table 14-3:
Table 14-4:
Table 14-5:
Table 14-6:
Table 14-7:
Table 14-8:
Table 14-9:
Table 14-10:
Table 14-11:
Table 14-12:
Table 14-13:
Table 14-14:
Table 14-15:

Commodity Codes and Descriptions..


Deposit Status Codes.
Layer 1 Field Descriptions.
Layer 2 Field Descriptions.
Layer 3 Field Descriptions.
Layer 4 Field Descriptions.
Layer 5 Field Descriptions.
Layer 6 Field Descriptions.....
Layer 7 Field Descriptions.
Layer 8 Field Descriptions.
Layer 9 Field Descriptions.
Geological Codes and Descriptions
Layer 10 Field Descriptions...
Layer 11 Field Descriptions...
Red list birds Buffer delineation...

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Table 9-5:
Table 9-6:
Table 9-7:
Table 9-8:
Table 9-9:

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LIST OF BOXES
Box 1-1:

Overview of Part One of the Mining and Environmental Impact


Guide
Overview of Part Two of the Mining and Environmental Impact
Guide

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Box 2-1:

History of early mining operations in South Africa

2-5

Box 4-1:

The Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site.

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Box 5-1:
Box 5-2:

Requirements of a Feasibility Study...


General Impact Description of Different Exploration Methods

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Box 6-1:
Box 6-2:

Quarrying Equipment and Methods


Waste Management Legislation in South Africa.

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Box 7-1:

Types of Brick Kilns

7-11

Box 9-1:
Box 9-2:
Box 9-3:
Box 9-4:
Box 9-5:
Box 9-6:
Box 9-7:
Box 9-8:
Box 9-9:

Requirements for a Scoping Report


Requirements for an Environmental Impact Assessment Report..
Requirements for an Environmental Management Programme..
Requirements for an Environmental Management Plan
Rock types and associated mineral commodities in South Africa.
Topographic Rehabilitation - Closure of Surface Openings....
Closure of Underground Mine Voids..
DWAF Best Practice Guidelines...
Summary of the Methods for Financial Provision as per the Mineral
and Petroleum Resources Development Act
Mineral and rock residues from different mining operations..
Methods for the rehabilitation of tailings..
Major Sources of Air Pollution from Mining Operations in
Gauteng..
Leachate.
Mechanisms for the attenuation of Cyanide.
Legal requirements for the disposal of radioactive waste

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Box 1-2:

Box 9-10:
Box 9-11:
Box 9-12:
Box 9-13:
Box 9-14:
Box 9-15:

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Table of Contents

LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix 6.1: Checklist for the evaluation of mine residue deposit management
plans
Appendix 6.2: Checklist for the evaluation of solid mine waste management
plans....
Appendix 6.3: Generic management measures for solid waste.....
Appendix 6.4: Generic management measures for liquid waste....
Appendix 6.5: Checklist for the evaluation of waste atmospheric emissions..
Appendix 9.1: Standard environmental management programme for crushing
operations at waste rock dumps.
Appendix 9.2: Standard environmental management programme for the mining of
sand from a river, stream, dam or pan...
Appendix 9.3: Standard environmental management programme for prospecting
and mine permits
Appendix 9.4: Standard environmental management programme for provincial
administrations and the South African roads board with regard to
gravel, sand, soil and clay quarries for road building purposes:
Section 39 of the minerals act, 1991 (Act 50 OF 1991)...
Appendix 9.5: Minimum information standards for environmental descriptions of
mining development; published, public-domain and internet-based
resources
Appendix 9.6.1:
Appendix 9.6.2:
Appendix 9.6.3:
Appendix 9.6.4:
Appendix 9.6.5:
Appendix 9.6.6:
Appendix 9.6.7:
Appendix 9.6.8:
Appendix 9.6.9:

Impact and mitigation table; sand winning from river,


stream, dam or pan
Impact and mitigation table; alluvial diamond mining
Impact and mitigation table; mining of sand on slopes
away from rivers, streams, pans or dams...
Impact and mitigation table; opencast mining of clay
including brick making kilns..
Impact and mitigation table; mining of Witwatersrand
gold/uranium deposits.
Impact and mitigation tables; mining of kimberlite-hosted
diamond deposits..
Impact and mitigation table; opencast mining of
fluorspar..
Impact and mitigation table; opencast mining of hard rock
and rock crushing operations producing aggregate...
Impact and assessment table; opencast mining of coal

Schematic layout of a typical fine tailings or slimes residue dam


showing the pollution control dams around the toe of the
dump
Appendix 9.8:
Integrated water & waste management plan.
Appendix 9.9:
Explanation of the lithostratigraphy and groundwater chemistry
for units shown on the 1:500 000 general hydrological map of
Gauteng...
Appendix 9.10: Representations of geological controls on groundwater and
aquifer types..

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Appendix 9.11:

Table of Contents

Three cover designs used in the Uranium Mine Tailings


Rehabilitation Action (UMTRA) undertaken by the United States
Department of Energy.

Comparison of the Scoping and EIA Procedures contained in the


Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 29 of 2002
and the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998
and Relevant Regulations..
Appendix 12.2: Ridges Guidelines (September 2001, reviewed and updated in
January 2004 and April 2006)
Appendix 12.3: Background Document to Red List Guidelines (September 2001,
reviewed and amended in January 2004 and June 2006)..
Appendix 12.4: Red List Plant Species Guidelines (26 June 2006)..
Appendix 12.5: Development on Dolomite, Conservation and Environment Presentation by Dr Sue Taylor, Malcolm Roods and Frans
Scheepers February 2005
Appendix 12.6: Protection of Agricultural Land in Gauteng, Revised Policy (June
2006).
Appendix 12.7: Gauteng Provincial Integrated Waste Management Policy (IWM
Policy) (GDACE, September 2006)..
Appendix 12.8: Gauteng Strategy for Sustainable Development (GSSD) (July
2007, Version 5)
Appendix 12.9: Addendum to the Gauteng Strategy for Sustainable Development
(GSSD): Targets and Reporting Requirements
Appendix 12.10: GDACE Procedural Checklist
Appendix 12.11: Equator Principles and IFC Standards and Guidelines..

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Appendix 12.1:

Appendix 13.1:
Appendix 13.2:
Appendix 13.3:
Appendix 13.4:
Appendix 13.5
Appendix 13.6
Appendix 13.7
Appendix 13.8
Appendix 13.9:
Appendix 13.10:

Reconnaissance applications...
Prospecting Applications...
Retention Permits.
Mining Permit Applications
Mine Right Applications..
Performance Assessment Reports..
Progress Reports..
Closure Applications...
Notification of Decisions
Templates A to O..

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Terms and Abbreviations

TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS


AMD
BATNEEC
BBSEE
BPEO
BPM
CFC
CSIR

Acid Mine Drainage


Best Available Technology Not Entailing Excessive Cost
Broad Based Socio-Economic Empowerment
Best Practical Environmental Option
Best Practical Means
Chlorofluorocarbons

DA
DEAT
DEM
DME
DTM
DWAF
EIA
EMF
EMP
EMPR
EMS
EO
GDACE
GGP

Department of Agriculture
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Digital Elevation Models
Department of Minerals and Energy
Digital Terrain Models
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Management Framework
Environmental Management Programme
Environmental Management Programme Report
Environmental Management System
Environmental Officer
Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment

GIS
GPG
HDSA
IAPs
IDP
IDZ
IEM
LDO
MEM
MPRDA
MRD
NCCC

Geographic Information Systems


Gauteng Provincial Government
Historically Disadvantaged South Africans
Interested and Affected Parties
Integrated Development Plan
Industrial Development Zone
Integrated Environmental Management
Land Development Objective
Mining Environmental Management
Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002
Mine Residue Disposal

NEMA
NEM:AQA
NGO

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Gross Geographic Product

National Committee on Climate Change


National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004
Non-governmental organisation

REMDEC
SANS
SDF
SEA
SEMP
SFRA
SOP
SR
UNFCCC

Regional Mining Development and Environmental Committees


South African National Standard
Spatial Development Framework
Strategic Environmental Assessment
Standard Environmental Management Programme
Stream Flow Reduction Activities
Standard Operating Procedure
Scoping Report

VAC
VOC

Visual Absorption Capacity


Volatile Organic Compound

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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PART ONE:
GENERAL INFORMATION

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CHAPTER 1:
INTRODUCTION

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1.

Background

Early in 2003, the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment


(GDACE) commissioned the Council for Geosciences with the compilation of the Mining
Environmental Impact Guide. The aim of the manual was to provide important information
regarding the environmental issues and impacts of the mining industry in Gauteng, thereby
helping their Environmental Officers (EOs) to evaluate mining license applications. However,
since the release of the manual much information has become outdated. Consequently, in
July 2008 GDACE appointed Digby Wells and Associates to update the manual.
The new Mining and Environmental Impact Guide aims to maximise the effectiveness of the
manual, reflect changes to legislation and policies at all levels of government and to provide
recent information regarding the impacts of the mining industry on the environment.*
1.2.

Purpose of the Manual

The role of GDACE reviewers in the mining licence application and approval process is to
ensure that the environmental rights of the inhabitants of the Gauteng Province are protected.
This Manual is designed to assist the GDACE Environmental Officers to fulfil this role by:
i.

Providing them with significant background information on the occurrence and


distribution of mineral deposits within Gauteng, how these deposits are prospected and
evaluated, as well as the principal methods of mining and exploiting them;

ii.

Alerting them to the environmentally sensitive areas and mining hot spots in Gauteng;

iii.

Informing them of both the current and the upcoming legislative framework in which the
minerals industry has to operate;

iv.

Introducing them to all the potential environmental aspects that are associated with the
evaluation and exploitation of minerals;

v.

Guiding them through the entire review process; and

vi.

Alerting them to biodiversity issues and sensitive areas.

1.3.

Overview of the Manual

For ease of use and at the request of GDACE, the manual has been divided into two sections:
Part One is essentially where the Environmental Officer will find substantial
background information on prospecting and mining methods. There is also a review of
the importance of the mining industry, the minerals that occur in Gauteng and those that are
currently mined. This part also highlights some of the hot spots and sensitive areas (Chapters
3 and 4). There are guides to numerous sources of additional relevant information. All of this
is very useful in empowering the EO to make informed and balanced assessments and carry
Cover page Train hauling coal (Source: Energy and Oil, 2008)

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

out his/her duties in a responsible and comprehensive manner. A detailed overview of the
chapters included in Part One is shown in Box 1-1.
Part Two is the procedural section of the manual. Chapter 11 explains the regulatory
framework within which the mining industry operates. Chapter 12 outlines the role of GDACE
and gives the framework within which the environmental impacts of mining must be judged.
Chapter 13 contains a simple yet detailed step-by-step procedural guideline as to how the EO
should go about making his/her various assessments and even indicates which questions
need to be addressed and points out precisely which templates, letters and forms need to be
used in each case. Chapter 14 familiarises the EO with the GIS layers that have been
provided as part of this project and which will be loaded onto the GDACE Geographical
Information Systems (GIS). To further assist the EO a comprehensive glossary of relevant
technical terms is provided in the manual. This glossary can be found at the end of the
manual. A detailed overview of the chapters in Part Two is shown in Box 1-2.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

Box 1-1: Overview of Part One of the Mining and Environmental Impact Guide
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
The manual begins with this introductory chapter which describes the background to and
objectives of the document as well as helping the EO to find his/her way through the manual
by indicating the layout and giving a brief summary of the contents of each chapter.
CHAPTER 2: THE HISTORY AND ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF MINING IN SOUTH
AFRICA
This chapter introduces the EO to South Africas amazing variety of mineralization which has
served as the catalyst in transforming the country from an agricultural to a mining and
industrial-based economy. A brief history of the development of the mining industry in South
Africa is given, along with the production statistics of the most significant minerals exploited.
This summary also emphasises which types of mineralization occur in Gauteng.
CHAPTER 3: MINING HOT SPOTS IN GAUTENG
Chapter 3 highlights some of the particularly environmentally sensitive areas in the province
that are actively being mined or under threat of mining and which are termed hot spots. By
reading Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8, the EO will gain far more insight into exactly where and what
type of mining activity is taking place in Gauteng and will be able to decide for him/herself
which additional areas should be considered hot spots. The hot spots mentioned in this
chapter are also shown on a layer in the GDACE GIS.
CHAPTER 4: ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS IN GAUTENG
This chapter draws the EOs attention to the environmentally sensitive areas in Gauteng
where mining and other types of development are undesirable. This information is also shown
as a layer in the GDACE GIS.
CHAPTER 5: PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION METHODS
The various methods used for the prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits are
discussed in Chapter 5. These range from remote methods such as the use of aerial
photography, satellite imagery and airborne geophysics through the use of ground-based
geophysical methods to pitting and trenching which locally disturb the surface in order to
expose suitable samples of the mineralization for examination and analysis. Once a mineral
deposit has been located, drilling or trial mining is used to ascertain its depth extent. The
environmental impacts associated with exploration and prospecting activities are mentioned.
CHAPTER 6: MINING METHODS
This chapter discusses, in generic terms, the various types of mining, both surface and
underground, that are used to extract minerals from the earth. The environmental impacts of
each of the types of mining are stated and dump reclamation activities are discussed.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION


CHAPTER 7: CURRENT MINING IN GAUTENG
This chapter introduces the EO to the various minerals that are currently being mined in
Gauteng. Where appropriate, the uses and specifications of the various mineral commodities
are mentioned, as are the relevant prospecting and mining methods, the environmental
impacts and aspects of rehabilitation. By the time the EO has read and digested Chapters 2,
5, 6 and 7 he/she should have a good understanding of the mineral commodities that occur
and are exploited in Gauteng, as well as their uses and importance to the overall economy of
both the province and South Africa. The EO should then be in a position to objectively weigh
up the benefits of a specific mining venture against the inevitable environmental impacts of
mining and suggest ways to mitigate and reduce the negative impacts. More detail on the
environmental impacts of the various prospecting and mining activities is given in both
chapter 9 and in the relevant appendices.
CHAPTER 8: OTHER MINERAL OCCURRENCES IN GAUTENG
The information contained in this chapter is background information on minerals that are
known to occur in Gauteng but which are not currently being mined nor are considered likely
to be mined in the near future. Because this information is included for interest and
completeness sake only and is not likely to be directly relevant to the EO, significantly less
detail is given.
CHAPTER 9: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ASSOCIATED
OPERATIONS AND MINERAL EXTRACTION PROCESSES

WITH

MINING

This chapter, with its related appendices, aims to provide the EO with sufficient background
information to assist in making a value judgement regarding the impact of the proposed
activity in the context of the affected environment. Established regulatory frameworks and
different approaches to environmental assessments are discussed. Environmental
assessment guidelines and impact categories are listed according to the format of the various
guideline documents. Additional categories described relate to prospecting, residue dumps
and mineral beneficiation processes. This general background information covers the
description of the environment, common impacts and mitigation techniques and will assist the
EO by ensuring that all environment criteria are addressed in the context of regulatory
frameworks.
The process of assessing a scoping document, environmental impact assessment (EIA) or
environmental management programme or plan (EMP) is facilitated by providing reference
tables that outline the common environmental impacts of mining in Gauteng and the
mitigation techniques to minimise these impacts. A resource document incorporating
references or links to readily available, published or internet-based documents and data is
included to set the standard for the minimum level of environmental description that should be
acceptable as background information. Checklists that guide the EO through the process of
assessing the level of detail and content of the environmental description, impact identification
and appropriate mitigation measures are provided for the main environmental categories.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION


The environmental description and impact assessment background resource should be used
in conjunction with Chapters 5, 6 and 7. This combination of baseline description and
interpreted impacts should empower the EO with a good understanding of the prospecting
and mining methods and the ability to make a value judgement on the validity of the reported
extent, duration, magnitude and significance of impacts in each environmental category. The
decision whether to permit mining depends on this judgement and on the extent to which
measures can be taken to mitigate the environmental impacts.
CHAPTER 10: ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN GAUTENG
Chapter 10 was included into the Mining and Environmental Impact Guide with the objective
of providing the EO with information on the driving forces, potential impacts and
consequently, the environmental changes that are expected to arise due to current and future
mining operations in Gauteng. This information should aid the EO in assessing the cumulative
impacts of mining operations in the province.
This chapter covers a wide range of topics, including climate change, changes in natural
resource use, land use, the social environment and demography. Numerous international,
national and local responses to environmental change are also discussed.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 1: Introduction

Box 1-2: Overview of Part Two of the Mining and Environmental Impact Guide
PART TWO PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES
CHAPTER 11: THE ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS AND ENERGY
This chapter deals with the structure of the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), the
laws it administers and introduces the regulatory process that applicants must go through to
obtain reconnaissance, prospecting or mining permits and rights. This process, specifically as
it should be applied by the EO, is outlined in more detail in Chapter 13.
CHAPTER 12: THE ROLE OF THE GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
CONSERVATION, AND ENVIRONMENT
This chapter outlines the role of GDACE and, along with Chapter 11, should give the EO an
understanding of the regulatory framework which both empowers him/her and within which
he/she needs to operate. It also sets the scene for the more detailed procedures which need
to be followed and which are discussed in more detail in Chapter 13.
CHAPTER 13: THE GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION,
AND ENVIRONMENT REVIEW PROCESS
After reading the above and familiarising him/herself with:
The methods used in prospecting for and mining mineral deposits and their impacts
on the environment;
The mineral commodities that occur and are extracted in Gauteng;
The role of the DME and the regulations it administers;
The role of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (DA);
The legislation controlling the mining licence application and approval process
The EO should use Chapter 13 to guide him/her through the process of assessing the various
applications to prospect and mine. Of particular value are the checklists which lists the
various types of permits and rights that can be applied for and clearly shows which steps are
required for each particular application. The diagrams also directly link each permit and
application type to relevant templates thereby offering the EO a comprehensive, step-by-step
guide through the entire process.
CHAPTER 14: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
This chapter outlines what layers are to be loaded, as part of this project, onto the GDACE
GIS system.
CHAPTER 15: GLOSSARY
This is a comprehensive alphabetical list of terms and definitions the EO is likely to encounter
in assessing the environmental impacts of mining and their mitigation.

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CHAPTER 2:
THE HISTORY AND ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION
OF MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 2: The History and Economic Contribution of Mining

2. THE HISTORY AND ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF MINING IN


SOUTH AFRICA

2.1.

Introduction

South Africa has an amazing variety of mineralization which has served as the catalyst in
transforming the country from an agricultural to a mining and industrial-based economy. The
EO needs to understand this history in order to pass comment on the importance of the
*
mining industry and how its benefits need to be weighed against its environmental impacts.
South Africas array of mineral resources is due to its long and complex geological history
which dates back some 3.7 billion years. With some 55 different minerals mined during 2001
(Makwhinza et al., 2002) South Africa ranks second to the United States for having the
greatest variety of major mineral commodities being produced by any country in the world.
There are only two strategic minerals that are not available in adequate amounts in this
country and these are crude oil and commercially viable bauxite, the principal ore of
aluminium. More than 65 mineral commodities are known to occur within South Africa. For
more detailed information on these the interested reader is referred to The Mineral Resources
of South Africa (Wilson, 1998).
Figure 2-1 indicates the distribution of the various major geological formations in South Africa.
From the perspective of mineral wealth, the most interesting geological formations in South
Africa include:
The Witwatersrand basin and its sediments, which is the largest known repository of gold
on earth but which also yields uranium, silver, pyrite and osmiridium;
The Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC) with a suite of mafic and ultramafic rocks that hosts
more than half of the earths chrome ore and platinum group metals, as well as significant
deposits of vanadium, iron, titanium, copper and nickel. Its acidic rocks contain fluorspar,
tin and copper mineralization whilst the alumina-rich rocks adjacent to the Complex that
were heated up and metamorphosed during its intrusion host vast quantities of andalusite;
The Transvaal Supergroup which contains enormous resources of dolomite and limestone
together with more than three quarters of the worlds exploitable manganese and some
lead/zinc deposits;
The Karoo Supergroup sediments which contains extensive coal resources used in the
generation of the bulk of the countrys electricity;
Kimberlite intrusions of various ages that have yielded and continue to yield significant
quantities of diamonds;
The Phalaborwa Complex which hosts the worlds largest deposits of high-grade
vermiculite as well as significant quantities of phosphates, copper, iron, titanium and
zirconium, and
Recent coastal dunes and sands, some of which host high-grade alluvial diamonds as well
as vast quantities of titanium, iron and zirconium.

Cover page Komati Power Station, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa (Source: Platinum
Today, 2008)

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Figure 2-1: Distribution of major geological formations in South Africa

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The history of early mining operations in South Africa is recounted in Box 2-1 below in
chronological sequence and is limited to the major minerals produced in South Africa.
Box 2-1: History of early mining operations in South Africa
The countrys mining and mineral beneficiation
industry can be traced back to iron and copper
mining and smelting operations, some believed
to be as old as 750 AD, in the Phalaborwa
District. The extraction of iron pigments for
decorative and cosmetic purposes commenced
even before this time with one of the most
famous sites being at Blinkklipkop, near
Postmasburg in the Northern Cape Province. As
early as 1445 AD tin was being mined by the
local inhabitants of the Rooiberg area, west of the present-day Bela-Bela (Warmbaths).
The first metallic mineral deposits to be brought to the attention of the European settlers
were the copper deposits in the Ookiep District of Namaqualand that were visited by
Simon van der Stel in 1685.
Metal working and mining were important elements in the social, economical and
technological development in South Africa in pre-colonial times. There are three main
mining methods associated with mining in pre-colonial or prehistorical South Africa:
scavenging, open mining and underground mining. These activities were often used by
the same group of people at the same time and place and cannot be separated or
divided. There are numerous archaeological sites in South Africa that display significant
mining heritage, one of the most prominent sites being located in the Limpopo Province
called, Mapungubwe.
This World Heritage Site maintained a wealthy ancient kingdom and produced artefacts
for both the local and international market (trade). Metals and mining contributed
significantly to the prosperity of the kingdom and blacksmiths created objects from iron,
copper and gold for practical and decorative purposes. The most spectacular of the gold
discoveries at this site is a little gold rhinoceros, as illustrated in the figure above, which
also symbolizes the prosperous evolution of mining in South Africa.
Minerals produced in South Africa were traded to a number of countries in North and
East Africa, the middle East and the far east for centuries before European settlers
arrived.
South Africas mineral wealth has had a number of secondary effects such as influencing
the size and location of urban centres such as Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Witbank,
Vereeniging and Welkom. The countrys settlement patterns and economic development
would have been very different if it did not have minerals or if they were distributed in a
different fashion. Even though primary mining activity has declined in Gauteng the area
still exports materials and skills to all parts of the earth in this field. Engineering
companies, marketing companies, banks, suppliers of materials and equipment all
continue to earn their living from the mining industry, creating a sustainable economy in
an area which was originally just made up of farms.

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Did you know?

During 2006 the South African Mining Industry


Accounted for 7% of GDP directly, although the indirect multiplier effects take the
contribution to about 18.4% of GDP in total.
Directly accounted for 6.5% of total fixed investment and for 9.1% of the total private
sector investment.
Continues to act as a magnet for investment in South Africa. As at 29 December 2006
the mining sector accounted for R1.6 trillion, or 31.2% of the value of the Johannesburg
Securities Exchange (JSE).
About R15.6-billion was paid to investors in the form of dividends.
Contributed R140 billion to South African exports, representing 32.3% of the countrys
total merchandise exports and accounting for 25.2% of the countrys total foreign
exchange earnings.
Concluded R24 billion worth of empowerment deals making the resources sector the
largest contributor to black economic empowerment (BEE) deals
Directly employed an average of 458 600 workers in 2006. Around five million people
are directly dependent for their daily subsistence on mine employees
Paid R40 billion in wages and benefits to employees, which accounted for about 5.4% of
the total compensation paid to all employed people in the country in 2006. This
contributed substantially to domestic demand in the economy
Paid R16.2-billion in direct taxes and a major portion of indirect taxes to the fiscus in
2006. Mining direct taxes accounted for about 12.4% of total company tax (and
secondary tax on companies) paid to government
Was the worlds largest producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), gold, chromium,
ferrochrome, vanadium, manganese and vermiculite.
The industry was also a major supplier of aluminium (world rank 9), antimony (7), coal
(5), ferromanganese (4), ferrosilicon (6), iron ore (7), manganese ore (2), nickel (9),
phosphate rock (10), silicon (8), titanium minerals (2), uranium (11) and zirconium (2)
(Source: Chamber of Mines, 2007)

2.2.

History and Economic Contribution of Mining in South Africa

2.2.1.

Copper

Modern mining of the Okiep copper deposits commenced on a limited scale in 1846.
Following a favourable assessment of the prospects in 1854, there was a short-lived boom
with up to 22 companies operating for a short while. Mining has continued in the area up to
the present time with the exception of a short break in operations between the first and
second world wars. It is estimated that the field hosted more than 2 million tonnes of copper
metal, the bulk of which has already been extracted, in a multitude of basic intrusive bodies,
making it the second most productive copper field in the country. The numerous mines in the
area have ranged in size from very small operations to larger mines, such as Carolusberg,
close to the original site investigated by van der Stel, which has yielded 37 million tonnes of
copper ore. Whilst limited mining continues, the operations concentrate on re-working dumps,

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as most of the viable known reserves have been extracted.


The copper deposit at Phalaborwa that operated as an open-pit mine until 2002, produced
over 3 Mt of copper metal, as well as vast quantities of magnetite (iron ore) and significant
amounts of uranium, zirconium, gold and sulphides from which sulphuric acid was made. The
same geological intrusive is also the source of most of South Africas vermiculite and
phosphate. The copper mine now operates as an underground operation producing
significantly less ore.

Did you know?


The Big Hole, remnants of an open-pit
copper mine in Phalaborwa, is the planet's
largest man-made hole. It is visible from
space and can be viewed daily from a
special lookout point.
(Source: Kruger-2-Canyons.com, 2008)

Modern mining in the third major copper-producing district in South Africa at Musina, in the
extreme north of the country, commenced in 1906, deepening and extending so-called
ancient workings, and continued until 1991, by which time three quarters of a million tonnes
of copper metal had been extracted.
Although there are several hundred copper occurrences in South Africa, with the exception of
the large fields and deposits discussed above, very few have been exploited. There are no
primary copper mines in Gauteng, though copper has been produced as a by-product from
time to time.
2.2.2.

Diamonds

The discovery of diamonds in 1866 and a large-scale exploitation from 1870 onwards in
initially the Kimberley area triggered the transformation of South Africa from an agricultural to
a mining- and industrial-based economy. The diamond rush, which made South Africa the
worlds dominant producer of diamonds for 70 years, established a local need for technology
and specialised equipment, thereby triggering the development of supporting industries, whilst
the money it generated created the first pool of capital in the country. South Africa continues
to produce significant quantities of mainly high-quality gem diamonds and ranks 5th overall in
terms of world production.
The principal diamond resource in Gauteng is the well-known Premier Mine near Cullinan
which produced the worlds largest and most famous diamond, the Cullinan diamond and
which has continued to produce over a quarter of all diamonds over 400 carats. Exploitation
of the Premier kimberlite pipe, which was discovered by following up a localised alluvial
diamond run, commenced in 1902 and this pipe is the largest and most significant of a cluster
of 12 pipes in the area. Some other pipes in the cluster were prospected but only limited
production has resulted. One hundred years later, Premier remains an important mine and
was ranked the third largest producer of diamonds in South Africa in 2001.

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South Africa has the most diverse range of diamond deposits in the world. Deposits include
open pit and underground kimberlite pipe/dyke/fissure mining, alluvial mining as well as on
and offshore marine mining. South Africas diamond industry produces a stable 10 Mct
annually of which 90% is exported. South Africa produces 9% of global production and is
ranked 4th in the world in terms of rough diamond production. The industry employs some 14
500 people.
Most production is sourced from kimberlite mines (9 Mct), followed by alluvials (920 000ct)
and then marine (64 000 ct). South Africas kimberlite mines are located mainly in the central
northern parts of the country. Over the last 100 million years most kimberlites have had a
significant amount of erosion taking place, resulting in several billion carats being eroded and
transported fluvially. This has resulted in numerous alluvial diamond deposits along the
Orange and Vaal rivers. Finally, ancient beach terraces and marine deposits located along
the west coast constitute an enormous resource.
Alluvial gravels, extending from the Lichtenburg to Barkly West districts along the Orange and
Vaal Rivers and on the Northern and Western Cape coasts, yield diamonds commonly of a
better quality than those found in the original kimberlite. The early diamond rushes at
Hopetown and near Kimberley, were followed by a succession of rushes to the alluvial
diamond fields of the Northern Cape and what is now the North West Province. Examples
were those in the 1920s and 1930s at Lichtenburg, Bakerville and the Mafikeng district.
Although there are still 1500 alluvial diggers in the North West, Northern Cape and Free State
provinces, the prospects for new labour-intensive small-scale diamond mines have been
greatly reduced.
Global Diamond Resources operate the Grasdrif and Caerwinning alluvial deposits as well as
have an option on the Montrose kimberlite pipe located near Pretoria. The Grasdrif prospect
is located on the Orange River, along the border with Namibia in the Northern Cape.
Caerwinning is located near Kimberley. Production in 2000 from Caerwinning was lower due
to thicker overburden, with the operation producing 7 500 carats and Grasdrif managing 1 400
carats. Resources at Grasdrif are estimated to contain 82 Mt of diamondiferous gravel that is
expected to yield more than 1 million carats.
2.2.3.

Gold

The first profitable concentrations of gold in the country were discovered and mined at
Eersteling, just south of Polokwane (Pietersburg) in the Limpopo Province, in 1871 by
prospectors who came to South Africa for the diamond rush. From there, prospectors
searched the areas to the south and east and it was not long before the Transvaal gold field
was discovered near Pilgrims Rest and Sabie. This was followed by the discovery of the
Kaapsehoop gold field and in 1883, the Barberton gold field, the latter having subsequently
produced over 340 tonnes of gold. In 1888 there was a gold rush further north, around
Leydsdorp in the Murchison Range. Gold is still produced from this area, principally as a coproduct of antimony mining.
On the highveld, gold was discovered near Malmani in the North West Province in 1875 and
at Kromdraai in 1881 and Wilgespruit in 1884 in the Gauteng Province (Ward and Wilson,
1998). This set the scene for the discovery, also in Gauteng, in 1886, of one of the principal
reefs of the Witwatersrand.

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The Witwatersrand is by far the largest known repository of gold on earth, having yielded over
47 000 tonnes of gold between 1886 and 2002 (Figure 2.3), which represents between 33%
and 40% of all gold ever produced, depending on what historical estimates of global
production are used. Even more remarkable is the fact that the remaining resources in the
basin are calculated at an additional 36 000 tonnes of gold or 45.7% of all the known
remaining gold resources on earth. How much of this can still be extracted economically
depends on numerous factors, including the price of gold, cost of labour, technological
breakthroughs, etc. The revenue, employment and development of support industries
generated by the exploitation of the Witwatersrand gold mines have been the biggest catalyst
in sustaining the development of the South African economy and the growth of its impressive
infrastructure. The Witwatersrand mines have also yielded significant quantities of silver,
pyrite and uranium.
The Witwatersrand is a low, sedimentary range of hills, at an elevation of 1700m to 1800m
above sea-level, which runs in an east-west direction through Gauteng in South Africa. The
word in Afrikaans means the ridge of white waters. Geologically it is complex, but the
principal formations are quartzites, conglomerates and shales of the Witwatersrand Super
Group, as illustrated in Figure 2-2. It forms a continental divide with run-off to the north
draining into the Limpopo River and Indian Ocean and to the south draining into the Orange
River and Atlantic. The Witwatersrand lies within the province of Gauteng, formerly called the
PWV area, an acronym for Pretoria, Witwatersrand, and Vereeniging.

Did you know?


The Rand or Reef, as the Witwatersrand is sometimes known, is famous for being
the source of 40% of the gold ever mined from the earth. It extends for 280 km
from Klerksdorp in the west to Bethal in the east and is 3.6km (12 000 feet) deep
in places. The South African currency was named after it. The reef's most northerly
tip was discovered only a few kilometers from the present day town of
Magaliesburg, at Blaauwbank, in 1874.

Witwatersrand also denotes the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area, which spans the
length of the gold-bearing reef. The metropolitan area is oblong in shape and runs from the
area of Randfontein and Carletonville in the west to Springs in the east. It includes the vast
urban areas of the East and West Rand, and Soweto.
The Central Rand, where Witwatersrand gold mining commenced, East Rand, West Rand
and West Wits Line gold fields all fall within Gauteng and this makes this province the largest
producer of gold in South Africa. When gold mining started, very high gold grades, of up to
310g/ton, were recovered within the oxidised near-surface ores. Gold in the upper oxidised
zone was easily extracted by passing the crushed ore over copper plates coated in mercury,
a process known as the amalgam extraction process, which yielded recoveries of between 75
and 80% (Cowey, 1994).

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Figure 2-2: Overview of the Witwatersrand Geological Formation


(Source: West Wits Mining, 2008)

By the end of 1888 there were some 44 mines operating with a market capitalisation of over
seven million pounds. The capital pool generated earlier by diamond mining, along with the
local stock exchange, went a long way towards kick-starting the development of these mines.
In the following year, as the mines deepened to below 40m and fresh sulphidic ores were
encountered, both the grades and recoveries dropped significantly and the future of the
industry was seriously threatened. By March 1890 the value of the share market had dropped

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by more than 60% and about one third of the residents left. Some companies turned to the
only proven alternative process available, which was a chlorination process to win gold from
the fresh sulphidic ore; however, this was both difficult and expensive to operate. A newly
developed and largely untested process, the MacArthur Forrest process which leached the
gold from the ores using a dilute cyanide solution and allowed its re-precipitation using zinc,
proved to be successful when tested in 1890 and this helped return the industry to
profitability.
South Africas peak annual gold production of close to 1 000 tonnes occurred in 1970. As
illustrated in
Figure 2-3, there has been an overall decline since then to a low of 394 tonne in 2002 and
below 250 tonne in 2007. This decline is mainly the result of the increasing cost of extracting
gold ores from deeper levels, the increasing cost of labour and the steady overall decline in
the US$ price of gold. China has recently overtaken South Africa as the worlds largest gold
producer.

Figure 2-3: Estimated World gold production in tons (1990-2006)


(Source: Gold News, 2008)

2.2.4.

Coal

It is believed that the Zulu people had been using limited amounts of coal for iron smelting for
some time before white settlers arrived (Cowey, 1994). The first small-scale production by
settlers for domestic use was that of coal marketed in Pietermaritzburg in 1842. By 1852
mines in what was then the Natal Colony had started supplying steamships with bunker coal.
From 1870, coal was extracted from the Molteno coal field, south of Aliwal North in the
Eastern Cape and used to supply the newly discovered diamond fields at Kimberley. Thomas
Baines noted the presence of coal in the Witbank area in 1872 and this was initially exploited
on a small scale and carted by ox-wagon to the developing gold mines of the Witwatersrand.
In 1887 lower grade coal was discovered during gold exploration near Boksburg and Springs
on the East Rand and these low-grade deposits were exploited for some years. Large-scale
mining of coal in the Witbank area commenced in 1895 and this area developed into the most

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important coal-mining area in South Africa hosting 37 collieries in 1995.


The extreme western portion of the Witbank coal field extends into parts of the East Rand
gold field within Gauteng and coal has been extracted from these fields from time to time.
Further south, an extension of the South Rand coal field extends into Gauteng and along the
Vaal River near Vereeniging is an extension of the VereenigingSasolburg coal field.
The Waterberg Coalfield is one of South Africa's major coal resources, holding approximately
60% of the countrys remaining coal reserves. The total 50 billion tons of coal reserves in the
Waterber Coalfield are located in 11 zones, which consist of bright coal with interbedded
shale and dull coal, sandstone and carbonaceous shale. The Grootegeluk Colliery is the first
and only coal mine in the area and boasts with the largest open cast coal pit in the world.
In 2006, South African mines produced 246 million tons (Mt) of coal, of which 177 Mt was
used domestically. Approximately 68.8 Mt was exported at a value of R21.2 billion. South
Africa currently has approximately 31 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves, making it the
sixth largest holder of coal reserves in the world (GCIS, 2008).
2.2.5.

Iron and Steel

The modern exploitation of iron and the production of steel in South Africa dates back to 1901
when two tonnes of pig iron was produced from a primitive blast furnace near
Pietermaritzburg (Cowey, 1994). Larger scale steel production in the country began with the
establishment of the Union Steel Corporation (Usko) in 1911 by Sammy Marks who, amongst
other things, had developed the coal fields near Vereeniging. Uskos steel assets were
acquired by its major shareholder, ISCOR, in 1991. In 1916 Cornelius Delfos obtained the
rights to mine the low-grade iron ore in the Pretoria area and the first industrial-scale smelting
of Transvaal iron ores commenced in 1918. The smelting process requires the addition of
silica (quartz) and dolomite, both of which were extracted locally. In 1928 ISCOR, the Iron and
Steel Corporation of South Africa came into being and developed into a major producer of
iron and steel products.
In 2007, South Africa produced a total of 5.357 Mt of pig iron and liquid iron, 1.736 Mt of direct
reduced iron and 8.986 Mt of crude steel. South Africa is currently a major exporter of
stainless steel and other ferro-alloys, exports amounting to 1.987 Mt in 2007 (SAISI, 2008).
Though large-scale iron ore mining started in Gauteng, the vast bulk of iron ore is now
produced in the Northern Cape and Limpopo Provinces at the Sishen and Thabazimbi Mines
respectively.
2.2.6.

Tin

The pre-colonial tin workings at Rooiberg, 60 km west of Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) were rediscovered in 1905 and modern mining commenced in 1907 and continued until 1993. The
other major tin mining producers in the area, namely Union Tin Mines, Zaaiplaats Tin,
Stavoren-Mutue Fides Tin and Elands Tin started up from 1908. Between these major mines
they produced in excess of 110 000 tonne of tin metal, two thirds of which came from
Rooiberg, before they were forced to close by declining prices which followed the collapse of
the International Tin Council. The last operating underground tin mine was Rooiberg, which
closed in 1993. Re-treatment of some of the dumps is currently taking place. There are no
significant tin mines in Gauteng, though several prospects are known.

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2.2.7.

Chapter 2: The History and Economic Contribution of Mining

Chromium

The famous German explorer Karl Mauch was the first person to record the occurrence of
chromium in the Hex River near Rustenburg in 1865. Thereafter there were various official
reports made of chromite occurring on both the western and eastern limbs of the Bushveld
Complex. In 1917 some 200 tonne of chromite was removed by a farmer in the Lydenburg
District and sent to the British Munitions Board, who turned it down because of its high iron to
chromium ratio. Sustained mining of Bushveld chromites began in 1921, however, and by the
start of the Second World War production had reached 180 000 tonne per year (Cowey,
1994). By the 1960s South Africa had become a major exporter of chromite ore and this
continued to be the case into the 1970s when local industries gave increasing attention to the
manufacture of chromium ferro-alloys.
South Africa is currently the worlds biggest production of chromite, accounting for 41% of
world chromite production. The country further holds approximately 71% of the worlds
chromite reserves. In 2006, the country produced a total of 7.418 Mt of chromite of which 30%
is exported (USGS, 2007). Much of the remainder is converted to chromium ferro-alloys, the
bulk of which is used in the production of stainless and specialised steels. There are no
chrome occurrences within Gauteng.
2.2.8.

Fluorspar

South Africa has been an important producer of fluorspar since 1917 when the exploitation of
deposits in the Zeerust District of the North West Province commenced (Crocker et al., 1988).
The Vergenoeg Fluorspar Mine situated in the extreme north of Gauteng was discovered in
the mid 1950s. The Witkop Fluorspar Mine south of Zeerust commenced its operations in
1972. Mining was stimulated by a dramatic increase in the demand for fluorspar in the USA,
principally for the production of hydrofluoric acid and its derivatives. Initially the bulk of the
production was exported but as South Africas steel industry grew, so did the local
consumption of fluorspar. Local production increased as new deposits were discovered and
exploited. The more important producers included the Buffalo Fluorspar Mine near
Naboomspruit in the Limpopo Province. South Africas is the worlds 3rd largest producer and
4th biggest exporter of fluorspar with a production of 270 000 t in 2006.

Did you know?


The Buffalo Fluorspar Mine was opened in
1955 and was at one time the largest producer
of acid-grade fluorspar in the world.

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2.2.9.

Chapter 2: The History and Economic Contribution of Mining

Manganese

Manganese is used largely to add specialised properties to steels and other alloys. Small
quantities of manganese ore were mined at Hout Bay near Cape Town in the early 1900s.
The economic value of the manganese deposits in the Postmasburg District of the Northern
Cape was recognised during prospecting that took place between 1923 and 1926, but it was
not until the completion of a rail link in 1930 that major production commenced. A short time
later, larger resources were located in what has become known as the Kalahari Manganese
Field, further to the north.
Mining in this new field started near the surface outcrop at Black Rock in 1940. Subsequent
geological and geophysical mapping revealed the largest known land-based repository of
manganese on earth. In 2006 South Africa was the largest producer of manganese in the
world, with 80% of the worlds known reserves (USGS, 2007). Several small, but high-grade
manganese deposits have been exploited in western Gauteng where the deposits fall within a
belt of dolomites running north-easterly from north of Carletonville to Kromdraai. These mines
operate from time to time and have produced good, battery grade manganese.
2.2.10. Platinum Group Metals
Platinum is the most well-known element of a group of six elements that are together referred
to as the platinum group metals (PGM) or platinum group elements (PGE). The others are
palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium. In 1906, a sample of chrome-iron ore
from the Bushveld Complex was found to contain PGMs. Other chromite horizons were later
found to contain PGMs but there were no viable means of extracting it at the time. In fact, the
first platinum produced in South Africa in 1919, was as a by-product of Witwatersrand gold
mining. At that time platinum was eight times as valuable as gold. An unusual hydrothermal
PGM deposit was discovered by Adolph Erasmus in 1923 when he was prospecting for tin in
the Waterberg Mountains near Naboomspruit. This deposit was mined between 1924 and
1926 and though very small, was very well mineralised.
In 1924, a farmer named Andries Lombaard sent a sample of a greyish-white concentrate he
had panned on his farm Maandagshoek, north of Lydenburg in the eastern Bushveld, to the
famous geologist Hans Merensky who identified it as platinum. This initial prospecting soon
led to the discovery of what became known as the Merensky Reef which has provided the
bulk of the worlds PGMs since then. This reef was soon located in the western Bushveld,
near Brits, in 1925, then closer to Rustenburg and it was at this latter site where the sustained
mining of PGMs began in 1929. More recent exploration has shown that the Merensky Reef
can be traced for a distance of 145 km on the western lobe of the Bushveld Complex and for
138 km along its eastern lobe. In 1925 platinum was also found on the farm Sandsloot 236
KR, north of Makopane (Potgietersrus) in what has become known as the Platreef, but as the
grades of PGMs were significantly lower than those on the western limb of the Bushveld
Complex, mining was terminated on Sandsloot and production only started again in 1990.
Though the Merensky and some of the other reefs are known to extend into northern
Gauteng, as far as the Bon Accord Dam north of Pretoria, they are heavily faulted and
reasonably deep and as a result have not yet been exploited.

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Did you know?

South Africa is the worlds largest producer of PGMs and contributed towards 51% of the
production in 2001. This was also the second year in a row that the countrys income from
PGMs (R33.4 billion), exceeded that from gold. South Africa also has 56% of the worlds
known PGM resources and will thus continue to dominate production for some time.
Significant quantities of nickel and copper are produced as by-products of PGM mining,
along with lesser amounts of gold.

South Africa has more than 80 per cent of the worlds known platinum reserves. These vast
resources occur together with the worlds largest reserves of chromium and vanadium ore in
the unique Bushveld Igneous Complex (BIC). South Africas PGM output is derived almost
exclusively from the BIC, with only about 0.1% coming from the gold deposits of the
Witwatersrand and Free State, and the Phalaborwa copper deposit. The BIC is a large
circular structure in the north of South Africa and mines occur in a wide arc where this
outcrops near surface. The outcrops are referred to as the Northern, Eastern and Western
Limbs depending on their position on this arc.
The currently exploitable South African reserves of PGMs are concentrated in narrow but
extensive strata known as the Merensky Reef, the Platreef, and the UG2 chromitite layer.
These three layers in the BIC each have their own distinctive mineralogy, and have been well
described. The Platreef is mined only at Potgietersrus Platinum (Anglo Platinum), but
Merensky and UG2 ores are mined by all the large producers. These ores are quite different
from each other, and require different approaches to metallurgical processing. For example,
UG2 ore has a lower nickel and copper sulphides content, and contains much more chromite
than Merensky ore. Within the last decade the problem of extracting PGMs from chromite
ores has been overcome, meaning the UG2 seam will provide increasing amounts of
PGMs.The Platreef can be considered as metallurgically similar to Merensky ore, although
somewhat enriched in palladium.
There are currently twelve active, or very soon to be active, platinum mines in the BIC, eleven
exploiting the Merensky Reef and UG2 Chromitite Layer, and one, Potgietersrus (an opencast mine), mining the Platreef of the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Complex. There are two
active mines on the Eastern Limb, namely the Brakfontein Merensky Project and the
Middelpunt Hill Mine of Lebowa Platinum (belonging to Anglo Platinum). The other mines are
all on the Western Limb. Anglo Platinum has the Rustenburg, Union, and Amandelbult
Sections of Rustenburg Platinum, as well as the Bafokeng-Rasimone Mine. Impala Platinum
is supplied by its own Impala Mine, as well as by Kroondal Mine (owned by Aquarius
Platinum), among others. Lonmin has Western Platinum, Eastern Platinum, and Karee Mine.
Northam Platinum has the Northam Zondereinde Platinum Mine. The location of these mines
are shown in Figure 2-4.

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Chapter 2: The History and Economic Contribution of Mining

Figure 2-4: Mines in the Bushveld Igneous Complex (Source: Jubilee Platinum, 2008)
2.2.11.

Vanadium

The bulk of South Africas vanadium resources, which constitute 44% of the worlds vanadium
resources, are hosted in titaniferous magnetite layers within the Upper Zone of the Bushveld
Complex. These ores were known as early as the turn of the last century and efforts to smelt
and use these ores as a source of iron in 1921 failed when they choked the iron furnaces. As
a result, they were not exploited until 1957 when an American-owned company established a
mine at Kennedys Vale near Steelpoort in Mpumalanga. Anglo American took over these
operations in 1959 after developing a processing and smelting plant near Witbank that
successfully produced both steel and vanadium. They extended their mining activities to the
Mapochs area near Roossenekal. Since then, these Bushveld magnetite layers have been
exploited in several other areas, including an operation near Brits, just outside Gauteng.
Though these magnetite-rich horizons extend into northern Gauteng they are not yet being
mined within the province. In 2006, South Africa produced approximately 23 Kt of vanadium
as the worlds largest producer and exporter. The country also has 44.4% of the worlds
known vanadium resources (USGS, 2007).
The above-mentioned minerals earn the bulk of South Africas mineral export revenue.
Numerous other important industrial and construction materials have also played a vital role in
the development of the country and have assisted in turning it into the economic powerhouse
of the continent.

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Other important minerals in Gauteng are clay, sand and aggregate (building and
construction), as well as limestones and dolomites (manufacture of cement and agricultural
supplements). These minerals will be discussed in Chapter 7.
2.3.

Recent Trends in Mining in South Africa

Gold mining has been in decline for a number of years in South Africa due to the ore bodies
becoming more difficult and costly to access. Coal has recently overtaken gold in terms of
earnings for the country but both of these have been dwarfed by the enormous growth in the
mining and beneficiation of Platinum Group Metals. It is likely that this sector will represent
the largest future growth area for minerals in South Africa. There are abundant resources and
a large demand for the products as the major demand stems from applications linked to the
improvement of emission quality.
2.4.

Constraints on Future Growth in the South African Mining Industry

There are several constraints on the future growth of the South African mining industry. This
includes constraints on electrical energy and water availability.

Electrical Energy

Electrical energy has been highlighted as a major constraint for development in the mining
industry in South Africa. Whilst it is possible that additional generation capacity can be
constructed, it is highly likely that this will represent a constraint to development for the next
few decades. It is thus essential that available resources be used more efficiently.
These shortages are expected to continue for a number of decades if current economic
growth rates are maintained. The cost of hydrocarbon based fuels has also recently
dramatically increased over the past few years. The improvement in energy efficiency by the
mining industry is thus essential, not only to maintain and improve profitability but also to
ensure that sufficient energy supplies exist for new projects and developments.
The value of these projects and the implied multiplier effect on South Africa is enormous. The
costs of providing alternative energy using on site generation is extremely expensive and will
limit the life of the projects.

Water Availability

South Africa is a dry country and the availability of water for consumptive use is finite. In order
to meet the expected growth rates of the economy and the expectations of the people for a
better life it is imperative that this scarce resource is used in an efficient and effective manner.

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CHAPTER 3:
MINING HOT SPOTS IN GAUTENG

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Chapter 3: Mining Hot Spots in Gauteng

3. MINING HOT SPOTS IN GAUTENG

This chapter focuses on areas considered to be particularly environmentally sensitive, which


are currently being mined or are about to be impacted by mining. These are shown in Figure
3-1 and in a GIS layer loaded onto GDACEs GIS.
The general environmental impacts of various types of mining are discussed in Chapters 5
and 6 and the types of mining taking place in the province in Chapter 7. The EO is referred to
these chapters and the detailed environmental impact tables in Appendices in Chapter 9.

Figure 3-1: Mineral Hotspots in Gauteng


3.1.

Introduction

Mining hot spots can be broadly categorized in three types:

Areas directly affected by mining activity


Mine water decant points
Contaminated wetland sediments.*

Cover page Gold mine dump to the south of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
(Source: Flickr.com, 2006)

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3.2.

Chapter 3: Mining Hot Spots in Gauteng

Mining Activity

The various mined commodities are shown in different colours in Figure 3-2 below for ease of
reference. The level of impact is not shown but clay, sand and gold mining probably have the
biggest environmental impact within the province. The mining hot spots must be viewed in
conjunction with the mineral occurrences layer as this provides information on the specific
type of mineral and the status of the mine, as discussed in Chapters 7 and 8.

Figure 3-2: Mineral Commodities and Mine Openings in Gauteng

Gold mining

Gold mining has taken place in a continuous arc in the mid-southern portion of Gauteng, just
south of Johannesburg and even though many of the mines are not operational anymore, the
environmental impacts are severe and the area is still considered to be a mining hot spot. See
chapter 6 for more detailed information. The gold price has recently improved significantly and
new mining projects are being developed and some of the currently closed mines may
become operational again. Numerous older waste deposits are being reprocessed. The
impact of the slimes dams and sand dumps, particularly dust emissions and acid mine
drainage, are significant.
Older rock dumps have now mostly been reclaimed and used as building rubble. As part of

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the mining hot spots, a separate layer containing old mine openings in the Witwatersrand is
also provided and shown in Figure 3-2. These localities represent the known positions of mine
openings and include shafts, vent holes, sinkholes and near surface stope breakthroughs.
This layer is not complete and is based on a study currently being funded by DME to find
similar holes.
For more information on the environmental impacts of gold mining see the section on acid
mine drainage in Chapter 9.

Coal Mining

Coal mining in the Gauteng Province ceased in the previous century but there is the potential
for small-scale operators to rework some of the deposits to exploit coal with clays. Shallow
undermined areas are prone to break-through and settlement of ground which could damage
surface structures or even harm humans and animals falling into these holes. If the coal mine
is burning, the escaping gases could be harmful to humans and animals.

Diamond Mining

Diamond mining is essentially concentrated around the Premier Mine in the north-east of the
Province. This mine exploits a kimberlite pipe but some alluvial mining also took place near
the Vaal River in the south-west. The farm Kameelfontein north of Pretoria is being studied for
alluvial diamond mining which, if developed, could have impacts including dust and
scarification of the land. Severe disturbance of vegetation and animal habitat would be
expected if mining gets underway.

Clay Mining

Clay mining in Gauteng is concentrated on the Karoo and Transvaal sediments occurring
around Pretoria and to the east of Johannesburg. Clay quarries are typically medium size
open-pit operations with severe scarification of the land taking place. Often bricks are made
on site with subsequent air pollution. See Chapter 6 for more information. In the Bronberg
area, the Golden Mole is at risk of extinction because of nearby clay mining operations. The
layer for Red Data Species available at the GDACE offices gives specific reference to this
and other species at risk.
3.3.

Mine Water Decant Points

Currently the groundwater levels in most operating gold mines in Gauteng are kept well below
ground level to allow for the effective operation of the mines and to allow access to the gold
reefs. When mining ceases, pumping of the water will stop and groundwater levels will rise
(Scott, 1995). If the mines are re-flooded to an uncontrolled level, this will result in the
discharge of untreated acid mine water into surface streams and wetlands, leading to the
contamination of these sensitive areas. It may also affect groundwater aquifers below surface
particularly if they are dolomitic.
This process is already happening in two parts of the Witwatersrand:
i.

In the Randfontein area, water is decanting from an abandoned shaft and flowing
northwards towards the Krugersdorp Game Reserve and the Cradle of Humankind World

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Heritage Site. There is also evidence of ground water contamination in this area,
extending at least into the Game Reserve; and
ii.

In the Natalspruit area in south-east of Johannesburg, water is decanting from abandoned


near-surface mining operations.

The water pumped to surface needs to be treated to remove iron, some heavy metals and
dissolved salts. Simple treatment technologies use lime and air which correct the pH, but still
produce an effluent which is high in salinity and potentially other elements such as
radioactivity and heavy metals. Large discharge points include Grootvlei mine on the
Blesbokspruit (See Figure 3-3), ERPM on the Elsburgspruit and Randfontein in the west.
This discharged water maintains perennial stream flow but affects the whole Vaal river
system.

Figure 3-3: Iron compounds and suspended solids precipitate in water clarifying tanks
at the Grootvlei Mine on the Blesbokspruit (Source: SAWCP, 1998)

3.4.

Contaminated Wetland Sediments

Wetlands throughout the Witwatersrand accumulate pollutants, including heavy metal and
radionuclides. This phenomenon has been observed using airborne radiometric surveying
(survey date: September 1991). Follow-up studies in the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment
(Wade et al., 2001; Coetzee et al., 2004) have detailed the degree and nature of this
contamination. Uranium concentrations in excess of 1 000 ppm have been measured in a
dam near Krugersdorp, while concentrations in excess of 500 ppm have been recorded in the
Carletonville area. See Chapter 9 for additional information.

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Figure 3-4: Water pollution in the Wonderfonteinspruit, resulting from effluent


discharge from nearby mines (Source: Beeld, 2007)

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CHAPTER 4:
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE
AREAS IN GAUTENG

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Chapter 4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Gauteng

4. ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS IN GAUTENG

4.1.

Introduction

In the context of this document, the term sensitive areas refers to areas where mining
operations would have a greater than normal impact on the environment, probably of a
permanent nature. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the types of sensitive areas
identified for Gauteng. This includes wetlands, ridges, river systems, conservation areas,
dolomitic land, erodible soil and archaeological sites. Figure 4-2 shows the environmentally
*
sensitive areas in Gauteng that could be negatively influenced by mining.
4.2.

Wetlands

Wetlands occur in many parts of Gauteng and range from relatively small features to large
features such as the Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site on the East Rand, as described in Box 4-1.
Although many of these features are natural, water discharges from mining, industrial and
urban developments have greatly increased the flow in to local river systems, leading, in
some cases, to the development of new wetlands or the growth of existing wetlands. Because
of their enormous value as filtering systems for rivers and streams, wetlands are protected by
environmental laws, which seek to prevent or minimise impact on them. Mining activities can
impact on wetlands either in a physical manner or on a chemical level.
The physical impacts of mining on wetlands include inundation and indirectly, siltation. When
a wetland is inundated throughout the year, its effectiveness as a natural filter is inhibited
since the natural dormant period and regeneration period cannot occur. Water discharged or
runoff from a mine often carries high sediment loads, which may result in siltation of rivers
and streams. This can lead to blockage of the channels and can eventually lead to the death
of the wetlands due to large quantities of poor-quality non-fertile silt being introduced into the
system, thereby altering the drainage patterns and stunting vegetation growth. If such
wetlands are not cleaned on a regular basis, their ability to handle flood events and to filter
water is diminished.
Wetlands often have a large capacity to attenuate pollution. In the case of mine water,
wetlands are often cited as a means of pollution control. It should, however, be noted that the
removal of pollutants from water results in the build-up of contamination in the solid material
of the wetland. The primary processes of pollution attenuation are the adsorption of pollutant
ions onto reactive surfaces within the wetland. Many of these reactions are most efficient
under reducing conditions, with sulphate-reducing bacteria playing an important role. These
bacteria are generally abundant in natural wetland systems, producing sulphides, including
pyrite and hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which gives wetlands their characteristic sulphurous
smell.
The size and shape of some of Gauteng wetlands have been influenced by discharges from
mines, as illustrated in Figure 4-1 showing partially treated mine water entering the
Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site in Gauteng. Some subsidence from old workings may have
caused new wetlands, siltation of the river systems from slime discharged from mines and
Cover page Ridge and waterfall at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens,
Roodepoort, Gauteng Province, South Africa (Source: Mogale City, 2005)

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eroded off waste deposits has added to wetlands. There have been numerous attempts to
reclaim gold bearing material from these wetland areas.

Figure 4-1: Partially treated mine water from the Grootvlei Dam enters the
Blesbokspruit (Source: SAWCP, 1998)
Water discharged from mining sites often has a high salt load and, in the case of gold and
coal mining, will be high in iron (II) and sulphate. Within wetland systems, oxidation of iron (II)
to iron (III) will result in the precipitation of ferric hydroxide, typically as a gel, which can coat
the reactive surfaces of the plants and sediment, thereby greatly reducing the ability of the
wetland to remove pollutants by adsorption. In addition the high salt load is often toxic to
aquatic life. High loads of heavy metals and especially uranium are a specific problem
associated with gold mining in Gauteng and concentrations can exceed accepted levels.
Cyanide is used in the process of gold extraction and it either finds its way into wetlands
through direct contamination by process water or through leakage of water from slimes dams
into nearby wetlands. Aspects of radioactivity and cyanide pollution are discussed in more
detail in Chapter 9.

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Chapter 4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Gauteng

Figure 4-2: Environmentally sensitive areas in Gauteng


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Chapter 4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Gauteng

Box 4-1: The Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site


The Blesbokspruit RAMSAR site

Blesbokspruit is one of the few permanent water bodies in the Gauteng Region. It was
formed during the 1930 construction of road and pipeline embankments for the mining
industry. It is seasonally important for several species of locally migrant waterbirds and
various notable mammals. Mining activities take place upstream. The site was placed on
the Montreaux Record in May 1996 in response to contamination by large quantities of
polluted water discharged from adjacent mines. It is RAMSAR site no. 343.
The site is approximately 3km east of town of springs on the East Rand of Gauteng
Province. The towns of Boksburg, Benoni and Brakpan lie in the North West while Nigel
is located south of the site.

(Source: DEAT, 2004)

4.3.

Ridges

Ridges are considered sensitive areas because any developments, industries or mines on
ridges would be highly visible. In addition, ridges often form greenbelts in urban areas
providing safe harbour for varied species of fauna and flora. The conservation of ridges for
human recreational activities is promoted and mining activity or other development will reduce
or completely destroy the human-nature interaction.
Mining activities can impact negatively on ridges by changing the shape of the ridge, or by
accelerating erosion and allowing pollutants into the drainage channels originating on the
ridges. Mining and other forms of disturbance of ridges will negatively impact biodiversity by
the clearing of grass and other natural vegetation which provides a habitat for fauna.

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Ridges such as the Magaliesberg area in Pretoria, the Botanical Gardens in both Pretoria and
Roodepoort (See Figure 4-3) and the Melville Koppies in Johannesburg are examples of ridge
areas actively being used and conserved for human recreation.

Figure 4-3: The Roodepoort Botanical Gardens

4.4.

River Systems

The impact of mining on river systems has been discussed in the section on wetlands, but
includes siltation, the introduction of salts and toxic chemicals and inundation throughout the
year covering areas where riparian growth occurs, thereby causing a change in the original
vegetation structure.
4.5.

Conservation Areas

Conservation areas are set aside for the conservation of pristine land, as mining activities in
or nearby nature reserves or animal habitats is considered undesirable. The conservation
areas in Gauteng are shown in Figure 4-4. Some conservation areas such as Dinokeng are
at risk due to sand-winning operations and proposed alluvial diamond mining. The habitat of
the golden mole south-east of Pretoria is also at risk due to clay mining operations in the
Bronberg area.
4.6.

Dolomitic Land

Dolomitic land occurs in a ring around the Halfway House granite dome in the centre of
Gauteng. Little mining occurs in the portions directly south of Pretoria but the dolomite
occurring to the south, east and west of Johannesburg is affected by deep level gold mining.
This mining necessitates the extraction of water causing lowering of the water table in the
overlying dolomite.

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Figure 4-4: Conservation Areas in Gauteng (Source: ENPAT, 2000)

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Land underlain by dolomite is at risk of sinkhole and doline formations even in a natural state
and this situation can be aggravated by dewatering. This can lead to damage to
infrastructure, buildings and even to loss of life. The process of sinkhole formation is
accelerated by urban development. All dolomitic land should be considered an
environmentally sensitive area and water usage, both surface and groundwater, should be
monitored and where possible controlled.

Did you know?

The West Rand area of Gauteng is underlain by dolomite of the Transvaal Supergroup. The
Sterkfontein Caves that formed within this dolomitic rock was declared a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1999 and have delivered many anthropological finds. The most important
and of these finds are Mrs Ples, a 2.1-million-year-old Australopithecus skull, and Little
Foot, an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton dating back more 3 million years.

(Source: South African Tours and Travels, 2008)

The current database shows only a limited number of known sinkholes south of Pretoria but it
must be accepted that a similar density of sinkholes is likely to occur in the other dolomitc
areas in Gauteng.
4.7.

Erodible Soil

Certain soil types are particularly susceptible to soil erosion, the process by which soil
particles are transported away by wind or water. Characteristically, these soils are sodium rich
and deflocculate easily when in contact with water.
As illustrated in Figure 4-5, approximately 1.1% of soils in Gauteng show a very high
susceptibility to soil erosion and a further 4.4% of soils show high susceptibility to soil erosion.
The potential for soil erosion from these soils can be reduced by covering the soil with
vegetation. With regard to mining, the ideal is to run a parallel process of rehabilitation and revegetation of natural soil surfaces as mining proceeds. This will be discussed in more detail in
Chapter 6.
4, 4%1, 1%

Very Low (<5 ton/ha/yr)

7, 7%

Low (5 - 12 ton/ha/yr)
Moderate (12 - 25 ton/ha/yr)
High (25 - 60 ton/ha/yr)

11, 11%

Very High (> 60 ton/ha/yr)

77, 77%

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4.8.

Chapter 4: Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Gauteng

Figure 4-5: Soil erosion potential categories (Source: GDACE, 2004)


Archaeological and Cultural Sites

Numerous sites of archaeological and cultural importance occur in Gauteng of which those
constituting the Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein are the most well known. Some of the
old gold mine workings could also be considered archaeological or at least cultural historical
sites with some buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Specific mention is made of the old
stamp mills and outcrop mining areas at the George Harrison Park in Florida. Another site
that may be considered is the tall smelter smoke stack at the Van Rhyn Gold Mine which was
built in the early 1900s. The aim of any environmental assessment should be to minimise, if
not completely prevent, impacts on such sites of cultural and archaeological interest.
Issues regarding the status of old gold mine dumps in Johannesburg, as shown in Figure 4-6,
has not been clarified. A number of these dumps are older than 60 years and thus enjoy
statutory protection. To some people they are symbols of South African history and should be
preserved and to others they are unsightly dumps which need to be removed to promote
development. The more visible sights, such as old headgears, are protected.

Figure 4-6: Aerial view of old gold mine dumps in Johannesburg


(Source, Shields & Shields, 2000)

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CHAPTER 5:
PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION
METHODS

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Chapter 5: Prospecting and Exploration Methods

5. PROSPECTING AND EXPLORATION METHODS

5.1.

Introduction

In this chapter an overview is given of the most common prospecting and exploration
methods utilized to prospect for the mineral commodities present in Gauteng. Mention is
made of possible environmental impacts of these prospecting and exploration methods and
their rehabilitation, however the reader is referred to Chapter 9 for a more detailed description
of environmental impacts. To better understand the temporal scale of prospecting and
exploration activities, a general prospecting timeline is provided in Table 5-1.
Table 5-1: General Prospecting Timeline
Phase

Description

Exploration

Evaluation

Preliminary airborne surveys of the land and the


surrounding geology
Land purchase / Land owners consent
Geophysical,
geological,
geochemical
and
preliminary environmental studies
Preliminary closure plan
Drilling
Bulk sampling
Underground exploration
Ore estimates and feasibility studies, including
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and
Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
Mine and plant design

Building of infrastructure
Mine development (facilities for milling, smelting
and ore refinement, as well as roads, generators
and accommodation for miners)

Production

Hire employees
Begin extraction, milling, smelting and refining
Mine expansion
Monitor environnemental impact

Closure

Site rehabilitation
Closure monitoring

Development

Time frame

1 -2 years

5 - 6 years

1 - 3 years

Up to 75 years

Post-closure

Prospecting and exploration begins with mapping and surface prospecting. Images taken by
satellites or aircraft, known as remote sensing, can be used to pinpoint large geological
structures such as faults or geological contacts that may host minerals. A prospector
searches for trace quantities of ore minerals, certain rock types, and evidence of mineralising
solutions. One positive sign of mineralization is a gossan. When a gossan is found, it is
1
sampled and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Cover page Prospecting for Platinum Group Metals (PGM) in the Eastern Limb of the
Bushveld Complex, Limpopo Province, South Africa (Source: Lesego Platinum, 2008)

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In all surveys, prospectors look for geological anomalies. In a typical geophysical survey, a
physical property like the gravitational or magnetic field is measured on a grid. The value
found at each grid position is plotted on a plan view of the property. This map allows the
prospector to pick out areas with anomalous geophysical characteristics that may hint at
mineralization.

Did you know?

A gossan is an oxidized, eroded rock and is characteristic of the exposed part of a mineral
deposit.

Most exploration programmes use several methods of prospecting and exploration. The
decision of whether to employ a geochemical or geophysical prospecting method is based on
the kind of deposit being sought.
This section summarises the four main methods of exploration, namely geophysical methods,
geochemical sampling, drilling, as well as delineation and evaluation. This is followed by a
description of the impacts of exploration and suitable mitigatory measures.
5.2.

Geophysical Methods

5.2.1.

Magnetic Methods

Although magnetic methods detect conductive bodies, they will not necessarily find
mineralization. Magnetic methods often locate metal sulphides, but may also find non target
minerals.
In magnetic surveying, the geophysicist measures the strength of the earths magnetic field.
The higher the rocks magnetic susceptibility, the stronger the local magnetic field will be. This
method will detect deposits with magnetic minerals, such as iron and nickel ore, but it can
also be used for geological mapping.
Magnetic surveys can be done on the ground and from the air. An aerial magnetometer is an
ultra-sensitive instrument either trailed below an airplane or helicopter or fastened onto the
aircraft. By combining these magnetic readings with steady aerial photography, prospectors
can outline a magnetic map of a large area. An example of such an aeromagnetic map is
shown in Figure 5-1.
5.2.2.

Electromagnetic Methods (EM)

In this method, an alternating current is fed into a wire coil held in a prescribed direction to the
ground surface. This current produces an alternating magnetic field that awakens nearby
underground electrical conductors, creating an alternating magnetic field that can be

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measured. New methods have increased the depth penetration of EM prospecting. One
effective EM technique is very low frequency (VLF), which harnesses signals from marinenavigation radio stations. EM surveys are among the most useful techniques in airborne
geophysics.

Figure 5-1: Example of an aeromagnetic map showing different mineral deposits with
different magnetic properties (Source: Griesel, 1999)

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5.2.3.

Chapter 5: Prospecting and Exploration Methods

Gravity Method

The force of gravity is slightly stronger where underlying rocks are dense and weaker where
they are less dense. Sensitive balances are used to detect the density variance of underlying
rocks, and can be used to conduct a rapid survey of an area to pinpoint major rock types. The
information gleaned from this method helps indicate areas favourable to other methods of
exploration. This method can also be used to detect mineral deposits, which are generally
denser than surrounding rocks.
5.2.4.

Seismic Methods

Shock waves, similar to sound waves, travel faster in dense bodies. They also reflect from the
boundaries between different rock types, allowing a geophysicist to measure how long they
take to travel and to determine the structure of the rocks below.
Seismic prospecting is most prevalent in petroleum exploration, although it is also used in
Witwatersrand gold exploration. Tiny artificial shock waves are generated at a selected point
by detonating explosives in a shallow hole or dropping a heavy weight. The speed of the
shock waves is measured by timing their arrival at sensitive receivers along the survey line.
5.2.5.

Radiometric Methods

In this method a geiger counter or scintillometer is used to determine the presence of


radioactive elements. The instrument measures the energy released during radioactive
decay.
Gamma-ray spectrometers are an even more advanced version of the scintillometers. They
can distinguish between radiation from the three main radioactive elements occurring in
nature, uranium, potassium and thorium, by measuring the energy of the radiation.
5.3.

Geochemical Sampling

After pinpointing a promising area, the prospector takes grab samples from outcrops, road
cuttings, river beds and trenches. Once these samples are gathered, the crew carefully
records the original location of each sample, labels each rock, and sends the most promising
ones to a laboratory for analysis. If a grab sample looks particularly good, a crew may expose
the sampled bedrock.
Chip samples knocked off the outcrop with a hammer and chisel are sometimes taken in
order to quickly estimate the mineral value. In certain instances, one may collect a bulk
sample, which may range from a few hundred kilogrammes to several tonnes in weight,
depending on the commodity.
Throughout the exploration process, the most promising mineral samples are taken to an
assay laboratory, where the specific constituents of the rock are measured and catalogued.
There are a number of assay methods, including fire assaying, wet assaying and instrumental
analysis. The choice of an assay method is based on the method that best determines the
concentration of the sought-after metal.

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5.4.

Chapter 5: Prospecting and Exploration Methods

Drilling

If surface sampling indicates a promising mineral concentration, there are a number of drilling
options. There is diamond drilling, where a circular cut is made into the rock with a diamond
drill bit to extract a core sample from the centre of the cut, underground diamond drills are
smaller and lighter, and allow for more drilling flexibility. The most ubiquitous method is
wireline drilling. After the core of rock is removed, the inner tube is put back into the outer
core barrel to resume drilling. Promising sections are split into two, with one half sent to an
assay laboratory and the other half being kept in a core box for future reference.
Reverse-circulation drilling is becoming more prevalent in areas where rocks are weathered.
In reverse-circulation drilling, drilling fluid and/or air is pumped down between dual tubing and
returned up an inner tube, thereby transporting cuttings from a tri-cone bit to the surface.
5.5.
5.5.1.

Delineation and Evaluation


Resource Calculations

The volume of a deposit can be measured by the width and depth of drill hole intersections of
mineralization and the distance between them. If this is known, it is possible to calculate the
tonnage of mineralised material. By multiplying the volume with the average density of the
mineralization the tonnage of the deposit can be calculated.
5.5.2.

Reserve Calculations

A resource estimate gives a quantitative indication of mineralised material in the ground, but
gives little clue as to the economics of the deposit. A reserve estimate refines the resource
estimate by imposing economic constraints on the size and grade of the material brought into
the calculation.
5.6.

Feasibility Studies

Once samples have been assayed and deemed to be promising, a company must evaluate
the viability of a deposit. The mine's annual profits must cover the investment in the
exploration and the mine. The study must determine the most expedient way to mine the
optimum amount of the desired mineral, thereby determining the payback period. Box 5-1
provides a summary of all the requirements of a feasibility study.
Box 5-1: Requirements of a Feasibility Study
FEASIBILITY STUDIES
A feasibility study must take into account the geology, metallurgy and economics, as well
as political developments, regulations, the availability of labour and environmental issues
or concerns. One of the nagging geological considerations is finding a way of getting at
the deposit some promising discoveries are left unattended for years because it was
impossible to find an expedient mining method. The study must also determine mine
operating costs, which include labour, electricity, supplies and shipping, as well as
determining at what rate (daily tonnage) mining will occur.

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5.7.

Chapter 5: Prospecting and Exploration Methods

Environmental Impacts of Exploration

In general exploration has minimal short term and insignificant long term impact on the
environment if precautions are taken and responsible exploration methodology is practiced.
Noise, dust, tracks, rubbish and waste are the most common short term impacts. Planning
access routes and restricting vehicle movement to these routes are effective mitigation
measures for these impacts. Further restriction of the camp and drill sites to specific areas,
restricting the collection of fire wood and the removal of rubbish and waste ameliorates long
term effects.
It should be ensured that land owners are contacted and informed of the proposed plans and
that suitable access is obtained in agreement with the owner. An acrimonious relationship
could develop if the surface owner does not allow reasonable access or the prospecting
company does not act reasonably.
A general impact description of the different exploration methods are provided in Box 5-2. The
key environmental impacts associated with the exploration projects are described below.
Box 5-2: General Impact Description of Different Exploration Methods
GENERAL IMPACT DESCRIPTION
Geophysical exploration
Airborne surveys have minimal effects, but may cause short-term annoyance through the
use of low-flying aircraft. Ground surveys are conducted using small portable instruments
and have negligible effects.
Geochemical sampling
Grab and stream sediment sampling remove samples of less than 1 kg and as long as
the sample pits and trenches are refilled, there is minimal long-term impact.
Grid sampling necessitates the laying out of a regular grid pattern with identification
markers and may involve trimming of vegetation for access and line-of-sight along grid
lines. The introduction of GPS often renders the surveying of a grid and cutting of lines
unnecessary as readings can be taken at each sample point.
Exploration drilling
Access by large drilling equipment, drill pad construction and sump construction all have
short term effects, but these can be reduced through careful planning and rehabilitation.
Care should be taken that fuel and lubricants are not spilled. Drilling very deep holes
may take weeks or months and thus drill rigs could be on site for a fair length of time.

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5.7.1.

Chapter 5: Prospecting and Exploration Methods

Water impacts

Prospecting could impact on water quality through the release of small quantities (a few
hundred litres per day) of contaminated water into the environment. The most common
contaminants include silt, oil and fuel.
A further issue could arise in cases where water supply in the prospecting area is limited. This
could become an issue when the project moves into the mining phase. A number of water
supply options exist and include well fields, as well as the use of sewage effluent and joint
schemes with other mines in the area. It is important that the planning and development of a
suitable water supply is initiated at an early stage as a long lead-time can be expected,
particularly if new infrastructure is required. Water supply is also expected to be a major
capital expenditure item.
5.7.2.

Soil and vegetation impacts

Small areas of land (generally not more than 1 to 2 ha each) will need to be cleared for drilling
sites, campsites and roads. The significance of this impact is expected to be low if properly
managed.
5.7.3.

Visual, noise and dust impacts

If the proximity of the prospecting area is close to residential and tourist areas, the potential
for visual, noise and dust impacts will need to be carefully managed. Before mining
commences, the locality of infrastructure will need careful planning to minimize the potential
for such impacts. These impacts are likely to be of low/medium significance during the
exploration phase.
5.7.4.

Socio-Economic Impacts and Consultation with Interested and Affected Parties

Public participation is a principle entrenched in South African environmental legislation


through the EIA Regulations under the Environmental Conservation Act (72 of 1989) and
NEMA (Act 107 of 1998).
The principles of public participation outlined in these acts should be followed when informing
the owners and lessees of surface rights of the intent to conduct prospecting operations. As
part of the prospecting application, the applicant must prove that all relevant stakeholders and
interested and affected parties (IAPs) have been consulted.

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CHAPTER 6:
MINING METHODS

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 6: Mining Methods

6. MINING METHODS

6.1.

Introduction

In the previous chapter, an overview was given of the most common prospecting and
exploration methods utilized to prospect for the mineral commodities present in Gauteng.
This chapter contains a description of the mining methods currently employed in Gauteng.
Mention is made of possible environmental impacts of these mining methods and their
rehabilitation; however the reader is referred to Chapter 9 for a more detailed description of
1
the impacts.
The next chapters, Chapter 7 and 8, contain descriptions of the currently mined, economic
mineral deposits and other uneconomic mineral commodities respectively.
Mining is the process of extracting mineral resources from the earth. The mining method used
depends on the physical and chemical properties of the mineral, the physical form in which it
occurs, as well as the geometry and depth of the ore body.
6.2.

Surface Mining

When a mineral occurs fairly close to the surface in a massive or wide tabular body, or where
the mineral itself is part of the surface soil or rock, it is generally more economic to mine it by
means of surface mining methods.
Strip mining, open-pit, opencast mining and quarrying are the most common mining methods
that start from the earth's surface and maintain exposure to the surface throughout the
extraction period. For both access and safety, the excavation usually has stepped or benched
side slopes and can reach depths exceeding 600m.
Complete disruption of the surface always occurs, which affects the soil, fauna, flora and
surface water, thereby influencing all types of land use (See Figure 6-1). If the operation
extends to depths below the water table, it will affect the near-surface groundwater. An
understanding of the pre-mining environment is therefore essential. It is also important to
understand the mining method employed so that surface rehabilitation, where possible, can
be meaningfully planned.
6.2.1.

Open-pit mining

This method of mining is used if the near-surface ore body is massive and when it occurs in a
steeply dipping seam or seams, or a pipe, or makes up the country rock. Here, the whole ore
body is mined with no overburden being put back into the void. The Premier Diamond Mine at
Cullinan and crusher stone quarries are good examples. A modern open-pit mine is shown in
Figure 6-2.
In open-pit mining the barren rock material covering the ore body normally requires drilling
and blasting to break it up for removal. A typical mining cycle consists of drilling holes into the
Cover page Infrastructure and open cast operations at the Finsch Diamond Mine, Northern
Cape Province, South Africa (Source: Bateman Engineering, 2008)

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Chapter 6: Mining Methods

rock in a pattern, loading the holes with explosives, or blasting agents, and blasting the rock
in order to break it into a size suitable for loading and hauling to the mill, concentrator, or
treatment plant. There the metals or other desired substances are extracted from the rocks.

Figure 6-1: Aerial view of an open pit coal mine showing disruption of the earth surface

Figure 6-2: A modern open-pit mine with benches (Source: Wells et al., 1992)

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The ore body is traced deeper and deeper into the ground using a series of benches for both
access and safety (Figure 6-3). Sometimes rock surrounding the ore has to be removed so
that the sides of the pit do not become dangerously steep. The waste rock and waste that is
separated from the ore during processing, is dumped away from the pit onto a surface waste
dump.
The opportunities for land use following open-pit mining are often limited, because it is often
very expensive to fill the pit. The main objective is usually to make the pit walls safe and to
landscape the waste rock dumps, but many innovative solutions have been used, such as
using the pit as a waste disposal site, filling it with water with the intention of creating an
ultimate recreation/water supply/nature conservation end use or simply fencing it in and
leaving it as a tourist attraction.

Figure 6-3: Map and cross section of an open-pit mine (Source: Terezepoulos, 1993)

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The residual impact of open-pit mining is usually a completely different land use. With few
exceptions (coal, sulphidic ore), ore bodies that lend themselves to open-pit mining are not
usually prone to causing water pollution (although the tailings resulting from subsequent
mineral processing may be) and therefore water accumulating in the rehabilitated pit can
usually be used for a number of purposes.
Open cast mining is used when the ore bodies are horizontally contiguous. As mining
progresses, the waste rock is replaced in the voids where ore has been removed. Soil can
then be replaced, facilitating progressive rehabilitation. See the description for strip mines.
6.2.2.

Quarrying

Quarrying is the open, or surface excavation of rock to be used for various purposes,
including construction, ornamentation, road building or as an industrial raw material.
Quarrying methods depend mainly on the desired size and shape of the stone and its physical
characteristics. A typical granite quarry is shown in Figure 6-4.

Figure 6-4: Photograph of a granite quarry in South Africa


(Source: Trade International, 2008)
In some cases (e.g. clays) the material is soft enough to be removed by mechanical means.
However, when the rock is solid and hard (as in the case of stone aggregates and limestone
for cement), drill and blast techniques are used. The rock is shattered using explosives
positioned in a series of holes drilled in the rock in a pattern designed to yield the greatest
amount of fracturing. Processing is usually limited to a further reduction in size by crushing
and sorting according to size by screening.
For building or dimension stone, where the rock needs to be extracted in large homogeneous
rectangular blocks, blasting cannot be used. Several methods are used to break out the
blocks, including splitting, diamond saws and diamond wire cutting. These methods are
described in Box 6-1.

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Box 6-1: Quarrying Equipment and Methods


QUARRYING EQUIPMENT AND METHODS

Splitting a line of holes

This method entails the drilling of a line of holes perpendicular to the joints or cleavage
planes in the rock, inserting wedges into the holes and hammering the wedges until the
stone splits off. Much quarrying of ornamental stone today is done by using pneumatically
operated splitters. After the vertical cuts have been made, horizontal cuts are made
working on the same principle. Wedges are then used to split off the long blocks, which
are subdivided and removed.

Diamond saws

Diamond saws are large diamond-impregnated circular blades up to 2 m in diameter that


are used to form vertical cuts in the rock by moving the machine along a guideline or rail.
Extremely accurate cuts can be made in this way.

Wire saws

Wire saws are also used. These consist of several pulleys over which passes an endless
carborundum or diamond-impregnated steel wire. Holes are drilled in the rock, each hole
being made large enough to accommodate a pulley and the shaft to which it is attached.
The wire, extending from one pulley to another, presses down against the rock between
them. As the cut is deepened by the constantly moving wire the pulleys are continuously
lowered into the holes. Diamond dust or fine silica sand, depending on rock hardness, is
often introduced along the cutting surface to aid penetration.

6.2.3.

Borrow Pits

A borrow pit refers to an open pit where material (soil, sand or gravel rock) is
removed for use at another location. Borrow pits are usually used in earthworks
operations, which involves the movement of large quantities of soil, sand or gravel for
use in the construction of roads, dams, embankments, bundings, berms, dikes and
other structures, or the manufacture of bricks and concrete.
A borrow pit differs from conventional quarries in that they are generally shallower
and located in close proximity to the area where the material will be used. Therefore,
a borrow pit has the advantage of eliminating the potential adverse effects brought
about by the transportation of the excavated materials along public roads. This
includes the loss of materials during transportation, vehicle entrainment of material
on roads and resultant emissions of the material into the atmosphere.

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There are several potential negative environmental impacts associated with borrow
pits. Firstly, the establishment of a borrow pit results in the loss of land that could be
used for other land uses such as agriculture, human settlements, or recreation. This
impact is usually temporary, however if not adequately rehabilitated, the impact could
be long term. Secondly, soil erosion and deposition of the eroded material into
nearby water bodies could occur, thereby having an adverse impact on water quality.
Thirdly, in cases where the borrow pit is not properly cordoned off, people could
accidentally fall into the pit, or dump general and toxic waste into the pit. If illegal
dumping occurs and the water table is exposed, a potential risk of groundwater
contamination exists. Fourthly, borrow pits could have negative impacts on the
biological environment in that the natural habitat is destroyed and an artificial habitat
is created that attracts unwanted plant and animal species, including weeds and
mosquitoes.
Suitable mitigation measures exist to manage the negative environmental impacts of
borrow pits. The potential for other land uses should be carefully assessed before a
borrow pit is established at any given location. In order to reduce potential effects of
sedimentation, it should be ensured that borrow pits are not located in close proximity
to surface water bodies. In order to ensure the health and safety of the environment
and persons living close to the borrow pit, the site should be cordoned off and access
to the site should be controlled.
Mitigation measures that can be implemented after the decommissioning of a borrow
pit include the backfilling of the borrow pit with soil, sand and gravel, followed by revegetation; the establishment of a pond or small dam for recreational use; or the use
of the decommissioned pit for landfill or waste disposal, including necessary liners
and waste management principles. A rehabilitated borrow pit is shown in Figure 6-5.

Figure 6-5: Emerging wetland formed from an old borrow pit


(Source: Biebighauser, 2008)

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6.2.4.

Chapter 6: Mining Methods

Strip mining

Strip mining is mostly used when the deposit is horizontal or gently dipping and within about
60 m of the surface, such as shallow-lying South African coal seams.
The method, shown in Figure 6-6, involves removing and stockpiling the top soil, drilling and
blasting the rock (overburden) above the coal seam, removing the blasted overburden by
draglines in long parallel strips (hence strip mining) to uncover the coal. Then, depending on
the coals hardness, either scraping or drilling and blasting are used to remove the coal. The
removed overburden is placed in rows of spoil piles in the preceding strip from which the coal
has been removed.

Figure 6-6: Strip mining with concurrent rehabilitation (Source: Wells et al., 1992)
As soon as the mining strip (or pit) has been moved out of the way, the spoil piles can be
landscaped the start of the rehabilitation process. Once the desired shape and slope have
been achieved, top soil previously stockpiled or sometimes brought directly from the unmined
side, is replaced. The new ground is then treated as with conventional agricultural, by
fertilising, liming and sowing to pastures. Sowing to pastures, as the first step in revegetating,
is very important. It contributes significantly to erosion control and it allows the reestablishment of the soils micro-organisms, which are required for nutrient cycling.
During the mining operation, considerable volumes of groundwater may be encountered and
rainwater also falls onto the pit and spoil piles; therefore there is considerable potential for
water pollution. This potential is controlled by installing separate clean and dirty water
collection circuits. Clean water running off unmined and rehabilitated land is channelled,
where possible, into nearby streams. Dirty water from the pit, haul roads and plant areas is
collected and re-used for activities that do not require good-quality water, such as dust control
and coal washing.
The most important residual impacts remaining after rehabilitation are:

The box-cut spoil mound (the overburden from the first strip which does not have a
mined-out strip to go into) which forms a low hill in the new topography;

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The final strip (called the final void) becomes a depression because there is no
overburden to fill it. This can become a lake or vlei area which, depending on the water
quality in it, can be of benefit to the ultimate land user;

The ramps, which can be rehabilitated only at the end of the mines life because they
continue to be used to remove coal from the pit, also become low-lying areas. They can
serve as storm water runoff control drains, directing runoff from rehabilitated areas into
the final void. If these ramps can be filled during the mining period, the residual impact is
no different from other rehabilitated areas;

The whole of the new landscape could be higher in altitude than the surrounding unmined
land due to the volume of overburden after blasting being greater than the thickness of
the coal seam removed;

The groundwater table in the new landscape will eventually recover to a level dictated by
the surrounding unmined rock types and topography. Depending on what type of
overburden there was in the mine, there is a potential for this groundwater to be more
saline than before mining. This residual impact is not yet fully understood and is the
subject of current research.

If the shovel-and-truck method of strip mining is used, the box-cut spoil can sometimes be
placed economically in the final void and the ramps can be progressively filled, obviating all
residual topographic impacts. Unfortunately, this flexibility is not possible using a large
dragline because of its mode of operation.

Did you know?

Because most of South Africas coal suitable for strip mining occurs in Mpumalanga,
about 50% of which is high-potential farm land, the main objective of rehabilitation is to
return the land to productive agriculture. Considerable success has been achieved during
the rehabilitation of strip-mined land both overseas and in South Africa. High-yielding
pastures are an immediate result and they can be used for hay production or grazing.
After a number of years under pasture, those areas rehabilitated to an arable standard
can be, and have been, returned to cropland.

6.2.5.

Dump reclamation

The mineral extraction processes from past mining eras were not as efficient as those used
today and often mineral prices have increased dramatically from the time the orebody was
first mined. Therefore the tailings generated at these old mines often still contain payable
values of mineral, especially the sand and slimes dumps at old Witwatersrand gold mines.

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Dump reclamation refers to the reprocessing of these dumps. Typically, the material in the
old dump is monitored (sprayed with a very high-pressure jet of water which erodes the dump
material away into a sluice). The sluice gravitates the dump material to a low point where it is
collected and pumped, via a pipeline, to the treatment plant which could be located some
distance away. Figure 6-7 shows a typical monitoring operation. The main environmental
protection activities during reclamation are to keep storm water away from the working areas,
to prevent rainwater and the process water used for the monitoring that has fallen on the site
from leaving it in an uncontrolled fashion and to prevent dust pollution during dry, windy
conditions. In the Witwatersrand, monitoring is the primary method of dump reclamation. In
many cases, water control practices are not well adhered to, resulting in pollution of the local
surface water environment (Figure 6-8).

Figure 6-7: A typical slimes monitoring operation (Source: Wells et al., 1992)
A practice of concern in the Witwatersrand is the partial reclamation of slimes dams and the
subsequent sale to another operator to avoid responsibility for final rehabilitation. This
process can be effectively countered by realistic estimation of the rehabilitation liability before
such a sale is allowed to proceed.
If the old dump material is coarser than slime, such as found on a sand or coal dump, it is
often recovered by a front-end loader and transported to the plant by conveyor. Once the
whole dump has been reclaimed down to the original soil level under the dump, reclamation
stops and rehabilitation of the site begins. The options available for different land uses on
these sites are varied. In an urban area they are usually earmarked for urban development,
office and industrial parks, residential, etc. In a rural area they can be returned to agriculture.

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Chapter 6: Mining Methods

636737.541815

637737.541815

W ater
pH
U
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0.6
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SA7

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222

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.541815

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Figure 6-8: Ikonos satellite image of an East Rand tailings dam undergoing reclamation
(Note the high levels of contamination recorded in water and sediment samples collected
outside the paddocks and across the road from the dump).

In many cases the top part of the soil profile at these sites has been contaminated with acid
water seepage from the dump. This has to be ameliorated with agricultural lime. Radium is
often transported into the soil immediately below the dump. The radium will decay to radon, a
radioactive inert gas, which can pose a hazard to living beings. Rehabilitation must reduce the
radium activity to acceptable levels and action should be taken to prevent the emanation of
radon from the soil. If buildings are constructed on these sites, special ventilated foundations
are required to prevent high levels of radon gas accumulating within the closed buildings.
Radium contamination is likely in the zone below any Witwatersrand dump, even where the
ore mined had a relatively low uranium concentration, as it is concentrated at the redox and
pH boundary in the near surface soil. In all these cases, a site-specific investigation is called
for. The most common method of reducing radioactivity at reclaimed dump sites is to
transport the material containing the elevated radiation levels away from the site for
processing through a gold treatment plant, deposit it on a slimes dam or use it in an area
where it is safe to do so.
The main residual impact of reclaiming precious-metal dumps is not at the site of the
reclaimed dump but rather impacts related to the slimes dam which has to take the same
volume of material that was in the original dump. This could be on a new dump or on a
recommissioned old dump. When coal dumps are reclaimed, a much smaller volume of
material has to be redumped, but this waste may be more offensive due to an increased
pyrite concentration. Extra precautions against acid seepage and spontaneous combustion
may have to be taken to minimise the residual impact from this type of dump.

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6.3.

Chapter 6: Mining Methods

Underground mining

Under certain circumstances surface mining can become prohibitively expensive and underground mining may be considered. A major factor in the decision to operate by means of
underground mining rather than surface mining is the strip ratio or the number of units of
waste material in a surface mine that must be removed in order to extract one unit of ore.
Once this ratio becomes large, surface mining is no longer attractive. The objective of
underground mining is to extract the ore below the surface of the earth safely, economically,
and with the removal of as little waste as possible. These cost need to be weighed against
the extraction of the ore. In open pit mine up to 90-95% of the ore body can be removed. In
underground mining generally more ore has to be left behind as it is used to support the mine
roof.
The entry from the surface to an underground mine may be through an adit, or horizontal
tunnel, a shaft or an inclined shaft (Figure 6-9). A typical underground mine has a number of
roughly horizontal levels at various depths below the surface and these spread out from the
access to the surface. Ore is mined in stopes, or rooms. Material left in place to support the
ceiling is called a pillar and can sometimes be recovered afterward. A vertical internal
connection between two levels of a mine is called a winze if it was made by driving downward
and a raise if it was made by driving upward.

Figure 6-9: Idealised cross-section of a mine (Source: Scoble, 1993)


A modern underground mine is a highly mechanised operation requiring little work with pick
and shovel. Rubber-tired vehicles, rail haulage and multiple drill units are commonplace. In
order to protect miners and their equipment much attention is paid to mine safety. Mine
ventilation provides fresh air underground and at the same time removes noxious gases as
well as dangerous dusts that might cause lung disease, e.g. silicosis. Roof support is
accomplished with timber, concrete or steel supports or, most commonly, with roof bolts,
which are long steel rods used to bind the exposed roof surface to the rock behind it.
Shafts, which are generally vertical, but may be inclined depending on the orientation of the
ore body, can be distinguished from adits and tunnels, which are horizontal. Shafts and adits
are the main access routes through which men, supplies, ore and waste are transported.
They are the chief service openings during the development and operation of a mine, and
provide space for compressed-air pipes or electric cables. By law at least two access points
to the ore body are required for adequate ventilation and safety concerns.

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Did you know?


AngloGold Ashantis Mponeng Gold Mine in
Carletonville is currently South Africas deepest
underground mining operation, at a depth of over
3.777km below ground level.

(Source: AngloGold Ashanti, 2008)

High-productivity deep mines usually sink vertical shafts. As a rule, the shafts have big crosssectional areas in order for large quantities of air to be supplied underground, as well as to
provide a cage with enough space to carry large pieces of equipment and a big workforce into
and out of the mine. The ore skips are usually large and travel at high speeds in the shaft. To
provide this capacity, these shafts are often circular in shape and up to 10 m in diameter,
though rectangular shafts are also used. Shafts are usually reinforced with steel and lined
with concrete.
Little difficulty is experienced in shaft sinking through solid rock, which contains little water.
When loose, water-bearing strata, such as dolomites in western Gauteng gold mines have to
be contended with, careful sealing of the shaft lining becomes necessary, and pumping
facilities are needed.
When there is an excessive quantity of water, cast-iron tubing is sometimes used. This tubing
consists of heavy cast-iron rings made in segments, with flanges for connecting, and bolted
together in place. Cement grout is forced into the space between the outside of the tubing and
the surrounding earth to form a seal. In the grouting method, liquid cement is forced into the
water-bearing earth under very high pressure. On mixing with the water, the cement solidifies
the adjacent area, and it is removed by drilling and blasting as with rock.
In general, the only direct environmental effects of deep underground mining methods are on
groundwater. These impacts may be highly significant, both during mining when dewatering
decreases the amount of available groundwater for other activities, and after mining, when the
water table rebounds and may be recharged by highly polluted minewater. Indirectly,
environmental impacts are associated with mine residue deposits, surface subsidence as a
result of dewatering and the disposal of water pumped from underground to enable mining to
take place safely.
6.3.1.

Bord-and-pillar mining

This method is sometimes called room-and-pillar mining. It is commonly used for flat or gently
dipping bedded ores or coal seams. Pillars are left in place in a regular pattern while the
rooms are mined out. In many bord-and-pillar mines that are nearing closure, the pillars are
taken out, starting at the farthest point from the mine haulage exit, retreating, and letting the
roof come down upon the floor. Room-and pillar-methods are well adapted to mechanisation

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This mining method is employed in near-surface Gauteng and Mpumalanga coal mines.
Figure 6-10 and Figure 6-11 show typical layouts.

Figure 6-10: Typical bord-and-pillar layout (Source: Wells et al., 1992)

Figure 6-11: Cross section of typical bord-and-pillar layout (Source: Scoble, 1993)
Before the advent of modern pillar design in 1967, or the adoption of special precautions
when mining at depths shallower than about 40 m, little was known about what size of pillars
to leave behind. Sometimes, in their eagerness to extract the maximum amount of coal, the
old miners left pillars too small to support the roof indefinitely. In addition, they sometimes
robbed the pillars on their retreat from the exhausted coal faces.
The result of this was that, some time after the mines closed down, certain areas of the roof
collapsed into the bords and into underground roadways and intersections. In places, this
collapse continued right to the surface. This allowed air to enter the old workings and to start
a spontaneous combustion reaction in the residual coal (Figure 6-12). Underground
fires resulted which often further weakened the pillars, causing even more collapses to take
place.

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Figure 6-12: Collapse in old shallow bord-and-pillar workings


(Source: Wells et al., 1992)
The environmental and residual impacts are significant and numerous. For instance, in the
Witbank area these fires are still burning. Random and unplanned surface subsidence occurs,
rendering the land unsafe. Dangerous ground results where collapse has not yet taken place
but may do at any time. Near-surface aquifers may also break, draining water into the
collapsed workings. Rain falling on these areas goes straight into the workings, adding to the
water load. This water often becomes acidic and has a high concentration of salts. Because
many of these workings occur in places where the coal seam outcrops on the surface, acidic
seepage emerges along the outcrop or from adits, causing severe water pollution in streams
draining the area. Also, significant air pollution occurs due to the sulphurous fumes.
Rehabilitation of these old workings is difficult (Figure 6-13), because of the danger of
collapse and because rehabilitation was not planned as part of the original mining operation.
In some cases it is not possible until the fires have burned out. Many attempts have
nevertheless been made. These include filling the collapsed areas with rubble, bulldozing the
sides of the collapses to safe slopes, backfilling the workings with non-combustible material
such as gravel, soil or ash and flooding the workings. None of these methods has yet solved
the water pollution problem, although some have been partly effective in stopping the fires.
Trenching around the burning areas and backfilling the trench has been attempted to stop the
fires spreading with only limited success, since the fire often jumps to the other side of the
trench. Forced collapsing of the roof of the old mine by blasting has also been attempted, but
was proved unsuccessful due to the unpredictable outcome of the blast.
Remining these old areas, if at all possible, before collapse or burning occurs, is undoubtedly
the best overall solution, since it removes the source of both combustible material and water
pollution. Unfortunately this is often not economically feasible. Another option is to fill the
whole area with power station ash.
Most coal contains pyrite, leading to the potential for the formation of acid mine drainage. This
can contaminate both ground water and surface water. Many coal deposits have high sulphur
contents, leading to a significant hazard. Coal dumps are also important acid generators and
sites of spontaneous combustion if not constructed properly.

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Figure 6-13: Collapsed old bord-and-pillar workings near Witbank


(Source: Wells et al., 1992)

6.3.2.

Other shallow underground mining

Shallow mining has taken place in many parts of the country, mainly in pursuit of gold and
other metals. In Gauteng this has been limited to small gold prospects in the
Magaliesberg/Krugersdorp area and silver/lead mines at The Willows, Edendale and Union
Mine, east of Silverton. At these sites, a number of open shafts have been identified, some of
which have been used as a water source. While galena (lead sulphide) does not have as high
an acid generation potential as pyrite, its oxidation will cause some acid mine drainage and
lead poisoning.
In the case of the small gold mines, although they are small, they can have large impacts, for
example the Chinese Shaft on Harmony Golds Randfontein Estates property appears to have
become the first decant point for mine water from the Western Basin of the Witwatersrand. In
most cases however, the miners who made these early excavations were usually in search of
oxidised ore and visible gold, neither of which is usually associated with pyritic material.
Significant acid pollution is therefore unlikely where isolated near-surface gold mining may
have happened in the past. The main environmental impacts of these operations are the
residual shafts, pits and rock dumps and mercury contamination where gold was extracted by
amalgamation.
6.3.3.

Longwall mining

A limitation of bord-and-pillar coal mining is that a significant quantity (up to 40%) of coal is
left behind in the pillars that support the roof. Various methods of pillar extraction have

been developed to remove these pillars so as to optimise coal recovery. Other mining
methods, such as rib pillar extraction, shortwall mining and longwall mining (Figure 6-14)

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have been developed with the aim of directly recovering the maximum amount of
coal.

Figure 6-14: Longwall mining

The predominant method of longwall mining is the longwall retreat system (Figure 6-15). In
retreat longwall mining, two sets of entries are driven between 100 to 250 m apart.
When the entries have been driven a predetermined length, say two kilometres, they
are connected and a rectangular longwall block is outlined. The longwall face is then
installed and as mining continues into the panel, back to the original development, the entries
are allowed to collapse behind the face line. Generally the main gate contains the belt
conveyor and the pantechnicon for facilitating power and logistics to the longwall face.
The main environmental concerns with longwall mining relate to the lack of roof support
following mining. The impacts include subsidence of the surface, the cracking of the strata
between the coal seam and the surface, and the subsequent dewatering of aquifers in this
zone. However, the subsidence in this case is predictable both in time and extent. It is thus
possible to design rehabilitation of the surface in advance, divert streams around areas that
will subside, and provide alternative supplies to landowners dependent on near-surface
aquifers for their water supply. Roads, houses and, indeed, water reservoirs have been
successfully undermined using these methods.

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Figure 6-15: Retreat longwall mining


The water from the overlying aquifers flows into the mine and, depending on its quality, can
often be pumped out and discharged to surface streams. Where the water is naturally saline
or becomes polluted in the mine, it can usually be used as mine service water and may
involve a certain amount of treatment.
The residual impacts may include all or some of the following:

A change in agricultural cropping practice in subsided areas if they become waterlogged;

An undulating topography, resulting from subsided land over the mining panels and nonsubsided land over the barrier pillars and roadways which are left between panels as
shown in Figure 6-16. Theoretically it is possible to mine out this coal to allow the whole
surface to settle evenly. However, there are many practical difficulties which are being
investigated by the industry to minimize this residual impact and increase coal recovery;

When this method is used to mine below a depth of about 60 m, the weight of the strata
above the coal seam may be sufficient to close the cracks in the strata overlying the seam
and thus allow recharge of near-surface aquifers, enabling them to be used again. This is
dependent on the geology (presence of faults, dykes, sills, etc.) but if the cracks do not
reseal, a residual impact would occur.

6.3.4.

Wits gold mining

The methods used to mine the conglomerates of the Witwatersrand basin are varied and
depend largely on the mining depth, reef geometry, reef dip, degree of folding and faulting,
rock hardness and temperature gradients. The generally consistent nature of the ore bodies,
and the continuity of the narrow, tabular reefs around a large proportion of the basin rim, has
made it possible to optimise mining operations by standardising many of the procedures
across the entire region. Mining takes place from the surface to depths of more than 4 700 m

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and several gold-mine lease areas include reefs whose reserves have been extended beyond
this depth.

Figure 6-16: An example of undulating topography that could (Source: Wells et al., 1992)
result following longwall mining
Capital-intensive mining has made the extraction of such deep ore possible in recent years,
but there are many factors, including rock stability, degree of faulting and rock temperature
that increase the costs of operation and place real limits on the depths of operation. Virginrock temperatures increase almost linearly with depth as a result of the heat which flows from
the earth's interior. At surface, virgin-rock temperature is around 20 C compared to 52 C at
4 km depth in the Central Rand. The extreme hardness and abrasiveness of the quartz
arenites and conglomerates severely restrict the cost-effective use of mechanical methods of
rock breaking and place a finite life on rock handling and transportation equipment.
The surface effects of deep gold mining are generally very little with effect on surface being
almost negligible if the depth to surface is more than a few hundred metres. With the
shallower mining occurring near the outcrops there may be limitations to development on the
surface unless geotechnical stability can be guaranteed. A typical layout of a West Wits gold
mine is shown in Figure 6-17.
6.4.

Planning and Rehabilitation of Mining Operations

The ultimate aim of planning prior to the commencing of mining operations is to make certain
that environmental impacts are minimised and to ensure that rehabilitation and closure of the
mine site is carried out in such a manner that the effects of mining will not adversely affect the
surrounding environment in the long term. Mining is generally different from other activities in
that the impacts can last for centuries.

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Several possible environmental impacts have been mentioned in the description of specific
surface and underground mining methods above. The discussion below is a more generalised
overview of the environmental impact and rehabilitation of mining operations. More detailed
explanations are given in chapter 9.
6.4.1.

Planning of Mine Infrastructure

A number of environmental considerations should be taken into account in planning and


designing a mineral processing plant, waste disposal area and other surface infrastructure,
including. This includes the following:

Identification of the best location for the surface storage facilities. This should take into
account the status of the land with respect to ownership, geology, archaeological
features, as well as flora and fauna;

Planning of activities in order to avoid, remediate and mitigate impacts such as noise,
dust, visual effects, acid drainage and cyanide contamination;

Ensuring that surface and subsurface drainage systems are designed to collect and
manage potentially contaminated water;

Design of water management and water treatment facilities to ensure that there are no
significant adverse effects on the surrounding rivers and streams; and

Defining the requirements for rehabilitation and closure of the site.

6.4.2.

Rehabilitation of disturbed areas

Progressive rehabilitation of disturbed areas should be undertaken as this offers a number of


advantages such as:

Reducing the mines environmental liability at closure; and

Reducing costs at closure, as rehabilitation is included in the operational activities of the


mine.

Progressive rehabilitation measures to be implemented include:

Improving the visual appearance of the disturbed areas;

Establishing a cover to provide erosion control;

Improving runoff water quality by minimising silt loads; and

Controlling dust.

While some disturbed areas can be rehabilitated on a progressive basis during operation,
others cannot be rehabilitated until mining is complete. For this reason, some rehabilitation is
generally still required during and after closure.

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A Dolomite
B Black Reef
C Ventersdorp Lava
D Ventersdorp Contact Reef
E Kimberley Shale
F Main Reef
G Carbon Leader
H Jeppestown Quartzite
1 Reduction plant
2 Head gear
3 Waste dump
4 Stoped-out areas with mat packs
5 Ventilation shaft
6 Footwall cross-cut with box holes
7 Cross-cut to reef
8 Stope box holes
9 Footwall haulage
10 Cross-cut to VCR
11 Shaft station
12 Main vertical shaft
13 Cross-cut to Carbon Leader
14 Cross-cut to VCR
15 Cross-cut to VCR
16 Settlers and water pumps
17 Subvertical hoist chamber
18 Subvertical shaft
19 Ore passes
20 Cross-cut to Carbon Leader
21 Cross-cut to Carbon Leader
22 Raise to Carbon Leader

Figure 6-17: Idealised layout of a typical West Wits gold mine (Source: Whiteside et. al., 1976)

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Remedial initiatives to minimise environmental impact during and after mining include:

Containment and treatment of contaminated water;

Correct storage and removal of hazardous materials;

Removal of surface infrastructure (buildings, plant, etc.);

Earthworks and contouring the mine area to as close as possible to the pre-mining
landscape. This includes filling pits, trenches and small excavations; making pit sides safe
and covering the surface area with subsoil and topsoil as necessary; and

Revegetation of the pit slopes, slimes dams and waste rock dumps.

6.4.3.

Mine Waste Management Plans

The mining operations create different types of mining waste materials, depending on their
mining methods, as well as other waste products associated with generic mining related
activities. Each waste product requires a unique strategy and disposal facilities suitable for
the classification of that waste.
The management of waste generated and the disposal of this waste is regulated under the
following legislation:
Box 6-2: Waste Management Legislation in South Africa
WASTE MANAGEMENT LEGISLATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

The Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Act No. 73 of 1989 and its amendments);

The National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998);

The National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998);

The Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002);

The White Paper on Integrated Pollution Control and Waste Management;

Hazardous Substances Act, 1973 (Act No. 15 of 1973); and

Health Act, 1977 (Act No. 63 of 1977).

General Waste Management

The practice of mining generates wastes, residues, polluted waters and air emissions. The
waste and residues from various mines falls into a number of categories, and these can
include:

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Waste that is collected within the settling, slimes and slurry dams;
Waste rock from the mining process;
Overburden, cover, and / or soft material;
Other non specification waste such as discard, parting (coal) and sub-economic
lower grade ore;
Industrial waste (i.e. including hazardous wastes and oils and greases);
Domestic waste (i.e. waste that is generated from the plant offices and
laboratories);
Waste water (i.e. including process water and water from sanitation processes, as
well as sewage sludge); and
Air emissions, including dust, particulate matter, gaseous emissions and even
odour.

Did you know?

There is also the potential waste in the form of radioactivity as there are background
levels of radiation that naturally occur in minerals such as coal, coal ash and granite.
DME are developing a policy for the management of all radioactive wastes that
originate in the mining sector as well as the associated management measures,
however, this is not yet available.

Regardless of the mineral being mined, when reviewing a waste management plan,
authorities should ensure that they can extract the following data from the waste management
plan:
-

What is the source of the mine waste?


What are the volumes of the mine waste?
What is the quality and hazardous nature of the mine waste?
How long does the waste remain on site? If it remains on site for longer than three
months, it is necessary to have the storage facility licensed with the DWAF;
Can, and is any of, this waste being recycled? If so, how?
Are there Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for products requiring these, stored
on the site?
What is the proposed handling/disposal option for each waste stream?
Where will the safe disposal certificates be kept on site?
How will each of the mine residue sites and waste storage facilities be managed?

Although it is not possible to provide all information required for the management of all waste
products generated by the mining industry, a basic outline of the management of mine related
waste is given in this section. For the purpose of this manual, waste management guidelines
have been provided for mine residue deposits, solid waste, liquid waste and air emissions.

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Mine Residue Deposits

Mine Residue Deposits (MRDs) are legislated in terms of the Regulations 527 of the Minerals
and Petroleum Resources Development Act, Act No. 28 of 2002 (MPRDA). These
regulations have been based upon the SABS Code of Practice for Mine Residue and the
Chamber of Mines Guidelines for Environmental Protection.
In order to ensure that a waste management plan covers all aspects applicable to the
management of mine residue, an example of a checklist has been generated which the
authorities can use to evaluate Mine Residue Waste Management Plans. Appendix 6.1
provides the checklist. When utilising this checklist, it is important to note that many of the
aspects will also consider the safety of the residue deposit. Although this report focuses on
Best Practice for environmental management, ensuring the safety of a mine residue facility
will often reduce the potential for environmental impacts. Therefore, it is important to ensure
safety requirements are outlined in a waste management plan for mine residue deposits.

Solid Waste

In order to ensure that a waste management plan covers all aspects applicable to the
management of solid waste, an example of a checklist has been generated which the
authorities can use to evaluate Solid Waste Management Plans (Appendix 6.2). An outline
applicable to the management of typical / generic solid waste products generated by mining
industries has been provided as Appendix 6.3.

Liquid wastes

In order to ensure that a waste management plan covers all aspects applicable to the
management of liquid waste, an outline applicable to the management of typical / generic
liquid waste products generated by mining industries, has been provided in Appendix 6.4.

Air emissions

The management of air quality in South Africa is legislated under the National Environmental
Management: Air Quality Act, Act No. 39 of 2004 (NEM:AQA), with the applicable South
African National Standards (SANS) for common air pollutants and monitoring guidelines being
published in SANS 1929:2004. Section 32(b) of the NEM:AQA states that the minister may
prescribe steps to be undertaken to prevent nuisance dust. Although the minister has not yet
prescribed these steps, the spirit of the legislation indicates that dust emissions are not
desirable and must be controlled.

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Appendix 6: Mining Methods

Cover page Top of the crushing tower at Karee Platinum Mine, Northwest Province, South
Africa (Source: GeoMine Info, 2004)

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Appendix 6.1

Appendix 6.1
Checklist for the evaluation of Mine Residues Deposit Waste Management Plans
RELEVANT SECTION
OF REGULATIONS
1
527
63 (a)

63 (b)

63 (c)
73 (1)
73 (2) (a)

73 (2) (b) (i) (aa-gg)

73 (2) (b) (ii) (aa-ff)

HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

Will any attempt been made at source to prevent the generation of a mine residue,
production of pollution or waste?
Where production of waste cannot be avoided, will any attempt been made at source
to minimise, re-use or recycle waste?
Where possible will the disposal of mine residues take place in a sustainable manner?
Is there a comprehensive impact assessment of the residue stockpiles and deposits?
Has the mine residue been characterised in terms of its health, safety and
environmental impact?
Have the physical characteristics been determined (this is applicable for tailings
facilities);
- Size distribution of the principal constituents;
- Permeability of the compaction material;
- Void ratios of the compacted material;
- Consolidation and settling characteristics;
- Strength of the compacted material;
- Specific gravity of the solid constituents;
- The water content of the material at time of deposition, after compaction and at
other phases of the life cycle.
Have the chemical characteristics been determined that could include(this is applicable
for tailings facilities):
- Toxicity;
- Potential to oxidise and decompose;
- Potential to undergo spontaneous combustion;
- pH and chemical composition of the water leaving the solids;

Regulations to the Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of 2002).

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527

Appendix 6.1

HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

- Stability and reactivity;


- Neutralising potential.
Has the mineral content been determined?

Has the stockpile/residue been classified by a competent person?

73 (3) (a) (i-ii)

73 (3) (b) (i)


73 (3) (b) (ii)

73 (3) (b) (iii)

73 (3) (c)

73 (3) (d)

73 (3) (e) (i-iv)

Has the residue stockpile / deposit been classified according to safety and
environmental categories?
Has the classification determined the assessment and level of investigation required?
Has the classification determined the requirements for design, construction, operation,
decommissioning, closure, post closure maintenance?
Has the classification determined the qualifications and the expertise required of the
persons undertaking the investigations, assessments, design and construction
thereof?
Has the classification of the residue stockpile and deposits been based on the criteria
within the regulations (of the MPRDA)?
Is this a high hazard residue stockpile or deposit and has the mandatory risk
assessment been carried out?
Has the environmental classification of the residue stockpiles and deposits been
undertaken on the basis of;
- The characteristics of the residue,
- The location and the dimensions of the deposit,
- The importance and the vulnerability of the environmental components that are at
risk,
- The spatial extent, duration and intensity of the potential impacts.
Does the assessment of the impacts and the analyses of the risks occur in the EIA,
EMP or EMPlan
Has the site selection for these residue stockpiles taken into account;
- Sufficient alternative sites;

73 (2) (b) (iii)


73 (2) (c)

73 (3) (f)
73 (4) (a)

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Appendix 6.1

HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?


-

73 (4) (b)

73 (4) (c)

73 (4) (d)
73 (4) (e)

73 (4) (f)

73 (5) (a)

73 (5) (b) (i-ii)

Qualitative evaluation and ranking of the sites;


Qualitative evaluation of the top ranking site;
Has the evaluation of the top ranking site considered;
A preliminary safety classification,
An environmental classification,
Geotechnical investigations,
Groundwater investigations
- Has the geotechnical investigation included;
Characterisation of the soil profile of the area to be sterilised,
The engineering qualities of the soils i.e. permeability and strength.
Does the groundwater investigation account for;
- Potential seepage rate from the residue facility,
- Quality of the seepage,
- The geohydrological properties of the strata within the zone of influence of the
facility i.e. that will be influenced by the quality of the seepage,
- The vulnerability and the existing potential use of the groundwater in the zone of
influence that could be affected by the residue facility.
Has the best site been selected?
Have the following investigations been carried out on the preferred alternative site:
- Land use;
- Topography and surface drainage;
- Infrastructure and man-made features;
- Climate;
- Fauna and flora
- Soils;
- Groundwater morphology, flow, quality and usage; and
- Surface water.
Has the site selection work and all the scientific testing and lab work been carried out
by a competent person?
Has the design of the residue stockpile and deposit been carried out by a competent
person?
Has a soil profile assessment been carried out for the site of the residue stockpile and

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HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

73 (5) (c) (i-v)

73 (5) (d) (i-iv)

73 (6) (a) (i-vii)

Appendix 6.1

deposits that have low hazard potential and no significant impact on the environment?
Has the design of the residue stockpile and deposit taken into account all phases of
the life cycle from construction to closure and included:
- Characteristics of the mine residue,
- The characteristics of the site and the receiving environment;
- The general layout of the stockpile,
- Is there a natural valley, a dyke, an impoundment in the vicinity of the lifespan of
the deposit,
- What is the type of deposition method being used,
- What is the rate of rise of the stockpile?
Has storm water control been taken into account and provision made for the maximum
precipitation over a 24 hour period that of a 100 year storm?
Is there a free board of 0.5 m allowed in the design to prevent overtopping?
Will he plans prevent the water from pooling at the walls?
Are there controls in place to control the decanting of excess water under both normal
and storm water conditions?
- Have provisions been made in terms of GN R991 (9) to prevent water leaving the
residue management system,
- Has provision been made for the design of the water management system at this
facility?
- Is the structure being constructed correctly?
- How will the wind and water erosion be controlled on the side slopes?
- What is the potential for pollution?
Are there operating catchment paddocks in place that have been assessed in the EIA
and management measures referred to in the EMP or EMPlan (this is only applicable
to tailings facilities)?
Note that if the residue deposit design changes, these changes must be approved by
the Regional Manager.
Has testing taken place of all the residues deposited on the site (only applicable for
tailings facilities) as well as of the surplus water leaving the site.
Is the site secured?
What plans are in place to detect and remedy pollution?

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Appendix 6.1

HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

73 (6) (b)

73 (7) (a-b)

What plans are in place to remedy dust pollution and erosion of the side slopes?
Are details of the rehabilitation of the residue deposits detailed in the EMP and
EMPlan?
Is there a system of routine maintenance and repair planned? Will this suffice for the
ongoing control of pollution at the site, the rehabilitation of the site as well as health
and safety matters?
Has a monitoring system been put in place to monitor significant impacts?
Has the monitoring system taken into account:
- The baseline conditions;
- The air, soil, surface and groundwater quality objectives;
- The residue characteristics;
- The degree and nature of the residue containment;
- The nature of the receiving environment;
- The potential migration pathways;
- The potential leachate impacts;
- The location of the monitoring points and the monitoring protocols;
- Has the reporting frequency been specified?

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Appendix 6.2

Appendix 6.2
Checklist for the evaluation of Solid Waste Management Plans
RELEVANT
SECTION OF
REGULATION
1
527
69 (1)

HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN


IMPLEMENTED?

69 (2)

69 (3)

69 (4)

69 (5)

GDACE RESPONSE
P/ O

Comments

Will the mine comply with all the waste


management legislation? The list of
applicable legislation must be listed in the
waste management plan in order to ensure
the mine is aware of the legislation that
applies to them.
Has a comprehensive impact assessment on
the waste management practices been
undertaken? Have the results been used to
determine practical management practices
and are these included in the waste
management plan of the EMP?
Is there sufficient financial provision set
aside for waste management?
Are wastes from the processing plants being
disposed of according to the
recommendations of the management plan?
(This is only applicable if processing takes
place on-site.)
Are all the waste management sites
demarcated on the site layout?
Do any waste management sites occur in
any sensitive areas?
No sand dump / slimes dam may be sited
within 100m of a dam, river bank, pan,
wetland, lake, stream without DWAF
ministerial permission.

Regulations to the Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of
2002).

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Appendix 6.3

Appendix 6.3
Generic management measures for solid waste
TYPE OF WASTE

M ANAGEMENT MEASURES

Scrap metal

Sell to a scrap metal dealer for smelting and re-use.

Tyres

Return to supplier or a company that uses old tyres for making door
mats, shoes, swings, etc.

Batteries

Return to supplier or dispose at a permitted hazardous waste facility.

Fluorescent
tubes

Collected in sealed containers (stored on concrete slabs) and removed


from site for disposal at a permitted hazardous waste facility.

Chemical
containers

Returned to supplier or disposed of at a legal, permitted facility that is


capable of disposing of the waste.
DO NOT sell chemical containers to workers or communities.

Laboratory
waste
(chemicals)

Returned to supplier or disposed of at a permitted facility that is


capable of disposing of the waste. Guidance can be obtained from the
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Hydrocarbon
contaminated
waste

Collected in sealed containers (stored on concrete slabs) and removed


from site for disposal at a permitted hazardous waste facility.

Radio-active
waste

Removed, transported, and disposed by the supplier after obtaining


permission for the Department of Health.

Medical waste
(only applicable
for on-site clinic)

Stored in a locked clinic before being removed from site for disposal at
a permitted hazardous waste facility.

Domestic waste

Separated at source into recyclable products. These must then be


removed and recycled by recognised contractors. (Note that the mine
is responsible for the waste from cradle to grave).
Non-recyclable waste must be stored in contained suitable for
collection by a recognised contractor who will dispose of the waste at
a permitted domestic waste facility.

Compost

If there are large enough quantities of vegetable material collected,


this can be used for rehabilitation purposes.

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Appendix 6.4

Appendix 6.4
Generic management measures for liquid waste
TYPE OF WASTE

M ANAGEMENT MEASURES

Used oils /
hydrocarbons

Used hydrocarbon fuels / liquids are to be collected in sealed


containers (stored on concrete slabs) and removed from site for
recycling by a reputable company.

Hydrocarbon
contaminated
sludge
(collected in oil
traps)

Removed from the oil traps by a permitted contractor and removed


from site for recycling (if possible) or disposal at a suitably permitted
facility.

Transformer oils

Transformer oils often contain PCBs which results in the oil having to
be disposed of, rather than recycled. Therefore, all oils removed from
transformers must be tested for PCB contamination. If PCBs are
present, the oil must be disposed of as hazardous waste. However, if
the oil is PCB free, it most be removed from site for recycling (as
indicated above).

Sewage

No sewage outfall may be located within 100m of a water feature.


A responsible person must be appointed to monitor the level of waste
in the tank, with monitoring being undertaken according to a schedule
(minimum of monthly inspections).
When the tank is 75% full, it must be emptied within 5 days, by a
permitted contractor.
NO sewage may be discharge into a water body.
If sufficient quantities of sewage remain on-site at the end of life of
mine, this sludge can be used during rehabilitation, provided the mine
has the necessary permission from DWAF. (Generation of the
sewage sludge is usually continuous during the life of the mine i.e. a
continual source of cheap fertiliser.)

Industrial
chemicals
(laboratory
waste)

Returned to supplier or disposed of at a permitted facility that is


capable of disposing of the waste. Guidance can be obtained from the
MSDS.
Unless specified differently in the MSDS, these liquid wastes can not
be disposed of on the tailings dams or residue deposits.

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 6.5

Appendix 6.5
Checklist for the evaluation of Waste Atmospheric Emissions
RELEVANT
SECTION OF
REGULATION
1
527
64 (1)

64 (2)

GDACE RESPONSE
HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES BEEN IMPLEMENTED?

P/
O

Comments

Does this EMPlan/EMP comply with the provisions of


the Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996)
as well as Second Schedule of the Atmospheric
Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act No. 45 of 1965).
Has an air quality impact assessment been carried out
and have management measures been
recommended?
If so, have these measures been implemented and the
success determined through monitoring?
Also consider the NEM:AQA and the SANS
1929:2004.

Regulations to the Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002 (Act No. 28 of
2002).

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CHAPTER 7:
CURRENT MINING IN GAUTENG

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

7. CURRENT MINING IN GAUTENG

7.1.

Introduction

In the previous two chapters, the most common exploration and mining methods utilized to
prospect for and mine the mineral commodities present in Gauteng were described. This
chapter contains a description of the types of mineral deposits currently mined in Gauteng.
Mention is made of possible environmental impacts of these mining operations and their
rehabilitation; however the reader is referred to Chapter 9 for a more detailed description of
*
the environmental impacts.
The following types of economic mineral deposits in Gauteng are described:

Aggregates (sand and crushed stone);


Brick clay;
Fire clay;
Coal;
Diamonds;
Dolomite and limestone;
Fluorspar;
Gold;
Silica; and
Uranium.

Other economic mineral deposits in Gauteng, such as mentioned in the above list,
manganese and platinum group metals (PGMs) were discussed in Chapter 2 and Chapter 6
of the mining guide.
7.2.

Aggregate (sand and crushed stone)

Aggregate can be subdivided into fine (sand) and coarse (stone), where at least 90% of the
former will pass through a square sieve with an aperture size of 75 mm whilst at least 90% of
the latter would be retained by such a sieve.
7.2.1.

Uses and specifications

The raw materials for the construction industry are supplied mainly by the quarry industry.
The term quarry industry is defined as the industry operating gravel, sand, stone and clay
borrow pits and quarries and associated plants, whose products are used in concrete, mortar,
bricks, road construction and for railway-ballast purposes. Quarrying activities tend to be
found near principal centres that are surrounded by developing areas. The quarry-industry
materials have a low unit value and transport plays a vital role in the economics of supply. It is
therefore important that these basic materials are in regular supply at affordable prices, close
to the point of consumption.

Cover page Tau Tona Gold Mine near Carletonville, Gauteng Province, South Africa
(Source: Anglo Gold-Ashanti, 2008a)

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7.2.2.

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Prospecting

Quartz is more resistant to weathering than other common minerals and that is why it has
outlasted the other minerals in the natural weathering cycle to remain as the primary
constituent of residual deposits of quartz sand. However, other minerals such as feldspar,
pyroxene and amphibole do at times also occur in nature in the same size range and can also
be referred to by the term sand, which refers only to the size range of particles and not to the
mineral composition or hardness. In general, any construction sand can be classified as either
natural sand or manufactured sand.
Natural sand is formed by the disintegration of rock as a result of weathering. The
mineralogical composition and grading are determined by the source rock and the conditions
of transport and deposition. Although natural sands tend to be well graded, they often contain
an excessive amount of silt and clay that need to be washed out to make them suitable for
use in construction.
Granites, sandstones and quartzites are rock types known to produce appreciable amounts of
silica sand upon weathering and can be regarded as the primary source of many naturally
occurring quartz sands. Natural deposits of good-quality building sands are rapidly being
exhausted in and around many major centres due to population development pressures which
result in increased utilisation and sterilisation of deposits.
Manufactured sand is produced by the mechanical crushing or milling of rock and gravel.
Crusher sand is the product obtained when a rock or gravel is crushed, washed and graded
with the specific aim of producing sand sized material. This is only economically viable in
areas with limited remaining sources of natural sand. The process must be properly controlled
and excess silt and clay material, if present, must be washed out of the manufactured
product. An additional class of sand is artificial sand, e.g. clinker, breeze and slag. These
materials are often used to manufacture cement bricks and building blocks.
Sand accumulates in rivers, on beaches, in dunes and in valleys. Natural sands, used for
building purposes, include alluvial and eluvial sands (river and pit sands), aeolian (windblown) sands and marine (mostly beach) sands. Each of these sand varieties has its own
characteristic properties which are determined by its origin and mode of transport.
River sand contributes the bulk of the sand used for building purposes. The demand for
material in rural areas is relatively low and therefore many of these operations are sustainable
due to natural replenishment of the resource. River sands are generally clean and free of silt
and clay. The composition and quality of the sand is determined by the source rock. It is
known that sands derived from the Karoo Supergroup are generally less suitable for use as
building sands due to the high shrinkage which results from the presence of clays. Even
sands that originate outside the Karoo Supergroup often prove unsatisfactory also as a result
of high shrinkage.
Wind blown (aeolian) desert sand is generally clean and well rounded, but poorly graded,
consisting mainly of fine material of a single size and lacking silt and clay fractions. The grains
may also be coated with a thin layer of iron oxide, resulting in a reddish colour. The wellknown Kalahari sands are not all of aeolian origin and range from white, single-sized sand to
reddish or yellowish sands.

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Manufactured or crusher sand is produced in some of the larger centres, especially where
there is a dearth of natural sand. This crusher sand is used by building contractors as a
construction-material resource. More and more crusher operators are becoming aware that
crusher dust, which has been regarded as waste material in the past, can be converted into a
quality product by crushing under carefully controlled conditions. Since weathered materials
such as clays tend to concentrate in the fine material during crushing, the crusher sand
should be washed to remove any potentially deleterious fine material.

Did you know?

Mine dump sand is occasionally used in the Gauteng area for building purposes. It is a
fine sand which may contain minerals such as pyrite (which is undesirable) and also
sulphuric acid and soluble sulphate salts. Mine-dump sand is classified as manufactured
sand.

Sand can be classified on the basis of various properties such as origin, source material,
grading, shape, roundness, sphericity, water absorption and water demand. These properties,
as well as the presence of contaminants, play an important role in the behaviour of the
material in the mix, and influence the quality and performance of the manufactured concrete,
mortar or plaster. The following are important characteristics:

Grading requirements;
Maximum allowable dust, silt and clay;
Presence of deleterious minerals, e.g. mica, pyrite and opaline silica;
Presence of deleterious matter, e.g. sugar and organic matter, and shell content;
Physical properties, e.g. shape, surface texture, shrinkage and durability; and
Test methods and quality assurance.

Fresh and unweathered crushed rock is used extensively to satisfy the demand for coarse
aggregate in the concrete, road and other pavement construction industries, as well as for
railway ballast. It is convenient to classify the variety of rocks used to produce coarse
aggregate in South Africa according to the geological processes by which they have been
formed. Three main groups are found:

Igneous Rocks - Andesite, basalt, dolerite, felsite, gabbro, granite, granodiorite, norite,
rhyolite and syenite;
Metamorphic Rocks - Granite-gneiss, granulite, hornfels, quartzite and slate and
Sedimentary Rocks - Dolomite, dolomitic limestone, sandstone, greywacke, shale and
tillite.

Prospecting for aggregates follows the usual techniques to determine the size and quality of a
mineral resource, namely: geological mapping to delineate the surface extent. For sand
reserve determinations, trenching and pitting are undertaken to establish the deposit depth
and to obtain samples. For crushed stone, drilling and/or trial quarrying is carried out to obtain
similar information. Laboratory testing to determine the physical and chemical properties of
the aggregate is sometimes conducted.

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7.2.3.

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Mining

In the case of fine aggregate, mining usually takes place as a mechanised earthmoving
operation where the unconsolidated material is moved in bulk. The exception is manufactured
or crusher sand that is formed as a by-product of coarse aggregate production. Coarse
aggregate is typically mined using opencast drill and blast methods.
7.2.4.

Environmental impact and rehabilitation

One of the most prominent environmental impacts of aggregate mining is the loss of visual
integrity, as these operations are developed close to their urban markets to reduce transport
costs. Dedicated aggregate quarries are usually too shallow to affect groundwater. River
sand extraction needs to be closely monitored as, by definition, mining takes place in old and
existing river channels. As with all open-pit operations the stability and rehabilitation of pit
walls both during and after mine life needs to be planned.
7.2.5.

Gauteng resources

Over 90% of the stone used for concrete in the Johannesburg Metropolitan area is derived
from the Witwatersrand quartzites brought to the surface during mining operations and
dumped as waste rock. Andesite from the Ventersdorp Supergroup is also used south of
Johannesburg. In Pretoria, the predominant coarse aggregates are norite and gabbro from
the Bushveld Complex and quartzite from the Transvaal Supergroup. North of Pretoria at
Hammanskraal, granite from the Bushveld Complex is available for future use. Dolomite from
the Transvaal Supergroup is also commonly used as aggregate in the PretoriaJohannesburg
area. Granite from the Johannesburg Dome is quarried at Midrand and used as aggregate.
Figure 7-1 shows an aggregate quarry in Gauteng.

Figure 7-1: Aggregate quarry in Muldersdrift, Gauteng (Source: Buildworks, 2008)

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7.3.

Brick clay

7.3.1.

Uses and specifications

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Clay is the common name for a number of fine-grained, earthy materials that become plastic
when wet. Chemically, clays are hydrous aluminium silicates, ordinarily containing impurities,
e.g. potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, or iron, in small amounts. Properties of the
clays include plasticity, shrinkage under firing and under air drying, fineness of grain, colour
after firing, hardness, cohesion and capacity of the surface to take decoration. Individual clay
particles are always smaller than 0.004 mm. Clays often form colloidal suspensions when
immersed in water, but the clay particles generally flocculate (clump) and settle quickly in
saline water. Clays are easily moulded into a form that is retained when dry, and they become
hard and lose their plasticity when subjected to heat. The best-quality clays are used for highvalue ceramics and tiles. Slightly less pure clays are used to make good-quality bricks.
Brick clays (See Figure 7-2) consist predominantly of the clay minerals kaolinite and illite.
Bentonitic clays are important for metallurgical purposes in kilns and for sealing things such
as dams. Bentonite is however unsuitable for use in bricks. Koalinite and illite impart desirable
properties that are important in forming and firing the brick. Quantity and particle size of the
quartz (silica) component of the clay are also critical in determining forming and firing
behaviour as well as final strength. Carbon and sulphur can have a major influence on firing
performance, with low levels preferred. The familiar red/brown colours of most bricks are due
to the presence of iron minerals in almost all clays. However, the presence of carbonate
minerals such as calcite and dolomite can produce paler coloured bricks. Production of very
pale buff/cream through-colour bricks is presently only made possible by using fireclays with
low iron contents. Fully durable yellow bricks are made from a mixture of clay and calcium
carbonate (chalk).

Figure 7-2: Clay-brick wall (Source: GreenbuildlingElements, 2008)

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Clay-brick buildings with exposed, face-brick masonry have the lowest maintenance costs.
Fired clays for brick-making purposes are amongst the most important materials used for
construction in developing countries. There is a misconception that brick-making clays are
widespread, and of ordinary occurrence and quality. It is true that brick clays are not
subjected to the fine tolerance required for a china clay used for the manufacture of white or
fine ceramics, but it is fallacious to assume that the brick manufacturer has a wide choice of
freely available material for any particular product. Fired clay bricks can be divided into two
categories according to compressive strengths, namely masonry units and engineering units.
The brick-clay masonry classification is summarised in Table 7-1.
Table 7-1: Brick-clay Masonry Classification
CLASS 1: Masonry units
FBS (Face-brick standard)
FBX (Face-brick extra)
FBA (Face-brick aesthetic)

NFP (Non-facing plastered)


NFX (Non-facing extra)

CLASS: 2 Engineering units

7.3.2.

CLASSIFICATION
Units are selected or produced for their durability and
uniformity of size and shape
Units are selected or produced for their durability and high
degree of uniformity of size, shape and colour
Units are selected or produced for durability and aesthetic
effect derived from non-uniformity of size, shape and
colour
Units suitable for general building work that is to be
plastered
Units suitable for plastered or unplastered general
building work below damp-proof course, or under damp
conditions, or below ground level where durability rather
than aesthetics is the criterion for selection
Any class of masonry unit produced for structural or loadbearing purposes in face or non-face work, where the
manufacturer supplies to an agreed compressive strength.
An engineering unit is designated by the addition of the
letter E, followed by the number equal to the nominal
compressive strength in megapascals.

Prospecting

Clay minerals are a product of rock weathering. Mechanical and chemical weathering causes
disintegration and decomposition of rocks. This results in the formation of secondary
minerals, including clay minerals. Normally clays consist of a mixture of minerals derived from
decomposition, weathering and breakdown of the parent rock. The main constituent of clays
is indeed clay minerals, but many other non-clay minerals may also be present. The severity
of weathering depends on the geographic relief, climate, exposure time and vegetation.
Clays are divided into two classes: residual clay, found in the place of origin, and transported
clay, also known as sedimentary clay, removed from the place of origin by an agent of erosion
and deposited in a new and possibly distant position.
Clay raw material for brick making comes from a wide variety of sources including bedded
shale/mudstone formations, weathered hydrothermally altered igneous and metamorphic
rocks, as well as alluvial and colluvial soils.

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The particle-size distribution has a decisive influence on the technological behaviour of clay
materials for brick making, the less than 0.002mm grain-size fraction being especially
important.
The mineralogy and chemistry of brick clays are relevant in so far as they influence the
technical behaviour of the bricks. The minerals and other clay components are categorised as
essential or non-essential (subordinate) minerals or admixtures. The non-essential
(subordinate) minerals can have favourable, neutral or detrimental effects.
Essential minerals for brick making include kaolinite, quartz and illite. High-quality clay bricks
can be manufactured from either one or a mixture of clay minerals, plus quartz with a suitable
grain-size distribution. Kaolinite has good sintering characteristics, while quartz acts as a
stabiliser and illite produces plasticity.
Non-essential (subordinate) minerals and admixtures for brick making:

Chlorite and muscovite result in the early occurrence of a liquid (glass) phase in the
ceramic body which strengthens the brick. However, if coarse grained, they may possibly
cause troublesome laminations in extrusion;

Montmorillonite, present in small quantities, can be a favourable component. However, if


present in large quantities it encourages susceptibility to drying failure;

Feldspars have a neutral effect and do not generally act as fluxes at the firing
temperatures normally used in the brick industry;

Micas (coarse grained) promote lamination of the green (non-fired) product during
extrusion;

Rock residues in the sand fraction, providing they are free from carbonates, usually act as
fillers;

Carbonates, particularly in the coarse-grained fraction, result in lime popping with a


detrimental effect on the brick; and

Hydrocarbons in small quantities can aid by reducing the fuel required for firing.

The mineral association influences colour, drying, shaping, firing, the behaviour of the green
or non-fired products and the quality of the bricks. Knowledge of the mineral association,
together with grain-size distribution and chemical composition, permits evaluation of the
suitability of the clay for brick making.
Prospecting for brick clays follows the normal techniques for determining the size and quality
of mineral resources, namely: geological mapping to delineate the surficial extent;
trenching/pitting/auger drilling to establish the deposit depth and to obtain samples; and
laboratory testing to determine the physical and chemical properties of the clays mentioned
above.

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7.3.3.

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Mining

Clays are low-value, high-volume products, with the result that production and transportation
costs play a critical role in determining the viability of a deposit. Mining methods have to be
adapted accordingly and are generally restricted to low-cost opencast methods for which
factors such as the overburden to ore ratios, dip of the ore body, nature of the overburden
and host rock, ore grade or thickness variations, ore beneficiation and transport costs,
ecological and environmental aspects, and mine rehabilitation costs are all crucial in
determining the viability of a mine.
Optimising the potential of an ore body is therefore crucial and requires the following:

The identification and characterisation of the clay types occurring in a deposit;

The delineation of different clay grades within the deposit, and the selective mining of
various grades to allow them to be used in different applications; and

Value addition through beneficiation which should result in clay products of different
grades being produced that will satisfy a wider range of needs in industry.

7.3.4.

Environmental impact and rehabilitation

One of the most prominent environmental impacts of aggregate mining is the loss of visual
integrity, as these operations are developed close to their urban markets to reduce transport
costs. They are generally too shallow to affect groundwater. As with all open-pit operations
the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls both during and after mine life needs to be planned
through the stockpiling and replacement of topsoil.
7.3.5.

Gauteng resources

Gauteng has more clay-brick operations producing in excess of four million bricks per month
than any other province. According to age, the deposits can be divided into two broad
classes, namely those derived from ArchaeanProterozoic age rocks and those derived from
PermianCarboniferous (Ecca) age rocks.
The ArchaeanProterozoic rocks that are possible sources of clays belong to the
Witwatersrand, Ventersdorp and Transvaal Supergroups. In the vicinity of Pretoria, shales
from the Silverton and Timeball Hill Formations of the Pretoria Group (Transvaal Supergroup)
are the primary constituents for clay bricks (e.g. the Moot area, north-west of Pretoria).
Proterozoic intrusives and lavas, varying from basic to andesitic in composition, are also used
as primary constituents for brick making. Transvaal-age diabase, if highly weathered to clayrich assemblages of smectite and chlorite-illite, interlain with minor kaolinite and quartz, is
used to produce low- to medium-quality bricks. The resources are blended to produce bricks
of better quality.
The PermianCarboniferous (Ecca)-age outliers of clay-rich rocks belonging to the Vryheid
Formation of the Ecca Group (Karoo Supergroup) are exploited for brick-making purposes in
Gauteng (e.g. VanderbijlparkVereeniging area and East Rand). These shales are
acknowledged for providing some of the best brick-making material in the Province. Care
should be taken not to sterilise these deposits through urban development.

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The different types of brick kilns used in the manufacturing of bricks are summarised in Box
7-1.
Box 7-1: Types of Brick Kilns
BRICK KILNS
The designs of traditional brick kilns have been refined over many hundreds of years but
there are other types of brick kiln in use which have been subject in recent years to
systematic experiment to improve them. They are the Brazilian beehive kilns, the
Argentine half-orange kiln, the European Schwartz kiln and the Missouri kiln of the U.S.A.
The first, second and fourth examples burn part of the charged wood within the kiln to
carbonise the remainder. The Schwartz kiln uses the hot flue gases from an external fire
grate, passed through the kiln to supply heat for drying and heating the wood to start
carbonization.
The Schwartz kiln requires considerable amounts of steel for buckstays on the kiln
chamber, and steel grates and doors for the furnace. Since its yield (when the firewood is
counted) is not in practice superior to the others, it cannot be recommended for wide use
in the developing world. The fourth type of kiln, well proven in practice, is the Missouri kiln
developed and still in use in the United States. It is usually made of reinforced concrete
or concrete breeze blocks and has steel chimneys and doors. Its yield is similar to the
Argentine and Brazilian furnaces. It is fitted with large steel doors which allow mechanical
equipment to be used for loading and unloading. It has two disadvantages for developing
world use: it requires a lot of steel and cement for its construction, both costly and usually
imported items, and it is not as easy to cool as the other furnaces. It is thus more suited
for use in temperate cooler climates where the materials and skills for steel and
reinforced concrete construction are at hand and low air temperatures permit easy
cooling. It is attractive where labour, front end loaders etc., are readily available.
The advantages of the Argentine and Brazilian kilns are:
-

They can be built in medium and large sizes;

They are built entirely of soft-burned, locally made clay/sand bricks and mud
mortar. They require no steel except a few bars of flat steel over doors and as
reinforcement at the base of the dome in the case of the Brazilian furnace;

They are robust and are not easily damaged. They cannot be easily harmed by
overheating; they can stand unprotected in the sun and rain without corrosion or ill
effects and have a useful life of from 5 to 8 years;

The bricks set in mud can be recycled and used again when the kilns are
relocated;

Control of burning is relatively simple particularly in the case of the Argentine kiln;

The kilns are easy to cool using clay slurry and are easily sealed hermetically
during cooling. A recent development in fast cooling involves water injection;

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BRICK KILNS
-

The operating systems for groups (batteries) of kilns have been well researched
and standardized so that labour and raw material efficiency is maximised;

The charcoal produced is suitable for all uses including household, metallurgical,
and production of activated carbon.

The major disadvantage of these two kiln types is that they are not adapted for the
recovery or recycle burning of and by-product tar or gas. This increases air pollution and
slightly lowers the possible thermal efficiency. It must, however be added that there are
no industrially proven brick kilns which are capable of simple recovery of tar without
requiring steel components which add greatly to the cost and complexity of the kiln.

7.4.

Fire clay

7.4.1.

Uses and specifications

Fire clays are also of great industrial importance, e.g. in the manufacture of tiles for wall and
floor coverings, of porcelain, china, and earthenware, and of pipes for drainage and sewage.
Fire clay has a high degree of resistance to heat. By the best standards it should have a
fusion point higher than 1 600C. Fire clay should contain high percentages of silica and
alumina, with as little as possible impurities such as lime, magnesia, soda and potash, which
lower the fusion point of the clay. Fire clay often forms the bed layer of earth under seams of
coal. Two types are recognised: flint clay, exceedingly hard, non-plastic and resembling flint in
appearance, and plastic fire clay. Fire clay is principally used in the manufacture of firebrick
and various accessory utensils, such as crucibles, retorts and glass pots used in the
metalworking industries. Originally valued as refractory materials, fire clay is now primarily the
essential raw product for the manufacture of light-coloured bricks (See Figure 7-3), clay pipes
and ceramics (tableware, sanitary ware, etc.). Different types of brick kilns are described in
Box 7-1.

Figure 7-3: Fire clay bricks

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The chief value of clay for ceramic products lies in the fact that, when wet, it can be easily
moulded into any desired shape, which, when heated to drive off the water, forms a hard,
durable substance.
Some clays are suitable for use with minimal processing and beneficiation. However, the
residual kaolin which formed as a result of in situ weathering and hydrothermal alteration of
granitic parent rock often needs to be beneficiated before being marketed. Two beneficiation
processes are normally used, the choice of which depends largely on the qualities of the ore
and on economic aspects. Kaolin is usually separated from the residual quartz and
micaceous minerals by using a dry process of air flotation or a combination of differential
sedimentation techniques and chemical treatment in wet methods. Though simple, the former
is not particularly suited to the preparation of high grade products which require the more
costly, wet methods.
7.4.2.

Prospecting

The methods employed to evaluate a clay deposit are largely dependent on the applications
for which it is intended. However, the properties that are normally investigated are those that
characterise the clay in terms of (1) its mineralogical nature; (2) its geochemical character,
and most importantly, (3) its physical properties. See brick clay section for more detail.
7.4.3.

Environmental impact and rehabilitation

The main environmental impact of fine clay mining is visual as these operations are
developed close to their urban markets to reduce transport costs. As with all open-pit
operations the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls and the extent of the surface disturbance
both during and after mine life needs to be planned through the stockpiling and replacement
of topsoil.
7.4.4.

Gauteng resources

East Rand Area

An important deposit occurs on the farm Modderfontein 76 IR (Portion 1), about 6 km due
east of Benoni on the New Modder gold-mining lease area. The thickness of the clay varies
between 1.1 and 10 m, with an average thickness of 4.5 m. The clay is directly overlain by
lateritic soil over much of the area, and to a lesser extent by a soft shale cover with the
thickness of the overburden varying between 8.4 and 18.6 m and averaging 11.5 m. The clay
was apparently deposited on an undulating floor of Dwyka tillite and it consists mainly of
kaolinite with accessory illite, montmorillonite, sericite and alunite. Quartz is invariably present
in rather high proportions of between 9 and 20%.
The Modderfontein deposit is divided into:

Semi-flint, semi-plastic and plastic clay of good refractory properties;


Semi-plastic and plastic clay of low refractoriness; and
Ferruginous, non-refractory plastic clay.

Another deposit occurs on the farm Daggafontein 125 IR, portions 101, 112 and 113, within
the old Daggafontein and Vogelstruisbult gold-mining lease area, about 7 km southeast of

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Springs (near Daggafontein siding). The thickness of the clay, excluding a lower layer which
occurs only in the southwest, varies from 1.2 to a maximum of 10.7 m in the southeast, with
an average of 3.6 m. The overburden consists predominantly of soil and soft weathered
shale; part of the deposit is overlain by an old slimes dam. The thickness of the total
overburden varies from 3.5 to 15.9 m with an average of 8.8 m.
The Rietfontein deposit occurs on portion 3 of the farm Rietfontein 276 IR and farm
Rietfontein 280 IR, about 12 km due east of Springs and 3 km northwest of Endicott station.
The thickness of the intersected clay zone varies between 0.7 and 7.4 m with an average of
3.5 m. The entire deposit is overlain by soft weathered shale which is covered by a relatively
thin layer of mainly clayey to sandy soil. The overburden varies in thickness from 7.0 to 11.3
m with an average of 9.2 m. This deposit contains a high proportion of clay with a good
refractoriness and the grade of the material, based on the alumina content, is generally higher
than that of similar clays at Modderfontein and Daggafontein.
At present Corobrik is exploiting brick clay from two quarries on the East Rand, the one on the
farm Rietfontein 280 IR and the other on the farm Rietfontein 276 IR, while Vereeniging
Refractories also exploits the clay deposit on the farm Rietfontein 276 IR as a source of
refractory clay. To date neither the deposit on Daggafontein 125 IR, nor the one on
Modderfontein 76 IR have been exploited. Since both fall on gold-mining lease areas, they
are effectively sterilised, which amounts to a loss of a valuable material resource.

West Rand Area

The clay-bearing Karoo Supergroup outcrops on the West Rand as outliers overlying dolomite
of the Transvaal Supergroup, situated in a belt between Bank Station in the west, through
Westonaria to Lawley in the east. A sound knowledge of the distribution of Karoo outliers has
a two-fold practical application in this area:
-

Islands of safety: dewatering of the different ground-water compartments in the


dolomite to allow exploitation of the gold deposits had serious implications concerning
sinkhole formation. Depending on their thickness, Karoo remnants overlying the
dolomite may constitute stable areas for construction and habitation. Future
expansion of towns or other surface developments in the area will therefore depend
to a large extent on the distribution and nature of these safe islands;

Their direct economic value: the Karoo Supergroup in this area has been known to
host two commodities of economic significance, namely coal and clay. The potential
for these low-grade coals is not great whilst better grade material is still available
nearby, but the Karoo clays have supported a thriving brick-making industry on the
West Rand for many years. Some of the clay, which is currently being used for facebrick manufacture, constitute plastic to semi-flint clay with a good refractoriness.
These clays would be suitable for the manufacture of ceramic products, with higher
specifications and of higher value.

The topography of the pre-Karoo surface had a definite bearing on the distribution of clay in
these outliers. The thickest accumulations of clay are located in pre-Karoo valleys and around
their perimeters that have a total thickness of Karoo sediments of up to 120 m. The general
succession of the Karoo outliers in the West Rand area is as follows, from top to bottom:

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Soil overburden varying between 2.5 and 12.5 m and consisting predominantly of
reddish brown lateritic soil;

A layer of chert and quartzite pebbles in a matrix of clay and soil (0.21.1 m);

A clay zone varying between 15.4 and 40.6 m in thickness and consisting of lightcoloured kaolinitic clay, predominantly plastic, with local red or yellow iron-oxide
staining along palaeojoints. Subordinate interbeds of sandstone, conglomerate or
shale are developed near the middle of the succession;

A sandstone or grit bed, with an average thickness of 0.2 m in places; and

Black carbonaceous clay with a thickness of 5.7 m at the base of the succession.

Did you know?

The clay zones in the West Rand outliers are up to five times thicker than any other known
refractory clay deposits in South Africa. This phenomenon can best be explained in terms
of a gradual subsidence of the depressions in which the clays were deposited, a condition
which evidently did not prevail during deposition of the clays on the dolomite areas of the
East Rand.

PretoriaHammanskraal Area

The entire production of flint clay and a large proportion of the semi-flint clays produced in
South Africa have come from small outliers and tongues of Karoo Supergroup sediments in
the area between Pretoria and Belfast in the north-eastern parts of Gauteng and the western
parts of Mpumalanga Province. From an economic point of view, this area is the most
important region in the country that produces refractory clay.
A small outlier of the Karoo Supergroup occurs on the farm Kloppersbos 128 JR, about 40 km
northeast of Pretoria and 11 km southeast of Hammanskraal. The deepest part of the outlier
seems to be located near its centre where the clay-bearing Ecca Group attains a maximum
thickness of about 27 m, whilst the total thickness of Karoo Supergroup sediments is of the
order of 40 m. All the boreholes intersected refractory clay below an overburden of between
1.6 and 13.2 m, followed by carbonaceous clay and dull coal.
7.5.

Coal

According to DME there are currently no active coal mines in Gauteng. This section is
provided because coal mining has occurred in the Gauteng Province in the past and there is a
possibility of small-scale mining occurring in the near future.

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Uses and Specifications

Coal is one of the major primary energy sources in the world. In South Africa, more than 88%
of electricity is generated from coal. Coal is the backbone of the metallurgical industry where
it is used both for heating and as a reducing agent in the manufacture of iron and steel, ferroalloys and many non-ferrous metals. It also constitutes a major feedstock for the chemical
industry.
7.5.2.

Prospecting

Coal is the most complex natural raw material and more than 20 variables must be
determined in order to completely characterise a coal, e.g. moisture, ash, volatile matter,
carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen contents, specific heat content (calorific
value), several coking parameters, ash composition, ash fusion characteristics, etc. However,
most of the inherent properties of the organic substance of coal are interrelated and
consequently, any coal can be classified in terms of three independent variables, viz. grade,
type and rank, as summarised in Table 7-2.
Table 7-2: Description of variables for the classification of coal
Variable

Grade

Type

Rank

Description
The grade of the coal is inversely related to the percentage of
inorganic material in the coal and is largely determined during the
depositional stage of coal formation when clastic minerals (mainly
quartz and clay minerals) were deposited together with the plant
material. However, some of the minerals in coal precipitated from
percolating solutions at some later stage. The ash content of a coal is
the most convenient measure of its grade.
The type of coal is determined by the nature of the original plant
material and its degree of alteration during the diagenetic stage of
coal formation.
The rank of a coal is its degree of metamorphism, which resulted from
increases in temperature and pressure after the burial of the original
organic material by younger sediments. With increasing rank, coal is
described in general terms as high-volatile bituminous, mediumvolatile bituminous, low-volatile bituminous, semi-anthracitic and
anthracitic.

Prospecting for coal involves both the determination of the physical and chemical properties
of the coal as well as those of the host rock. Exploration work would involve geological
mapping of surface features and either trenching or drilling (depending on depth) to
determine the depth and thickness of the coal seams. Geophysical methods may be used to
detect dolerite dykes and sills. Drill samples are used to conduct some preliminary testing
(grade and rank); however, a bulk sample is usually required for beneficiation tests.
7.5.3.

Mining

The major underground coal mining methods used in South Africa are bord-and-pillar and
longwall and shortwall mining (See Chapter 6 for more detail). In bord-and-pillar mining coal

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pillars are left as support, although they may be extracted at a later stage. In longwall mining
two sets of roads are developed by means of bord-and-pillar mining at right angles to the
longwall face which is generally about 200 m wide. One of the roads is used for the conveyor.
As the longwall face retreats, the roof is allowed to cave. In shortwall mining pre-developed
coal pillars (about 50 m wide) are extracted by means of continuous miners, shuttle cars and
self-advancing hydraulic supports.
Two opencast methods are generally used, viz. open-pit and strip mining. In open-pit mining a
large hole is excavated to expose the coal. The hole is enlarged in whatever direction is
necessary to expose more coal as the coal itself is extracted. The overburden is dumped at a
suitable spot that is not underlain by coal. To ensure the stability of the sides of the pit the
overburden is removed in a series of benches, the width and height of which depend on the
properties of the overburden.
In strip mining overburden is removed in the form of a long, narrow trench, up to thousands of
metres long and some 50 to 80 m wide. Once the coal has been extracted a slice of
overburden immediately adjacent to the first trench (or box cut) is removed and put into the
first trench, so that a new strip of coal is exposed. The undisturbed or blasted overburden is
called the high wall, and the low wall is the broken overburden dumped into the previously
mined strip. The low-wall area therefore consists of spoil heaps that will eventually be levelled
and covered by topsoil as part of the rehabilitation process.
Coal seams at a depth of more than about 50 m and with a stripping ratio of overburden to
coal of more than 7:1 are close to the limit of economic viability under South African
conditions. The choice of mining method is primarily a function of seam thickness and mining
depth, but geological factors play a very important role, e.g. a badly faulted and disturbed field
with fairly shallow coal could render even opencast mining uneconomic.
7.5.4.

Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation

The main environmental impacts of coal mining are the disturbance of the water table, acid
mine water, spontaneous combustion and visual effects. For opencast operations the
rehabilitation of the surface by replacement of overburden and topsoil is vital, while the effects
of subsidence need to be ameliorated for underground operations. This topic is dealt with in
detail in the relevant sections of Chapter 9.
7.5.5.

Gauteng Resources

The western edge of the Witbank coal field lies within Gauteng, east of Springs and Nigel
while the South Rand Coal Fields western extremity lies south of Heidelberg. Along the Vaal
River near Vereeniging, the Sasolburg coal field extends slightly into Gauteng.
Both the Witbank and South Rand coal fields that lie within Gauteng are on the extremities of
their respective basins. This means that the pre-Karoo topography disrupted the
development of the major coal seams both in extent and thickness. In addition faulting and
dolerite intrusions have disrupted the coal formations.
There are currently no operating collieries within Gauteng, although there is potential for
small low cost operations on the Witbank and South Rand coal fields. The Sasolburg coal
field in Gauteng has been sterilised by development.

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Witbank Coal Field

Five coal seams are contained in a 70-m-thick succession, consisting predominantly of


sandstone with subordinate siltstone and mudstone. The partings between seams are
remarkably constant. However, seam splits are fairly common, with the parting between the
splits in places up to about 8 m in thickness. The distribution and attitude of the Nos. 1 and 2
Seams are largely determined by the pre-Karoo topography, and the distribution of the Nos.
4 and 5 Seams is controlled by the present-day surface, parts of these seams having been
eroded away. The No. 3 Seam is usually less than 0.5 m thick and is generally considered as
uneconomic. Dykes and sills of dolerite are ubiquitous. Both of these devolatilise the coal and
displace the seams where they are transgressed by the sills.
The No. 1 Seam is patchily developed and represents about 2% of the in situ demonstrated
resources in the coal field. It consists mainly of dull coal. The No. 2 Seam contains some
69% of the in situ demonstrated resources in the coal field. In the central part of the field it
averages 6.8 m in thickness, and may consist of up to five benches of different appearance
and quality, so that the lowest three benches can be mined separately for the production of
low-ash metallurgical coal and steam coal for export. Elsewhere the benches are less
conspicuous, but in underground operations selective mining of the lower benches is
normally practised. The No. 4 Seam varies in thickness between 2.5 and about 6.5 m, and
contributes about 26% of the in situ demonstrated resources. The coal is predominantly dull.
The No. 5 Seam accounts for about 4% of the in situ demonstrated resources in the field. It
consists predominantly of bright coal, and has an average thickness of about 1.8 m.

South Rand Coal Field

The geology of this coal field was first described in 1898. Initially coal was recovered from
adits in the shallower parts of the coal field, but later the South Rand Colliery exploited the
exceptionally thick 25 m composite seam in an area now surrounded by the workings of the
Springfield Colliery, which supplied some 3.5 Mt of coal annually to the Grootvlei Power
Station until the latter was closed down in 1988.
The South Rand coal field occurs within a deep, southward-trending valley which starts north
of Springs and extends towards the Vaal Dam. It is effectively isolated from the Highveld coal
field by inliers of pre-Karoo formations. A significant feature is the presence of large granite
domes that form palaeo highs in the centre of the basin. The coal field is also affected by
severe faulting with throws of up to 35 m, the presence of a dolerite sill of about 100 m in
thickness and numerous dolerite dykes, up to 10 m thick and of variable orientation.
The No. 1 Seam occurs in the central and north-eastern parts of the coal field. Its distribution
is affected by the topography of the pre-Karoo floor and it may reach a thickness of more
than 3 m. It consists mainly of dull coal. The No. 2 or Main Seam varies from a 20-m-thick
composite seam in the northern and central parts of the field to a 2-m-thick seam in the
southwest, averaging some 10 m in thickness. It is composed mainly of dull coal. The No. 3
Seam is widespread and in places it coalesces with the No. 2 seam. The Ryder Seam has an
average thickness of 2.3 m but it is of low grade.
These coals are intimately associated with the mineral matter. Consequently they are not
amenable to beneficiation. On account of the low rank (inherent moisture above 6.3 on an

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ash-free basis) the coal is very prone to spontaneous combustion and, on several occasions,
this has forced cessation of underground mining activities for more than a week.
7.6.

Diamonds

7.6.1.

Uses and Specifications

Diamond is considered the most important gemstone due to its hardness, brilliance and
fire. High-quality gem diamonds are ranked according to the four Cs colour, clarity
(absence of flaws), cut and carats (size).
Industrial diamonds are used to cut and polish glass, other gemstones and gem diamonds.
Wheels impregnated with diamond powder are used to cut rock and other hard materials.
Steel bits set with diamonds are used for diamond exploration drilling.
7.6.2.

Prospecting

Diamond deposits can be classified as primary (kimberlite), alluvial gravel or marine. The
dispersal of diamonds from their primary sources into streams and rivers, and ultimately to
the sea, is generally accompanied by an increase in average value per carat because flawed
stones are progressively destroyed with increasing transport distance.
Diamonds are known to occur in a variety of rocks; however, to date the only known
economically significant primary sources of diamond are kimberlite and lamproite. No
examples of significantly diamondiferous lamproites are known in South Africa; here all
mining of primary sources is from kimberlite pipes and dykes.
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth under conditions of very high temperature and
pressure, usually at depths of 150200 km, in peridotite or eclogite source rocks. The
diamond-bearing source rocks are then transported to the surface, most commonly by
relatively rare kimberlite, which occurs at the surface in the form of pipes or dykes.
Kimberlites are on average 50 m in diameter (though they can be as wide as 1 500 m) on the
surface, and can reach a vertical dimension of over two kilometres. Kimberlite bodies often
occur in clusters of as many as 40 pipes.
An uneroded kimberlite pipe consists of three zones: root, diatreme and crater (Figure 7-4).
The crater zone occupies the upper part of the pipe. Pipes with preserved crater zones are
rare, most are at least partly eroded. The diatreme zone usually contains the bulk of the
kimberlite ore and therefore, most of the diamonds. The vertical extent of a medium to large
kimberlite can be more than two kilometres. Dykes or fissures are horizontal, usually narrow
bands of kimberlite rock extending from the kimberlite pipes.

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Figure 7-4: Idealised kimberlite pipe


Only a small proportion of known kimberlites carry diamonds. Over 800 kimberlite
occurrences are known in South Africa, but only about 50 carry significant quantities of
diamonds. Of these, many are considered subeconomic, either because the quantity or
quality of diamonds, or the quantity of ore is insufficient. The presence and quality of
diamonds in a kimberlite can only be determined by the collection and processing of a large
and representative sample.
Geophysical surveying is widely used in exploration for kimberlite/lamproite pipes. These
pipes generally show little surface expression and often do not outcrop. As a volcanic
intrusion into the host rock, a kimberlite pipe is significantly different from the host rock, and
as a result, its responses to various geophysical surveys will be different. The purpose of the
initial survey should be to detect a cluster of kimberlite pipes.
Along with diamonds that kimberlites transport to the surface come other minerals from deep
within the earth. These minerals, because they are unique to kimberlite, are important in
kimberlite exploration programmes and are called the kimberlitic indicator minerals.
The use of indicator minerals is a powerful tool for providing a preliminary evaluation of the
presence of diamonds and the potential grade of a kimberlite. The underlying rationale for this

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approach is based on the fact that certain minerals of unique composition, including garnets
and chromites, are found only as inclusions in diamonds. This indicates that they are formed
at the same time and in the same stability field as diamonds. Therefore, the presence of these
minerals should indicate the presence of diamonds in the source kimberlite.
Two primary (mantle) source rocks for diamonds are recognised, namely peridotite and
eclogite. Garnets from a peridotitic source are referred to as G.9 and G.10. Calcium-poor
G10 garnets, in particular, are an important indicator of potential peridotitic diamond grades.
Garnets from eclogitic sources are chrome poor in contrast to the peridotitic garnets and are
referred to as G.1 and G.2. Eclogitic garnets with trace enrichments of sodium and titanium
are considered important indicators of eclogitic diamond potential.
A successful exploration programme will result in the discovery of kimberlite pipe(s). In the
case where the pipes are buried under either water or sand, the discovery is made through
drilling into the targets. In areas where the overburden is shallow, trenching with a backhoe or
other earth-moving machine could be utilised to locate the kimberlite.
When a kimberlite is found, the first stage in the evaluation of the kimberlite is the processing
of rock samples for macrodiamonds. Typically, 20 to 1 000 kg samples of the kimberlite from
different depths are processed using different methods. These techniques include
combinations of various physical, gravity, magnetic and chemical procedures, the purpose of
which is to liberate the diamonds from the rock. Great care must be taken at this stage in the
processing, as microdiamonds are very small and any loss could greatly alter interpretive
data, and thus the outcome.
Microdiamonds are between 0.2 and 1.0 millimetres in size. The purpose of identifying micros
in this procedure is to determine the presence or absence of diamonds in the kimberlite. Due
to the very small size of the rock being processed, it is impossible to predict grade and
diamond character. One merely sees a snapshot of a very small sample of the diamonds.
At this stage, other samples of the kimberlite will be processed for microprobing of the garnets
and other minerals within the kimberlite. These results are then compared to the mineral
chemistry of all the producing kimberlite pipes in the world to find comparisons. This analysis,
together with the microdiamond results, provides the information necessary to make the
decision whether to continue with the evaluation of the pipe or not.
The next phase of evaluation could be called diamond character sampling. A bulk sample of
between 100 and 500 t of kimberlite should be processed to recover diamonds. Usually the
kimberlite is gathered through large diameter drilling programmes, which can also provide
preliminary delineation data, such as the boundaries of the kimberlite, etc.
This is still a relatively small sample of kimberlite, but the results will provide additional
information on the character and approximate grade of the deposit. Good or interesting
results at this stage provide the necessary information to make the decision to move on to the
far more expensive stage of full bulk sampling.
Bulk sampling is similar to mini-bulk sampling, but on a much larger scale. At this stage, it is
necessary to recover a minimum of 2 000 carats so that a representative idea of the size,
colour and clarity can be obtained. The actual size of the sample is determined by the
geology, shape and grade of the pipe. Sample sizes can range from 10 000 to 100 000

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tonnes. The process is similar to commissioning a small-scale mining operation. With


success, this stage of exploration will expand straight into a full-scale operation. The purpose
of this stage is to obtain enough information to proceed to pre-feasibility and feasibility study
stage.
7.6.3.

Mining

During early exploitation of a diamondiferous kimberlite pipe, standard opencast surface


mining techniques are used (See Chapter 6). Once the waste to ore ratio makes surface
mining uneconomical, mining switches to underground operations. Kimberlite dykes are
generally mined underground from the start.
As alluvial diamond deposits are recent, unconsolidated sediments, their mining is generally
low technology involving overburden removal, if any, followed by transport of the gravels to
an onsite rotary pan for the initial concentration.
7.6.4.

Environmental Impacts and Rehabilitation

The main environmental impacts of kimberlite diamond mining are the open pits and the
waste dumps. As with all open-pit operations, the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls and
dump slopes both during and after mine life needs to be planned.
Alluvial diamond mining can have a negative visual impact if not properly managed, as by
their nature, these deposits occur in or near river systems and can affect the riparian belt and
the groundwater table.
7.6.5.

Gauteng Resources

Premier Kimberlite Cluster

The Premier kimberlite, situated in the town of Cullinan some 25 km east-northeast of


Pretoria, is the most important pipe in a cluster of 12 kimberlites that includes the National,
Schuller, Montrose and Franspoort pipes.
The Premier Mine is situated on the farm Elandsfontein 480 JR. The pipe originally measured
32 ha at surface, making it the largest diamondiferous kimberlite in South Africa. At
1 180 Ma, Premier is the oldest economically viable kimberlite in the world. The pipe has an
elongate oval shape.
The Schuller, Schuller Annexe and National kimberlite pipes are situated on the eastern
margin of the farm Rietfontein 366 JR, about 4 km south of Rayton in the Cullinan District.
The pipes were discovered in 1897 and measure 1.12, 0.15 and 0.47 ha, with reported
grades of about 10, 0.5 and 2 cpht respectively. Three kimberlites, known as the Montrose
pipes, are situated on the farm Elandsfontein 337 JR, about 6 km south of Premier. A small
pipe measuring 0.4 ha occurs on the farm Franspoort 332 JR, 3 km east of Mamelodi. The
pipe has been mined to shallow levels in the past, but is reportedly subeconomic. It has now
been effectively sterilised by the spread of urban development.

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Premier Alluvials

Alluvial diamonds, which are thought to be derived from kimberlites in the Premier cluster,
have been recovered close to some of the pipes on the Elands River and the
Premiermynloop, a tributary of the Pienaars River. Most of the diamonds have been
recovered in the present drainage from recent basal gravels occurring beneath several
metres of unconsolidated sands and silts. The largest alluvial diamond ever found in South
Africa was recovered only 5 km from Premier Mine; the 726 carat Jonker diamond was found
on the farm Beynespoort 335 JR. Alluvial diamonds have also been recovered from a stream
adjacent to the Franspoort kimberlite.

Vaal River Alluvials

Diamondiferous gravels have been worked in the past along the Vaal River between
Vanderbijlpark and Parys, where the Witwatersrand rocks have created suitable trap sites.
Alluvial diamonds are also known west of Vanderbijlpark. However these resources are
limited and many have been sterilised by development in the area.

Dolomite Alluvials

Alluvial diamonds have been mined in the past from the dolomites north of Carletonville on
the farm Holfontein 49 IQ. These are thought to form the easternmost extent of the
Ventersdorp diamond field.
7.7.

Dolomite and Limestone

7.7.1.

Uses and Specifications

An important requirement of any modern industrial community is a good supply of limestone,


conveniently situated and of suitable quality. Limestone (CaCO3) and its derivative, lime,
probably find more applications in industry than any other natural product. The most
important use of limestone is for the manufacture of Portland cement, which is made by
sintering about 78% limestone with various compounds or suitable rocks containing silica,
alumina and iron oxide. Limestone, when pure, is composed entirely of calcium carbonate,
but it usually contains variable amounts of other minerals such as dolomite, quartz, silicates
and iron oxides. The magnesium-carbonate content of limestone varies from 0 to 46%, at
which level the molecular proportions are equal and the rock is commonly called dolomite,
although this name actually refers to the mineral CaMg(CO3)2. The term dolomitic limestone
is applied when the minerals dolomite and calcite are both present in the rock in appreciable
quantities. Limestone and dolomite are discussed together here because they form in similar
geological environments and are often associated in the field.
In 2001, some 80% of South Africas limestone was used in the cement industry, 4% in
agriculture, 2% in the metallurgical industry, with much of the remaining 14% being used as a
filler and extender in various manufacturing industries. Of South African dolomite production
83% was used by the metallurgical industry and 11% for agriculture. Because of the
countrys large resources, production is controlled rather by local demand than by the
availability of resources and reflects the general economic health of the country.

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Limestone suitable for cement making needs a calcium-carbonate content of 80% or more.
The magnesia content must not exceed 5% and should preferably be below 3%.
Specifications require less than 1% chloride, manganese, titanium and phosphorus, and less
than 0.6% combined alkalis. Phosphorus at levels above 1% can cause problems in the rate
of setting of cement. Portland cements are by far the most important cements though other
cements, such as high alumina cement, are also limestone based. Limestone and dolomite
also make good stone aggregate, as they tend to enhance the hydration processes in
concretes and produce a particularly good cement-paste aggregate bond.
The second most important use of limestone and dolomite is as a flux for the production of
pig iron and non-ferrous metals. Limestone and dolomite used as a flux must be of a high
grade, with silica and alumina contents of less than 2% and a very low sulphur content. For
fluxing purposes the iron content may be high, but the material must be lumpy and finely
crystallised, so that it does not decrepitate. Carbonate can also be used in a powder form,
mixed with ore and pressed as self-fluxing pellets. Largely crystallised calcite is the best form
of calcium carbonate for the flux coating of electric welding rods.
The third most important use of dolomite and limestone is in agriculture, where it is used
primarily as a fertiliser and to neutralise acid soils. Dolomitic material is suitable for use on
acid soils, whereas calcitic material is used on alkaline soils. Calcitic limestone has up to
15% MgCO3, and when the magnesium-carbonate contents are higher the rock is referred to
as dolomitic limestone. Most agricultural lime is natural unburned, pulverised limestone.
When it is burned, however, calcium oxide forms and this is more soluble and reactive. Small
quantities of dolomite and limestone are used as a mineral supplement in cattle feed. This
material must be low in silica and alumina, extremely low in fluorine and contain no arsenic.
Limestone in a suitable form, such as shells, is excellent poultry grit.
Before the invention of Portland cement, lime was the main binding material used in
construction. Building lime is still used today in the form of quicklime (CaO) or, after water
has been added, as slaked lime (Ca(OH)2). Lime is also used as a stabiliser in road
construction and as a substitute in plaster, where it replaces burnt gypsum. Soft calcrete and
dolomite are excellent materials for covering roads as they slowly harden when exposed to
the air. Sand-lime bricks and blocks are made from a mixture of lime and sand which are
moulded under steam pressure for several hours in an autoclave. Cellular concrete is made
in a similar manner by adding aluminium powder to the mixture. Where limestone or dolomite
is abundant close to urban areas, it can be used directly as a building material. Attractively
patterned metamorphic limestone and dolomite, commonly known as marble, are much
sought after as ornamental or dimension stone.
Limestone is also used in water treatment and purification, as well as for sewage treatment,
as it precipitates humic acids and other suspended matter. Lime is used to purify acidic liquid
effluents by precipitating metals and neutralising the pH, as well as to remove sulphur dioxide
and nitric acid from fumes. Limestone or dolomite, together with soda ash, is added to silica
sand in the manufacture of glass. The specifications require an iron content of less than
0.2%, as this metal confers a green or brown colour on the glass, and nickel, cobalt, chrome
and titanium should also be present in no more than trace amounts. Dolomite is used to
manufacture basic refractory bricks and, for this application, must be of a high grade with low
silica, iron and aluminium contents. Finely pulverised limestone is widely used as a filler in
paper, rubber, paint, linoleum, asphalt, vinyl tiles and wood putty, and as a carrier in

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insecticides. It is the main constituent of tooth paste and scouring powders. In coal mines
powdered limestone and dolomite are used for stone dusting, thereby inhibiting coal-dust
explosions. Lime is used in large quantities for the purification of juices in the sugar industry.
Argillaceous limestone or dolomite is the base material for certain rock wools which are light,
fibrous substances, used for insulation. Dolomite may also be used in the production of
magnesium metal, and limestone is employed in wire drawing and the manufacture of
explosives and adhesives, as well as in the tanning process.
7.7.2.

Prospecting

Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is either completely or predominantly composed of


calcium carbonate. It is ordinarily white but may be coloured by impurities, iron oxide making
it brown, yellow, or red and carbon making it blue, black, or grey. The texture varies from
coarse to fine. Most limestones are formed by the deposition and consolidation of the
skeletons of marine invertebrates; a few originate in chemical precipitation from solution. The
action of organic acids on underground deposits causes such formations as caves and
sinkholes.
Limestone is a widespread rock consisting of the mineral calcite. Its identification is easily
determined as it reacts with hydrochloric acid. Limestone has an organic or chemical origin.
Dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2 is commonly crystalline and is white, grey, brown, or reddish in colour
with a vitreous to pearly lustre. The magnesium is sometimes replaced in part by iron or
manganese. Dolomite forms a carbonate rock composed chiefly of the mineral dolomite,
similar to limestone but somewhat harder and heavier. The rock may be metamorphosed into
dolomitic marble. Most dolomites probably originated from the partial replacement of the
calcium in limestone by magnesium.
Due to South Africas large limestone and dolomite resources, exploration for these
commodities is usually limited to sampling a potential deposit using drilling to determine its
suitability i.e. analysis to detect unwanted impurities. Initial consideration is given to the
proximity of the occurrence to existing infrastructure and markets before determining the
reserves. A huge deposit far from markets is unlikely to be exploited unless it is coupled to a
cement production facility.
7.7.3.

Mining

Limestone and dolomite are generally mined using open-pit, drill and blast techniques. These
operations can be on a large scale when the resource is being used to supply a cement
factory or as raw material for the steel industry and agricultural sector. See Chapter 5 on
mining methods for more detail.
7.7.4.

Environmental Impact and Rehabilitation

The main environmental impact of dolomite and limestone mining is the open pit. As with all
open-pit operations, the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls and dump slopes both during
and after mine life needs to be planned. Suppression of dust is important during mining.

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7.7.5.

Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Gauteng Resources

The economically significant resources of limestone and dolomite in Gauteng are generally
hosted within the metamorphosed Malmani Subgroup sedimentary carbonates of the
Transvaal Supergroup and are restricted to the chert-free horizons, whether lime rich or
dolomitic. Figure 7.2 shows the distribution of dolomitic rocks in Gauteng.
The chert-free dolomites of the Malmani Subgroup have been quarried in the past at several
places close to urban centres for the manufacture of blue lime used in construction.
Examples include quarries on the farms Knopjeslaagte 385 JR, Olifantsfontein 402 JR and
410 JR, as well as others exploiting deposits in the Lyttelton Formation at Mooiplaats on
Schurweplaats 353 JR, Sterkfontein 401 JR and Witkoppie 373 IR, and one in the Centurion
Townlands east of Lyttelton Manor. The material, which is used mainly for metallurgical
purposes, is of a high grade, containing not more than 12% combined silica and alumina
and the resources are considerable.
Minor deposits, including superficial calcrete and dolocrete have formed over the Malmani
dolomites in western Gauteng and these provide local resources of low-grade material for
road building and agriculture. Small deposits of cave limestone have been exploited from
rocks of the Malmani Subgroup, between Krugersdorp and Pretoria.
7.8.

Fluorspar

7.8.1.

Uses and Specifications

Fluorite is used mainly as a flux in the making of steels, in the manufacture of opalescent
glass, in enamelling cooking utensils and for making hydrofluoric acid. It is also used in the
manufacture of fluorocarbons and in the prevention of dental cavities.
Fluorspar is the ore of the mineral fluorite CaF 2. At present fluorite is the most important
source of the element fluorine. The fluorocarbon chemical industry and certain stages in the
production of steel and aluminium depend heavily on the mineral. Fluorspar is marketed as
metallurgical, acid and ceramic grades; a small quantity of optical quality is also produced in
South Africa.
Metallurgical-grade fluorspar (metspar) is used as a flux, especially in the iron and steel
industry. The fluorite forms a liquid slag with silica, alumina, calcium, barium and other
impurities. One to 10 kg of fluorspar is required per tonne of steel. Coarse-grained ore (1 to
5 cm in diameter) is required. More recently pellets and briquettes made from fines and
flotation concentrates are being used to replace lump or metspar.
The new basic oxygen furnace that is now utilised for half of the worlds steel production
consumes three times more fluorite than the old open-hearth furnace. Metspar is also used in
the ferro-, nickel- and magnesium-alloy industries, as well as in the smelting of precious and
other non-ferrous metals. A small addition of fluorspar to the Portland cement raw mix lowers
the temperature of klinker formation, thus helping to save fuel. It is also used as a flux in the
manufacture of cyanamide and is added to the coating of welding rods. Nearly 55% of all
fluorite produced is consumed as metspar, with between 30 and 35% being used in the steel
industry.

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Acid-grade fluorspar is used for the production of hydrofluoric acid, HF. The unique ability of
fluorine to react with almost all other elements has made it one of the most important
elements in modern chemistry.
Chemical industries consume 3036% of all hydrofluoric acid for the synthesis of
fluorocarbon compounds. Fluorine, substituted for hydrogen in organic molecules, is the
basis of fluorinated hydrocarbon inert plastics, resins, aerosols and lubricants. Such
materials comprise the teflon range of plastics, which find applications where heat, wear and
chemical corrosion are problems.
The remaining hydrofluoric acid consumption goes into the preparation of a diverse range of
products such as fluorocarbon gases for refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosol
propellants, fluorosilicates for food preservation, the fluorination of drinking water and special
aviation and uranium fuels. The wide use of fluorocarbon gases is being progressively
phased out due to the detrimental effect they have on the ozone layer. Another major
application of hydrofluoric acid is in stainless steel pickling, after rolling operations. Silicon
tetrafluoride is used in sealing unwanted permeable zones encountered during drilling.
Ceramic-grade fluorspar, accounting for 510% of the demand for fluorite, is used in the
manufacture of enamels and opalescent, coloured and opaque glasses.
Optical-grade fluorspar. The low index of refraction, low dispersion, isotropic nature and
transparency to a wide range of wave lengths (from infrared to ultraviolet) place fluorite in a
unique position for special optical uses. Specimens must be water clear, perfectly
transparent and free of cracks, incipient cleavages, striations and inclusions.
Fluorspar usually exists in grain mass and rarely cube or octahedral crystals. The colour can
vary from no colour to white, yellow, red, brown, green, green-blue, violet-blue, grey, purple,
blue-black, pink and crimson.
Due to the erratic distribution of fluorspar in its host rock, prospecting for fluorspar is fairly
intense so that the economic portions of the occurrence can be delineated accurately.
Commonly geological mapping would be followed by a geophysical survey to obtain an
understanding of the local geology and possibly geochemical sampling on a grid to highlight
any fluorine anomalies. This information would be used to plan a drilling programme to
investigate potential anomalies. The intensity of the drilling will increase as the mineralised
zones are outlined. A final drilling phase or trial mining would be undertaken to provide a bulk
sample for geochemical and metallurgical testing.
7.8.2.

Mining

Fluorspar is mined using selective mining, generally in an opencast pit. The layout of the pit
is totally dependent on the geometry of the ore body. See section on mining methods in
chapter 6 for more detail.
7.8.3.

Environmental impact and rehabilitation

The main environmental impacts of fluorspar mining are the open pit and the waste dumps.
As with all open pit operations, the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls and dump slopes
both during and after mine life needs to be planned.

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Dust suppression is important during mining. Consideration should be given to the location of
waste dumps as seepage of fluorine leached from the dumps into groundwater needs to be
contained.
It should be noted that high levels of fluorine occur naturally in areas containing fluorspar
mineralization and whilst these levels may be increased by poor waste water retention during
mining, the mining itself is usually not the cause of raised fluorine levels in groundwater.
7.8.4.

Gauteng resources

The most important producer of fluorspar in Gauteng is the Vergenoeg Fluorspar Mine in the
extreme north of the Province. It has the capacity to produce 120 kt of acid spar per annum.
Several other large deposits of fluorspar occur on Kromdraai 209 JR and Naauwpoort 208
JR, 8 km southwest of Rust de Winter. These are not exploited at present.
At Vergenoeg, the main ore body is a volcanic vent emplaced into Rooiberg Group rhyolite.
The deposit is a funnel-shaped pipe, and has a diameter of 900 m (north-northwest) to 700 m
(east-northeast) at the surface, shrinking to about 400 m at a depth of 400 m. The unoxidised
ore consists of an assemblage of magnetite, pyrite, siderite, fluorite and grunerite, capped by
about 50 m of gossanous haematite and fluorite. The ore averages between 2040% CaF 2
and 5060% Fe2O3, but locally purer zones with up to 65% CaF2 are present. The deposit
was mined for haematite in the past and, at present, it is one of the most important fluorspar
deposits in the world and vast reserves exist. The ore is crushed and milled, upgraded by a
preliminary cyclone and floated to an acid grade with 97% purity.
A 20-m-thick layer of fluorspar-haematite ore occurs immediately south of the Vergenoeg
Mine. It forms a 400 by 200 m plateau, capping Plattekop Hill, and represents the relic of a
more extensive tuff layer. The ore is bedded to finely laminated and rests conformably on
welded tuffs. In places, high-grade specularite lenses are interstratified with the acid
pyroclastic rocks.
Actinolite-haematite-quartz rock, with some fluorspar, occurs on Welgevonden 124 JR. The
deposit is of interest because it may contain substantial low-grade fluorspar resources, and it
may be indicative of other poorly exposed or blind ore bodies in this area.
A number of fluorspar deposits occur in the alkaline intrusions of the Pienaars River
Complex, northeast of Pretoria. The most important is a vertical, kidney-shaped body (270 by
100 m) of high-grade ore, intrusive into trachyte on Wallmannsthal 278 JR. The ore consists
of 6070% dark-purple fluorspar, intergrown with apatite and minor pyrite and chalcopyrite. It
is fine grained and often brecciated in a matrix of coarsely crystallised dark-purple fluorspar
of a second generation. A borehole drilled by GENCOR in the 1960s proved the continuity of
the ore down to 160 m. Beneficiation experiments showed that it is not possible to separate
the apatite from fluorspar economically, and therefore the deposit remains unexploited. On
Zeekoeigat 296 JR, lenses of fluorspar-apatite rocks are developed at the periphery of a
small foyaite plug intrusive into quartzite of the Rayton Formation. Fluorite and apatite also
occur disseminated in the alkali syenite. The deposit has been prospected, but not mined
and contains 12 kt of CaF 2 in high-grade ore.
On Zeekoegat 296 JR, to the north of the above-mentioned foyaite-hosted fluorspar-apatite
body, a 2-m-thick, eastwest-trending bed of dolomite in the Rayton Formation has been

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metasomatically mineralised with fluorspar, which is linked to the subvolcanic, alkaline


Leeuwfontein Suite, exposed to the south of the occurrence. The intensity of the carbonate
replacement is highly variable, and the grade reaches 30% CaF2 in places, along a strike
length of 500 m. The inferred resources are estimated at 9 kt CaF2.
In the south-western portion of the Roodeplaat volcano, from Buffelsdrif 281 JR to the
southern corner of Roodeplaat 293 JR, a trachyte flow contains low-grade fluorspar in
amygdales, breccia voids, and joints, over a strike length of 9 km. On the latter farm, a vein
occurs in trachytic tuff. It is nearly vertical, up to 2 m wide, and has been traced over a length
of 400 m. This vein, as well as the other hydrothermal mineralization of the Roodeplaat Suite,
is ascribed to late-volcanic fluids. The deposit has been mined on a small scale, with a
production of only a few tonnes of fluorspar, and the remaining resources are negligible.
Fluorite occurs in recent clay and silt at Tswaing (Pretoria salt pan), 40 km north of Pretoria,
which is now known to be a meteorite-impact crater. It is finely dispersed in the pan
sediment, associated with halite and hydrous carbonate salts, and can constitute more than
10 mass per cent of the sediments in places. As the crater bottom is depressed below the
surrounding terrain, ground water converges towards the pan, where it evaporates. Fluorspar
probably originates from leaching of the granite country rock, and is precipitated by
evaporation.
7.9.

Gold

7.9.1.

Uses and specifications

The principal use of gold is as a monetary standard. Other uses include jewellery, scientific
instruments, electroplating, gold leaf and dental appliances.
7.9.2.

Prospecting

Gold production in South Africa is declining. Despite this trend, which is related to rapid
depletion of high-grade ore reserves, a static gold price and increased mining costs, South
Africas remaining known gold resources of around 36 000 t still constitute some 45% of the
worlds total resources.
Exploration has, and will probably continue, to focus on the gap areas between the major
existing gold fields.
The principal areas that have been targeted during the past few years are summarised as
follows:
Potchefstroom Gap
This is the area between the Klerksdorp and Carletonville gold fields where extensions of the
Carbon Leader Reef in the northern portion and the Vaal Reef towards the south are being
targeted. Reef intersections in the area are deep, complicated by severe structural
disturbances and have generally yielded disappointing gold grades.

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Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

Central and East Rand areas


Sporadic exploration for distal down-dip portions of the Main and South Reefs has been
undertaken. The Durban Roodepoort Deep Argonaut project proposes the development of a
new deep-level gold mine exploiting the gold resource that lies beneath Johannesburgs
southern suburbs, down dip of the old Central Rand mines.
South Rand area
Extensions of the Kimberley Reef in this area will be mined as part of the Burnstone Project,
east of Balfour. Results from prospecting activities estimate gold reserves in the project area
at 15.1 million tonnes.
West Rand area
The development of the ultradeep South Deep Mine as a southerly extension to the Western
Area Gold Mine is being carried out jointly by Western Areas and Placer Dome. Anglo Gold is
using deep-level mining technology to investigate the development of the Ultra Deeps ore
body, situated at 5 km depth, down dip from Harmony Golds Elandsrand Mine.
Exploration to determine grade and tonnage on these deep level prospects is by its very
nature expensive. Traditionally large drill rigs positioned at surface would intersect the reefs
at depths of 3 000 m or more, with several deflections being done on each hole. However,
this method is time consuming, expensive and only samples pin pricks of the ore horizon.
An alternative is to drill multiple underground exploration holes from development drives
extended from existing mining operations. If results are promising the same development
drives can be used to conduct standard reef development.
Several junior mining/exploration companies are currently exploiting a quirk in the
Witwatersrand gold mining history initial mining on the Central Rand mined the top oxide
zone, then, once the cyanide process was perfected, the deeper sulphide zones. As the
West and East Rand was opened up, mining went directly to the sulphide zone as the oxide
zone ore caused problems in the cyanide processing plants. These overlooked/ignored
surface and near-surface oxide zone gold deposits are currently being explored and mined
albeit on a limited scale. Such prospecting is reasonably straight forward geological
mapping and geochemical sampling of surface outcrops and old workings, geophysical
surveys (if warranted), followed by infill trenching and drilling with possible bulk sampling.
7.9.3.

Mining

The methods used to mine the conglomerates of the Witwatersrand basin are varied and
depend largely on the mining depth, reef geometry, reef dip, degree of folding and faulting,
rock hardness and temperature gradients. The generally consistent nature of the
Witwatersrand ore bodies, and the continuity of the narrow, tabular reefs around a large
proportion of the basin rim, has made it possible to optimise mining operations by
standardising many of the procedures across the entire region. Mining takes place from the
surface to depths of more than 3 700 m at present and several gold-mine lease areas include
reefs whose reserves have been extended beyond this depth. Capital-intensive mining has
made the extraction of such deep ore possible in recent years, but there are many factors,

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Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

including rock stability, degree of faulting and rock temperature that increase the costs of
operation as well as placing real limits on the depths of operation. Virgin-rock temperatures
increase almost linearly with depth as a result of the heat which flows from the earth's
interior. At surface, virgin-rock temperature is around 20 C compared to 52 C at 4 km depth
in the Central Rand. The extreme hardness and abrasiveness of the quartz arenites and
conglomerates severely restrict the cost-effective use of mechanical methods of rock
breaking and places a finite life on rock handling and transportation equipment.
7.9.4.

Environmental impact and rehabilitation

The major environment problems associated with the Witwatersrand gold mines relate to the
mining method used, the nature of minerals present in the ore body and the management of
solid-waste mine residue. In particular, mine dewatering, the presence of pyrite and uraninite
with the gold and their contamination of both groundwater and slimes dams that are formed
as a result of ore processing, are regarded as the major environment problems of the
industry.
The main environmental impacts of gold mining are the waste dumps, dust, disturbance of
the water table, acid mine water and visual effects. For opencast operations the stability and
rehabilitation of pit walls both during and after mine life needs to be planned, while the effects
of subsidence need to be ameliorated for underground operations below dolomitic terrains.
This topic is dealt with in detail in the relevant sections of Chapter 9.
7.9.5.

Gauteng resources

The gold and uranium deposits of the Witwatersrand basin form one of the great
metallogenic provinces of the world. The industries that have developed around the
exploitation of this phenomenal mineral resource have made South Africa the dominant gold
producer in the world over the past century and will continue to do so for some time to come.
Although production is declining and the difficulties and challenges facing the gold-mining
industry in the future are considerable, the Witwatersrand basin will continue to fuel the
countrys economy, and provide employment and revenue for a substantial proportion of
South Africas people.
A total of nine discrete gold fields, some rich and others marginal, are recognised
throughout the Witwatersrand basin and six of these fall, completely or in part, within
Gauteng. These are the Central Rand, West Rand, East Rand and West Wits Line
(Carletonville) gold fields.

Central Rand Gold Field


The Central Rand gold field is located around Johannesburg and extends for a distance of
40 km from Roodepoort in the west to Boksburg in the east (Figure 7-5). The gold field is now
largely worked out down to a depth of 3 000 m and current production represents a very small
proportion of the total from the basin, mainly from slimes retreatment and sporadic
underground operations.
Below the gold-bearing reef and forming the base of the Witwatersrand Supergroup is the
West Rand Group that is deposited unconformably on a well-exposed window of Archaean

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Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

granite-greenstone basement referred to as the Johannesburg dome (Figure 7-5). The


sequence dips consistently to the south and comprises the lowermost Hospital Hill Subgroup
(1 500 m), overlain by the Government Subgroup (1 900 m thick) and the Jeppestown
Subgroup (1 100 m thick). Three conglomerate horizons, the Promise, Coronation and
Government Reefs, all occur in the Government Subgroup, but none has any major
importance as a gold producer.
The Central Rand Group in the Central Rand region comprises the lower Johannesburg
Subgroup (1 000 m thick), which is conformably overlain by the Turffontein Subgroup
(1 800 m). Numerous conglomerate bands occur throughout the Central Rand Group
sequence, but the most important of these are the three conglomerate units at the base of the
Johannesburg Subgroup, namely the Main Reef, Main Reef Leader and South Reef. The
Central Rand Group is conformably overlain to the south of Johannesburg by the mafic and
ultramafic lavas of the 2 714 Ma Klipriviersberg Group. Towards the west of the Central Rand
these lavas transgress onto lower units in the Turffontein Subgroup. In the east, a graben
structure preserves lavas and sediments of the Ventersdorp Supergroup (Figure 7-5). These
rocks transgress over the entire Witwatersrand sequence and were deposited directly onto
the basement granites in places.
The three principal auriferous conglomerates of the Central Rand are well developed in the
west, where they are characterised by partings of about 1 m between the Main Reef and the
Main Reef Leader, and 30 m between the Main Reef Leader and the South Reef. Towards
the east, the reefs merge progressively and at ERPM the lower two reefs are completely cut
out by the South Reef. The Main Reef Leader is the most prolific gold producer on the
Central Rand. The South Reef is the most persistent of the conglomerate layers but is of
slightly lower grade than the Main Reef Leader.

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Chapter 7: Current Mining in Gauteng

28

26
f

28 30

f
26

Johannesburg dome

Pa a

r de

Krugersdorp

pla a

3c
8 5
Randfontein

Kempton Park
ts fa

CENTRAL RAND GOLD FIELD

u lt

Roodepoort

Witpo o
r

tjie fau

3c

lt

Johannesburg
11
12

15

13

27
26

Boksburg

23

19

24

28

Brakpan

22

Alberton

29

Westonaria

EAST RAND
GOLD FIELD

ult

Germiston

WEST RAND Soweto


GOLD FIELD

3a

in fa

Benoni

18
16 17

14

3b

n te

20

10
9

fo
ie t

30

21
32

31
f

25
Springs

35

34

33

Grasmere

36

Nigel

37
f
f

Heidelberg

f
N

26 30

26 30

Evaton
Meyerton
10

20 km
28 30

28

Exposed Central Rand Group


Covered Central Rand Group (0 2 000 m)
Covered Central Rand Group (2 4 000 m)
Covered Central Rand Group (4 6 000 m)
Covered Central Rand Group (> 6 000 m)

Exposed West Rand Group


Covered West Rand Group
BASEMENT COMPLEX
Exposed granites and greenstones

WITWATERSRAND SUPERGROUP

OPERATING MINES
1
2
3a
3b
3c
4
5
8
9
10
16

South Deep
Western Areas
Cooke Section
RANDFONTEIN
Doornkop Section
ESTATES
Randfontein Section
South Roodepoort
First Westgold
West Wits
Durban Roodepoort Deep
Rand Leases
Simmer and Jack

17
19
21
24
25
33

Rose Deep
ERPM
SA Land & Exploration (ERGO)
Consolidated Modderfontein
Grootvlei
Nigel/Sub-Nigel

Covered granites and greenstones

Faults

DEFUNCT MINES
6 Luipaardsvlei
7
11
12
13

East Champ Dor


CMR
Crown Mines
Robinson Deep

14
15
18
20
22
23
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
34
35
36

Village Main Reef


City Deep
Witwatersrand
Rietfontein
Van Dyk
New Kleinfontein
Modder East
Holfontein
Brakpan
Springs
Daggafontein
Vlakfontein
Vogelstruisbult
Marievale
West Vlakfontein
Spaarwater

37 Wit Nigel
Currently operating as LINDUM REEFS (mining BLACK REEF FORMATION)
Currently operating as KNIGHTS

Figure 7-5: The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological features of
the West Rand, Central Rand and East Rand gold fields (Source: Robb & Robb, 1998)

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West Rand Gold Field


The West Rand gold field lies 25 km west of Johannesburg and extends from Roodepoort, in
the east, to Krugersdorp in the north and south towards Westonaria (Figure 7-5). The West
Rand gold field is unique in the Witwatersrand basin, in that economically viable
conglomerates occur throughout the Central Rand Group, with at least 20 horizons having
been exploited for either gold or uranium, or both. Conglomerates within the Johannesburg
Subgroup provide most of the production in the area north of the Witpoortjie gap, whereas
those in the Turffontein Subgroup are more important to the south.
Four reef zones, each containing up to six individual conglomerate beds, are mined from the
Central Rand Group in the northern part of the West Rand gold field. Most of the original
mines of the West Rand gold field have been exhausted. Cooke Section currently derives its
ore from the Composite Reef, which represents at least two conglomeratic horizons (E9 and
UE1). The Western Areas Gold Mine exploits ore from three conglomerate reef horizons - the
Composite Reef, the Massives and the Ventersdorp Contact Reef. On Randfontein Estates
Gold Mine the Kimberley and South Reefs are mined in the Doornkop Section while the
White Reef was exploited in the past, mainly for uranium.

West Wits Line (Carletonville Gold Field)


The West Wits Line, also known as the Carletonville gold field, lies on the north-western
edge of the Witwatersrand basin, 35 km west of Johannesburg. The gold field can be divided
into two sections along geological lines: the section east of the Bank fault represents a
natural sedimentological extension of the West Rand gold field and comprises the three
mines centred around the town of Westonaria (Figure 7-6), whereas the western section is
sedimentologically distinct and lies between Carletonville and Fochville. It is the western
section which is more correctly referred to as the Carletonville gold field, whilst the entire
region is referred to as the West Wits Line.
The Carbon Leader is the principal gold producer in the western section (i.e. the Carletonville
gold field), whereas the Middelvlei Reef is the most important unit east of the Bank fault. The
Ventersdorp Supergroup overlying the Witwatersrand Supergroup, contains the auriferous
placer conglomerates of the Ventersdorp Contact Reef at the base.

East Rand Gold Field


The East Rand gold field has produced more gold than any other gold field in the
Witwatersrand and it extends from the towns of Benoni and Brakpan southeast towards Nigel
and Heidelberg (Figure 7-5). At the present time, with the exception of slimes retreatment,
selective small-scale underground mining and some open-pit mining of near-surface oxidised
ore, the gold field is largely worked out.
Geologically, the East Rand gold field is an extension of the Central Rand and contains all
the units described therein, except that the thickness of the Central Rand Group is markedly
attenuated.
The Nigel Reef was by far the most-important gold producer in the East Rand, extending
throughout the gold field. The presence of viable gold values in the upper conglomerates of

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the Kimberley Reef zone (specifically the UK9A or May Reef), was a valuable bonus to many
of the East Rand mines, especially in their declining years. Significant quantities of uranium
were also extracted from the UK9A reef. Gold has also been extracted from conglomerates
at the base of the Transvaal Supergroup, in the Black Reef Quartzite Formation.
27

27 30

f
Vreysrus dome

CARLETONVILLE GOLD FIELD


(West Wits Line)

Westonaria

Oberholzer

Carletonville

5
3
u lt

onte

in fa

7
4

8a

2
Fochville

7a

26 30

Ba

nk

fa

ul
t

26 30

Tur
ff

Potchefst
room faul
t

Welverdiend

f
10

20 km

27

27 30

WITWATERSRAND SUPERGROUP
Covered Central Rand Group (0 2 000 m)
OPERATING MINES

Covered Central Rand Group (2 4 000 m)

1 Doornfontein

Covered Central Rand Group (4 6 000 m)

2 Deelkraal

Covered Central Rand Group (> 6 000 m)

3 Blyvooruitzicht
4 Elandsrand

Exposed West Rand Group

5 West Driefontein
6 East Driefontein

Covered West Rand Group

7 Western Deep Levels


Exposed Dominion Group

7a Western Ultra-Deeps

Covered Dominion Group

8a Leeudoorn Section

8 Kloof
9 Libanon
BASEMENT COMPLEX
Exposed granites and greenstones

Faults

Covered granites and greenstones

Figure 7-6: The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological features of
the West Wits Line (Carletonville) gold field (Source: Robb & Robb, 1998)

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South Rand Gold Field


The South Rand gold field occurs on the south-eastern edge of the Witwatersrand basin,
some 80 km southeast of Johannesburg. The South Rand gold field is defined as a small
2
30 km area that included four small mines south of Greylingstad, all of which are now
dormant. A broader definition includes the entire area south of the Sugarbush fault (Figure
7-7), including a fifth defunct mine.
The Witwatersrand strata in the South Rand gold field are considerably thinner than
sequences in other parts of the basin and the conglomerates are substantially less well
developed compared to other gold fields. The only viable horizon worked in all of the defunct
mines was the Kimberley Reef.

Transvaal Supergroup
The basal conglomerate of the Black Reef Quartzite Formation in Gauteng contains
substantial deposits of detrital gold derived from the underlying and sub-outcropping
Witwatersrand reefs. The Black Reef is an alluvial gravel or scree that was deposited at the
base of the Transvaal Supergroup on an erosional surface cutting across Archaean
basement and Witwatersrand Triad lithologies. In addition to placer gold deposits hosted in
the matrix of the Black Reef basal conglomerate, strata of the Transvaal Supergroup
underlying Gauteng host small, erratic hydrothermal lode gold deposits in both concordant
and discordant quartz veins.
The oldest known gold producer in Gauteng is the Blaaubank Gold Mine on Blaaubank 505
JQ, some 3 km south of the village of Magaliesberg, discovered in 1874. The mineralization
occurs in concordant quartz veins hosted in shales of the Pretoria Group just above the main
Timeball Hill quartzite horizon. In 1881 gold was discovered on the farm Kromdraai 520 JQ.
The Kromdraai Gold Mine was established on a concordant and composite quartz vein
intruded along a thin shale horizon within quartzites of the Black Reef Quartzite Formation.
The mineralization extends along a strike of 3.5 km on which more than 1 000 m of
underground workings have been established at different levels. Other lode gold occurrences
in Gauteng include mineralised quartz veins in Daspoort shale on Broederstroom 481 JQ,
and in Daspoort quartzite on Scheerpoort 477 JQ. In the vicinity of Pretoria, a ferruginous
sandstone bed in shale underlying the Daspoort quartzite was worked for gold on
Elandsfontein 352 JR. At The Willows 340 JR, east of Silverton, gold is associated with silver
and copper mineralization in quartz-carbonate veins in diabase and within shale of the
Magaliesberg Quartzite Formation. A palaeosol developed on Hekpoort basalt and an
overlying ferruginous quartzite horizon at the base of the Strubenkop Formation have been
prospected for gold mineralization which is hosted erratically in pyrite-magnetite-haematitesiderite nodules.
The Black Reef has been mined for gold in both the West Rand and East Rand gold fields of
the Witwatersrand, and to a much lesser extent in the southern part of the Central Rand gold
field near Natalspruit. The Black Reef contains payable gold deposits in proximity to
underlying auriferous Witwatersrand conglomerates.

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29

EVANDER GOLD FIELD

f
f

f
f
f

26
f

Devon dome

Evander f

Su

M eyerskop

ga

r bu

sh

26

Trichardt

3
f

Secunda

lt
fa u

fau lt

Balfour
f

Greylingstad

Cedarmont dome

6
f

SOUTH RAND AREA


(GOLD FIELD)

7
f

Bergsig fault

8 9
Grootdraai Dam

R ive

Va
a

lR

i ve

Standerton
Va a
l

r
29

27

27

BUSHVELD COMPLEX
0

10

20 km

Covered felsic rocks


Covered basic rocks

OPERATING MINES
WITWATERSRAND SUPERGROUP

1
2
3
4

Exposed Central Rand Group


Covered Central Rand Group (0 2 000 m)

Kinross
Leslie
Bracken
Winkelhaak

Currently operating
as Evander
Gold Mines

Covered Central Rand Group (2 4 000 m)

DEFUNCT MINES

Exposed West Rand Group

5
6
7
8
9

Covered West Rand Group


BASEMENT COMPLEX

Edenkop
Kildare
Heidelberg Roodepoort
Hex River
South East Witwatersrand

Exposed granites and greenstones


Covered granites and greenstones
f

Faults

Figure 7-7: The distribution of mines in relation to the principal geological features of
the South Rand and Evander gold fields (Source: Robb & Robb, 1998)

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At the Randfontein Estates Gold Mine, the Black Reef basal conglomerate was mined
underground prior to 1964. In the East Rand gold field, the Black Reef was mined in the
Government Gold Mining Areas and to a lesser extent the Geduld Gold Mine on
Modderfontein 76 IR. Along the northern rim of the Mapleton basin, in the vicinity of
Natalspruit station, the Black Reef has been mined for gold on Roodekop 139 IR and
Rooikop 140 IR.
An eastwest-striking and southerly dipping auriferous quartz vein, which intrudes both the
Johannesburg dome and adjacent Black Reef Formation rocks, occurs on the farm
Brakfontein 390 JR, a few hundred metres east of the South African Mint. A portion of this
vein, which is mineralised for at least 226 m and extends along strike for some 1.6 km, has
been exploited to a limited extent by means of an open pit and three shallow shafts. This
deposit will soon be sterilised by urban development.
Gold is also present within quartz veins hosted by Black Reef quartzite, Malmani dolomite and
syenite sills on the farms Vlakplaats 354 JR, Knopjeslaagte 385 JR, Mooiplaats 355 JR and
Hoekplaats 384 JR, north of the Johannesburg dome and west of the Brakfontein deposit.

Bushveld Igneous Complex


A shear zone along the contact of Bushveld granite and Rooiberg felsite has been
sporadically mineralised with up to 20 g/t of gold on Hartebeestspruit 434 JR, Cullinan
District.
7.10.

Silica

7.10.1. Uses and specifications


Silica occurs most commonly in nature as quartz in rocks and as sand weathered from rocks.
Silica is used as filler for paint and rubber; in making ordinary glass; in ceramics; in
construction, and in the preparation of other substances, e.g. silicon carbide. Fused quartz is
pure amorphous silica; it is used in special chemical and optical apparatus. Because it has a
low thermal coefficient of expansion, it withstands sudden changes in temperature and can
be used in parts that are subjected to wide ranges of heat and cold. Unlike ordinary glass, it
does not absorb infrared and ultraviolet light.
The silicon market can be divided into three main sectors: the chemical, metallurgical and
electronic industries. Silicon is classified on the basis of its quality as metallurgical grade,
chemical grade and high grade. Naturally occurring quartz is converted to chemical-grade
silicon, which is then converted to a halide or halosilane. These intermediate products are
then reduced to high-grade silicon, suitable for the electronic industry. Quartz, quartzite or
well-cemented sandstone with at least 99.5% SiO2 and not more than 0.040.08% Fe2O3 are
required for this process. The quartz needs to be between 2 and 15 cm in diameter
depending on the type of reduction furnace used in the manufacturing process. Impurities
such as lime, magnesium and aluminium are kept as low as possible to reduce the slag
volume to a minimum. Arsenic and phosphorus are not tolerated, because they result in the
formation of unstable compounds that cause deterioration and disintegration of the finished
product.

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Silicon is widely used in the iron, steel and non-ferrous metal industries in the form of
ferrosilicon and silicon metal. The largest use is as ferrosilicon, which acts as a deoxidiser in
the production of cast iron and steel. Comparatively small quantities of ferrosilicon are used
for other purposes, such as in the heavy media separation of ores and coal. The principal
use of silicon metal is in the aluminium industry, where it is added to aluminium to produce
aluminium-based alloy castings. Silicone manufacturers have also become large users of the
metal. Silicon has the property of acting as a semiconductor, with its electrical conductivity
between that of an insulator and a conductor. For this purpose high-purity silicon is produced
in polycrystalline form and converted to single-crystal material, since most semiconductor
devices require it in this form. This behaviour can be modified by adding minute amounts of
certain impurities after the silicon has been brought to a high state of purity.
The various applications of silica require feedstocks with different particle sizes, such as
lump silica which is 2 or 3 mm to 15 cm in size, silica sand (75 m to 2 mm) and silica flour
(minus 75 m).
Lump silica is used mainly as a flux in the manufacture of silicon and ferrosilicon, as well as
in the manufacture of silica bricks for high-temperature refractory furnace linings and as
linings in ball and tube mills.
Silica sand is used in the manufacture of glass and glass fibre, as well as for the manufacture
of silicon carbide, for mouldings in the foundry industry, for the manufacture of sodium
silicate and other chemicals, for sandblasting and the manufacture of abrasive papers, and
as a filtering medium in water-filtration plants. The sand should have a uniform grain size, a
silica content of 99% and low iron, alumina, lime and magnesia contents. Foundry sands
include those that are used to make the forms for casting metals. If the sands are used for
making moulds they are known as moulding sands and when used to fill the cores or hollow
spaces in the castings they are known as core sands. Naturally bonded sands are those
containing a variable, though generally not very large amount of clay, which acts as a
bonding agent. Synthetic sands, which are an artificial mixture of sand with fine clay or
bentonite, are being increasingly used in the foundry industry. The grains of foundry sand
range from about 3 mm in diameter to particles small enough to be called clay. The sand
grains are usually sub-angular to angular in shape. The fineness of the grains influences the
permeability and strength of the mould and core, and also the smoothness of the casting. In
general, a foundry sand should possess both plasticity (especially when wet) and strength,
and should not contain elements liable to adversely affect the casting. In order to attain the
first two properties the sand should generally contain between 20 and 30% clay.
Silica flour is used in the ceramic industry for enamel and pottery flint. It is also used in the
manufacture of asbestos cement, as inert filler in rubber and paints and as an abrasive
ingredient in soap and scouring powders.
Quartz crystal is used as the starting material in the production of synthetic crystals that are
mainly used in the electronic industry.
7.10.2. Prospecting
Silica (SiO2), which occurs naturally as the mineral quartz, exists in five forms, namely sand,
quartzites and sandstones, massive quartz derived from veins or pegmatites, quartz crystals
from vugs or cavities and silcrete and are the principal source of the element silicon. It also

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exists as quartz in oversaturated igneous and metamorphic rocks. Microcrystalline varieties


of silica include opal, flint, chalcedony, tripoli and kieselguhr.
Silica sand is defined as naturally occurring or poorly consolidated particles of silica that pass
through a No. 4 mesh US standard sieve and are retained on a 200 mesh US standard sieve.
Sand is the largest source of silica, but it needs to be concentrated near large urban or
industrial areas to be of use (see Fine Aggregates). Glass quality or medium-quality sand
can, however, be transported depending on the regional supply and demand situation.
Quartzites are classified as either orthoquartzites or metaquartzites. A metaquartzite is a
granoblastic metamorphic rock consisting mainly of quartz and formed by recrystallisation of
sandstone or chert, or by regional or thermal metamorphism. An orthoquartzite is a clastic
sedimentary rock consisting of quartz sand that lacks a fine-grained matrix and is derived by
secondary silicification. An orthoquartzite generally has a quartz content of 90 to 95%.
Massive quartz occurs in hydrothermal veins (quartz veins) and in pegmatites.
Quartz crystals, in their natural form, have largely been replaced by a stable supply of
synthetic crystals with consistent properties. Large crystals can be grown under hydrothermal
conditions (quartz being stable and soluble in water at temperatures of 400 C and a
pressure of 1 600 bar). Standard Telephone Cables (STC), in Boksburg, are the only
manufacturers of synthetic quartz crystals in South Africa.
Silcrete consists of a mixture of crystalline, cryptocrystalline and amorphous silica varieties.
The silcrete occurrences in South Africa can be grouped into non-weathering profile types
(e.g. the silicified calcretes, playa sediments and silicified evaporite pan deposits of the
Kalahari basin), and weathering profile types, such as the silcretes of the Cape coastal zone.
Silica mined for its silicon content needs to be almost pure (99.9%) in the raw, natural state.
The first step in exploration for such deposits is therefore grab sampling of outcrops and
subsequent analysis to determine the silica content and the presence of any other
contaminants. Once the grade of a resource has been determined, the usual prospecting
sequence of geological mapping, pitting, trenching and drilling is undertaken to determine the
extent of the deposit.
7.10.3. Mining
Sand deposits mined for silica are extracted in a similar manner to sand which is to be used
as aggregate. Loose quartz cobbles, pebbles and vein quartz scree are usually bulldozed
into heaps and then removed using earth-moving equipment. Massive quartz vein deposits
are mined using standard open-pit drill and blast techniques (See Chapter 5).
7.10.4. Environmental impact and rehabilitation
One of the environmental impacts of silicon mining is the loss of visual integrity, as these
operations often extend along sand deposits close to rivers, along the base of quartzite
ridges or along quartz veins, all of which can run for hundreds of meters. As with all open-pit
operations the stability and rehabilitation of pit walls both during and after mine life needs to
be planned.

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7.10.5. Gauteng resources


Ferrosilicon and silicomanganese are produced locally by Metalloys Ltd in Vereeniging using
quartzite from the farm Moabsvelden 248 IR, Mpumalanga Province. Ferrometals and Rand
Carbide in Witbank produce ferrosilicon using quartzite from the farm Spitskop 533 JR near
Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng Province.
In the Bronkhorstspruit District, on the farms Witfontein 521 JR, Vlakfontein 523 JR,
Nooitgedacht 525 JR and Spitskop 533 JR, deposits are associated with, or derived from
quartzites in the Magaliesberg and Daspoort Formations of the Pretoria Group. The Spitskop
quarry produces approximately 200 000 t of metallurgical-grade quartz annually for the iron,
steel and ferro-alloy industries and 70 000 t of by-product material used in the construction
industry. The quartzite grades at 98% SiO2, 1% Al 2O3 and 0.3% Fe2O3.
Acelor Mittal has an opencast quartzite quarry at Donkerhoek 365 JR (Ptn 114, 115, 116), 20
km east of Pretoria, in the lower portion of the Magaliesberg Formation. The quartzite, added
during the iron smelting process to form a slag, allows impurities to float off and be removed.
The quartzite dips 10 to 14 northeast, strikes northwest and consists of a pure, medium- to
coarse-grained orthoquartzite. The estimated reserves are in the region of 36 Mt. The
quartzite grades more than 95% SiO2, less than 0.18% K2O+Na2O and less than 1.7% Al2O3.
Foundry sand occurs in the Moot Valley of Pretoria, at various places from Hercules in the
east to the Hartbeespoort Dam in the west. At Fortsig on Zandfontein 317 JR, an estimated
1.5 to 2 Mt of sand are available for foundry and blast-furnace use. This sand contains from 5
to 9% Al2O3 and is divided into three types according to the Al2O3 content. By mixing the
different types and adding clay, it is possible to use most of the product. This deposit
supplies sand to the ISCOR foundries.
Other known deposits include those on the farms Bultfontein 533 JQ (northeast of
Krugersdorp), Witfontein 15 IR (Kempton Park) and Firolaz 485 JR (north of
Bronkhorstspruit).
The South African Railways used foundry sand from Vlakdrift 163 IQ in the Krugersdorp
District.
7.11.

Uranium

7.11.1. Uses and specifications


Uranium is a hard, dense, malleable, ductile, silver-white, radioactive metal. It is a highly
reactive metal and reacts with almost all the non-metallic elements and their compounds,
especially at elevated temperatures. Uranium is primarily used as a nuclear fuel.
7.11.2. Prospecting
Naturally occurring uranium consists of a mixture of three isotopes. The most abundant
(greater than 99%) and most stable is uranium-238 (half-life 4.5109 years); also present are
8
5
uranium-235 (half-life 710 years) and uranium-234 (half-life 2.510 years). Uranium-238 is
the parent substance of the 18-member radioactive decay series known as the uranium
series. Some relatively long-lived members of this series include uranium-234, thorium-230

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and radium-226; the final stable member of the series is lead-206. Uranium-235, also called
actino-uranium, is the parent substance of the so-called actinium series, a 15-member
radioactive decay series ending in stable lead-207; protactinium-231 and actinium-227 are
the relatively stable members of this series.
Uranium is widely distributed in its ores but is not found uncombined in nature. It is a fairly
abundant element in the earths crust, being about 40 times as abundant as silver. Several
hundred uranium-containing minerals have been found but only a few are commercially
significant.
Uraninite (UO2) is the most important uranium ore mineral found in the Witwatersrand; minor
carnotite (K2(UO2) 2 (VO4) 2-3H2O) also occurs.
All of Gautengs uranium occurs in association with Witwatersrand gold and is mined as a byproduct of gold.
7.11.3. Mining
In Gauteng, uranium is mined as a by-product of gold. See sections on gold and mining
methods for more detail.
7.11.4. Gauteng resources
Uranium occurs with gold in quartz-pebble conglomerates of the Central Rand Group in the
southern part of Gauteng, and the first uranium production plant was established at West
Rand Consolidated Mine. A portion of the uraniferous Springbok Flats coal field falls within
the extreme north of Gauteng.
The uraniferous quartz-pebble conglomerates of the Witwatersrand basin occur principally
within the Central Rand Group and are by far the most important uranium host rocks in South
Africa. These deposits, which contain gold as the principal commodity, have always been the
major source of South Africas uranium.

Central Rand Group

In the Carletonville gold field, uranium has only been exploited from the Carbon Leader Reef.
The other main gold-producing conglomerate, the Middelvlei Reef averages only 51 ppm U at
Venterspost Mine. The Doornfontein Reef with up to 340 ppm U tends to have low gold
values and is not exploited.
The Main, White, Monarch, Composite, Elsburg and Upper Elsburg Reefs are the principal
uraniferous, quartz-pebble conglomerates of the West Rand gold field. The Monarch and
White Reefs tend to be deficient in gold, whereas the Composite Reef is both auriferous (14
ppm Au) and uraniferous (120 ppm U) and is currently the most important ore body on the
West Rand gold field.
In the Central Rand gold field, the Main Reef, Main Reef Leader and South Reef contain
insufficient grades of uranium to be economically viable. The Elsburg reefs also contain
some uranium.

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In the East Rand gold field, only the Kimberley and May Reefs have been exploited for
uranium, together with the slimes dumps by East Rand Gold Operations (ERGO).

Ventersdorp Contact Reef

Significant gold mineralization occurs where the conglomerate overlies mineralised reefs of
the Central Rand Group, such as the Ventersdorp Contact Reef, but the concentration of
detrital uraninite is low compared to that of the Central Rand Group.

Other Deposits

Thin, auriferous-uraniferous, quartz-pebble conglomerates up to 4.5 m thick, in the basal part


of the Early Proterozoic Black Reef Formation, are present in the Klerksdorp, Carletonville,
West Rand, Central Rand and East Rand gold fields, but the low uranium grades precluded
any uranium exploitation. The highest uranium and gold concentrations occur in areas where
the Black Reef Formation unconformably overlies mineralised conglomerates of the Central
Rand Group.

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CHAPTER 8:
OTHER MINERAL OCCURRENCES IN
GAUTENG

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GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

8. OTHER MINERAL OCCURRENCES IN GAUTENG

8.1.

Introduction

In the previous chapter, a detailed description was given of the currently mined economic
deposits in Gauteng. In order to give a complete overview, this chapter contains short
descriptions of the other sub-economic mineral commodities present in Gauteng. Their
location geology and, where relevant, mining history is described. Reasons are given for their
uneconomic status. Brief mention is made of possible environmental impacts from mining
these minerals and their rehabilitation if previously exploited. No detailed environmental
impact information is however given for the exploitation of these deposits, as they are not
*
currently being mined.
The following uneconomic mineral occurrences in Gauteng are described: asbestos, barite,
copper, gemstones, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, peat, silver, soda, sulphur, talc, tin,
vanadium and zinc.
The mineral resources are uneconomic for several reasons, including:

Grade too low;


Tonnage too low;
Metallurgical complexities;
Sterilized by development; and
Environmentally sensitive.

The possibility of their mining/development is remote and they are included only for
completeness and to create awareness of their existence and possible impacts on the
environment and human expansion/development.
8.2.

Asbestos

The Muldersdrif Ultramafic Complex on the farms Honingklip 178 IQ, Driefontein 179 IQ and
Van Wyks Restant 182 IQ is located in an Archaean greenstone remnant approximately
10 km north of Krugersdorp and contains chrysotile asbestos mineralization in association
with serpentinised dunites. Prior to the Second World War, three asbestos mines, the Gelden,
Scott and West Rand Mines were established. However, all three had rather limited lives and
mining was reported to have ceased in the early 1940s.
The international aversion to asbestos (See Figure 8-1) for health reasons has curtailed all
development of the mineral. This, together with the small size of deposits makes mining
uneconomic. As urban spread and development in the area is progressing rapidly, the
rehabilitation of the old mine workings and dumps needs to be assessed.

Cover page Mponeng Gold Mine near Carletonville, Gauteng Province, South Africa
(Source: Anglo Gold-Ashanti, 2008b)

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Figure 8-1: Asbestos (Source: California Geological Survey, 2008)


8.3.

Baryte

On the farms Welgevonden 124 JR, Klipdrift 90 JR and Rooi Bank 88 JR in the Pretoria
District, 13 km northeast of Hammanskraal, barite is found in a quartz vein which runs parallel
to the contact between Bushveld granophyre and granite. The vein can be followed for over 3
km, and has a width of 30 cm and a steep north-westerly dip. The baryte (See Figure 8-2)
forms large crystals, as well as intergrowths with quartz. The most promising occurrence is on
Welgevonden, where 5 000 to 6 000 t are estimated to be present in the vein to a depth of
30 m. It may contain 40 to 50% baryte, but this percentage varies widely from place to place.
The deposit is, however, sub-economic because of the relatively low-grade tenor of the ore,
the restricted width of the vein, limited markets and the difficulty of processing the ore.

Figure 8-2: Baryte (Source: James Madison University, 2008)

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As the baryte deposits have not been disturbed by human activity, their environmental impact
is minimal.
8.4.

Copper

Southwest of Pretoria minor copper mineralization is hosted in Malmani dolomites. The


deposits are small and consist of irregular disseminations of bornite, chalcocite and
chalcopyrite, in brecciated pockets and black shale bodies within the dolomites. Some of the
mineralization is hosted in quartz veins, though gangue minerals are not common. Examples
of this mineralization include the deposits on the farms Knopjeslaagte 385 JR, Vlakplaats 354
JR, Hennopsrivier 489 JQ, Roodekrans 492 JQ and Kalkheuwel 493 JQ. In some cases the
copper is associated with lead. There is also evidence of old workings in places.
Copper (See Figure 8-3) is also associated with other sulphides in silver deposits, such as
those at The Willows 340 JR. On Boschkop 543 JR and Oude Zwaans Kraal 542 JR, copper
mineralization occurs in easterly trending siderite veins. There are three parallel veins, up to 6
m thick on Boschkop.

Figure 8-3: Copper (Source: Weinrich, 2008)


The copper showings mentioned above are of academic interest only such occurrences with
their characteristic green staining are common, as copper is a mobile element in the natural
environment. In addition, urban sprawl will shortly sterilize these deposits. Environmental
impacts are restricted to the safety of the old workings and the associated lead and sulphides
(these are dealt with below).

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8.5.

Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

Gemstones

Smoky quartz (cairngorm) (See Figure 8-4) has a colourless to black (morion) colour due to a
possible combination of natural irradiation and heat. Large crystals occur in vugs in granite
and pegmatite at the Hennops River near Pretoria and can be transparent to opaque. This is
a common semi-precious stone that has been exploited by rock collectors in the past who
have removed the better quality material. This informal extraction has left several small waste
heaps of low visual impact.

Figure 8-4: Smoky quartz (Source: Mineral Miners.com, 2008)


Poor-quality amethyst crystals are found between Pretoria and Johannesburg in pegmatitic
veins. The suburbs of Hurlingham Gardens and Bryanston have been developed over most
occurrences although a few are still visible on isolated kopjes.
8.6.

Iron

Significant iron mineralization occurs on the farms Kromdraai 209 JR, Naauwpoort 208 JR
and Rhenosterfontein 210 JR situated some 60 km northeast of Pretoria. These deposits
have long been known and were exploited for red pigment in prehistoric times, having been
re-assessed as a source of iron during the 1960s. The country rock is Rooiberg rhyolite and
pyroclastic rocks, mainly various tuffs and bedded agglomerates. The ore bodies (See Figure
8-5) consist of stratiform iron-rich horizons and isolated bodies of high-grade ore within
agglomerate beds. The most important deposit is on the farm Kromdraai, immediately north of
the Vergenoeg Fluorspar Mine and near the border with Naauwpoort to the south. Recent
investigations by ISCOR have revealed a pipe-like ore body composed of magnetite, fluorspar
and fayalite with reserves estimated to be in the order of 180 Mt.
Minor easterly extensions of the western limb of the Bushveld Complex lie within Gauteng
north of Pretoria. Titaniferous magnetite layers stretch from north of Pretoria westwards (see

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Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

vanadium). The magnetite grades at 5067% Fe, 822% TiO2 and 02% V2O5. Titaniferous
magnetite also occurs in the Kaffirskraal Complex 16 km southwest of Heidelberg.

Figure 8-5: Iron ore (Source: Brazil Brand, 2008)


The Main Iron Horizon or Magnetic Quartzite is a persistent bed of recrystallised arenaceous
oolitic iron formation, conformably interbedded in the lower quartzite of the Timeball Hill
Formation. It is best developed on Pretoria Townlands, where about 1.5 Mt of ore averaging
46% Fe were produced between 1934 and 1944, most of the production being from the
original iron-ore mine of ISCOR at Delfos. Subsequent urbanisation has sterilised these
deposits. In Pretoria a bed of arenaceous pisolitic iron ore, 36 m higher up in the succession,
has a maximum thickness of 1.8 m on Muckleneuk Hill and averages 4045% Fe. The
so-called Clay Band, which occurs still higher up in the Timeball Hill Formation, is a thin
persistent bed of oolitic iron ore composed of magnetite, chamosite and siderite; it has an iron
content of 5056% and yields limonitic clayey material on weathering.
Iron deposits of the Timeball Hill Formation also occur on Elandsfontein 308 IQ, southeast of
Westonaria, and on Faroasfontein 372 IQ and Nooitgedacht 177 IR, a further 20 km to the
southeast. Outcrops of Clay Band-type iron ore are found over strike distances of 2.4 and
3 km respectively. The deposits are 0.60.9 m thick and the grade of the ore, much of which
is exposed on dip slopes, averages 5355% Fe.
The most important iron ores in the Pretoria Group are probably those of the Strubenkop
Formation. These consist of one or two beds of oolites or pisolites composed of haematite
and limonite, set in a sandy ferruginous matrix and interbedded with shale. The ore is present
as lenses ranging in length from a few hundred metres to more than 20 km. Several
exposures are known in Pretoria, for instance on the southern slopes of Strubenkop, Pretoria
Townlands, and on Elandsfontein 352 JR. About 35 km southeast of Pretoria it can be traced
for 3 km on Rietfontein 395 JR and Onbekend 398 JR, where it averages 0.75 m in thickness.
A representative sample from the latter locality reportedly contained 57% Fe. West of
Pretoria, on Welgegund 491 JQ, it is 1.2 m thick and averages 5558% Fe.

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While vast reserves of iron ore remain unexploited in the Sishen area of the Northern Cape
and in the Bushveld Complex magnetites in Limpopo Province, these Gauteng resources will
remain uneconomic due to their erratic grade and human development. As a result, there is
no environmental impact.
8.7.

Lead

Galena (See Figure 8-6) occurs in siliciclastic sedimentary rocks of the Black Reef Formation,
Transvaal Supergroup, in a portion of the old gold mine on Kromdraai 520 IQ, in the
Krugersdorp District, where it is associated with some siderite and barite. Although not
significant as such, the occurrence is of interest because of its possible relationship with
nearby lead deposits in the Oaktree Formation.

Figure 8-6: Galena (Source: Veevaert, 2008)


The Malmani Subgroup of the HennopsCrocodile River area southwest of Pretoria hosts a
number of small lead deposits. The occurrences on Broederstroom 481 JQ, Kalkheuvel
493 JQ and Leeuwenkloof 480 JQ are in the Eccles Formation, whereas those on
Doornrandje 386 IR, Roodekrans 492 JQ and Rhenosterspruit 495 JQ are lower down in the
succession. They are associated with quartz veins, and the deposit on Rhenosterspruit 495
JQ is close to the contact with the underlying Black Reef Formation. Production from the
various prospects was invariably very small and sporadic.
In the PretoriaWitbank area, galena was successfully worked on Nooitgedacht 333 JR. Here
two abandoned workings were excavated on the same quartz vein, which trends almost due
east and dips 60 to 85 south. Galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite were found at the old No. 1
shaft, whereas galena predominated at the No. 2 shaft. Considerable amounts of silver were
also produced. A feature of this mine is a limestone band, about 3 m thick, intercalated in

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quartzite of the Magaliesberg Formation. A similar occurrence of galena, though smaller, is


reported from the adjoining farm Franspoort 332 JR.
Galena, associated with vuggy quartz and oxidised sphalerite, occurs in an eastwest-striking
vein in Archaean granites of the Johannesburg Dome on the farm Brakfontein 290 JR, 8 km
southwest of Centurion. The vein, which also carries gold mineralization, could be traced for
over 300 m in prospecting pits and lies immediately adjacent to a 1-m-wide mafic dyke.
The small size of the deposits, patchy mineralization, difficult mining conditions and low
commodity price make them uneconomic. The old mine workings and dumps present a
safety and potential acid mine drainage hazard and these impacts should be considered and
addressed if necessary.
8.8.

Manganese

There are several occurrences of crystalline manganese ore and manganiferous earth or wad
in the region west and northwest of Krugersdorp. These occurrences are the result of
weathering of the manganese-rich dolomites and the subsequent accumulation of residual
manganese-rich material. The soil colour above manganese-rich zones is chocolate brown
whereas that which develops above dolomite devoid of manganese is a reddish colour. Most
of the manganese in these types of deposits occurs as the MnO2 minerals nsutite, pyrolusite
and psilomelane. Grades are generally between 10 and 40% MnO2. In an unrefined form this
material is used in the extraction of uranium, while beneficiation may yield a product with
MnO2 in excess of 80%, which is suitable for the chemical industry.
Manganese ore (See Figure 8-7) consisting essentially of braunite and polianite was mined
from a mineralised fault zone in Magaliesberg quartzite on the farm Derdepoort 326 JR
northeast of Pretoria.

Figure 8-7: Manganese ore (Source: Recon Industries, 2008)


Metorex (Pty) Ltd previously mined manganese ore from opencast mines on the farms
Luipardsvlei 243 IQ, Elandsfontein 277 IQ and Brandvlei 261 IQ around Krugersdorp, but
were closed because of declining demand. Declining demand for high grade manganese

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oxide by the uranium producers, the main users of the product, resulted in the Gauteng
manganese deposits being closed. The recent opening of new mines in the Mpumalanga and
North West Provinces of higher tonnage and better grade will ensure that the Gauteng mines
remain closed for the foreseeable future.
The vast low grade manganese mines in the Northern Cape preclude competition from any
other southern African low grade resource.
As the Gauteng manganese mines were essentially earth moving operations, environmental
impacts are restricted to pit safety and visual effects that are currently being addressed by
Metorex (Pty) Ltd.
8.9.

Mercury

Witwatersrand gold ore, sampled in 11 gold mines from all the main gold fields and from eight
different reefs, contains highly anomalous values of up to 4.5% of mercury. The mercury
content of gold ore from the Carletonville area increased (up to 3% Hg) with increasing depth
into the basin. This is ascribed to mobilisation of mercury from the Witwatersrand sediments
as a result of increasing metamorphic gradient and amalgamation with gold. The possibility of
commercial extraction of mercury as a by-product of gold seems improbable, however,
because of its low value and a decrease in demand. The mercury remains in the gold during
the cyanidation process and, as a result, there needs to be no concern about the toxicological
effects of the mercury.
Mercury amalgamation of gold was undertaken during the early years of Witwatersrand
Central Rand gold mining, prior to the cyanide process being introduced, when the upper
oxidized portions of the reefs were being exploited (see history in Chapter 2 and gold
processing in Chapter 9). There is, therefore, a strong likelihood of mercury contamination in
the old dumps and underlying soils in the Central Rand area.
On the farms Beynespoort 335 JR and Kameelfontein 297 JR, northeast of Pretoria,
disseminated specks of cinnabar are found in a quartz-gossan stockwork (See Figure 8-8) in
hornfels and quartzite, probably related to volcanic activity of the Roodeplaat Complex. The
occurrence is of academic interest and, as it is still in its natural, undisturbed state and falls
within a conservancy area, has negligible environmental impact.
8.10.

Peat

Central Highveld peat resource area

The Klip River wetland (See Figure 8-9) that covers 2 457 ha extends from just south of
Soweto and Brackenhurst for about 35 km from the farm Doornkop 239 IQ in a south-easterly
to easterly direction to the farm Zwartkopjes 143 IR. It is covered by dense reed beds and
hydrophilic grasses. The peat deposit is elongated and lens shaped in cross-section with a
maximum thickness of 3.5 m. It acts as an important natural filter of sediment and untreated
sewerage effluent from townships such as Soweto.

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Figure 8-8: Cinnabar gossan (Source: Alden, 2008)

Figure 8-9: Klip River Wetland (Source: SANBI, 2008)

The peat land on the farm Witfontein 262 IQ southwest of Randfontein has a thickness of 2 m.
It is covered by reeds, sedges and grasses, and has been exploited for horticultural purposes.
Peat has been produced on a small scale on Elandsfontein 334 IQ near Vereeniging. This
deposit covers between 1.2 and 1.6 ha. Its thickness is unknown. Peat extracted from this
deposit was used for horticultural purposes.

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Pretoria peat resource area

Three peat lands, with a combined area of about 210 ha, are known in the Rietvlei Spruit (See
Figure 8-10), upstream of the Rietvlei Dam in the Van Riebeeck Game Reserve. The peat has
been derived mainly from reeds and forms part of the Bankenveld False Grassveld. In the
past some of the peat has been utilised for horticultural purposes. However, tapping of
dolomite fountains in the drainage area of the Rietvlei Dam and the draining of the peat lands
has resulted in the drying out and burning of most parts of these deposits. Thicknesses of up
to 5 m have been reported in the past.

Figure 8-10: Rietvlei Spruit (Source: City of Tshwane, 2008)


It is vital that these peat resources be kept intact as they act as natural filters for water
contaminated by the nearby human development. The removing of the peat for horticultural
purposes or the continued wasteful burning will result in a destruction of the wetlands, putting
an added burden on waste treatment in Gauteng.
8.11.

Silver

The Willows Silver Mine, which underlies the farm The Willows 340 JR, just east of Pretoria in
Gauteng, was reportedly mined out in the 1890s. The deposits consist of a swarm of
mineralised subvertical quartz-carbonate veins hosted in Magaliesberg shale. The
mineralization comprises argentiferous tetrahedrite (See Figure 8-11) in a magnesian siderite
gangue. Urban sprawl will soon envelop the old mine workings. Consideration should be
given to making the area safe prior to development taking place.
Silver is an important by-product of Witwatersrand gold mining. As it is recovered during the
normal recovery process, there is no environmental impact.

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Figure 8-11: Argentiferous tetrahedrite (Source: Thames Valley Minerals, 2008)

8.12.

Soda

The only known deposit of natural soda ash in South Africa accumulated in the Pretoria salt
pan and, although the resource has been commercially exploited on a relatively small scale
from time to time, all activities were suspended in 1956. In 1993 the salt pan was declared a
national heritage site, under the auspices of the National Cultural History Museum, effectively
sterilising the remaining mineral resources from further exploitation.
The Pretoria salt pan (also known as Tswaing) (See Figure 8-12), situated 42 km northnorthwest of Pretoria on the farms Zoutpan 104 JR and Uitspan 98 JR, formed within a clearly
defined crater in Nebo granite. Originally, the crater acted as a rainwater trap forming a
shallow seasonal lake that evaporated to dryness every year. There is no doubt that these
evaporitic deposits must have served as an important source of salt during both the prehistoric and pioneering eras.

Figure 8-12: The Pretoria salt pan (Tswaing) crater (Source: HartRAO, 2008)

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The salt pan crater is an almost circular structure with a rim diameter of 1 130 m. Maximum
rim elevation is 119 m above the level of the salt pan, but only 60 m above the surrounding
plains. Initially the crater was much deeper than at present, but it has been partially filled by
coarse clastic debris resulting from slumping of the inner walls and by a 90 m thickness of
lacustrine sediments.
The origin of the Pretoria salt pan crater has long been debated. Although many features
suggestive of a meteorite impact are known, it was realised that conclusive evidence could
only be provided by drilling into the crater. Drill core from a borehole that successfully
penetrated the crater floor provided firm evidence of mineral and textural features
characteristic of a meteorite impact. Furthermore, a late Pleistocene age of 200 000 years for
the crater was estimated through extrapolation of accumulation rates based on 14C dating of
upper lacustrine sediments.
The uppermost 34 m of the lacustrine deposits of the Pretoria salt pan consist of terrigenous
muds and evaporites. Halite (NaCl) is restricted to this unit, while trona
(NaHCO3Na2CO32H2O) is confined to the upper 24 m and gaylussite (Na2CO3CaCO35H2O)
to the upper 15 m. From a depth of 30 m to the base of the lacustrine sequence the nonclastic component is dominated by CaCO3. As a whole the systematic change in the
mineralogy of the chemical sediments conforms to a classic evaporite sequence.
Because the crater floor lies below the ground-water table, at least one of the exploratory
boreholes, drilled in about 1920, still acts as an artesian spring and subsequent flooding of
the pan floor has created a permanent lake. Evaporation of the slightly saline (3%) spring
water since 1920 has given rise to the present hypersaline solution. The lake waters have a
pH of between 9.2 and 10.4, and are rich in dissolved carbonates and bicarbonates including
halite and trona. The composition of the lake is thus consistent with evaporative enrichment of
local granite groundwater, the chemistry of which was the subject of comprehensive analysis.
Recovery of the upper layer of trona (raw material of soda ash) proceeded successfully but,
as the excavations became deeper, contamination of the trona by brines became a major
problem and this venture was finally abandoned in 1916.
At that stage it was realised that the soda-rich mud layers overlying, and interbedded with the
trona layers were really the principal repository of the mineral wealth of the pan. However,
extraction of soda ash and halite from this source was problematic and unsuccessful.
Subsequently a number of exploration boreholes were drilled into the lacustrine sediments
underlying the pan. Apart from valuable information regarding probable reserves, it was
established that the mud zone is underlain by a permeable gaylussite-rich layer saturated with
pure concentrated soda-salt liquor (10%) and NaCl (18%). Although the extraction process
was initially very ineffective it was eventually streamlined to an almost 100% recovery with
respect to soda ash and table salt.
The salt pan now forms an integral part of the Tswaing Meteorite Crater Museum. Most of the
infrastructure from the previous mining has already been removed, all that is left are a few
ruins that form part of a tourism hiking route.

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8.13.

Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

Sulphur

Pyrite iron sulphide FeS2 - is the classic Fools Gold. There are other shiny brassy yellow
minerals, but pyrite is by far the most common and the most often mistaken for gold. It is so
common in the earths crust that it is found in almost every possible environment.
Although pyrite (See Figure 8-13) is readily available and contains a high percentage of iron,
it has never been used as a significant source of iron, but has been mined for its sulphur
content. Sulphur is used in the production of sulphuric acid, an important chemical for
industrial purposes.

Figure 8-13: Pyrite (Source: 3DChem, 2008)


South Africa has no commercial resources of native sulphur and is dependent on pyrite for its
sulphur requirements. Fortunately, large resources of pyrite are associated with the
Witwatersrand basin and are recovered as a by-product of the gold-mining industry.
Pyrite is also a common constituent of coal deposits and carbonaceous shales. The
gasification plants of SASOL 1 and 2 produce sulphur as a useful by-product. High levels of
sulphur concentration in the atmosphere result in acid rain (due to the reactive nature of
sulphur and moisture), a very corrosive substance that constitutes a serious environmental
hazard. Should lower sulphur-emission levels be enforced on all the role players in the
industry, substantial additional quantities of sulphuric acid will become available.
Pyrite is concentrated from the ore by flotation, followed by roasting of the concentrates to
produce sulphuric acid. The acid is used mainly for uranium extraction, the production of
fertiliser, chemical companies and mining/metallurgical processing plants for metallurgical use
and mineral recovery. The oxidation of pyrite is the main source of acid mine drainage.

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8.14.

Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

Talc

Numerous small talc (See Figure 8-14) deposits have formed as a result of various igneous
rocks intruding dolomites of the Chuniespoort Group (Transvaal Supergroup). The intrusive
rocks are predominantly Bushveld diabases, in both dyke and sill form. The talc forms at or
near the intrusive contacts, as a result of both the contact metamorphic and metasomatic
effects of magmatic fluids. In the Pretoria District talc of this type occurs on Hennopsrivier 489
JQ, Schurveberg 488 JQ, Vlakplaats 354 JR, Mooiplaats 355 JR, Roodekrans 492 JQ and
Rhenosterspruit 495 JQ. The prospect of finding more occurrences is good, as the required
conditions are met in a number of as yet unexplored localities.

Figure 8-14: Talc (Source: MII, 2008)

The only deposit to have been exploited thus far in Gauteng is that on Hennopsrivier, where
talc was extracted from two separate quarries, both of which ceased mining decades ago, as
the limited reserves were exhausted. The talc, which was of a high quality, was used as paper
filler. The above deposits occur in a dolomitic terrain and probably result from the alteration of
dolomite.
On Honingklip 178 IQ alteration of serpentinite has produced industrial-grade talc. The
serpentinite originated from ultramafic lithologies of the Muldersdrif Complex. The deposit was
mined by Metalloys Ltd and used in the manufacture of fertiliser, and as a flux for ferrochrome
and ferromanganese production.
Unless talc is of a high grade and exceptionally white in colour, the commodity prices
obtained do not warrant exploitation. The remaining unmined talc resources in Gauteng
contain contaminants of other minerals and are of inferior colour, often being stained by metal
oxides. Environmental impacts are limited to the rehabilitation of the old workings.

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8.15.

Chapter 8: Other Mineral Occurrences in Gauteng

Tin

On Rietfontein 446 JR and Zusterstroom 447 JR, in the Moloto tin field, cassiterite is
associated with brecciated zones along four different directions in red granite. The richer
occurrences are hosted in granite in the immediate vicinity of brecciated zones in unaltered
granite, with some mineralization in breccia. Cassiterite (See Figure 8-15) crystals of up to 5
cm occur in places associated with fluorite, pyrite, chalcopyrite and tourmaline.

Figure 8-15: Cassiterite (Source: Fabre Minerals, 2008)


On Zustershoek 246 JR, some 64 km northeast of Pretoria, the cassiterite occurs in
brecciated zones striking approximately north that are developed in granophyre. Four lodes
that contain cassiterite associated with some pyrite and copper sulphides have been
recorded.
The last operating tin mines in South Africa closed down in the early 1990s as the cost of
extracting the tin from the hard rock could not complete against the then newly developed
mines in Malaysia that literally use water jets to mine the deeply weathered ore. There is
very limited environmental damage from old, shallow prospecting pits in the Moloto tin field.
8.16.

Vanadium

In the western Bushveld the nature of the Main Magnetite Layer that contains vanadium is not
well known due to the poor exposure and the limited amount of published data. In Gauteng,
the lower magnetite layers, which contain the Main Magnetite Layer, extend from north of
Pretoria westwards towards Rustenburg. The moderately thick, but discontinuous magnetite
layer in the western Bushveld contains grades of 1.8 to 2.1% V2O5.
The Kaffirskraal intrusion is situated 16 km southeast of Heidelberg and is intrusive into
andesitic lavas of the Klipriviersberg Group. The intrusion, which has dimensions of 1.5 by
1 km, consists of a porphyritic norite margin around a central layered magnetite-pyroxenite
zone, within which a lenticular layer of magnetite (See Figure 8-16) is developed. The

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magnetite zone is 8 m thick and occupies the central part of the intrusion. A southerly
extension is 50 m wide and 300 m in length. Other lenticular, magnetite-rich bodies in the
layered zone have been revealed by drilling. The magnetite ore consists of massive, closely
packed, polygonal titaniferous magnetite grains, together with minor amounts of ilmenite and
augite. The magnetite crystals range between 1 and 2 mm in size. Chemical analyses of the
Kaffirskraal ore show values similar to the titaniferous iron ores of subzone C of the Bushveld
Complex, but contain less TiO2. The V2O5 contents range between 0.7 and 0.59%.

Figure 8-16: Magnetite (Source: Rutnik, 2008)

The Bushveld-hosted magnetite layers are uneconomic in Gauteng as they have been
sterilized by development between Ga-Rankuwa and Sphinx. The vanadium grades of the
Kaffirskraal intrusion magnetites compare unfavourably with the vast Bushveld magnetites in
the Mpumalanga and North West Provinces. As the occurrences are still in their natural,
undisturbed state, they have negligible environmental impact
8.17.

Zinc

Sphalerite (See Figure 8-17), grading at up to 9% Zn over a width of 9 m, and some minor
galena occur in association with solution cavities and collapse breccia in rocks of the Eccles
Formation between 10 and 100 m below the post-Chuniespoort Group chert breccia, on the
Western Deep Levels Gold Mine property. The coarse-crystalline sphalerite commonly
replaces ooids and occupies early intergranular pore spaces. The zinc mineralization was
followed by a later precipitation of pyrite, chalcopyrite and galena. The mineral occurrence is
sub-economic due to the low tonnages available.
As the occurrence is still in its natural, undisturbed state, it has negligible environmental
impact.

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Figure 8-17: Sphalerite (Source: Carnegie Mellon, 2005)

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CHAPTER 9:
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ASSOCIATED
WITH MINING AND MINERAL PROCESSING

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Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

9. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ASSOCIATED WITH MINING


OPERATIONS AND MINERAL EXTRACTION PROCESSES

9.1.

Introduction

The role of the GDACE Environmental Officer (EO) in the mining licence application and
approval process is to ensure that the broad environmental rights of the inhabitants of the
Province are protected. Although the authority and responsibility of licensing of prospecting
and mining operations does not fall primarily on GDACE (Chapter 11) there are legislated
requirements for all government agencies involved with administration of environmental
matters to play a role in the review and assessment of applications for mining (Chapters 12
and 13). In terms of the Constitution all laws and matters pertaining to mineral and energy
affairs are administered at a national level under the control of the Minister of Minerals and
Energy. Licensing of prospecting and mining and mine safety issues are regulated by the
Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) and the Mine
Health and Safety Act 29 of 1996. The changeover from the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 to the
Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 has heralded in a new
approach to mine licensing, environmental evaluation, performance assessment and
rehabilitation.1
Efficient assessment of environmental documentation by EOs is reliant on a broad,
multidisciplinary competency and appropriate experience in the wide spectrum of biophysical
and socio-economic factors appropriate to each region within the Gauteng Province. It is the
responsibility of the applicant or mining proponent and their environmental officers or
consultants to provide an adequate level of environmental description detail relevant to the
size, scale or longevity of the mining operation and the range and magnitude of potential,
anticipated or likely impacts.
Through critical analysis and review the EO must assess whether the scope and level of
baseline environmental description, detail of mining methods and mineral extraction or
processing technology and interpretation of potential environmental impacts is adequate.
Making a value judgement of the extent, duration, magnitude and significance of each
environmental impact must be based on adequate description of the biophysical and socioeconomic environmental context. The decision whether to permit mining will be determined to
a large extent by the measures that can be implemented in mitigation of the environmental
impacts and the long-term effects of the mining on the environment.
Whereas any Environmental Scoping Report (SR), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
or Environmental Management Programme Report (EMPR) will probably be compiled by a
number of scientists with specialised technical knowledge, the judgement as to the desirability
of the development in the context of the receiving environment must be made by the
individual EO who represents the interests of the inhabitants and environment in Gauteng.
Apart from the critical need for objectivity and honesty, the EO can rely on support from the
framework of legislation and officials of other national, provincial and local government
authorities who also have a vested interest in the efficient integration of the various Acts and
regulations pertaining to environmental protection.
Cover page Air pollution over Witbank, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa (Source:
Wikimedia, 2008)
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9.2.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Aim of this chapter

This chapter aims to provide the EO with generalised descriptions of the potential
environmental impacts associated with the mining methods employed across the range of
mineral commodities that are presently mined or could be developed within the Gauteng
region.
Background description or baseline data for the range of environmental criteria addressed in
mining environmental assessments follows the old Aide-Mmoire format and is provided by
way of introduction to the theoretical considerations, common impacts and mitigations of
rehabilitation measures. This approach could be applied generically to the environmental
description and planning requirements of the new mining legislation.
Where additional or more specific detail and diagrams or data tables are available this has
been included as a series of Appendices. Impact and mitigation tables are included as
Appendices 9.6.1 to 9.6.9 to provide more specific detail and a realistic range of typical
impacts, mitigations and rehabilitation measures commonly associated with the spectrum of
mineral commodities mined in the province. The scale and magnitude of impacts is specific to
the mining methods employed and is reflected by the different impact mitigation techniques
and approaches to rehabilitation.
In each case specific environmental impacts are identified in relation to their initiation and/or
extension through the mining from construction activities ( C), through the operational
phase (O), cessation of mining or decommissioning activities (D) and the post-mining period
(P). Generic thematic checklists for each of the environmental assessment criteria over the
life-of-mine phases are included in Appendix 9.6.1 to 9.6.9. These serve as a means of
assessing whether the environmental assessment covers the range of typical impacts. The
checklists also lead the EO to assess whether prescribed mitigations or rehabilitative
techniques commonly associated with each of the environmental criteria have been included
in the EMP.
This chapter must be read in conjunction with background regarding the regulatory framework
provided by other chapters (e.g. Chapters 11 and 12) to empower the GDACE EO with
sufficient background information to assist in making a value judgement regarding the
potential impacts of proposed prospecting or mining activities in the context of the receiving
environment.
9.3.

Principles and Process of Environmental Planning in Mining

The acceptance of Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) principles embodied in the


National Environmental Management Act 108 of 1998 (NEMA) brings the mining legislation
closer to the ambit of other environmental planning legislation used to control activities that
could potentially have a negative impact on the environment. Specific obligations are placed
on the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) (Schedule 2, section 11(2)) to ensure
harmonisation of environmental policies, plans and programmes. As custodian of the
countrys mineral and petroleum resources, the Minister of the DME must ensure sustainable
development of these resources within the framework of national environmental policy,
including NEMA and the National Water Act 36 of 1998.

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The development of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527 (GG 26275 of 23/04/2004) concerning
mineral prospecting and mining shows a strong integration of environmental management
principles in the requirements of documents to be submitted as part of the application
process. The regulations of the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 contained limited details, prescribing
the format and processes associated with the environmental requirements of the Act. A
separate document, the Aide-Mmoire, therefore provided the format guidelines and outlined
the required information. There were subsequent attempts to introduce changes or
requirements for additional information as required to meet the integrated environmental
management standards set by other legislation (Environment Conservation Act 73 of 1989, as
amended) or by the amended and revised regulations of the Minerals Act 50 of 1991.
9.3.1.

Evolution of the environmental assessment and planning framework in mining

The Aide-Mmoire for the Preparation of Environmental Management Programme Reports for
Prospecting and Mining was compiled after a consultative process involving the various
government departments that have an interest in protecting the environment. This guideline
document for the preparation of the Environmental Management Programme Reports
required by Section 39 of the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 was complied through negotiations, cooperation and consensus in order to simplify the mining proponents compliance with a wide
range of legal obligations. Although the format of the EMPR document was prescribed, this
did not constrain the range of environmental investigations or impact assessment processes.
The EIA process is currently regulated in terms of NEMA and the NEMA Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations GN R385 (GG 28753 of 21 April 2006), GN R386 and
GN R387. These regulations came into operation on 1 July 2006 with the exception of the
mining provisions which were intended to come into operation on 1 April 2007. This has,
however, been delayed as before this can happen, a law reform process must be undertaken
to ensure that the provisions of the MPRDA and NEMA are aligned. The Regulations regulate
procedures and criteria for the submission, processing, consideration and decision of
applications for environmental authorisation of activities and for matters pertaining thereto.
The Regulations repealed the existing ECA Regulations (GN R1182, GN R1183 and GN
R1184 published under the ECA) subject to the transitional arrangements set out in Chapter 9
of the Regulations.
Perhaps the most obvious changes in the MPRDA and MPRDA Regulations GN R527 are the
more robust definitions of different activities that must be addressed through separate
application processes. The detailed requirements for each application process are outlined in
the regulations and the comprehensive application documents (Forms) that include much of
the detail or alternatives relating to the specific process. There is no guideline document
currently available as an aide to meeting the requirements of the Act and Regulations. It is,
however, possible to utilise the Regulations to provide the necessary content framework. The
DME is in the process of developing guidelines for the compilation of environmental reports to
meet the requirements of the new legislation called the MEM series of Guidelines (Mining
Environmental Management).
The content of any Environmental Management Programme Report (EMPR) or EIA/EMP will
vary according to the mineral or commodity and is determined by the spatial, temporal and
socio-economic aspects of the locality and landscape, type of mining and mineral extraction
or beneficiation techniques, transport and communication networks, the extent, duration, and
significance of impacts, mitigation measures and rehabilitation goals. The licensing

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requirements for abstraction or discharge of water as outlined in the National Water Act 36 of
1998 should also be followed and reported in the relevant section of the EMPR required by
the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002.
9.3.2.

Authority consultation process

Any mining project is reliant to some degree on transport and communication networks, water
and power and occupies land that might be controlled or zoned for a specific purpose. These
developments can create impacts beyond the mining area and are now regulated by NEMA
and the NEMA EIA Regulations GN R385, GN R386 and GN R387. The regulations
pertaining to water in the mining environment and the water licensing requirements of the
National Water Act 36 of 1998 must also be accommodated in the mining licensing process. It
is for this reason that it has been necessary for the Regional Directors of the DME to create
formal networks with other national, provincial and local government departments and officials
to co-ordinate the review, comment and approval process associated with the licensing of
mining operations. Through consensus achieved during the authority consultation and public
participation process a simplified approach can be approved that addresses the issues to be
covered by the different environmental assessments and reports required.
It is a requirement that before the Regional Director of the DME approves any Environmental
Management Programme (EMP) or EMP amendment, or any exemption or extension of time,
each department charged with the administration of any law that relates to any matter
affecting the environment, be consulted (Section 39 (1) to 39 (4); Minerals Act 50 of 1991).
Section 40 of the MPRDA continues that requirement and requires the Minister to consult with
State departments and request, in writing; comments on any environmental management plan
or environmental management programme (Section 39 of the MPRDA) within 60 days.
Furthermore, the MPRDA adheres to the principles of environmental management set out in
section 2 of NEMA and binds applicants to the objectives or considerations in Chapter 5 and
section 24(7) of the Act. Specific mention is also made of the requirements of the National
Water Act 36 of 1998 and National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999.
In terms of the MPRDA, this authority consultation process is achieved through the Regional
Mining Development and Environmental Committees (REMDEC) contemplated in section
64(1) of the Act. In every region it is necessary to include representatives with a wide range of
knowledge and experience so these committees will include not only representatives of State
departments but organised labour, -business, NGOs and community-based organisations.
This is in line with the concept of competent authority evaluation of environmental impact
evaluation and environmental authorisation as defined in NEMA. The reviewers from
government departments perform a critical function in the permitting and environmental
planning process in that their input is required in order to contribute to the informed decisionmaking process. GDACE would be included on a Gauteng committee by virtue of its status as
an organ of State. These committees have 30 days to consult.

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9.4.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Approaches to Environmental Description and Planning

In order to make a value judgement regarding specific impacts or activities that must be
controlled during mining, the EO must assess the proposed operation relative to best practice
principles.

Although there are prescribed formal procedures adhered to during an application process
through the MPRDA, the EO can suggest an alternative approach or wider consultation with
other government departments to embrace other environmental evaluation principles should
these be necessary to address a specific activity or impact.
9.4.1.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Although and EMS is not a legal requirement, it is a formal approach to managing the aspects
of an organisations activities, products and services that could have a detrimental impact on
the environment. It can be used to prioritize actions and resources, increase efficiency,
minimise costs and lead to a better, more informed decision making. One of the most
important aspects of a successful EMS is commitment from top management to making it
work. Figure 9-1 below gives an indication of EMS process which aims for continual
improvement.

Figure 9-1: Overview of an Environmental Management System

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An organisation may choose to implement an EMS for a variety of reasons, for example to:

Manage legal compliance;


Demonstrate environmental commitment and achieve environmental improvements;
Satisfy customer expectations;
Reduce risks with regard to the environment; and
Improve commercial performance and enhance reputation.

From the regulators point of view the first of these reasons is the most important and a well
implemented EMS can be appreciably useful to an organisation in managing compliance. The
same system can, however, also offer benefits to the regulator in terms of assessing and
evaluating compliance. Regulators expect organisations to take responsibility for the
environmental impacts of their activities, products and services. They consider management
and maintenance of legal compliance to be a fundamental deliverable for an EMS.
Compliance with legal requirements regarding environmental protection should result in
appropriate environmental control measures and better environmental performance.
Regulators recognise that the task of managing legal compliance is not easy. There are an
ever-increasing number of environmental legal requirements placed on organisations, which
are often complex both individually and collectively. In the regulators view, consistent and
continuing management of environmental impacts requires a structured approach, such as
that provided by an EMS. A number of academic studies have indicated that an EMS does
not in itself guarantee legal compliance and good environmental performance. The regulatory
approach to any organisation will always be informed by the observed standards of
environmental protection and management, including the results of environmental and
compliance monitoring, permit breaches, incidents and complaints from the public.
9.4.2.

Environmental Management Programme (EMP)

Section 39(3) of the MPRDA provides that the environmental management programme and
environmental management plan must inter alia include:

A baseline assessment of the relevant mining area;


An assessment of the environmental, socio-economic and heritage impact of the
mining operations;
An environmental awareness plan and describe the manner in which the applicant
intends to deal with the action, activity or process which causes pollution or
environmental degradation in order to contain or remedy the cause of pollution or
degradation and migration of pollutants; and
Compliance with any prescribed waste standard or management standards or
practices.

The requirements of an EMP in terms of Regulation 51 of the MPRDA Regulations GN


R527 are summarised in
Box 9-3. The need for other approaches may be necessitated if the scope of the project, its
location in a sensitive area or requirements of associated infrastructure developments
dictates modification of the content outlines in the EMP guidelines.

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9.4.3.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Under the current legislative framework it is necessary to apply to the Department of


Environmental Affairs and Tourism for approval for activities that might have a substantial
detrimental effect on the environment. This is now regulated by NEMA and the NEMA EIA
Regulations GN R385, GN R386 and GN R386. These incorporate scheduled processes
under the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act 45 of 1965 and other legislation governing the
release of emissions, pollution, effluent or waste such as the Environment Conservation Act
73 of 1989 and the National Water Act 36 of 1998.
The more specific requirements regarding public participation and advertising of the
environmental assessment process is also now regulated by NEMA and the NEMA EIA
Regulations GN R385, GN R386 and GN R386. This approach is routinely incorporated in the
scope of EMP investigations by responsible mining proponents and consultants.
9.4.4.

Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP)

Situations have been identified where the nature of the activity-specific circumstances and
predictable magnitude of the impacts require a slightly different approach from the established
EMP procedure.
Specific management guidelines have been established and defined by the regulating
authorities as a Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP) for the following
operations with limitations outlined:

SEMP for crushing operations at waste rock dumps (Appendix 9.1): May not be used if
river diversions are required or sensitive environments are impacted;

SEMP for the mining of sand from a river, stream, dam or pan (Appendix 9.2): Not
applicable when mining in an area of tidal influence, sensitive environments or any other
area as determined by the Director: Mineral Development;

SEMP for prospecting (Appendix 9.3): May not be used for bulk sampling >125m3 or area
more than 25m2, prospecting in the sea or if a river diversion is planned or in
sensitive/designated/demarcated areas or features; and

SEMP for provincial administrations and SA Roads Board (Appendix 9.4): Applies
specifically to borrow pits for road base or aggregate for road building purposes.

9.4.5.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Another approach is that of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which does not have
any legal status or formal legislated context but is a pro-active management tool that can be
used by the decision-maker, government or proponent, equally at a policy level or even at an
early stage in the project planning level.
The application of SEA is at a level where the outcome of the investigation could influence
policy or programmes at the level of provincial or local government.

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The relevance of a particular land use such as mining from a land use-, town- and regional
planning perspective could be investigated as part of Land Development Objectives (LDOs)
or Integrated Development Plans (IDPs). In this context SEA could be implemented to test
whether the proposed development compliments or clashes with the environmental-, socialand economic sustainability of the community where it is proposed. The suitability of heavy
mineral sand mining at Wavecrest on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast was addressed initially
following generic SEA guidelines (Coastal and Environmental Services, 2000). This approach
was not registered through the Department of Minerals and Energy and thus has no official
status although the findings can be applied in an EIA project or EMPR compilation at a later
stage.
9.5.

Scope of Environmental Assessment Criteria


Environmental Management Programme (EMP)

to

be

covered

in

an

The description of the pre-mining environment uses categories outlined in the old AideMmoire and listed below. The new MPRDA has not replaced the old Aide-Memoire and thus
references to it have been included in this chapter. There is a danger that consultants will only
address these factors and ignore other potentially damaging aspects such as impacts related
specifically to prospecting or residue and waste disposal. The success of rehabilitation in the
event that a mine defaults or closes prematurely rests on the provision of funds for
rehabilitation and the accuracy of the calculation of the quantum of funding required to
implement the rehabilitation programme. This aspect is not specified in sufficient detail by the
Aide-Mmoire guidelines. Although somewhat prescriptive, the guidelines are only a
framework and can be modified to accommodate developments across the spectrum of
activities.
The Aide-Memoire Guidelines are applicable to EMPRs compiled in terms of the Minerals Act
50 of 1991. There are currently no similar guidelines that have been compiled under the
MPRDA that are applicable to EMPRs and environmental impacts assessments. While not a
legal requirement, the Aide-Memoire Guidelines can still be referred to for information
purposes taking into account the requirements of the new legislation.
In terms of section 39(1) of the MPRDA, applicants for mining rights are required to conduct
an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and submit an environmental management
programme within 180 days of the date on which they are notified by the Regional Manager to
do so. An EIA includes the compilation of a scoping report and an environmental impact
assessment report (EIAR) (Regulation 48 of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527). The
requirements for a scoping report, Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and an
Environmental Management Programme are summarised in Box 9-1, Box 9-2 and Box 9-3.
In terms of section 39(2) of the MPRDA, applicants for reconnaissance permissions,
prospecting rights or mining permits are required to submit an Environmental Management
Plan (EMP) as prescribed. The Environmental Management Plan must be submitted to the
relevant Regional Manager within 60 days of being notified by the Regional Manager to do so
(Regulation 52(1) of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527). The requirements for an
Environmental Management Plan are summarised in Box 9-4.

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Box 9-1: Requirements for a Scoping Report


REQUIREMENTS FOR A SCOPING REPORT
In terms of Regulation 49(1) of the MPRDA Regulations GN 527, as scoping report should
include the following information:

A description of the methodology applied to conduct scoping;

A description of the existing status of the environment prior to the mining operation;

Identification and description of the anticipated environmental, social and cultural


impacts, including the cumulative effects, where applicable;

Identification and description of reasonable land use or development alternatives to


the proposed operation, alternative means of carrying out the proposed operation and
the consequences of not proceeding with the proposed operation;

A description of the most appropriate procedure to plan and develop the proposed
mining operation;

A description of the process of engagement of identified interested and affected


persons, including their views and concerns; and

A description of the nature and extent of further investigations required in the


environmental impact assessment report.

Box 9-2: Requirements for an Environmental Impact Assessment Report


REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT
In terms of Regulation 50(1) of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527, an EIAR should include
the following information:

an assessment of the environment likely to be affected by the proposed mining


operation, including cumulative environmental impacts;

an assessment of the environment likely to be affected by the identified alternative


land use or developments, including cumulative environmental impacts;

an assessment of the nature, extent, duration, probability and significance of the


identified potential environmental, social and cultural impacts of the proposed mining
operation, including the cumulative environmental impacts;

a comparative assessment of the identified land use and development alternatives


and their potential environmental, social and cultural impacts;

determine the appropriate mitigatory measures for each significant impact of the
proposed mining operation;

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REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT

details of the engagement process of interested and affected persons followed during
the course of the assessment and an indication of how the issues raised by interested
and affected persons have been addressed;

identify knowledge gaps and report on the adequacy of predictive methods,


underlying assumptions and uncertainties encountered in compiling the required
information;

description of the arrangements for monitoring and management of environmental


impacts; and

inclusion of technical and supporting information as appendices, if any.

Box 9-3: Requirements for an Environmental Management Programme


REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
In terms of Regulation 51 of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527, an Environmental
Management Programme should include the following information:
(a)

(b)

A description of the environmental objectives and specific goals for(i)

mine closure;

(ii)

the management of identified environmental impacts emanating from the


proposed mining operation;

(iii)

the socio-economic conditions as identified in the social and labour plan;


and

(iv)

historical and cultural aspects, if applicable;

an outline of the implementation programme which must include (i)

a description of the appropriate technical and management options


chosen for each environmental impact, socio-economic condition and
historical and cultural aspects for each phase of the mining operation;

(ii)

action plans to achieve the objectives and specific goals contemplated in


paragraph (a) which must include a time schedule of actions to be
undertaken to implement mitigatory measures for the prevention,
management and remediation of each environmental impact, socioeconomic condition and historical and cultural aspects for each phase of
the mining operation;

(iii)

procedures for environmental related emergencies and remediation;

(iv)

planned monitoring and environmental management programme

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REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME


performance assessment;
(v)

(vi)

financial provision in relation to the execution of the environmental


management programme which must include(aa)

the determination of the quantum of the financial provision


contemplated in regulation 54; and

(bb)

details of the method providing for financial provision contemplated


in regulation 53;

an environmental awareness plan contemplated in section 39(3)(c) of the


Act;

(vii) all supporting information and specialist reports that must be attached as
appendices to the environmental management programme; and
(viii) an undertaking by the applicant to comply with the provisions of the Act and
regulations thereto.

Box 9-4: Requirements for an Environmental Management Plan


REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN
In terms of Regulation 52(2) of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527, an Environmental
Management Plan (EMP) should include the following information:

a description of the environment likely to be affected by the proposed prospecting or


mining operation;

an assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed prospecting or mining


operation on the environment, socio-economic conditions and cultural heritage, if any;

a summary of the assessment of the significance of the potential impacts, and the
proposed mitigation and management measures to minimise adverse impacts and
benefits;

financial provision which must include-

(i)

the determination of the quantum of the financial provision contemplated in


regulation 54; and

(ii)

details of the method providing for the financial provision contemplated in


regulation 53;

planned monitoring and performance assessment of the environmental management


plan;

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REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN

closure and environmental objectives;

a record of the public participation undertaken and the results thereof; and

an undertaking by the applicant regarding the execution of the environmental


management plan.

9.5.1.

Phases of development during life-of-mine

The Aide-Mmoire document also prescribes assessment of environmental impacts relative to


the different phases of activity during the life-of-mine.

Construction, including the planning and implementation phases, creation of


infrastructure, mine or pit footprint, access ramps and haul roads, waste, residue and
product stockpiles, handling areas, water reticulation and electrical power;

Operation, including daily activities, mine development and expansion;

Decommissioning, including scaling down of activities ahead of temporary or


permanent closure, cessation of mining or production, implementation of rehabilitation
programme, monitoring and maintenance for prescribed period after cessation of
operations; and

Closure, including completion of rehabilitation goals, application for closure, transfer


of liability to the State and agreed post-closure monitoring or maintenance.

9.5.2.

Assessment criteria and significance rating scales

The impacts associated with each of these phases will be specific to the mineral commodity,
environmental context, mining method, spatial and temporal aspects of the operation and
stated rehabilitation goals.
The assessment criteria must permit the reporting of both positive and negative impacts as
the environmental planning process should aim to minimise the negative impacts and
maximise the beneficial or positive aspects.
In order to adequately assess the potential impacts of any mining development the temporal
scale or duration, likelihood or degree of certainty, extent, duration, intensity or magnitude
and unmitigated significance of the impact should be assessed. The definitions outlined below
draw from those described in the EIA regulations guideline document (Department of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism, 1998) (now regulated under NEMA and the NEMA EIA
Regulations GN R385, GN R386 and GN R387 as noted above) but can be redefined or
augmented in the context of a specific environmental assessment.

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Extent or spatial scale

Site
Localised
Sub-regional
Regional
National
International

Impact affects the whole, or measurable part of the mining area


Site and immediate surrounds, adjacent households/village
Geographic area or municipal scale
Provincial scale or impacts across provincial borders
South Africa
Neighbouring countries with respect to shared borders or resources

Duration

Short term
Medium term
Long term
Permanent

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Impact will disappear with mitigation or will be mitigated through natural


processes in less than 5 years
Impact will last for 5 to 15 years whereafter it will be entirely negated
Impact will last for the entire operational life-of-mine but will be mitigated
by human intervention or natural processes thereafter
Non-transitory impacts that cannot be mitigated by man or natural
processes

Degree of certainty/risk

This is the subjective assessment of the likelihood of an impact but can be based on
precedents from similar mining methods.
Definite
Probable
Possible/Anticipated
Unlikely

Impact will occur if the mining method is implemented (90% sure of a


particular fact)
Strong likelihood or risk of a specific impact given the environmental
context (over 70% sure of a particular fact)
Reasonable expectancy of an impact based on similar operations or
sensitivity of the environment (only 40% sure)
Uncertainty or slight risk of impact occurring (<40% sure of the
likelihood)

Intensity/severity

This is a relative evaluation of all activities that describe the degree of destructiveness of an
impact, whether it destroys the impacted environment or alters its functioning.
No effect
Low
Medium
High

Neither systems nor parties not affected or may not be possible to


determine
Impact alters the environment in such a way that the natural processes
or functions are not affected
Affected environment is altered but function and process continue albeit
in a modified way
Function or process of the affected environment is disturbed to the
extent that it temporarily or permanently ceases or constitutes a safety
hazard

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Significance

This is a subjective indication of the importance of the unmitigated impact in terms of physical
extent and time scale and indicates the level of mitigation required. This can be applied as a
qualifier to both negative and beneficial impact.
Low
Medium
High

9.5.3.

A short duration, site-specific impact of low intensity would be of low


severity
A medium-term impact or site-specific impact and high intensity may
have a medium severity in the unmitigated state
Long-term or permanent impacts, those with regional influence or high
intensity would create highly significant impacts

Minimum levels of description detail

Unless the mining company or consultants acting on behalf of the organisation have provided
adequate and appropriate levels of detail concerning the pre-mining environmental
description, it will be impossible to accurately classify the severity/intensity of unmitigated
impacts or to draw any reasonable conclusions regarding beneficial aspects. Under these
circumstances it will be difficult for a reviewer to assess the probable impacts associated with
specific aspects of any mining development.
The minimum biophysical environmental data should be based on that which is regarded as
basic public-domain information. This level of environmental description or data represents
the essential baseline data required in order to provide a broad description of the pre-mining
environment. At the lowest level this data may be adequate for a scoping level environmental
description or to serve as the baseline from which site-specific investigations can be planned.
Dependent on the complexity and degree of disturbance of the site this generalised
information may prove adequate for some small-scale, short-lived or low-impact prospecting
or mining operations.
This level of detail is usually published by government or parastatal organisations and is
freely available or can be sourced at low cost from government department offices or off the
internet. A list of published literature or Internet-based resources that are available to the
proponent and reviewer is provided in Appendix 9.5.
This spatial data, long time-series data or species list information should be regarded as the
minimum standard and any application that does not reference this level of data as an
introduction to site-specific detail should be deemed inadequate.
Aspects of the list of Internet web sites where basic information can be obtained relatively
quickly can be relayed to mining proponents or their consultants, should the information
provided not meet minimum requirements.
It is necessary to provide site-specific and detailed information on the basis of investigations
by registered specialists in most situations where permanent or significant impacts will arise
from mining.

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9.6.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Background information for environmental assessment categories

The EO must ensure that the full range of impacts is identified and addressed under each
environmental impact category listed below in Table 9-1. The list of environmental impact
categories is based on the categories listed in the Aide-Mmoire document. This list is not
necessarily exhaustive or applicable to all mining situations. In particular the creation of large
opencast voids or residue dumps creates an environment that must be assessed as an entity
which has impacts on many different environmental aspects. In some provinces the DME or
DWAF have compiled lists of conditions that form part of the final approval document to
ensure that all possibilities are covered in the event that the EIA/EMP document does not
adequately specify all likely impacts or reasonable mitigatory actions. In the case of lowimpact mining methods these details form part of the SEMP.
Table 9-1: Environmental assessment criteria
Assessment criteria

Relevant section

Geology
Climate and meteorology
Topography
Soil
Pre-mining land capability
Land use
Natural vegetation/plant life
Animal life
Surface water
Ground water
Air quality
Noise
Site of archaeological and cultural interest
Visual aspects
Regional socio-economic structures
Interested and affected parties

Section 9.7
Section 9.8
Section 9.9
Section 9.10
Section 9.11
Section 9.12
Section 9.13
Section 9.14
Section 9.15
Section 9.16
Section 9.17
Section 9.18
Section 9.19
Section 9.20
Section 9.21
Section 9.22

Other environmental impact criteria that must be addressed which are either not specified or
which relate to a range of these criteria but are not specifically addressed or adequately
explained in the Aide-Mmoire document are listed in Table 9-2.
Table 9-2: Other environmental assessment criteria
Assessment criteria

Relevant section

Financial provision for rehabilitation


Exploration or prospecting operations
Mine waste and residue
Mineral extraction processes

Section 9.23
Section 9.24
Section 9.25
Section 9.26

Tables outlining the influence of these environmental criteria in the context of specific mineral
commodities and commonly practiced, generic mining methods are included as Appendices
9.6.1 to 9.6.9. In each case the table lists the conceptual or theoretical background
considerations, describes a range of likely impacts associated with the Construction (C),

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Operational (O), Decommissioning (D) and post-mining (P) phases of generic developments
for the range of mineral commodities exploited in Gauteng. In many cases the minimum
standards or requirements for general environmental description content and sources of data
are listed in Appendix 9.5. Where there are influences between environmental categories
these are cross-referenced in the impact/mitigation tables. An indication of the range of
legislation that pertains to a specific environmental category or impact is also listed.
The introductory comments included for each of the environmental criteria outlined below
serve to compare or contrast the characteristics of some of the range of environments in the
Gauteng area.
9.7.

Geology

9.7.1.

Theoretical Considerations

In the context of mining-related environmental impacts, geology includes different types of


hard bedrock as well as unconsolidated weathering profiles and transported sediments
forming the near-surface cover or regolith. The intrinsic character of the rock, context of
mineralization or occurrence plays an important part in determining the mining method,
beneficiation technologies, amount and the nature of waste materials and geochemical risk.
Geological factors also play an important part of the risk assessment process due to the direct
influence of rock type and strength on slope stability and groundwater.
The rock structure and mineralogy determine the rock hardness and strength characteristics.
In most rock types the porosity or groundwater aquifer potential is a function of the secondary
voids created by structures cross-cutting the rock texture. These influence the weathering
potential and physical nature or stability of the weathering products that will have an impact
on the topographic situation when these rocks are mined. The specific association of some
mineral commodities with certain rock types also provides an indication of current mining hot
spots or potential future areas of development. Box 9-5 provides a summary of these
associations.
Box 9-5: Rock types and associated mineral commodities in South Africa
ROCK TYPES AND ASSOCIATED MINERAL COMMODITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Quartzitic sandstones

Hard quartzitic sandstones of the Witwatersrand Supergroup, Transvaal Supergroup and


Waterberg Group are resistant to weathering and the horizontal attitude of the latter as
opposed to the steeply dipping attitude of the former determines the topographic relief
and terrain morphology of the natural outcrop.
The Witwatersrand quartzites (See Figure 9-2) contain gold, abundant pyrite and
associated uranium-bearing minerals that result in the higher natural radioactivity levels
and acid mine drainage that impacts surface and groundwater production potential than
is the case with the lithologically similar Transvaal quartzites. Both rock groups form
rugged, steep ridges with infertile soils that favour specific vegetation types.

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ROCK TYPES AND ASSOCIATED MINERAL COMMODITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA


The Witwatersrand rocks must be crushed to very fine powder during beneficiation to
release the gold content, resulting in secondary problems due to the high reactivity of the
sulphur-bearing pyrite minerals that contaminate groundwater and produce acid rock
drainage (ARD). The younger Karoo Supergroup sandstones have calcitic cement that
offers some buffering potential against acid groundwaters emanating from the coal
deposits interbedded with shale and sandstone.

Figure 9-2: Quartzite of the Witwatersrand Supergroup


(Source: UCT Geology, 2000)
The resistant quartzitic or siliceous sandstones in the Witwatersrand and Transvaal
Supergroup formations are commonly interbedded with less resistant shales or phyllites
that weather preferentially and tend to underlie the lower relief areas of valleys or
lowlands. The mining of clays for brick making is commonly associated with low
topographic relief and bottomland positions where the topographic context results in a
higher potential for impact on surface water.

Archaean granites

The Archaean granites forming the broad domical area north of the Witwatersrand
Supergroup outcrop tend to be more easily weathered than the quartzites with the
resultant undulating topography and variability in soil profiles that accommodates a wider
range of agricultural practices and hence higher land capability and land use options.
This contrast is also obvious between the siliceous granitoids of the Bushveld Complex
and the mafic rocks with the latter generally being less resistant to weathering and
underlying areas of low relief. The distinctive ferro-magnesian mineral assemblage of the
mafic gabbro, norite and ultramafic rock types is readily weatherable and forms active
(swell/shrink) smectite-rich, generally calcareous soils with fine texture that is susceptible
to dust generation.

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ROCK TYPES AND ASSOCIATED MINERAL COMMODITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Calcareous dolomites

The soluble nature of the calcareous dolomite of the Malmani Subgroup results in karstic
topography and solution cavities that form the important groundwater aquifer potential of
this rock group. The mineralogy is also reflected in the negative weathering character and
sinkhole development is characteristic of areas underlain by dolomite. The naturally hard
groundwater has a high acid buffering potential. Groundwater compartmentalisation by
diabase dykes restricts groundwater migration to some extent but can be negatively
impacted by undermining or breaking through compartment boundaries.

Figure 9-3: Archaean granites in the core of the Vredefort Dome


(Source: UCT Geology. 2000)

Figure 9-4: Calcareous dolomites of the Malmani Subgroup


(Source: South African Tours and Travels, 2008)

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9.7.2.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Common Impacts

Mining operations commonly have a permanent impact on rock masses that influences the
groundwater and topography on the site and can impact post-mining slope stability. The
influence on topography can only be partially mitigated during rehabilitation. Opencast pits
intercept shallow groundwater table zones and the resulting water-make in the pit requires
pumping and storage in order to reduce inundation of active areas. Bedrock geology
influences the nature and thickness of the weathered zone and soil type, texture and
thickness. Apart from specific rock types or outcrops which are of scientific interest or cultural
significance, the direct impact of mining on geology is seldom highly significant unless the
long-term effects on groundwater or topography have important ramifications.
In most excavations or underground mines the stability of the rock mass is determined by the
three-dimensional orientation and spacing of joint planes, shear zones or faults and fracture
planes and their intersection with the natural structural grain of the rock or landforms.
Accurate description of these structural features is necessary in order to define the
geotechnical stability of steep or high slopes or highwalls.
9.7.3.

Data Requirements

The most basic geological data takes the form of maps showing the surficial or sub-outcrop
extent of rock units or mineral commodities and is published on regional scales (1:1 000 000
or 1:250 000). For large-scale development or those targeting high value commodities larger
scale maps should be provided. Cross-sections or three-dimensional mapping are commonly
used to portray the form and extent of the rock strata or mineralized zones. Geological
mapping is usually supported by drilling of a grid of boreholes yielding rock chips or rock core.
Regional geophysical data includes gravity surveys, shallow seismic profiling, ground- or
airborne resistivity or radiometric mapping, and borehole geophysical logs. Surface sampling
on a grid pattern or from trenched profiles is used for geochemical analysis of major oxides
and trace elements (Chapter 5).
9.8.

Climate or meteorology

9.8.1.

Theoretical Considerations

The climatic context of any proposed mining operation has a direct bearing on the volumes of
storm water runoff that must be accommodated through design of stormwater diversion berms
to separate clean and contaminated water systems, flood attenuation dams, the holding
capacity of pollution control dams and the form of residue disposal structures. Long-term daily
rainfall records form the basis of accurate assessment of the catchment hydrology, runoff and
shallow groundwater baseflow characteristics of small catchments. Accurate rainfall and
evaporation data are essential for the calculation of the water balance model for a mining
development.
Legal constraints on the location of infrastructure close to watercourses are also determined
by extreme storm events of 1:50 to 1:100 year return frequency. The rainfall deficit caused by
seasonally high evaporation rates influences the design capacity of polluted water control
structures and slimes dams. The seasonal distribution of rainfall determines when dust
suppression activities are most necessary. Wind and temperature data are critical for
determining the most likely distribution pattern of nuisance or fugitive dust plumes or

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potentially harmful gaseous or radiogenic emissions. Temperature inversion effects must be


ascertained for the design of emission standards and structures. This is important from the
point of trapping of smoke emissions or exacerbating natural morning mist or fog in valley
bottoms and the impact this will have on adjacent roads or aircraft flight paths.
9.8.2.

Data Requirements

Climatic data is readily available from the South African Weather Bureau or has been
compiled in less detail for other uses such as characterisation of surface water resources
(Midgley et al., 1994a & b). The appendices presented in these reports group rainfall stations
in Quaternary sub-catchments and provide a concise reference source of monthly and longterm average rainfall data. Evaporation data is presented for zones where climatic conditions
are similar. Apart from long-term data measured at stations across the country there is a high
density of shorter term records available from farms or other less formal stations.
9.9.

Topography

9.9.1.

Theoretical Considerations

Topography is controlled to a large extent by the strength characteristics of bedrock and the
age and weathering history of land surfaces of various ages. The presence of thick kaolinitic
clay deposits on the East and West Rand areas owes its origin to the effect of weathering
over many millions of years of the Karoo Supergroup shales, Witwatersrand Supergroup
shales/phyllites, or granite bedrock. The low relief and undulating topography of the areas
north of the quartzite ridges are underlain by relatively homogeneous granitoids that weather
preferentially.
9.9.2.

Common Impacts

High relief or steep slopes can influence local rainfall and wind patterns, creating rain shadow
effects that result in sharp rainfall gradients that cannot be adequately characterised by
records from nearby or remote stations. Terrain morphology plays a critical role in defining the
visual envelope of mining developments and can either reduce or enhance visual impact. The
flow paths of surface water must be accurately ascertained to reduce the negative effects of
concentration that results in flooding or reduction of the natural runoff contribution to sensitive
wetland environments. Rehabilitation should strive to replicate the pre-mining topography,
wherever possible, or at least not to increase overall slope gradients without emplacement of
adequately designed erosion control or runoff diversion structures.
Large opencast mines have a permanent impact on slope form and surface drainage,
although the significance differs in respect to position on the slope and the proportion of
extracted waste material available as backfill during rehabilitation. Aggregate quarries cannot
be completely refilled and form permanent depressions that must be accommodated through
imaginative utilisation during the post-closure period. Near-surface coal mining resulting in
subsidence can alter the drainage of large areas and capture surface runoff. Similarly, miningrelated sinkholes in undermined dolomite areas, small adits or shafts can divert clean surface
runoff into contaminated groundwater environments of underground voids.

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9.9.3.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Mitigation and rehabilitation

The focus of topographic rehabilitation must consider the above scenarios which may not be
obvious at the time of mine planning and must be addressed as the mine develops and the
EMP must be reviewed periodically for continued relevance in the light of changed mine path
or long-term plans. Topographic rehabilitation includes the closure of surface openings and
underground mine voids which is described in Box 9-6 and Box 9-7.

Box 9-6: Topographic Rehabilitation - Closure of Surface Openings


CLOSURE OF SURFACE OPENINGS
Surface openings as a result of mining may be divided into three groups, viz. old mine
shafts, open pits and collapse features where old mine voids open at the surface. These
all have a number of impacts. The first and most obvious is the safety aspect of open
holes in the environment. Small openings may be particularly dangerous as they are
easily hidden by vegetation. Studies in the Witwatersrand have found areas where
stoping from below extended from great depths to within a few metres of the surface.
Where these openings have collapsed, they represent a significant hazard.
Secondly, surface openings may provide pathways through which contaminated water
from underground voids may decant to surface, polluting rivers and streams.
Finally, they may act as ingress points, channelling water into active mine voids, limiting
the economic viability of marginal mines and/or contaminating surface water which could
otherwise be utilised.
It is therefore prudent that all surface openings be closed, using appropriate fill materials.
Fill materials should be selected such that the fill material does not create its own
environmental hazard. For example, chemically leachable and acid-producing tailings,
although they are in abundant supply, may not be suitable materials for infilling.

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Box 9-7: Closure of Underground Mine Voids


CLOSURE OF UNDERGROUND MINE VOIDS
Mining voids are expected to all close over time. Some areas may take days or weeks
and some may take centuries depending on depth and geotechnical conditions.
Underground gold workings generally close at depths due to the extreme pressure on the
rock. The shallower workings get, the less the pressure and the less likely they are to
close quickly. Where ore bodies are more vertical closure is also slower.
Some mines deposit tailings underground which aids in keeping workings open and in
getting rid of tailings. It is not possible to place all tailings underground as the bulk density
has generally been increased due to the crushing and milling which has occurred.
Water ingresses into almost all mines to a greater or lesser extent. This needs to be
removed to have access to workings and for safety.

Dewatering

Dewatering can refer to actions where the inflow to the mine is reduced by removing
water that is in storage in dolomites. Once compartments are dewatered there is a
continuous inflow. It can also refer to the emptying of previously flooded mine workings.
Dewatering is achieved when pumping rate equals the recharge rate
The advantage of dewatering is that under steady state conditions the water inflow to the
mines is controlled and predictable and sudden catastrophic inflows are unlikely to occur.

Backfilling

Backfilling is practised by some mines, it is advantageous in increasing the stability and


hence the safety of a mines, helping to improve air flows and cooling in active areas.
Backfilling reduces the open volume underground. Sometimes only the coarser fraction of
tailings is placed underground and sometimes the whole tailings stream can be used.
Backfilling with waste rock also reduces the degree of surface disturbance from waste
storage facilities.

9.9.4.

Data Requirements

Topographic information is available from topocadastral maps at various scales from


1:1 000 000 to 1:50 000, digital elevation data (Appendix 9.5) or can be measured in detail for
small-scale developments by site-specific topographic surveys. Without adequate topographic
control it is not possible to plan mine developments precisely, ascertain slope gradients for
storm water control or model catchment hydrology. The most detailed topographic information
readily available at low cost is the 1:10 000 orthophoto map series that represents terrain
form with 5 m contour intervals (Appendix 9.5). However, this is seldom adequate for detailed
assessment of runoff flow paths or for positioning runoff control structures.

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9.10.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Soil

9.10.1. Theoretical Considerations


The thickness, texture and nature of soil cover are strongly related to bedrock type and terrain
morphology. The Minerals Act defines topsoil as the upper 0.5 m whereas, in reality, many
shallow soils have much thinner topsoils where organic enrichment and biogenic activity is
critical to sustain plant and animal life. Excavation and stockpiling of a thicker layer during site
preparation results in dilution of the highly fertile organic component.
The fertility of soil must be accurately assessed in order to design post-rehabilitation
treatments that will restore the nutrient status of stockpiled topsoil. Sandy soils with low clay
contents of predominantly kaolinitic or micaceous fines have low nutrient status relative to
heavy, smectitic clay-rich soils formed from in situ weathering of mafic bedrock. Both soil
types are highly erodible and topsoil stockpiles must be designed to counter this erosion. The
rainfall intensity and erosion potential of the topsoil and overburden materials must be
considered in the design of stormwater control structures and stable gradients for residue
deposits. Choice of the correct texture of soil material for use in capping and sealing waste
deposits is critical to exclude air that can cause oxidation of fine rock waste or combustion of
waste coal residue.
9.10.2. Common Impacts
The impact of mining on soils relates mainly to the excavation and stockpiling of the soil
profile ahead of mining or infrastructure developments and restoration to the modified or
levelled terrain during rehabilitation. Other impacts on in situ and stockpiled soil include
erosion by concentrated stormwater runoff, compaction and contamination by infiltrating
runoff or leachate. The footprint beneath many old tailings and coarse residue dams and
dumps is commonly highly polluted by heavy metals and trace elements. Unless rehabilitated
soils are correctly restored and prepared, this can become a long-lived impact that does not
support future sustainable development.
9.10.3. Mitigation and Rehabilitation
Although soil cover can be restored to most mine sites during rehabilitation, the thickness,
structure and horizonation of the restored profile seldom replicates the original profile. To
ensure long-term stability, the restored soil cover should attempt to mimic the pre-mining
distribution of soil texture and thickness. Unless slope drainage conditions are similar to the
pre-mining environment, the nature and functioning of soil processes in some restored
materials may not approximate the pre-mining situation.
Topsoil, leaf and plant litter as well as subsoil must be stockpiled separately in low heaps.
Microbial activity, seed viability and soil fertility are adversely affected by long periods of
stockpiling when high temperatures can be generated in thick deposits, therefore the topsoil
should be restored as soon as possible. An alternative is to turn or aerate the stockpiled
topsoil regularly or plant legume crops that can restore some fertility to the soil.
Soil removal creates permanent impacts that can be mitigated through restoration of soil
cover, although the significance of the impact remains high. This is most apparent in steep
rocky slopes where there is thin soil cover of limited areal extent which is seldom removed

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and stockpiled ahead of mining. However, rocky post-mining slopes can usually be
rehabilitated with fine waste rock or tailings to provide the ecological niche provided by the
thin patchy lithosol (rocky soil). Subsoil, fine overburden, crusher dust or fine aggregate can
often be substituted for soil provided that organic matter and nutrients are added. The
Chamber of Mines (1996) guidelines for residue dump rehabilitation state that the thickness of
restored soil cover will dictate the possible post-closure land-use options. For arable land 0.75
m of topsoil must be restored, and for grazing use a minimum of 0.35 m topsoil. Thin topsoil
cover on steep dump slopes reduces the use options of the rehabilitated surfaces.
9.10.4. Data Requirements
Adequate characterization of the natural soil catena (downslope change in relation to slope
and drainage) through detailed mapping, soil classification and profile descriptions is
necessary to provide the background data required for restoration of ecological gradients and
surface drainage characteristics during rehabilitation. This data is available as regional land
type mapping and terrain unit soil inventories (see Appendix 9.5 for URL).
Design of contour banks or terraces intended to slow or divert surface runoff and reduce soil
erosion on slopes requires calculation on the basis of slope gradient, soil type and rainfall
conditions. Erosion control structures are provided in the soil conservation primer by Matthee
and Van Schalkwyk (1984).
9.11.

Pre-mining land capability

9.11.1. Theoretical Considerations


A combination of terrain form, soil types and thickness, slope gradients, rainfall and surface
water hydrology, in association with broad agricultural potential, socio-economic and
development planning criteria, define the land capability of an area.
9.11.2. Common Impacts
Mining is a destructive land use option that has a permanent effect on the site and
surrounding land capability options of varying intensity and significance. Subdivision of land
and restoration to a non-natural condition by rehabilitation may not sustain pre-mining land
capability during the post-mining period. Even where the proposed mining area is small, the
cumulative impact when seen in the context of other operations or long-term mining
development can reduce sustainable land-use options.
9.11.3. Data Requirements
In general, land capability must be assessed at an early stage in the planning process
through consultation with provincial and local government agencies responsible for Integrated
Development Plans (IDP) or policy frameworks. The assessment of land capability is
important from the point of view of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983
(section 2(1)) and the amended activities listed under Section 21 of the Environment
Conservation Act, 1989 which refer to the disturbance of virgin soil or ground respectively.
Section 2 of the latter legislation also restricts the change of land use associated with
agricultural- or nature-conservation- zoned land.

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9.12.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Land use

This aspect is very similar to the broad concept of land capability. Land use in urban and periurban areas may be zoned as part of a development framework outlined in the Integrated
Development Plan (IDP). Change in land use requires an environmental planning process in
terms of the NEMA EIA regulations or registration in terms of the Conservation of Agricultural
Resources Act 43 of 1983. Post-mining land-use options must be assessed as part of the
range of alternatives presented in the EMPR document and must be assessed by the review
authorities relative to development priority frameworks or environmental conservation
potential or goals.
9.13.

Natural vegetation/plant life

9.13.1. Theoretical Considerations


Indigenous vegetation patterns and biodiversity have been altered through long-term
disturbance in agricultural and developed urban areas and by invasion of alien plants that
compete for nutrients and water. Specialised vegetation types are commonly associated with
relatively undisturbed areas of shallow, rocky soils or steep slopes where they have evolved
to cope with low nutrient status and high drought stress levels. Rocky areas are commonly
sites of higher biodiversity than the surrounding land as the outcrop offers some protection
against fire and extreme cold or winds.
The conservation status of any vegetation type must be assessed relative to the extent of
undisturbed areas of this vegetation type in the surrounding area in order to reduce the
possibility of cumulative impacts. Regional vegetation characterization and mapping provides
only general detail concerning species diversity and site-specific investigations are necessary
in most cases. Certain vegetation types have been afforded legal protection status if they
contain Protected, Rare, Threatened or Endangered Red Data species. These plants are
often found only in small populations and will be missed if only superficial site investigations
are undertaken.
The quartzite ridge environments of Gauteng enjoy special protection status. Riparian zone
vegetation performs a critical function in maintaining riverbank stability and must not be
impacted. The Highveld grasslands are a highly impacted vegetation type and the small size
and fragmented nature of relatively intact or well-preserved areas must be considered from
the point of view of further cumulative effects.
9.13.2. Mitigation and restoration
Rehabilitation should strive to restore indigenous vegetation using locally sourced species
and specimens, if possible. Monitoring and management during the life of a mine is critical to
ensure that undisturbed areas are not impacted by the mining activities that disturb adjacent
land and that plants from these areas are not illegally removed and utilised. It is necessary to
distinguish between rehabilitation and restoration, the latter striving to restore ecosystem
functioning rather than merely replacing plants to replicate the pre-mining environment. Revegetation using diverse grass cover is commonly utilised and the choice of whether to use
sod strips, hand sow-grass, hydroseed or create patches of climax grass species with
speedlings, will be dictated by the size of the area, slope aspect and gradients and cost.

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Mixtures of species including stoloniferous and bunch grasses vary according to climate and
site-specific advice is necessary before deciding on which species to use. In every case the
success of revegetation will depend on soil preparation, correct liming and fertilisation,
preferably using organic fertilisers, mulching, irrigation, maintenance fertilisation and
supplementary seeding where necessary.
Vegetation of residue deposits to prevent water and wind erosion, thereby reducing wetland
sedimentation and nuisance dust levels has received much publicity in Gauteng. A handbook
published by the Chamber of Mines (1979) provides comprehensive information on
revegetation of gold mine slimes and sand residues and coal wastes. Information is provided
on the salinity levels, pH, fertility, liming and fertilisation, cropping and erosion control for a
range of residue types. Revegetation is site and residue specific, therefore it is necessary for
a mine to establish re-vegetation trials early during the operational phase to ensure that
rehabilitation procedures are well established by the decommissioning phase.
9.14.

Animal life

The focus of conservation efforts and planning in


reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates in favour of
relatively inaccessible areas or conserved land,
industrial, road and housing construction and
populations and restricted habitats.

mining areas should not ignore birds,


small and large mammals. Apart from
the long-term impacts of agriculture,
over-utilisation have reduced animal

The focus of assessment of the impact of mining developments should place the pre-mining
populations or conditions in the context of historical data and regional conservation areas.
The description of pre-mining animal populations is inadequate if there is no outline of the
habitat requirements of each species and identification of critical migration routes that link
populations, different feeding areas or access to water. Developments such as raised roads
often create significant obstacles to migration of some species and traffic road kill can
compound the effects of habitat reduction or population isolation significantly. Establishing
whether a development will impact rare or threatened populations, by destroying habitat,
restricting movement between populations, reducing breeding success, or whether it will
create a cumulative impact relative to other developments or over time, are the key questions
to be answered by the environmental description and interpretation of likely impact status.
9.15.

Surface water

9.15.1. Theoretical Considerations


The sphere of management and protection of water resources in the mining environment is
the responsibility of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), Water Quality
Management section. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the DME and
DWAF there is co-operation and co-ordination between the departments regarding the DWAF
involvement in the evaluation of EIA/EMP. Operational guidelines (No. M5.0) have been
published (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 1998).
GDACE EOs should become acquainted with the classification system for mines outlined by
DWAF (See Table 9-3) and the relevant recommendation responsibilities for the purposes of
this process (see Appendix 9.5 for URL).

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Table 9-3: DWAF Classification system for mines


Classification

Category A

Category B

Category C

Description
Potentially significant and/or permanent impact on water quality
including gold and coal mines, mines where pyrite occurs in the
mineral deposit and mines with extractive metallurgical
processes.
Mines with potentially significant and/or permanent impact only
on other aspects of the water environment, e.g. yield, river
dynamics, riparian rights.
Either big mines with no significant impact and zero impact on
water quality/quantity commitments and small/low-impact mines
or prospecting operations using a Standard Environmental
Management Programme (SEMP).

9.15.2. Common Impacts


All developments impact surface water through modification of infiltration rates by increasing
the extent of hardened surfaces. Apart from reducing natural recharge to the shallow and
deep groundwater zones, the increased runoff and altered storm hydrograph will also impact
areas downstream or downslope where the flow is concentrated. Destabilisation of
watercourses due to increased flow causes erosion and change in channel character or
dimensions, destroys riparian vegetation, raises the floodplain water table, alters bed
roughness and causes eroded sediment to be deposited downstream. Any change in
sediment type or water depth can result in significant changes in the vegetation type and
growth form within the channel that will impact the flow of floodwaters and probably cause
more regular overbank flooding. River diversions also change the overall gradient and
therefore the flow rates and impact flood discharge and erosion/sedimentation patterns at the
site and downstream. Abstraction or discharge of water for use in the mining environment and
creation of water storage dams must be assessed in terms of the DWAF requirements for
Stream Flow Reduction Activities (SFRA) under the water licensing policy framework.
The converse is also true of areas where pollution control dams are created or where surface
water is dammed for industrial use. The resultant degradation of the channel through invasion
by different vegetation types will increase the flood risk and erosion potential of irregular flood
events.
9.15.3. Mitigation and Restoration
Comprehensive manuals outlining mine water treatment and management, including surface
water from the storm water runoff and residue deposits, underground water, groundwater,
water reclamation and water and salt balances have been published by the DWAF as their
best practise guidelines BPGs and are summarised in Table 9-4 and described in Box 9-8.
These documents review current water management and treatment practices, and sources of
contaminants including acid mine drainage, chemical and microbiological contaminants. In
addition state-of-the-art systems that can be used to define Best Available Technology Not
Entailing Excessive Cost (BATNEEC) for treatment of a range of contaminants are reviewed.
The DWAF BPGs include hierarchy (H), general (G) and activity (A) guidelines that provide
information on the sound management of water resources in mining.

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Table 9-4: DWAF Best Practice Guidelines for the South African Mining Industry
Series
Guideline
Description
H1
Pollution Prevention
Hierarchy guidelines
H2
Minimisation of Impacts
(Deals with DWAFs water
H3
Water Reuse and Reclamation
management hierarchy)
H4
Water Treatment
G1
Storm Water Management
General guidelines
(Deals with general water
G2
Water and salt balances
management strategies,
G3
Water Monitoring Systems
techniques and tools)
G4*
Impact Prediction
A1*
Small-scale mining
A2*
Water Management for Mine Residue Deposits
Activity guidelines
A3
Water Management in Hydrometallurgical Plants
(Deals with specific mining
A4
Pollution Control Dams
activities and aspects)
A5*
Water Management for Surface Mines
A6*
Water Management for Underground Mines
Note: * Guideline not yet available.
The DWAF takes a precautionary approach to managing the impacts of mining operations on
water resources. This is done through the implementation of a Resource Protection and
Waste Management Hierarchy, which is outlined in Figure 9-5. According to this hierarchy,
the ultimate aim of any water management system should be to prevent pollution.
If pollution cannot be prevented, consequent actions are taken to minimise the potential
impacts through water reuse, reclamation and treatment and if necessary, discharge and
dispose of any waste water.

STEP 1: POLLUTION PREVENTION

STEP 2: MINIMISATION OF IMPACTS

Water reuse and reclamation


Water treatment

STEP 3: DISCHARGE AND DISPOSAL OF


WASTE AND/OR WASTE WATER

Site-specific risk based approach


Polluter pays principle

Figure 9-5: Resource Protection and Waste Management Hierarchy

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The BPGs are intended for use by the mining industry as input for compiling Water Use
License Applications, Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), Environmental Impact
Assessments (EIAs), Closure Plans and other documents. A brief discussion on all of the
available BPGs for water use in the mining industry is provided in Box 9-8 below.
Box 9-8: DWAF Best Practice Guidelines
DWAF BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

BPG H1/H2: Pollution Prevention and Minimisation of Impacts

The BPG H1/H2 addresses the first and second steps of the Resource protection and
Waste Management Hierarchy illustrated in Figure 9-5. The BPGs aims to promote
pollution prevention and the minimization of potential impacts through the following
measures:
-

By ensuring that pollution risks and pollution prevention opportunities have been
identified, optimized and implemented during the entire life cycle of the mine;

By establishing processes that aid in identifying the remaining pollution risks and
pollution prevention opportunities in order to minimise impacts;

By defining procedures that aid in identifying and assessing pollution prevention


and impact minimisation management actions; and

By promoting a holistic approach in which all impacts are viewed across the full life
cycle of the mine.

BPG H3: Water Reuse and Reclamation

The BPG H3 was developed to encourage


the reuse and reclamation of water at mines
in order to ensure that scarce water
resources are used in an effective way that
is beneficial to the environment.
One of the ways in which water reuse and
reclamation is facilitated, is through the
development of a Water Reuse and
Reclamation Plans (WRRPs). The aims and objectives of WRRPs include the following:
-

To prevent pollution and deterioration in water quality;


To conserve water resources by reducing consumption and minimising losses;
To maximise water reuse opportunities; and
To ensure the sustainability of water usage across the mines life cycle.

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DWAF BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

BPG H4: Water Treatment


The BPG H4 aims to facilitate the choice of
methodologies that are used to identify
water treatment priorities and the choice of
which water treatment technology to
employ. The guideline should be used in
combination with BPG G3 (Water and Salt
Balances) as to determine whether water
treatment is necessary.

Key considerations that should be taken into account during the selection, design and
implementation of water treatment options include the following:

Areas or streams to be treated in terms of water quantity and quality;


Requirements of the water user with regard to water quality;
Desirable future situation to be achieved after water treatment;
Water treatment requirements with regard to flow patterns and volumes, as well as
the key constituents of concern;
Waste streams in terms of quantity and quality;
Operational, maintenance and funding requirements;
Consequences of failure or incomplete functioning of water treatment;
Sustainability of the water treatment plant over the mines life cycle; and the
Performance of the identified water treatment technology.
BPG G1: Storm Water Management

The objectives of the BPG G1 are to aid in the drafting of Integrated Water and Waste
Management Plans (IWWMPs) and more specifically, Storm Water Management Plans
(SWMPs). A SWMP aims to address all impacts of the mines operation on the
hydrological cycle and vice versa, during the entire life cycle of the mine. The SWMP is
base on four main principles, which are:
- PRINCIPLE 1: Keep water clean;
- PRINCIPLE 2: Collect and contain dirty
water;
- PRINCIPLE 3: Sustainability over mine
life cycle; and
- PRINICPLE
4:
Consideration
of
regulations and stakeholders.

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DWAF BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES

BPG G2: Water and Salt Balances

The BPG G2 is aimed at guiding the


development of Water and Salt Balances at
mines. These Water and Salt Balances
provide information that helps mines to
identify and quantify potential points of
pollution, high water consumption, seepage
and leakage. Water and Salt Balances further
facilitate the development of effective water
management strategies, thereby reducing the
potential risks that mining operations pose to
human and environmental health.
Water and Salt Balances are developed according to several procedural and technical
principles. The technical principles that should be taken into account during the
development of Water and Salt Balances are explained in detail in the guideline itself.
Some of the procedural principles include:

Definition of clear objectives catering for current and future situations;


Division of large complex mines into smaller management units;
Development of standard formats and procedures in order to facilitate the
exchange of information between management units;
Regular updating of balances; and
Ensuring flexibility of the balance.
BPG G3: Water Monitoring Systems

The BPG G3 is aimed at assisting the


design, implementation, interpretation and
management of Water Monitoring Systems.
These monitoring systems form an integral
part of any environmental management
initiative in that it facilitates the:

Development of EMPs and Water Management Plans (WMPs);


Generation of baseline and background data before the project is implemented;
Identification of the sources and extent of pollution;
Control of water consumption costs and the maximization of water reuse;
Planning for water management during the decommissioning and closure phases
of the mine;
Identification and design of water treatment technologies;

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DWAF BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES


-

Control of water treatment and process plants;


Compliance monitoring of ISO 14000, relevant standards and legislation; and the
Assessment of potential environmental impacts on water resources.

The BPG G3 should be consulted at the onset of any Water Monitoring System in order
to ensure that the system will function effectively and that the correct monitoring tools will
be used.

BPG A3: Water Management in Hydrometallurgical Plants

The BPG A3 was developed with specific reference to hydrometallurgical processing


plants at mines. Here the raw ore from the mine is converted to saleable products. Other
outputs of these plants include solid waste and liquid effluent. The hydrometallurgical
processing plant requires large amounts of water and is therefore identified as a key
priority for water management at a mine.
The BPG A3 addresses the water
management
requirements
of
the
hydrometallurgical processing plant only.
The water management requirements of the
broader mining environment should be
determined with close consideration of the
hierarchy and general guidelines.

BPG A4: Pollution Control Dams

The BPG A4 was developed in order to ensure the effective design and management
Pollution Control Dams (PCDs) at mines. A mine can have several different PCDs,
including process water dams, stormwater dams, evaporation dams, excess mine water
dams and natural pans. PCDs are aimed at minimising potential impacts of polluted water
on clean water resources at the mine and in the surrounding areas, by capturing the dirty
water and redistributing it to water treatment plants for recycling and reuse.
PCDs are therefore integral components to
the water management system at the mine.
The design, successful operation and
closure of PCDs has to be undertaken with
close consideration to the following:

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DWAF BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES


-

In cases of uncertainty regarding the quality of the water to be stored in the PCD,
worst-case conservative assumption should be made;
PCDs should be designed, located and operated to ensure maximum opportunity
for the reuse and reclamation of water, and to minimize potential negative impacts
on water resources;
Designs should adhere to all applicable national legislation and aim to fulfill the
requirements of generally accepted standards;
The design and planning of PCDs should be done by suitably qualified personnel;
and
The design of the PCD should follow a holistic approach that considers
sustainability, the full life cycle of the PCD, water quantity, water quality, surface
water and groundwater.

The BPG A4 addresses the water management requirements of the PCD only. The water
management requirements of the broader mining environment should be determined with
close consideration of the hierarchy and general guidelines.

Another comprehensive manual concerning the assessment and management of the impact
of gold mining operations on the surface water environment (Pulles et al., 1996) provides a
flow chart which outlines the processes of data collection and assessment, water and salt
balance calculation, impact assessment and management strategies (Appendix 9.8).
The reports on site visits to mines (many of the examples being from the Gauteng area)
described in Pulles et al. (1995b), provide valuable schematic outlines of the underground
and surface water reticulation systems and water quality data that could be used as the basis
for compiling the water balance diagrams required by the EMPR document.
The Water Quality Management Series operational guidelines include the checklist used by
DWAF officials to assess the EMP against the impacts and mitigatory measures described for
the construction, operational, decommissioning and post-closure phases. The focus is on the
Impact Assessment Management Plan for water pollution prevention, storm water
management, groundwater management and minimisation and re-use of mine water as well
as the monitoring system. Other aspects addressed are the residual impact on the water
environment, financial provision and residual risk (see Appendix 9.5 or URL).
The GDACE EO should review the surface- and groundwater-related aspects of the EMP
from basic principles and be in a position to ensure that the design, implementation,
monitoring, maintenance and reporting mechanisms can be integrated holistically with the
other aspects of the EMP. The Chamber of Mines (1996) guidelines on the engineering
design, operation and closure of residue deposits provide generalised detail of typical residue
characteristics and schematic diagrams of residue dam, impoundment and paddock dam
design and development (Appendix 9.7). Where necessary, there should be communication
with the DWAF reviewer to ensure that the document meets the requirements of all review
authorities.

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9.15.4. Data Requirements


All of the abovementioned factors must be addressed in the EMP. The Minerals Act 50 of
1991 and Regulations include some sections and clauses designed to restrict activities in
river channels and floodplains and the diversion of river courses. The National Water Act 36
of 1998 has provided regulations that require the monitoring, measurement and recording of
water use, protect a water resource or in-stream and riparian habitat and prescribe the
treatment of water and quality of water discharged into any system. The use of water in
mining and related activities was the focus of regulations published in Government Notice No.
704 under the National Water Act 36 of 1998. These regulations are aimed specifically at
mining and were published by the Department of Water Affairs as their experience of the EMP
process had shown some flaws and it was not always appropriate or possible to enforce the
requirements of the National Water Act 36 of 1998 through the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 where
the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) is the lead agent. A guideline document
published by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (2000) entitled, Operational
Guideline No. M6.1 Guideline document for the implementation of regulations on the use of
water for mining and related activities aimed at the protection of water resources. Second
edition, provides explanations of each regulation in Government Notice No. 704 (see
Appendix 9.5 for URL). Interpretation of the G.N. No. 704 Regulations concerning water in
mining is aided considerably by the discussion and examples quoted in the document.
The success of planning of mine water storage, use, reticulation and disposal is dependent to
a large degree on the level of detail that is contained in the mine water balance calculation. It
is necessary to incorporate precipitation, runoff, evaporation and model catchment
contributions accurately, incorporating temperature, wind, slope, vegetation and abstraction
data. Unless the volumes have been characterised accurately it is not possible to design dam
capacity to meet the operating volume during extreme rainfall contributions and maintain
freeboard as stipulated by regulations.
The accurate delineation of the 1:100 year flood-line by a suitably qualified hydrologist or
engineer (who can be held responsible for the calculation) is critical to the implementation of
several regulations in both the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 and the National Water Act 36 of 1998
(NWA, regulation 4). The capacity requirement and the operating levels and minimum
freeboard of clean and dirty water systems or pollution control dams is another area where
the regulations stipulate design and construction supervision by a suitably qualified person
(regulation 6).
It is critical that the mine planning process and environmental planning also link with the other
requirements of the National Water Act 36 of 1998 in terms of water use licensing or
exemption from the GN704 regulations.
It is necessary in terms of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 to conduct scoping and
EIA investigations for any dams, weirs, levees, river diversions, canal or channels or water
transfer schemes. This is now regulated under the NEMA and the NEMA EIA Regulations GN
R385, GN R386 and GN R387. Water use including storage, discharge, disposal, diversion or
altering watercourses or stream flow reduction activities all require a licence from DWAF
which is issued subject to the necessary investigations concerning resource quality objectives
and the ecological and basic human need reserve requirements.

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9.16.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Groundwater

9.16.1. Theoretical Considerations


The sphere of mining use or impacts on the groundwater environment is the responsibility of
DWAF and is addressed through the review process undertaken by officials from DWAF. The
departmental policy and strategy are outlined in the Water Quality: Waste Management
Subseries document W.1.0 Policy and strategy for groundwater quality management in South
Africa (2000). The impact of mining on groundwater is one of the considerations assessed
during the EMP review process described above. This is assessed relative to the
Groundwater Quality Management Strategy guidelines pertaining to abstraction control,
impact permitting, aquifer management and impact management as well as remediation
strategies for mines and disposal sites.
For the purposes of groundwater quality management, DWAF (1998) recognises five different
categories of aquifer class, as summarised in Table 9-5.
Table 9-5: DWAF classification of aquifer types
Category
Sole-source aquifer
Major aquifer
Minor aquifer
Poor aquifer
Special aquifer

Description
Used to supply 50% or more of urban domestic water with no
reasonable alternative source available
High-yield aquifer system with good quality water
Moderate-yield aquifer system of variable water quality
Low- to negligible-yield aquifer system of moderate to poor quality
Designated by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry

The GDACE EO must understand the nature of the groundwater regime in the mining
environment under consideration. This requires knowledge of the geology, bedrock and
unconsolidated surficial deposits, the nature of the groundwater zone and the aquifer-type
and aquifer potential and yield (Appendix 9.10). The risk of groundwater contamination
beyond the point source or mining area relates to the transmissivity and storativity of the
aquifer. A summary of the groundwater chemistry associated with different lithostratigraphic
groupings and rock types in the Gauteng region is provided in Appendix 9.9.
9.16.2. Common Impacts
Dense or hard unweathered rock is generally a poor primary aquifer. The potential to store
water is increased through secondary brittle fracturing, weathering or mineral dissolution to
create secondary void space. A combination of different rock types can generate discrete
groundwater compartments such as those within soluble dolomite confined by intersecting
sub-vertical diabase dykes, the narrow fracture zones confined by fresh, impermeable rock, or
porous horizontal strata confined above and below by impermeable strata.
Seepage at the surface is often related to a porous or fractured rock overlying a relatively
impermeable rock mass. Mine dewatering to reduce the threat of inundation by migrating
groundwater can lead to changes in the near surface environment and catastrophic surface
subsidence or sinkhole formation in dolomitic terrains. Sinkholes create conduits for clean or
potentially contaminated surface water to mix with groundwater. Draining wetlands reduces
the natural groundwater recharge. Where surface or underground mine development
intersects different aquifer types the nature and extent of contamination plumes will be
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dictated by the aquifer conditions which influence the impact mitigation or rehabilitation
techniques applied. One of the most common impacts is through borehole drilling during
prospecting and mine operation where inadequate capping or sealing of the borehole leads to
infiltration of potentially contaminated surface water leading to chemical or biological
contamination of groundwater.
9.16.3. Mitigation and Restoration
In their review process, DWAF officials take a precautionary approach to the groundwater
environment. Groundwater impacts are inevitable and DWAF will object to the approval of an
EIA/EMP under the following circumstances (DWAF, 1998):

Reduction or loss of the groundwater baseflow component necessary to sustain


sensitive surface water environments
Reduction, loss or contamination of an aquifer that does/could sustain land use and
land capability on adjacent land
Permanent loss of groundwater that will impact post-mining land use.

Best Practice guidelines are perhaps the most suitable means of ensuring that over-utilisation
and groundwater contamination risk is reduced. Land-use planning should ensure that
potentially polluting processes and facilities are placed where the aquifers are least
vulnerable. Wellhead zoning to ensure setback of potential pollution sources based on aquifer
transmission and pollutant travel times can be effective in protecting water sources. These
approaches should be reflected in the catchment management strategies of local and
provincial authorities.
Establishment of a network of monitoring boreholes placed in the mining area as well as
upslope and downslope is required as part of the monitoring programme that must be
reported to DWAF and DME in terms of any commitment to monitoring made in the EMPR.
9.16.4. Impacts on Wetlands
Commonly associated with mining is acid mine drainage (AMD) which may be particularly
devastating in hydrologically sensitive areas. The rocks associated with coal, gold or other
minerals contain sulphide minerals such as iron pyrites (fools gold), which reacts with water
and oxygen during and after mining to produce several undesirable chemicals, including
sulphuric acid and iron sulphate.
According to Working for Wetlands (2007) the acidified water also leaches out heavy metals
such as manganese, copper and zinc and becomes enriched with aluminium and these
elements can enter surface and ground water. The AMD can displace fresh groundwater in
the surrounding area and result in acidic and saline soils, making conditions unsuitable for
plant growth. This may result in a loss of wetland areas and as a result, a loss of ecological
services provided for by the wetlands.
Once started, the process of sulphide oxidation could take centuries to complete (Working for
Wetlands, 2007). Any pollution entering wetland areas (i.e. pans) may become trapped there,
accumulating over time and eventually destroying all aquatic life.

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The River Health Programme

The River Health Programme (RHP) was initiated by the Department of Water Affairs and
Forestry (DWAF) in 1994. The primary purpose of this programme is to serve as a source of
information regarding the overall ecological status of river ecosystems in South Africa. In
order to characterize the response of the aquatic environment to multiple disturbances, the
RHP primarily makes use of in-stream and riparian biological communities health
assessments (e.g. fish, invertebrates, vegetation). The rationale is that the integrity or health
of the biota inhabiting the river ecosystems provides a direct and integrated measure of the
health of the river as a whole.
In addition to this, the South African National Water Act 36 of 1998 (NWA) came into effect in
1998, four years after the initiation of the RHP. The importance of protecting aquatic
ecosystems is recognized by the NWA so as to maintain the full suite of goods and services
that people rely on for their livelihoods, and requires that a national aquatic ecosystem health
monitoring system be established.
The objectives of the RHP are to:
-

Measure, assess and report on the ecological state of aquatic ecosystems;


Detect and report on spatial and temporal trends in the ecological state of aquatic
ecosystems;
Identify and report on emerging problems regarding aquatic ecosystems; and
Ensure that all reports provide scientifically and managerially relevant information for
national aquatic ecosystem management.
Tools to Evaluate Wetland Services

The overall goal of the wetland services evaluation tool, WET-Ecoservices, is to assist
decision makers, government officials, planners, consultants and educators in undertakinig
quick assessments of wetlands, specifically in order to reveal the ecosystem services that
they supply. This allows for more informed planning and decision making (Kotze et al., 2007).
Users of WET-EcoServices should have good general experience and training, with a
minimum of a diploma or degree in the biophysical sciences, hydrology or agriculture. Further,
they should have attended at least a basic introductory course on wetland functioning and
values and should have had at least eight weeks experience in field assessment of wetlands.
In addition, input is required from someone (e.g. a local extension worker or farmer) with
specific local knowledge of the geographical area to which WET-EcoServices is to be applied.
WET-Ecoservices is designed for palustrine wetlands. The term palustrine refers to non-tidal
wetlands dominated by emergent plants (e.g. reeds), shrubs or trees and includes a variety of
systems commonly described as marsh, floodplain, vlei or seep. WET-Ecoservices includes
the assessment of several ecosystem services which are benefits provided to people by the
ecosystem (Kotze et al., 2007). According to Howe et al. (1991) these benefits may derive
from outputs that can be consumed directly, indirect uses which arise from the functions or
attributes occurring within the ecosystem or possible future direct outputs or indirect uses.

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The specific purposes for which the results of the assessments are intended include the
following:
-

Prioritise for the allocation of management and rehabilitation resources across a set
of wetlands (especially for large landholders such as forestry companies);
Assess potential and actual ecosystem service outcomes of wetland rehabilitation
projects by applying the assessment to with rehabilitation and without rehabilitation
situations and comparing the difference between the two situations;
Plan catchment management to determine the relative importance of individual
wetlands in a catchment context;
Flag important ecosystem services in a basic assessment or in the scoping stage of a
full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that would need to be considered when
assessing and planning different development options;
Educate and raise awareness (influence perceptions about the values of wetlands
and to substantiate why wetlands are important); and
Flag important ecosystem services that need to be considered when managing an
individual wetland.

It is perhaps just as important to emphasize what WET-EcoServices is not designed to do,


because users of the system must be fully aware of the limitations of the system:
-

Although the system assists in identifying key issues to be considered in a scoping


report, it is not designed to quantify in detail the specific level of impact of a current or
proposed development. This requires specialist input and a much more detailed
investigation than that undertaken at the rapid assessment level of this procedure;
The system is not designed to provide a single overall measure of value or
importance of a wetland, nor is it designed to quantify (in monetary or other terms)
the benefits supplied by a wetland. WET-EcoServices only goes as far as to assist in
assigning indices to these benefits for comparative purposes;
The system is not designed to assess the integrity (health) of a wetland. Although
WET-EcoServices includes a few descriptors relating to integrity in the assessment of
the biodiversity value of a wetland, integrity is dealt with very superficially and WETEcoServices does not yield a health score. If the purpose is to assess wetland health,
readers are referred to WET-Health (Macfarlane et al. 2007) which provides a general
assessment procedure at two levels of detail. Both levels generate a score for the
present ecological state of the wetland according to the DWAF categories;
Although the system can assist in identifying suitable candidate wetlands for
rehabilitation, the system cannot be used as a guide for designing management and
rehabilitation systems. For this, users are directed to other tools in this series as
described in WET-RehabPlan;
The system does not give a detailed description of a wetland site, including the direct
description of hydro-geomorphic processes; and
The system assists in assessing individual wetlands for comparative purposes and
does not account for the cumulative value of a group of wetlands.

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9.17.

Chapter 9: Environmental Impacts

Air quality

The impact of mining on air quality is through the release of noxious gases or wind transport ,
suspension and fallout of fine particulate matter as dust. Metallurgical, ceramic or industrial
processes that produce noxious gases, odours or dust are addressed in NEMA and the
NEMA EIA Regulations GN R385, GN R386 and GN R387. Scheduled processes as set out
in the Second Schedule of the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act 45 of 1965 (APPA) are
listed and regarded as having a substantial detrimental effect on the environment. The
National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 came into effect on 11
September 2005 (GN 898 in GG 28016 of 9 September 2005), with the exception of sections
21, 22, 36 to 49, 51(1)(e), 51(1)(f), 51(3), 60 and 61, which will only come into effect on a date
to be proclaimed by the Minister in the Government Gazette. Section 60 and 61 of the Act
deal with the repeal of the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act and the transitional
arrangements in respect of registration certificates issued in terms of the Atmospheric
Pollution Prevention Act. The whole of Chapter 5 of the Act which deals with the licensing of
listed activities has also not come into operation. Until section 60 is enacted the provisions of
the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act remain applicable and air pollution control will be
governed by both Acts in the interim. The concept of licensing listed processes in Schedule II
of APPA has been retained in the Air Quality Act. Section 21 of the Act has not come into
operation yet and will only come into effect on a date to be proclaimed by the Minister in the
Government Gazette. Section 21 provides that either the Minister or the MEC may publish a
"list of activities", which may result in atmospheric emissions, which have or are likely to have
a significant detrimental effect on the environment, including health, social conditions,
economic conditions or cultural heritage. The Second Schedule of APPA has been retained
as the current listed activities applicable to the new Act.
9.17.1. Theoretical Considerations
Noxious gases produced by combustion include sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, carbon
dioxide and carbon monoxide. Burning of coal residues by spontaneous combustion due to
natural oxidation of carbon and pyrite is one of the most widespread and uncontrolled
contributors to poor air quality in mining areas. Dust is almost inevitable from all forms of
mining and forms one of the most visible, invasive, irritating and potentially harmful forms of
pollution. Dust containing toxic metals such as arsenic, antimony, cadmium, chromium,
cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, vanadium, zinc and their compounds are
particularly hazardous. Dust in surface environments represents a health risk with respect to
radiation, dust-borne diseases, respiratory diseases silicosis and asbestosis, and has a high
nuisance impact, lowering the quality of life in surrounding communities. Dust retards
vegetation growth and reduces the palatability to animals. The broad subject of mining-related
air pollution is described in more detail by Petrie et al. (1992).
Dust terminology describing different classes of dust is outlined in the Dust control manual
by Environment Australia (see Appendix 9.5 for URL) and is summarised in Table 9-6.

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Table 9-6: Classification of dust


Category

Nuisance dust

Fugitive dust

Inhalable dust

Respirable dust

Description
Reduces environmental amenity without
necessarily being harmful and comprises
particles in the 50 m to 1 mm size range
and equates to the total suspended particles
(TSP).
Derived from non-point, mixed sources.
Particles commonly less than 10 m size
range (PM10) (80% from 2.510 m size
range) and inhaled into the trachea and
bronchia section of the lungs.
Dust less than 2.5 m (PM2.5) that
penetrates the lungs uncilliated airways and
lodges in the alveolar region.

9.17.2. Common Impacts


Dust generation is a problem related to the nature of the bedrock in both surface and
underground mines. Land clearing, drilling, blasting, crushing and milling during beneficiation,
the transport of the ore or beneficiated product on haul roads and creation of residue dumps
all generate dust. Blasting, loading and dumping of rock generates dust, particularly in rock
types with fine grain size or weak cementation such as shale, siltstone or banded iron
formation. Where crushing or milling to a fine product is required to mould a product such as
bricks or to expose the ore to extractive chemical leach processes, both the crushing process
and disposal of the waste expose highly erodible fine sediment to wind transport.
Storage and distribution of fines by conveyor, road or rail transport can lead to dust
generation and dispersal. Vehicles should be washed regularly to reduce the amount of fines
dispersed onto roads. Fine product must be covered by tarpaulin during transport and, where
possible, the bulk product stored in a shelter that will reduce exposure to the elements. Dust
accumulation in underground coal mines represents a significant safety hazard as the very
fine dust can ignite explosively.
9.17.3. Mitigation and Restoration
Dust suppression must be undertaken in conjunction with a dust monitoring programme that
places dust deposition gauges or receiving buckets, directional dust collection receptacles,
high volume active air samplers or continuous particle monitors or even personal exposure
samplers at generation sites, around the mine and in adjacent areas. An air quality
management programme must be implemented to ensure compliance with the Atmospheric
Pollution Prevention Act 45 of 1965 and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality
Act 39 of 2004. These should be monitored regularly to ascertain the dust load and emission
rates and particle size distribution. Mine health and safety requirements for the use of dust
masks must be followed and compliance audited regularly.
Section 32 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 provides
that the Minister or MEC may prescribe:

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measures for dust control in specified places or areas, either in general or by


specified machinery or in specified instances;
steps that must be taken to prevent dust nuisance;
other measures to control dust.

DEAT have formulated guidelines for dust fall-out (deposition) and these are summarised in
Table 9-7.
Table 9-7: DEAT guidelines for dust fall-out
Category
Slight
Moderate
Heavy
Very heavy

9.18.

Description
< 0.25 g/m2/day
0.25 to 0.5 g/m2/day
0.5 to 1.2 g/m2/day
> 1.2 g/m2/day

Noise

9.18.1. Theoretical Considerations


The holder of the mining authorisation must comply with the following Regulations GN R992
promulgated in terms of the Minerals Act 50 of 1991. Regulation 4.17.1 stipulates that When
the equivalent noise exposure (as defined in the South African Bureau of Standards Code of
Practice for the Measurement and Assessment of Occupational Noise for Hearing
Conservation Purposes, SABS 083 as amended) in any place at, or in any mine works where
persons may travel or work, exceeds 85dB(A), the manager shall take the necessary steps to
reduce the noise to below this level. In terms of Regulation 66 of the MPRDA Regulations
GN R527, a holder of a permit or right in terms of the Act must comply with the provisions of
the Mine Health And Safety Act 29 of 1996 as well as other applicable law regarding noise
management and control. The assessment of impacts relating to noise pollution management
and control, where appropriate must form part of the EIA report and EM Plan and EM
Programme as the case may be.
Section 34 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act 39 of 2004 provides
that the Minister may prescribe essential national standards for the control of noise or for
determining a definition of noise and the maximum noise levels. The provincial and local
government spheres are bound by any prescribed national standards.
9.18.2. Common Impacts
Many aspects of mining operations lead to an increase in noise levels over the ambient
environmental levels. This can be temporarily enhanced or the regional impact increased in
any direction under the influence of specific climatic factors such as wind direction, cloud
cover and temperature inversion layers.
The impacts of noise levels can be both physical and physiological at the high end of the
spectrum but more commonly impact on communication or create psychological effects at the
lower end of the spectrum. The negative community response even to relatively low noise
levels is one of the most common environmental considerations. A useful review of noise from

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an environmental perspective is that by Johnson (1992). Noise measurement is reported


according to the frequency-weighted scale, known as A-weighting, and reported in dB(A) or
dBA. According to Johnson (1992) communities will accept differences of 5dB but will
complain about elevated noise of more than 10dB and vigorous response can be expected to
noise differences of 20dB above residual levels.
The highest magnitude noise impacts are commonly the high intensity, short duration noise
levels created by blasting in surface or opencast mines. Blasting should not be carried out
under very overcast conditions or low level cloud cover as this increases the noise and
vibration transmission. This impact can be reduced through selection of explosives,
sequencing of the blasts, deflection by structures and timing of the blast to coincide with
periods of high activity or increased ambient noise levels. Drilling and blasting contractors
must monitor the blast noise, shock and vibration felt at the boundary of the mine.
In terms of Regulation 67 of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527, a holder of a permit or right in
terms of the Act must comply with the provisions of the Mine Health And Safety Act 29 of
1996 as well as other applicable law regarding blasting, vibration and shock management and
control. An assessment of the impacts relating to blasting, vibration and shock control and
management, must form part of the EIA report and EM Programme or EM Plan as the case
may be.
The repetitive operation of machinery also creates a range of noise levels. Although of low
intensity these have an impact due to long periods of operation e.g., crushing plant and mills.
The mineral legislation requires these operations to be effectively screened to reduce or
deflect noise and stipulates that cladding on structures be adequately fastened and separated
with soft spacers/washers. Vehicle engine or loading noise and even reverse warning alarms
on trucks and loaders can impact communities near a mine. Machinery such as compressors,
generators, metal workshop tools such as angle grinders, pneumatic drills and jackhammers
create high noise levels that are difficult to screen.
9.19.

Sites of archaeological and cultural interest

The National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 and Provisional Declaration of Types of
Heritage Objects (General Notice No. 630 of 2000) are concerned with the protection of
national heritage, heritage management, protection of oral and living heritage and indigenous
knowledge systems and promotion of history and culture. Heritage objects include any
archaeological artefacts, palaeontological or geological specimens, antiques, furniture, items
of dress, coins, stamps, etc. that have been in the country for more than 100 years. Items of
artistic interest, archives, films, maps, etc. that have been in the country for 50 years or more
are also classified.
Protection of archaeological sites and cultural heritage is an important factor in mine planning,
both in the context of greenfield and brownfield developments. Whereas previously
undeveloped sites require archaeological investigations of areas to be disturbed many of the
old mines preserve buildings or other cultural sites that are either protected or worthy of
conservation. In many cases, old mine buildings represent well-preserved architectural
heritage sites or may have a particular historical significance, particularly where pre-industrial
mining activities with important archaeological significance have taken place. These sites can
be put to cultural use after the closure of a mine. A cultural resource management
investigation is a necessary part of any mine development and closure plan to ensure that the

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developer is aware of the range of cultural issues that could constrain the development or
post-closure land-use options.
Mine beneficiation plants, however, often contain significant contamination, particularly in
areas where uranium was extracted or uranium-rich ores were processed, or in areas where
mercury was used in gold extraction. Therefore, the re-use of mine infrastructure should be
approached on a site-specific basis.
9.20.

Visual aspects

The visual impact of a mining development is influenced by the terrain morphological context,
relief of surrounding areas as well as by the population density, transport routes or other
development nodes. It is possible that a mine could impact on the genus loci or Sense of
Place, being that quality imparted by the aspects of scale, colour, texture, landform,
exposure or land use that make the place unique or distinct with a character of its own. Visual
quality or aesthetic appeal might also be affected if the degree of visual diversity or
complexity, discernible textures or patterns or striking features and the landscape character
are impacted. Landscapes have different visual absorption capacity (VAC) with regard to
accommodating a development. The distance from which a mining development can be
viewed relates to the visibility or viewshed and the critical impact of the view is assessed in
terms of the number of people passing that can see the development.
Careful design can reduce the visual intrusion or restrict the visual envelope of the
development. Attention to colour or textural contrast can also be used to reduce the visual
impact. The use of digital elevation models (DEM) or digital terrain models (DTM) with
geographic information systems (GIS) can assist in the delineation of the areas where visual
impact may occur.
9.21.

Regional socio-economic structure

Integration of mining with the community and local government structures should be
addressed at two levels. The Integrated Development Plan (IDP) of the local authority should
recognise mining as an important, often strategic, development and ensure that land-use
planning and zonation makes provision for the demarcation of current mining areas and
possible future expansion. This will reduce the potential for negative impacts on sensitive
developments such as housing, roads and health care facilities.
There is an increasing awareness that the established migrant labour practice has created
socio-economic problems in the labour source areas in South Africa and surrounding
countries as well as within the mine and adjacent urban communities. The single-sex hostels
of large mines have been a specific source of social problems and political unrest. The
resultant disruption of social patterns in the mine and source community is reflected in the
spread of diseases linked to lowered socio-economic conditions.
9.21.1. Broad Based Socio-Economic Empowerment (BBSEE) Charter and Scorecard
for the South Africa Mining Industry
The Charter has been developed to provide a framework for progressing the empowerment of
historically disadvantaged South Africans in the Mining and Minerals Industry. The scorecard
gives effect to the provisions contained in the Mining Charter and is intended to reflect the

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"spirit" of the Mining Charter for the Mining Industry. The scorecard is designed to facilitate
the application of the Mining Charter in terms of the requirements of the Mineral and
Petroleum Resources Development Act for the conversion of all the "old order rights" into new
rights within a five year conversion window period, but taking cognisance of the full 10 year
period. The Minister of Minerals and Energy will need to consider the entire scorecard when
assessing the progress of stakeholders.
The fourteen pillars of the BBSEE Charter are summarised in Table 9-8.
Table 9-8: Fourteen pillars of the BBSEE Charter
Pillar
Human Resource Development

Employment Equity

Migrant Labour
Mine Community and Rural
Development

Housing and living conditions


Procurement
Beneficiation
Ownership and Joint Ventures

Exploration and Prospecting

State Assets

Licensing

Financing Mechanism

Description
Focus on increased functional literacy and numeracy,
learnerships and mentorship to employees and
empowerment groups.
Fast track development of talent pool through high
quality operational exposure leading to baseline
participation of 40% Historically Disadvantaged South
Africans (HDSA) participation in management and 10%
baseline for women in 5 years.
Stakeholders should ensure non-discrimination against
foreign migrant labour.
Integrated development plans for mining communities
and labour-sending areas to ameliorate effects of
migrant labour and creation of unsustainable
settlements.
Improved nutrition and standard of housing, upgrading
of hostels to family units and promotion of home
ownership.
HDSA preferred supplier status and develop their
procurement capacity.
Aim to increase final consumer products and
development of high value goods.
Achieve 26% HDSA ownership of the mining industry
assets within 10 years and achieve R100 billion
participation within 5 years at active and passive levels.
Government supports HDSA companies in exploration
and prospecting endeavours by, inter alia, providing
institutional support.
Government ensures compliance with the provisions of
the Charter and deals with state assets in an exemplary
manner.
Evaluation of licensing applications according to a
scorecard that recognises the commitment of the
stakeholder at the levels of ownership, management,
employment equity, human resource development,
procurement and beneficiation.
The industry agrees to assist HDSA companies in
securing finance to fund participation in an amount of

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Pillar

Description
R100 billion within the first 5-years.

Regulatory Framework and


Industry Agreement

Government's regulatory framework and industry


agreements should strive to facilitate the objectives of
the Charter.

Consultation, Monitoring,
Evaluation and Reporting

Companies should report on an annual basis their


progress towards achieving their commitments, with
these annual reports verified by their external auditors.

9.21.2. Social and labour plan


The social and labour plan required by MPRDA and MPRDA Regulations GN R527 (Part II,
Regulations 40 to 46) for all applications for a mining right aims to address these issues
during the mine planning and licensing process and throughout the life of mine. The triple
bottom line considerations of social-, economic- and environmental factors must be
addressed. A key issue is that of economic stability and reducing the impact of large-scale
retrenchments and job losses. The plan requires an assessment of the socio-economic
background of the local government environment, mine and labour source areas and
workforce. A human resource development strategy must be developed within the framework
of the social and labour plan.
The Aide-Mmoire document requires an indication of the multiplier effect of the mine on the
local economy. This is based nominally on the direct expenditure of the mine but is expanded
beyond the borders of the community through regional communication and supply networks.
In some cases it might be appropriate to conduct a strategic environmental assessment
(SEA) to assess the social and economic costs or benefits of a proposed mine. Where there
is potential for environmental impacts on the biophysical or socio-economic environment a full
cost-benefit analysis might be necessary to assess the long-term risks of the development.
Mining developments commonly result in significant local economic opportunities for support
industries as well as direct job opportunities. In rural areas there is a strong possibility that
ribbon development will occur in response to the increased socio-economic opportunities
offered by the mine. Community outreach programmes by mining companies also improve
basic services, schooling and health care, attracting immigrants to the area.
9.22.

Interested and Affected Parties

The concept of broadening the social involvement in mining to all sectors of the population
encourages wider consultation and involvement beyond the borders of the mining area. The
requirement for wide consultation as part of the IEM process of mine planning and inclusion of
mining areas within the realm of areas controlled by local government has irrevocably drawn
mines into the surrounding areas and communities.
The Minerals Act 50 of 1991 and the Aide-Mmoire guidelines were not explicit in terms of
public participation requirements or records. There was a requirement to provide detail of
adjacent landowners and provide a list of potentially interested and/or affected parties.
However, responsible mining proponents and environmental consultants will implement a
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broad authority and public consultation process using the guidelines established by the
environmental process and the EIA requirements of NEMA and the NEMA EIA Regulations
GN R385, GN R386 and GN R387. This is more explicit in terms of public participation in the
environmental planning process and requires advertising as part of a transparent public
consultation process. The MPRDA follows the integrated environmental management
approach to planning and stipulates that interested and affected parties be given 30 days
within which to submit their comments and conditions regarding an application (section 10).
There is reference to a 180 day period within which a proponent must consult with I&APs in
the application process for a mining right (section 22(4)(b)).
The attention to broad social issues in mining is addressed through the Social and Labour
Plan described in the MPRDA Regulations GN R527, which requires socio-economic studies,
monitoring and reporting mechanisms in the areas or community from which labour will be
sourced as well as through the local authority. The regulatory requirements for public
participation are summarized in Appendix 3 of the guidelines by Consultative Forum on
Mining and the Environment (2002).
9.22.1. Public participation
The poor public perception of mining is based on actual and perceived negative impacts,
mainly in rural and urban areas where dust, gaseous pollutants, noise, traffic and impacts on
biodiversity, surface- and groundwater are prevalent. Opposition to opening new mines or
extending existing operations is often expressed as highly publicised and emotional
responses reported in the mass media. The importance of involving stakeholders including
the broad public, NGOs, and authorities during the planning stages, and throughout the life of
the mine, is an important facet of the environmental planning process. A broad consultative
process is entrenched in the integrated environmental management principles followed by
recent environmental legislation.
Comprehensive guidelines for public participation by stakeholders in the mining industry were
recently published by the Consultative Forum on Mining and the Environment (2002) (see
Appendix 9.5 for URL). In this context, public participation is defined as a process leading to
a joint effort by stakeholders (including the authorities and project proponents) and technical
specialists, who by working together produce better decisions than if they had acted
independently. Stakeholders are that part of the public whose interests could be positively or
negatively affected by a proposed development or activity.
There is a comprehensive public participation process provided for in the MPRDA
Regulations GN R527 and the NEMA EIA Regulations GN R385. A comparative table of the
scoping and EIA procedures, including the public participation process contained in MPRDA
and NEMA and the relevant Regulations has been included as an annexure to Chapter 12.
9.23.

Financial provision for rehabilitation

The Minerals Act 50 of 1991 introduced more stringent requirements for mines to make
financial provision for rehabilitation. The funds must be managed and accessible to the DME
should the mine be unable to meet their obligations to rehabilitate as stipulated in the EMP
document. Financial provision can be made available as a bank guarantee or funds
committed to a trust administered jointly by government departments and the mining
proponent. In practice the system has failed to address the considerable financial risk

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represented by most mines, particularly those that have been in existence from before the
promulgation of the Minerals Act 50 of 1991.
Box 9-9 provides a summary of the different regulations and methods for financial provision
as stipulated in the MPRDA.
Box 9-9: Summary of the Methods for Financial Provision as per the Mineral and
Petroleum Resources Development Act
SUMMARY OF METHODS FOR FINANCIAL PROVISION AS PER MPRDA
Section 41 of the MPRDA deals with financial provision for remediation of environmental
damage. Section 41(1) of the MPRDA provides that an applicant for a mining right or
mining permit must make the prescribed financial provision for the rehabilitation or
management of negative environmental impacts before the Minister approves the
environmental management programme or environmental management plan.
The mining right or mining permit holder is also required to assess environmental liability
on an annual basis and provide the DME with an indication of the environmental liability
at the time of the assessment and the estimated environmental liability at the time of
closure. This is referred to as the "snapshot in time approach" as it provides an estimate
of environmental liability at that time only. The annual assessment must be submitted to
the DME for review and approval and the financial provision may have to be increased
after consideration by the DME of the environmental liability, the current stage of mining
operations and the current market value of the financial provision (section 41(3)).
In terms of section 41(5) of the MPRDA, the financial provision must be maintained and
retained by the mining right/permit holder until a closure certificate is issued by the
Minister in terms of section 43 of the MPRDA. After the issue of a closure certificate, the
Minister may retain a portion of the financial provision as may be required to rehabilitate
the closed mining or prospecting operation in respect of latent or residual environmental
impacts that may occur in the future.
In terms of section 43(6) of the MPRDA when the Minister issues a closure certificate,
such portion of the financial provision provided in accordance with section 41 as deemed
appropriate by the Minister must be returned to the holder of the mining right/permit in
question, however the Minister may retain any portion of such financial provision for
latent and/or residual environmental impact that may occur in the future.
Regulation 53 of the MPRDA Regulations GN R527 sets out the methods for financial
provision and can take the form of contributions to a trust fund, a financial guarantee from
a South African Bank or a bank or financial institution approved by the Director-General,
a deposit into an account specified by the Director General or any other method
determined by the Director-General.
In addition guidance on rehabilitation standards can also be sought from the DME
Guideline Document for the Evaluation of the Quantum of Closure-Related Financial
Provision Provided by a Mine, January 2005. Section C of this guideline sets out
generally accepted closure methods for various components of mining operations.

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Successful rehabilitation should be integrated with the operational phase activities and not left
to the decommissioning phase. There should at least be rehabilitation trials conducted during
the period of operation to ensure that the scope of mitigations, activities or measures are
adequate and costing is accurate. This will reduce the cost of implementing the final
rehabilitation prior to closure and could be used to reduce the financial risk in terms of
pecuniary provision for rehabilitation.
The approach to financial provision should be from the perspective of the DME who will be
required to contract an outside organisation, on public tender, to undertake the rehabilitation
on behalf of the department. The funds should be sufficient to ensure that adequate planning,
implementation, monitoring and maintenance take place for the period specified by the EMP.
The EO must accept that the initial financial projections for rehabilitation of a new mine will
have to be based on short-term development targets. The provision for annual review of the
quantum of financial provision for rehabilitation must project the rate of development of the
mine and provide sufficient funds to rectify the impacts of this development.
In the event of a mine closing prematurely or being declared insolvent, the guaranteed funds
must meet the requirements of the rehabilitation programme and mitigation measures outlined
in section 6 of the EMP. Professional consultants must be engaged to plan the
implementation of the rehabilitation programme and monitoring or maintenance programme
for the post-mining period as stipulated in the EMP. In general a major cost factor of all
rehabilitation operations is a major programme of earthworks including drilling and blasting to
reduce highwall step height or reduce slope gradients or heavy mechanisation to move
overburden, shape residue stockpiles or redistribute topsoil. Demolition of structures and
disposal of the waste material also involve earthworks. Civil engineering design is necessary
to meet the legal requirements in terms of the design and long-term stability of storm water
control and water pollution control structures. Topsoil sourcing and restoration, revegetation,
irrigation and labour intensive activities such as alien plant control must be costed accurately.
The EO should assess the schedule of financial provision critically to ensure that all of the
factors summarised in Table 9-9 are addressed.
Table 9-9: Factors to be included in the assessment of the schedule of financial
provision
Factor

Description

Planning and implementation

Drilling and blasting

The cost of engaging professional consultants to plan the


rehabilitation and foremen to ensure effective
implementation.
These fees should incorporate all phases of the
operation, including public participation and authority
consultation, and ensure that monitoring and
maintenance occur for the full post-mining period
stipulated in the EMPR.
Include all additional earthworks to create access to the
workface.
Cost drilling and blasting separately and obtain regular
updates on the costs for the volumes required to create
the slopes or wreck remnant benches or highwall steps.

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Factor

Description

Earthworks and construction


activities

Demolition of infrastructure

Revegetation

Secondary rock breaking may be required and is a time


consuming operation using hydraulic, excavator-mounted
rock breakers.
Ensure that the costing is based on quotes for the
volumes of overburden, waste material, and stockpiled
topsoil to be moved, including an accurate assessment
of potential double handling.
Unless the quote is generated by an outside plant hire or
contract mining company it is likely that the cost estimate
will be inadequate.
Costing based on speculative figures such as the oft
quoted R10.00 to R30.00 /m3 earth moved can only be
used as an initial estimate.
There must be an expert assessment of the capacity and
productivity of the excavators, loaders, graders and
trucks that takes into account cycling times and ensures
optimal use of equipment by reducing idle time.
All costs must be based on wet rates which are the
vehicle hire costs including fuel costs and drivers. The
cost of flat-bed truck transport of heavy machinery to site
must be included.
Diverse small equipment such as water bowsers,
trenchers, compactors, generators or compressors must
be costed for specific aspects of the job.
It is necessary to remove all buildings and equipment
with excavation of foundations and floor slabs.
The cost of this demolition can be reduced by the
contractor removing and selling waste for the scrap
value.
It is useful for the mine to compile an inventory of resale
or residual scrap value of all plant, equipment and
buildings.
However, the practice of discounting the rehabilitation
fund provision on the basis of this residual value is not
acceptable to DME who will not engage in sale or
recovery of inherent value of any buildings, product or
scrap in the event of the mine not being in a position to
implement their rehabilitation obligations.
The restoration of grass cover or indigenous trees and
shrubs as well as installation of erosion control hedges,
stormwater control structures and possibly water
reticulation and irrigation must be costed by expert
contractors.
The choice of whether to hand seed or hydro seed will be
dictated by cost and the topography of the site.
The latter is more costly but the success of both rely on
substrate preparation, soil fertility and irrigation.

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Factor

Description

Labour

9.24.

Liming, fertilisation and surface mulching costs should be


based on soil analysis and recommendations for the
specific cover crop.
There must be provision for regular irrigation during the
initial growth period, follow-up inspections, monitoring,
maintenance and re-seeding if necessary.
Detail of the approach to revegetation of specific residue
deposits is outlined in the Chamber of Mines (1979)
guidelines.
The finishing touches of any rehabilitation programme
and maintenance are likely to be highly labour intensive.
A realistic estimation of manpower time costs is essential
and must include wages, transport, subsistence and
accommodation costs.
Labour-intensive, specialist investigations such as
cultural heritage resource management and alien plant
control should be included under these costs.

Exploration or prospecting operations

Exploration for minerals includes a wide range of remote and field-based activities that
include prospecting activities that result in the disturbance of the surface of the earth or
residue deposits (see Chapter 5).
9.24.1. Theoretical Considerations
In many cases the prospecting activities occur outside of mining areas, on virgin land that is
relatively undisturbed or is currently zoned for other land uses. Much of this land may be used
for agricultural or conservation purposes by the landowner or tenant. Although the
environmental impacts include those commonly associated with the construction and
operational phases of mine development, the distinction must be based on the premise that
mine development might not take place. Mitigation of impacts and rehabilitation must take
place as soon as the activity ceases or the site is abandoned.
Prospecting activities are typically very localised and often represent minor short term
operations of drilling, trenching, surface soil or stream sediment sampling or geophysical
measurements on transects or grids. The most significant impacts could be related to access
track development, vegetation disturbance related to cut-lines along sampling or geophysical
traverses and levelling or drilling pads or camp sites and waste/sewage disposal systems.
Recognising that the environmental impacts are small and localised, the Standard
Environmental Management Programme (SEMP) for prospecting, which does not include bulk
sampling exceeding 125m3 or an area of 25m2, places much of the emphasis for permission
on consensus or a signed agreement with the landowner or tenant (Appendix 9.3). This
document only applies to areas that are not designated sensitive areas or features, as listed
in the SEMP document.

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9.24.2. Common Impacts


Bulk sampling or prospecting operations that create disturbance of areas larger than 25m2
should be undertaken on the basis of an EMPR document utilising the Aide-Mmoire format
and addressing the environmental categories listed. Under these circumstances the impacts
and their mitigation can be assessed relative to the Summary of Environmental Impacts and
Mitigatory Measures outlined for each mineral commodity or generic mining methods listed in
Appendices 9.6.1 to 9.6.9 and include all mitigatory or rehabilitative actions dictated by the
prospecting SEMP.
9.24.3. Mitigation and Restoration
Regional exploration or prospecting activities including a large number of widely spaced
drilling or sampling sites should adhere to the infrastructural requirements and operating
procedures listed in the SEMP for prospecting. Where necessary additional environmental
criteria must be investigated in accordance with the scale, extent or longer duration of the
activities.
9.25.

Mine waste and residue

9.25.1. Theoretical Considerations


The characteristics of mineralisation or the relationship between the host rock surrounding the
ore and the mineral commodity is highly variable across the spectrum of construction
material, industrial minerals, base- and precious metals and minerals. The value of the
commodity determines the ratio of waste rock to mineral commodity in the ore and
overburden that can be mined, handled, stockpiled and dumped cost effectively. Because of
their inherently higher values, precious metal (e.g. Au and Pt) and mineral (e.g. diamond)
mines can afford the removal of much larger quantities of waste rock than can low commodity
value operations such as clay or stone aggregate.
All mines produce domestic, industrial and mineral waste products. The ratio of waste
produced and the potential for production of saleable waste from the products depends on the
commodity and demand. Reprocessing of gold tailings and kimberlitic or alluvial diamond ore
is an established industry that relies on the improved efficiency of recovery techniques to
cover the cost of removing and relocating the tailings. There is a growing trend of utilization of
coarse waste rock as construction material.
9.25.2. Mitigation and Restoration
The focus of the EMP with regard to all waste and rock residue should be to reduce, recover,
recycle and reuse waste in all categories. Every effort must be made to minimise waste.
Waste minimisation is about preventing and reducing waste at source through the efficient
use of raw materials, energy and water. This is achieved by understanding and changing
processes to reduce and prevent waste. This is also known as process or resource efficiency.
Waste minimisation includes the substitution of less environmentally harmful materials in
production processes and the design of products that have less environmental impact during
their manufacture and use.

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9.25.3. Benefits of Waste Minimisation


Waste minimisation can provide competitive advantage to business in four ways (Waste
Minimisation, 2001):

Cost savings

Material resources leave a company either as product or waste. Improving resource efficiency
by implementing a waste minimisation programme can improve productivity and quality to
give a lower unit production cost. Waste minimisation can result in increased output, reduced
processing time and less waste, all of which benefit the bottom line of a business.

Compliance

The number of laws and regulations to protect the workforce, the public and the environment
has increased dramatically over recent years. Failure to comply with these can lead to
prosecution and large fines and/or imprisonment. In addition, the adverse publicity can have
negative effects on business performance.
By adopting a systematic approach to the identification of the environmental impacts of a
business and checking these against legislation, peace of mind and reduced risk of
prosecution can be obtained. A proactive approach ensures that the company minimises the
possibility of litigation.

Risk reduction

Pertinent questions in assessing waste management risks include:


-

Is there an undue risk from the use and storage of particular materials (for example
oil, chemicals or foodstuffs)?
Are there health and safety implications associated with the use of resources,
operation of processes or generation and handling of waste?
Can health and safety risks from handling raw materials be reduced?

Control and reduction of risks and liabilities not only reduce the likelihood of fines and bad
publicity but can also boost investor confidence.

Market positioning

Traditionally, the interests of shareholders were the prime driving force behind business
activities. This is now recognised as a rather limited view, and it is recognised that the
interests of a wider group of people, so-called stakeholders, can be equally important for
business success. Stakeholders include employees, customers, neighbours, shareholders,
banks, insurers, local authorities and regulators. Considerable market advantages can result
from a proactive approach to environmental management. Pertinent questions related to
market positioning include:
-

Are stakeholders pressing for improvements in the business such as cost savings,
improved environmental image or reduced risk of pollution incidents?
Would customers prefer a greener product? This neednt mean higher prices?

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Can market share be increased or new markets targeted by going green?


Can the reputation of the business be enhanced in the sector, getting first mover
advantage over competitors, by going green?

Many businesses have enhanced their relationship with customers through environmental
initiatives such as reusable transit packaging, end-of-life takeback schemes (giving access to
the customer when they need a new product) and other projects. These benefit both business
and the environment. Eco-friendly products can give supply chain confidence and improve
customer relations.
9.25.4. Domestic waste
The establishment of a waste disposal site meeting the Minimum Requirements for Waste
Disposal by Landfill (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 1998) requires environmental
investigations under the Environmental Management Act 73 of 1989 and the National Water
Act 36 of 1998 and is a costly operation to establish and maintain. The EMP must include
details of the management of domestic waste from the prospecting camp or mine. Disposal at
a registered and officially permitted commercial or municipal landfill site is the most cost
effective option for materials that cannot be recycled.
It is imperative that the EMP incorporates detail of how sewage and domestic water or grey
water is to be processed and recycled. Depending on the scale of the operation this could
involve serviced chemical toilets, septic tank digesters linked to soakaway drains or French
drains, sewage package plants, new, more sustainable treatment technologies, or large
sewage treatment facilities for communities. Adequately engineered design must
accommodate the required capacity with provision for additional capacity or enlargement to
accommodate growth of the mine. Inadequate design results in discharge of unprocessed
sludge or water into the near surface environment with chemical or microbiological impact on
the vadose and phreatic groundwater zones (Appendix 9.10).
Disposal of processed sewage sludge and processed waste water by evaporation or irrigation
must be assessed in order to ensure that the chemical and microbiological nature of the water
does not have a negative impact on soil structure and chemical or pathogen composition
(Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, 1998c).
9.25.5. Industrial waste
Apart from producing large quantities of waste raw material which can be effectively recycled,
the service and support functions associated with mines and the beneficiation process
produce hazardous industrial waste. Hazardous chemicals and petrochemicals require
special storage, transport and disposal facilities. High bulk industrial wastes including
metallurgical slag, power station ash and phospho-gypsum can be deposited using the same
principles as waste rock deposits.
The adoption of the polluter pays principle has forced industries to adopt measures to avoid
waste generation, correctly classify waste and adopt minimum requirements for the safe
handling, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste. The minimum requirements for the
handling, classification and disposal of hazardous waste are outlined in the guidelines
published by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (1998a).

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The mine EMP should provide a list of the processes and waste product streams, classify the
waste materials, include details of collection facilities and transport strategy as well as
information pertaining to the disposal of various hazardous materials at a recognized
commercial or municipal facility. This aspect can be facilitated by an environmental
management system (EMS) incorporating the Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO).
Unless managed according to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and controlled or
audited internally and by the authorities, it is likely that an accidental discharge or emission
will impact the air, soil or water around the mine.
9.25.6. Mineral and rock residue
Handling of the large volumes of barren interstitial rock after the process of beneficiation
which concentrates the product is a costly aspect of the mining process and includes a high
level of inherent environmental and cost risk. The volumes of such material generally
preclude use of commercial or municipal waste disposal sites and must be managed by the
mine. The types of mineral and rock residues from different mining operations are
summarised in Box 9-10.
Box 9-10: Mineral and rock residues from different mining operations
MINERAL AND ROCK RESIDUES

Dimension stone quarries

Produce very large volumes of large blocks and bouldery rubble that requires large
dumping areas. This material can be subjected to secondary processing by cutting into
smaller blocks but can also be restored to the opencast pit as backfill during rehabilitation.

Alluvial and slope sand deposits

Can be screened into a range of products and the residue is limited to small volumes of clay
balls or oversize pebbles to boulders. This residue is a saleable product but can be used as
access road construction material or bulk fill during rehabilitation.

Aggregate quarries

Produce varying proportions of coarse waste rock which is discarded at the working face
due to weathering or characteristics that will impact the quality of the crushed stone
product. This coarse residue is commonly stockpiled for the life-of-mine and accumulates
into large deposits. Reject crushed stone or product is commonly added to these stockpiles
which can be sold as bulk fill or used as opencast pit backfill during rehabilitation. In many
cases these deposits must be shaped and rehabilitated in situ due to the cost of restoration
to the opencast pit.

Opencast and underground coal mines

Produce a range of different rock residues including the sandstone and shale partings
mined and processed with the coal. Fine waste coal or duff is deposited as a dry residue.
Coal washing plants produce highly carbonaceous slurry and other aqueous residue that
requires lined settling dams with adequate capacity to accommodate high volume and

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MINERAL AND ROCK RESIDUES


intensity precipitation events and maintain minimum freeboard levels. The high potential for
production of acid rock drainage due to oxidation of sulphur-bearing minerals requires coal
residues to be deposited and rehabilitated concurrently with mining. Compaction and
capping of deposits to reduce infiltration of rainwater and air is necessary to prevent
spontaneous combustion and acid leachates. The dump footprint must be prepared to
reduce infiltration of leachates and facilities must be created to intercept runoff around the
toe of the dump (Appendix 9.7).

Underground gold/diamond mines

Produce very large volumes of coarse waste rock and fine tailings residue due to the very
low gold content and the necessity to crush and mill the rock very finely during
beneficiation. Apart from being widely redistributed as wind-borne dust, this residue also
contains highly reactive sulphide minerals that oxidize to produce acid leachates. The
mechanics of acid formation are described in detail in section 9.4.2.20 of this document, but
basically, the oxidation of sulphides leads to the formation of sulphuric acid, which
contaminates the environment in itself, as well as leaching metals out of the waste pile and
underlying strata. Oxidation occurs due to reactions with oxygen, either in air or dissolved in
water percolating through the tailings pile. The limitation of oxygen ingress should be a key
feature in the rehabilitation of old tailings and should be dealt with in EMPs from the
planning stage of any new mine.

The environmental impacts of waste rock or mine residue extend across a wide range of
socio-economic and environmental issues and are addressed by several Acts and
regulations. The National Water Act 36 of 1998 Regulations R.704 for use of water for mining
defines residue as any debris, discard, tailings, slimes, screenings, slurry, waste rock, foundry
sand, beneficiation plant waste, ash or any product incidental to the operation of a mine.
These Regulations are specific and preclude the location of residue deposits, dams,
reservoirs within the 1:100 year flood-line or within 100m of any watercourse or borehole.
There is also a limitation on the disposal of residue within any underground or opencast mine
excavation. Residue that is likely to contaminate surface or ground water may not be used for
construction of dams or embankments.
Also applicable to the disposal of slimes or fine tailings residue mixed with water are the
explicit requirements for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of dirty water
systems. Full details of these regulations with comment on their interpretation and application
can be gleaned from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (2000a) Operational
Guideline No. M6.1; Guideline document for the implementation of regulations on the use of
water for mining and related activities aimed at the protection of water resources (see
Appendix 9.5 for URL).
Bearing in mind that a new mine or greenfields operation will not have produced significant
volumes of waste rock residue, the characterization of the likely waste will be based on trial
processing of bulk samples. The properties of some typical residues have been published by
the Chamber of Mines (1996) but these numerical values are intended for preliminary design
and stability assessment only. The compilation of an environmental management programme

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or environmental management plan in terms of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources


Development Act (2002) requires significant detail of residue characterization and
classification of residue deposits into hazard categories that determine the level of
investigation and environmental assessment required (regulation 58). The hazard
classification is based on depth to underground workings, value of property potentially
affected as well as numbers of resident/workers in this zone.
9.25.7. Common Impacts
The most important environmental impacts associated with mineral and rock residue is the
formation of acid mine drainage and the release of heavy metals into the environment. These
impacts will be discussed in more detail in Section 9.26.4. Other impacts involve
contaminants contained within gold mine. Chemicals, such as cyanide, are used in the
refining process to leach and separate valuable minerals from other unwanted minerals.
Cyanide and other toxic chemicals such as oil, petroleum products, solvents, acids, and
reagents used for processing can be released into the environment and can subsequently
affect water, soil, aquatic organisms, wildlife, waterfowl, and humans. The cyanidecontaminated solution left after valuable minerals have been removed is placed in a tailings
pond or solution retention basin. These ponds and basins have proven to attract unsuspecting
waterfowl and wildlife that suffer both acute and chronic poisoning as a result of direct contact
with and ingestion of cyanide-contaminated solution.
Impacts related to waste rock and tailings can further be divided into two broad classes: acute
failure and chronic environmental damage. While acute failures often have disastrous
consequences, long-term environmental damage may be more difficult to detect and to
remediate.

Acute failures

The engineered structure which contains the residue fails, leading to rock and mudslides,
which may destroy surrounding infrastructure and settlements. The Bafokeng and
Merriespruit disasters are examples of such failures. In these cases several days of heavy
rain exceeded the freeboard capacity, causing overtopping and subsequent erosion of the
walls of the tailings dams, leading to structural failure, and the flooding of adjacent
watercourses, residential areas and dams. It is important that the design of such an
impoundment allow not only for normal rainfall but climatic extremes, and that operational
practices remain within design specifications (Appendix 9.7). Liquifaction under high shear
stress caused by seismic or shock loading can also cause failure of fine tailings dams. There
is a requirement for suitably qualified professionals to assess the safety of these residue
deposits and the EO should ensure that this is undertaken and that recommendations are
being acted upon.

Chronic environmental damage

Chronic environmental damage is a more insidious problem. The primary pathways for
environmental contamination are windblown dust and waterborne contaminants. Airborne
radon may be a problem, collecting in nearby low-lying areas during winter temperature
inversions. Waterborne radon can be concentrated by surface or storm water run-off or
seepage into the groundwater.

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International best practice now requires that potentially hazardous mine waste impoundments
are sealed at the base, and that leachate is collected and treated. Appendix 9.7 shows a
typical fine tailings of slimes dam layout and the pollution control dams collecting
contaminated storm water runoff and leachate around the toe of the residue dump (after
Chamber of Mines,1996) . Historically it was common practice to site tailings impoundments
on permeable ground, to encourage drainage into the subsurface and thereby into the
groundwater, to prevent acute failure. This practice was particularly prevalent on the Far West
Rand, where a number of tailings dams were sited over known sinkholes in dolomite. In
remediation, it is essential that the subsurface geology of residue deposits is known, and is
taken into account both with respect to long-term stability and prevention of groundwater
pollution.
9.25.8. Decommissioning and closure of residue dams and dumps
Cost effective closure of a residue deposit is possible if the dump or dam has been well
planned and operated throughout its life. Seepage points and penstock outlets must be
examined for surface erosion, seepage, sediment in the water and subsidence. The geometry
of the embankments must be those originally designed. The residue must be compacted and
not subject to slope failure due to infiltration of water or formation of subsurface piping.
Generally accepted closure methods (accepted by the DME) allows for a dedicated cover to
be provided on the modified outer slopes of the tailings dams. This cover has to fulfil the
following primary functions (DME, 2004) and include:
-

Protection of the integrity / stability of the modified outer slope.


Limiting the ingress of air and water into the residue material that has the potential to
contaminate the local groundwater by means of contaminated seepage arising from
the footprint area of the deposit.
Separation of the deposited residue from uncontaminated surface run-off arising from
the outer slopes of the residue deposit.
Contribution to the aesthetic appeal of the rehabilitated residue deposit.

Covers fulfilling the above functions should be of varying nature, comprising of natural and /
or synthetic material:
-

If natural materials are used, current practice allows for an evaporative cover (varying
in thickness between 750mm and 1 000mm) with an outer layer of armouring or
topsoil (minimum 300mm) with vegetation. (Armouring also requires vegetation, but
this is not essential for the long-term integrity of the outer cover layer.)
Depending on the nature of the waste material being covered, capillary breaker layers
between the evaporative cover and the waste material could also be required.
Seepage modelling is normally required to optimise cover thickness.

9.25.9. Rehabilitation
Different players in the mining industry understand the aims of rehabilitation differently. To the
mine operator, the aim of rehabilitation is to obtain a closure certificate, essentially
transferring future environmental liability to the State. Different regulators have different
agendas, but primarily they should be concerned with minimising any long-term liability that
would have to be borne by the state, and ultimately the public. While the return of mining land

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to a pristine natural environment may appear desirable, it is generally not feasible and in a
populous area such as Gauteng, may not necessarily best serve the interests of society. Past
mining activities in Gauteng have generally not been well rehabilitated, although significant
progress has been made towards the rehabilitation of mine dump footprints to make them
suitable for future industrial or residential use.
Rehabilitation of a mine can be divided into three main categories: Firstly, the removal of
surface infrastructure that can not be used for other purposes. Secondly, the relocation,
plugging and rehabilitation of old shafts or pits to remove the hazard they present to people
and animals. Lastly, the removal and isolation of potential pollutants from the environment.
Tailings and waste rock present specific problems, as they are often unsuitable for other
uses, due to their physico-chemical nature or due to contamination with heavy metals and
radioactivity. For this reason, a large proportion of the mine tailings produced are destined to
remain in the environment. Different rehabilitation methods for tailings are summarised in
Box 9-11.

Box 9-11: Methods for the rehabilitation of tailings


REHABILITATION OF TAILINGS

Relocation

To date, the relocation of tailings has only been applied in South Africa where it is part of
the reclamation process. This removes the visual impact and minimises the source of dust
and AMD formation, but rehabilitation would have to include attention to the remaining
footprint, making it stable and suitable for some future use. Since many tailings dams
generate acid, the soil immediately below the tailings dam may become a zone where
metals including radionuclides are concentrated, leaving a potentially hazardous footprint.

Revegetation

Revegetation is widely practiced, with varying degrees of success. It is necessary to find


suitable plants and suitable cultivation methods for revegetation to be successful. The
chemistry and slopes in some tailings deposits make this extremely difficult. Unfortunately,
revegetation does not address all the environmental problems arising from mine tailings.
While plants soften the visual impact of mine wastes, tend to limit the windblown dust
problems and help control erosion by runoff, they do not address the problem of infiltration
of water into mine residues, in fact by slowing runoff they encourage infiltration.
Revegetation may play an important role in rehabilitation, but it should not be thought of as
the total process.

Rock cladding

Cladding of the slopes of sand dumps and tailings dams with waste rock has been applied
as a solution to surface erosion and dust generation. Once again, this does not address
water infiltration.

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REHABILITATION OF TAILINGS

Backfilling of surface mining operations

In some cases, tailings are used to fill surface mining operations after mining activities have
ceased. The attraction of doing this is that it removes the risk of catastrophic failure which
exists for conventional tailings dams. Two problems exist:

The introduction of oxidisable material into the vadose zone could lead to
groundwater contamination. Even below the water table, oxygenated water could lead
to oxidation of sulphides and acid production.

The dumping process tends to lead to separation of the material into a coarse
proximal zone close to the point where the slurry is introduced into the pit and finer
material in the more distal areas. This fine material is difficult to stabilise and may
lead to the formation of quicksand-like deposits in the centre of a filled pit.
Lining

Liners may be installed underneath tailings deposits. It is usually not feasible to retro-fit
liners. The long-term performance of liners is also not well known, and liners which have
failed are generally inaccessible. In wet deposits, liners may result in the collection of
moisture and possible tailings dam failure.

Capping

The other approach is to cap tailings or other wastes with an impermeable layer, usually
clay, in conjunction with drainage layers. Capping prevents the inflow of water and
oxygen into wastes, thereby preventing acid formation and groundwater contamination.
Figures 9A to 9C (Appendix 9.11) show three cover designs used in the Uranium Mine
Tailings Rehabilitation Action (UMTRA) undertaken by the United States Department of
Energy. It is interesting to note that only one of these includes a vegetated cover, as
concern was expressed during this project that roots may compromise the sealing layers.

The aims of rehabilitation should therefore look at limiting the long-term liabilities that will be
borne by future generations. The aim of most engineered structures is to withstand the
ravages of nature. A school of thought that is currently developing is to design with nature,
rather than against it. Long term predictive models may be used to predict the behaviour of a
site over time. These, as well as lessons learned from old mining activities should be used to
plan rehabilitation in such a way that natural processes such as erosion do not result in
significant pollution. Where possible, natural systems such as wetlands should be used to
control water pollution and vegetation cover should limit windblown dust pollution. Gradients
should be reduced to levels where erosion is minimal, and potentially polluting wastes should
be capped to prevent infiltration.

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A final aspect to consider is cost. While thick clay cover layers may be an attractive
environmental option, they are expensive. In the choice of a rehabilitation method, site
specific conditions, available materials and economic factors need to be taken into account.
9.25.10.

Remediation of contaminated soils

A contaminated site is a site that has received substances that were either not previously
present in that site or, as a result of some activity, are at significantly higher concentrations
than were normal for that site. These sites should be restored to a more acceptable condition,
but the definitions of contaminated, restored and acceptable condition are by no means clearcut, nor universally agreed upon. There is also no agreement in terms of policy concerning
the restoration of contaminated sites.
Most methods that have been applied to clean up or rehabilitate contaminated sites involve
the expertise of engineering combined with geochemistry, hydrology, ecology, and human
and environmental toxicology. These methods are categorised and described in Table 9-10.
Table 9-10: Methods for clean-up and rehabilitation of contaminated sites
Method

Description

Removal of the source of


contamination

This method for clean-up and rehabilitation involves establishing the


cause-and-effect relationship between the source of contamination
and the contamination itself. It is based on the assumption that the site
is not already irreversibly damaged. Removing the source of
contamination should therefore allow the system to recover without
further cleanup required.
Restricting future use of the site is required where limited or no cleanup is possible. This may be for technical reasons, such as high costs.
Another reason is that current methods may simply not be effective in
the remediation of certain types of contaminants and sites.

Restriction of site use

Examples of this method in South Africa involve cases where the


original owner who was responsible for contaminating the site cannot
be traced. In these cases, the municipality or the DME inherits the
problem. These sites are often left untreated and restriction plased on
the future use of the sites. This presents a security problem, and often
the decision needs to be revisited at a later stage.
In situ treatment could involve the complete destruction of the
contaminant, through techniques such as incineration or
bioremediation. These techniques are highly effective for treating
organic contaminants, although the availability and toxicity of inorganic
contaminants can also be reduced.

In situ treatment
The first in situ treatment method is incineration. This method,
however, has the disadvantages of involving high costs, causing air
pollution and being unpopular with the public. The most promising
techniques for in situ treatment involve bioremediation. Bioremediation
involves the use of microorganisms to destroy hazardous
contaminants. The earliest engineering application of the metabolism

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Method

Description
of microbial decomposers was in sewage treatment. More recently,
treatments for other organic wastes, such as petroleum wastes, have
been developed using similar microbial principles.
The last method of clean-up and remediation of contaminated sites is
the reconstruction of physical and biological features on the site. This
includes the construction of physical infrastructure, such as barriers
and impermeable clay covers, to divert the flow of surface or
groundwater and prevent its infiltration of soil.

Reconstruction of the sites

9.25.11.

If necessary, entire ecosystems can be constructed. For example,


mine tailings areas are usually devoid of vegetation and soils are
characteristically acidic and nutrient-poor. These areas can be
revegated by planting a grass cover. Natural succession usually
follows and native flora and fauna returns to the area, forming a new
ecosystem. Another example is the construction of wetlands in water
contaminated sites, which would then attract a diverse ecosystem.

Disposal of slimes

There are three main methods for disposing of slimes, namely wet disposal, dry porous
disposal and paste disposal.

Wet disposal

Wet disposal of tailings involves the transportation of a mixture of tailings and water, also
known as slurry, via a pipeline to a tailings dam. In the tailings dam the tailings settle out and
some of the water is treated and returned to the processing plant for reuse.
The tailings dam must be lined so as not to leak. Clay, plastic, asphalt and concrete linings
have however all been found to be unreliable for certain applications. Internationally, the best
practice for the long-term disposal of slimes and other mine residues has focused on
cappings, to prevent the ingress of water and oxygen. These caps are typically designed to
suit local conditions, and may include impermeable (usually clay) layers, rock layers to divert
water away from tailings and prevent intrusion by burrowing animals, topsoil and vegetative
covers. The capping approach is often used as liners were often not installed (this is the case
for most, if not all, gold residues in Gauteng) and a surface cap is easier to monitor over time
than a liner, which may deteriorate.
Until recently, it was considered acceptable practice in South Africa to locate mine residue
deposits on well-drained ground. The rationale was to promote drainage to prevent failure due
to excessive water in tailings. Unfortunately, this means that mine tailings and the leachates
they produce often have a direct pathway into the local groundwater, either through solution
features in dolomite or through abandoned mine workings (Figure 9-6). In these cases,
suitable stabilisation to prevent sinkhole formation and capping with impermeable material is
required.

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Figure 9-6: Sinkhole formation, where a tailings dam has collapsed into old surface
mine workings (note the leachate visible on the surface)

Dry porous disposal

Dry porous disposal of tailings involves the complete dewatering of tailings using vacuum or
pressure filters, allowing the tailings to be stacked in stock and waste piles. This method of
tailings disposal has the advantage over wet disposal in that it eliminates the risk associated
with dam failure and the consequent contamination of soil, surface water and groundwater.
Dry disposal does, however, have the disadvantage of containing leachable materials,
chemicals or reagents (e.g. cyanide in gold metallurgical plant tailings). Seepage of these
contaminants could result in groundwater pollution.
Methods to reduce pollution from dry disposal piles include:

Reducing water infiltration through natural or synthetic capping;


Constructing capping so as to encourage surface runoff;
Using hydrophyllic vegetation to reduce soil moisture; and
Constructing underdrains and/or wicks to drain water from within.

Paste Tailings

A third method, paste tailings, involves the dewatering of tailings to a point where the tailings
do not have a critical flow velocity when pumped or segregate when deposited. The paste
tailings are generally deposited to form a conical pile, with typical slope angles of 3 10. As
the paste dewaters further, the tailings produces crack which locks the layers together,
forming a more stable structure.
This method of tailings disposal has the advantage over wet disposal in that it eliminates the
risk associated with dam failure and the consequent contamination of soil, surface water and
groundwater. Paste tailings also allow higher slop angles than dry porous tailings, thereby

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reducing the footprint of the tailings disposal facility, while storing the same volume of
material. There is also no or very little risk for seepage from paste disposal facilities.
9.26.

Mineral extraction processes

9.26.1. General impacts


The general environmental impacts associated with mineral extraction refer to the effects of
processing chemicals on the environment and to a lesser extent, on air pollution and noise
pollution during mechanical extraction processes. The most important impact of mineral
processing on the environment is water pollution due to spillages and incorrect storage of
processing chemicals and waste products. Water used for washing these materials contain
high levels of dissolved solids and can have a negative impact on surface and groundwater if
not properly contained.
Dust pollution and noise pollution can occur during the screening and crushing of clay and
aggregates. In many cases, the extraction of minerals includes the use of heavy machinery
such as ball mills and jaw crushers which generate high noise levels. Other forms of air
pollution can also occur during metallurgical processes where heavy metals and other toxic
elements are introduced into the atmosphere.
9.26.2. Air Quality
The air quality of any region is controlled by the climate, topography, natural and
anthropogenic activities that occur in that area and surrounding regions. Air movement is an
important means of dispersing airborne matter, such as seeds, gas and dust particles. It is
also capable of transporting pollutants, thus the effects of pollution in one area may be felt in
another area hundreds of kilometers away.
A deterioration in air quality results from the emission of gaseous and particulate matter into
the atmosphere. Depending on the levels and nature of emissions, polluted air has the
potential to impact negatively on the environment. Air pollution may result in disturbances to
ecosystems, climatic conditions, biogeochemical cycles and human health.
The major sources of air pollution arising from mining operations are described in Box 9-12.

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Box 9-12: Major Sources of Air Pollution from Mining Operations in Gauteng
MAJOR SOURCES OF AIR POLLUTION FROM MINING OPERATIONS IN GAUTENG

Dust emissions from abandoned mine dumps and operational tailings dams

Although primary mining activity is on the decline in Gauteng, historical mining activities
have left a host of mine dumps scattered around the province. A number of these dumps
are in the process of being reclaimed thus exposing their surfaces to windblown erosion.
In addition, operational mines also operate tailings dams, waste rock dumps and ore
stockpiles. These are a major source of dust emissions in areas where they occur,
especially during the late winter and early spring months, when wind speeds peak over
Gauteng. These dust emissions pose a nuisance and health risk to nearby receptor
communities. The number of abandoned mine dumps are decreasing as a result of
reworking and reclamation of the land for other land uses. As a result of negotiations
initiated by GDACE, the major dust problem around mine tailings in Boksburg has been
significantly reduced following re-vegetation of the major dams in the area. Dust from
mine tailings on the west rand remain problematic. Completion of reclamation operations
in Springs and the far East Rand over the next 2 years should see a substantial reduction
in wind blown dust in these areas.
Historically, dust from gold slimes dams and sand dumps used to be terrible until it was
learnt how to grow vegetation on these deposits. Some were clad with rock to prevent
dust. These interventions allowed property development to take place adjacent to, and
on, these deposits.

Gaseous and particulate emissions from domestic fuel usage

The pressures of human settlements on air quality are mainly due to the use of coal as a
domestic energy source in low-income townships and informal settlements. This has long
been an issue of concern in Gauteng. A source apportionment study in Soweto indicated
that domestic coal combustion contributed approximately 70% of the ambient total
particulate matter (TSP) loading (Annegarn et al., 1998).

Energy from coal based power generation

Although Gauteng is a significant consumer of electrical energy, the province imports


most of its electricity needs from the national power supply grid. Most of the electricity
generation occurs in Eskoms coal fired power stations located on the Mpumalanga
Highveld. However, numerous industries generate their own energy using coal as a
primary energy source. Emissions from these operations add to the total pollution load in
the form of particulate matter and greenhouse gases.

Climate and local regional/national/ global atmospheric movements

The diffusion and dispersion of pollutants is dependent upon climatic, weather conditions
and local atmospheric stability, which varies on a daily and seasonal basis. During winter,
the Highveld is dominated by a high-pressure system, which is characterised by air
subsidence that results in clear skies, light winds, and temperature inversions. These
conditions are unfavourable for pollution dispersion and diffusion. During summer, moist
unstable conditions dominate, resulting in conditions that are conducive to rapid pollution
dispersion, air mixing and wet deposition by rainfall.

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MAJOR SOURCES OF AIR POLLUTION FROM MINING OPERATIONS IN GAUTENG

Occurrence of veld fires

Veld fires are widespread across the province, occurring in autumn, winter and early
spring. In addition to controlled burning for fire-breaks and veld management, many fires
are due to arson. Some are accidental, notably those started by motorists throwing
cigarettes out of car windows. Emissions from veld fires are similar to those generated by
coal and wood combustion. Whilst veld fire smoke primarily impacts visibility and
landscape aesthetic quality, it also contributes to the degradation of regional scale air
quality.

Impacts

Air pollution has a generally negative impact on the environment: There is evidence that both
indoor and ambient air pollution increases the risk of respiratory disease. The World Health
Organisation estimates that indoor air pollution as a result of the use of coal and wood for
heating and cooking is responsible for 2.7 % of the global disease burden (WHO, 2004). This
is the most serious air quality issue in the province in terms of health related impacts.
Poor air quality results in deterioration of visibility and aesthetic landscape quality of the
region, particularly in winter due to atmospheric inversions. Poor air quality causes a nuisance
to people living in proximity to the sources, particularly odours, eye, nose and throat irritations
and cleanliness issues (due to particulates, in the latter case).
Depletion of stratospheric ozone results in an increase in UV radiation, which in turn
increases the risk of skin cancer. There is however no evidence for the increase in
atmospheric UV level over South Africa (DEAT, 1999). Examples of negative ecological
impacts include changes in soil and water chemistry (increased salt loading, acidification),
resulting in a reduction in crop yields, destruction of sensitive biomes and loss of biodiversity.
Destruction of property as a result of corrosion, due to wet deposition of gaseous and
particulate air pollutants.

Mitigation

The best form of control is not to allow emissions to occur. From a particulate perspective this
will entail having a cover on the dumps or preventing dust from being picked up on exposed
surfaces. The only long term sustainable solution is to have a vegetation cover preventing
dust pickup. This could also include a mixture with rock to roughen up the surface. Dump
reclamation has to occur from the downwind side, south or south east in Gauteng. This allows
a protective outer shell to be left and is the biggest single way of reducing dust. Side slopes of
residue deposits must be made stable otherwise they will continue eroding and generating
new surfaces, which could be a continual source of dust. These sides should be shaped to a
stable slope and vegetated. Any traffic such as footpaths or motorbikes should be prevented
to reduce erosion from occurring.

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Exposed areas such as roads can be sprayed with water. This works effectively for a while
but dries out and thus needs to be continually applied to be effective. Dust binders can be
sprayed on these exposed areas to give longer term protection. The wind velocity on the
surfaces of large areas areas needs to be reduced to prevent dust pickup. This can be done
by ploughing the area perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction using a deep plough.
This is known as ridge ploughing. Other techniques include the installation of netting or
other barriers in rows perpendicular to the prevailing wind.
Watering or spraying effectiveness is enhanced if applied ahead of the time when strong
winds are expected. The SA weather bureau can give advanced warning of high winds. The
effects of dust can be reduced by not having receptor sites near to tailings facilities. Housing
should be kept away at a safe distance depending on the site and impact (generally at least
500m is recommended). A line of trees around the base of residue deposits can help to
reduce wind effects on dumps which are not very high and have the added benefit of reducing
groundwater seepage.

Legal context

Air quality in South Africa used to be regulated by the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act of
1965 (APPA) and is now regulated by the NEMA Air Quality Act (NEM: AQA). According to
the NEM: AQA, the implementation of air quality management should be done within the
national air quality framework, which allows for the setting of national, provincial and local
standards for air quality. Other mitigation measures stipulated within the NEM: AQA include:
-

The declaration of priority areas, which are areas of high pollution, and the
formulation of air quality management plans for these priority areas;
The obtaining of Atmospheric Emission Licences for a set of listed activities;
The declaration, setting of standards and prohibition of use of controlled emitters and
controlled fuels;
The development and implementation of Pollution Prevention Plans;
The compilation of Atmospheric Impact Reports; and
Specific measures for the control of dust, the rehabilitation of mined areas and the
control of noise and offensive odours.

In terms of the Environment Conservation Act of 1989, now replaced by the new
Environmental Management Act of 1998 all significant new developments in South Africa are
required to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA's) before they are approved
These assessments invariably include air quality studies, where appropriate. To prevent
creeping loss of air quality due to the incremental effect of lots of individually-small impacts,
Strategic Environmental Assessments of the entire air bubble' of major regions have
increasingly become standard practice.
9.26.3. Groundwater pollution
Disposal of waste is the major cause of water pollution and in the past this happened directly
since wastes were dumped directly into a river or the sea. Many polluted surface waters in
turn polluted the associated groundwater. To contaminate groundwater some form of liquid
must be disposed of, or solid materials must be able to generate a liquid that contains
dissolved toxic substances or acids.

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Wastes can be separated into two main categories, namely organic and inorganic
contaminants, as summarised in Table 9-11. Inorganic heavy metal ions in solution are toxic
and their solubility is predominantly pH related. Sulphates are fairly common in some mining
situations where they are associated with lower pH and heavy metals in solution, as a
leachate from mine dumps. Many organic contaminants resist biological degradation and are
not easily removed in sewage treatment plants having a low solubility in water. Many have a
lower density than water and float on water while the chlorinated hydrocarbons used in the
dry cleaning industry and as metal degreasers, have a higher density than water. Organic
compounds that pose the greatest threat are those that are relatively soluble, non-volatile and
refractory and which resist biological degradation. Some common examples include benzene,
chloroform, trichloro-ethylene, methyl benzene, dichloro-ethane and tetrachloro-ethylene.
Table 9-11: Groundwater contaminants
Inorganic

Organic

Chromium and nickel rich effluent from


precious metal recovery

Leakage from buried waste and storage


tanks
Disposal in sanitary landfills which produce
leachates from a variety of sources, some of
which are organic e.g. domestic disposal of
used solvents or oils
Disposal of organic liquids such as dry
cleaning fluids or solvents
Pesticides and herbicides
Sewage irrigation and disposal

Acid rock drainage and the resultant heavy


metal leaching from stockpiles and mining
waste dumps
Raw sewage and chemically charged
irrigation waters
Fertilisers and pesticides
Diffuse runoff from built up areas

The pollution potential of unconfined aquifers is directly linked to the mechanisms of


groundwater recharge and the prevailing rock and soil types. Rapidly draining soils are
usually sandy soils and they may be shallow and will allow rapid transfer of the recharging
water into the local groundwater. Poorly drained soils usually have high clay contents, which
restrict water passage into the local groundwater and encourage runoff thereby protecting the
groundwater from leachate infiltration (See Box 9-13). This in turn means that surface runoff
occurs and poorly drained soils are therefore a threat to surface water bodies. Water entering
poorly drained soils has a long residence time. Deep soil cover allows greater contact and
time for recharging water to be acted on by beneficial processes. Beneficial processes can
chemically change, retard and attenuate pollutants. Natural attenuation can, however, result
in the deposition and concentration of pollutants in the soil. In the case of mine residue
disposal, this can lead to the creation of contaminated footprints, which remain in place after
dumps have been removed for processing.

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Box 9-13: Leachate


LEACHATE
Leachate develops due to the accumulation of moisture or rainfall at a solid waste disposal
site. It results when water percolates through decomposing waste. Organic matter may
generate humic acids, which encourage the metals go into solution. Where wet mine
tailings are deposited, the water used for the deposition may react with the tailings, forming
a contaminated leachate. In the case of the gold or coal tailings found in Gauteng, the water
may also bring oxygen into contact with the tailings, allowing sulphides to oxidise and form
acid. This acid may then mobilise other contaminants within the tailings piles.

Confined aquifers are protected from pollution by the confining layers but often an extensive
network of open fractures and/or solution voids (karstic aquifers) exist and these will transmit
pollutants better and faster than aquifers dominated by porous medium type flow.
Groundwater has areas of active recharge and discharge, usually related to the rock or soil
type and the topography. Pollution in recharge areas will have a greater effect on the
groundwater than pollution in discharge (river valley, spring, swamp) areas.
Topography plays an important role in groundwater pollution; in some situations steep
topography encourages runoff thus preventing recharge (though the reverse is also true).
Topography also controls direction and rate of groundwater flow, since groundwater flows
from areas of high elevation to low elevation. Distribution of pollutants in the groundwater is
controlled by groundwater movement; if there is little movement as in flat areas, the
distribution will be very limited. If there is high potential for movement (gradient created by
topography or pumping), a much larger volume of groundwater will be contaminated.
To determine the above-mentioned parameters, such as the rate of recharge and direction of
groundwater movement, it is important to have a rainfall record and several observation
boreholes both up and down gradient of the mining area. These boreholes can also be used
for sampling purposes to check on water quality.
9.26.4. Acid Mine Drainage
The soil and rock (overburden) excavated to expose the materials of interest (i.e. coal, metal
ores, non-metallic ores), in addition to the waste rock and tailings formed during the
processing of valuable minerals, often contain sulfide minerals such a pyrite (FeS2) that when
exposed to air and water, will oxidize and release large quantities of iron and sulfate into
solution. In addition, H+ ions are liberated during the oxidation process producing an acidic
solution that readily weathers and releases other trace minerals (i.e. copper and zinc) into
solution. The acidic solution formed, characteristic of high metals and sulfate and low pH, is
generally termed acid mine drainage (AMD).
Many ore deposits, including the gold ores of the Witwatersrand contain a significant
proportion of sulphide minerals such as pyrite (FeS2). At depth, these minerals are chemically
stable over long periods of time; however when exposed to oxidising conditions either by
exposure to air in mines or in mining residues, they will oxidise and generate sulphuric acid.
The production of acid mine drainage is described by four chemical equations:

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Pyrite reacts with oxygen in the air and water to form a solution of ferrous iron,
sulphate and free hydrogen ions (in effect a solution of ferrous iron in sulphuric
acid).
2FeS2 + 702 + 2H2O 2Fe2+ + 4SO42- + 4H+

ii.

The ferrous iron is then converted to ferric iron by the action of acid water in the
presence of oxygen. This is the rate determining step for acid mine water
production.
4Fe2+ + O2 + 4H+ 4 Fe3+ + 2H2O

iii.

The ferric iron may then react with water to form ferric hydroxide, further
acidifying the water. This reaction is pH dependent. At pH values below about
3.5, the ferric iron will remain in solution, while at higher values it will precipitate,
forming a solid phase, known as yellowboy. The formation of this precipitate is
shown in Figure 9-7.
4Fe3+ + 12H2O 4Fe(OH)3 + 12H+

iv.

Finally, the ferric iron acts as an oxidant, oxidising further ferrous iron or pyrite,
generating additional acidity. This cyclic generation of acid will continue until the
source of ferric iron or pyrite is exhausted. In acidic environments, microbes such
as Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans, further accelerates the oxidation of pyrite by
increasing the amount of Fe3+ in solution.It is important to note that this process
can take place in an anoxic environment.
FeS2 + 14Fe3+ + 8H2O 15Fe2+ +2SO42- + 16H+

This also illustrates the importance of understanding acidity as well as pH. The pH of water
provides a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. Acidity, sometimes
referred to as mineral acidity, on the other hand defines the ability of the solution to consume
alkalinity, and is expressed in the same units as alkalinity, namely the concentration of
calcium carbonate. Acidity is the capacity of a solution to neutralise a strong base (e.g. 0.1N
NaOH) to a specified end point (usually pH 8.3). The procedure for assessing the acidity of
mine waters in the field is illustrated in Figure 9-8.

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Figure 9-7: Oxidation of pyrite in an underground exposure in a Witwatersrand


gold mine

Collect
sample
pH>4.5

Y
Add dilute
hydrogen
peroxide
pH>4.5

Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant, and


will accelerate the oxidation of Fe2+ to
Fe3+. Contact lens fluid contains
sufficient hydrogen peroxide

Y
Water is
net alkaline

Water is
net acidic

Figure 9-8: Procedure for assessing the acidity of mine waters in the field

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If the concentrations of the relevant cations are known for a solution, the acidity can be
calculated using the formula:
Aciditycalc = 50[2Fe2+/56 + 3Fe3+/56 + 3Al/27 + 2Mn/55 + 1000(10-pH)]
and
Net acidity = (total acidity) (total alkalinity)

It is important to remember that mine waters which have been in anoxic conditions may be
net acid, without necessarily having a low pH. When these become aerated, the oxidation of
Fe2+ to Fe3+ and the subsequent H+ releasing hydrolysis of Fe3+ will lower the pH, as has
happened in Robinson Lake (See Figure 9-10). Another important factor to remember is that
rainwater and some surface waters contain significant dissolved oxygen, and that if this water
enters submerged underground workings, that oxygen can lead to the oxidation of sulphides
and the production of acid mine drainage.

pH 3.06
Inflow from acid
mine water, pH
neutralised to 6.9

Mixing Zone

Figure 9-10: View across Robinson Lake (Randfontein) from the point where pH
neutralised acid mine water is discharged (Note the colour changes related to the mixing
of the mine water and aerated dam water.)

Acid mine water allows the dissolution and transport of a number of metals, including most of
the toxic heavy metals and Radionuclides. The mineral acidity described here also explains
the ability that acid mine drainage displays to neutralisation based merely on pH
measurements.
Within Gauteng, a number of mineral deposits have an appreciable sulphide content. The
most notable are the Witwatersrand Gold and Karoo Coal deposits. Any mining or mineral
processing of these ores or their waste products is likely to result in significant acid
generation. A number of smaller deposits also contain significant concentrations of sulphide.
The lead-zinc-silver deposits located east of Pretoria contain sulphides, although the

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dominant ore minerals are galena and sphalerite, which tend to be less acid producing than
pyrite.
9.26.5. Cyanide contamination
The dominant chemical used in the gold industry has for many decades been cyanide in
aqueous solution. This has been used for the initial leaching process to dissolve the gold,
forming the aurocyanide ion Au(CN)2- under basic conditions. Cyanide is also used
throughout the subsequent process of purification to the elution of the gold from loaded
activated carbon and its subsequent electrowinning (Swaminathan et. al., 1993).
In mine waste disposal environments, cyanide can occur as free cyanide - its most
chemically active and toxic form - as various metal-cyanide complexes, cyanates, and as
thiocyanates (Hoye, 1987). The metal-cyanide complexes vary from strongly bonded (e.g.
iron and cobalt) to weakly-bonded (e.g. copper, zinc and cadmium) compounds.

Toxicity

The toxicity of metal-cyanide complexes varies inversely with the strength of the bond. The
stronger complexed cyanides, e.g. ferro- and ferricyanides are less toxic than free cyanides,
can remain stable for long periods (tens of years) and will dissociate slowly, if at all. Weak
Acid Dissociable (WAD) cyanide consists of both free cyanide and weakly-bound metalcyanide complexes. The toxicity variation of three different cyanide species is measured by
the 96-hour mean acute LC50 (lethal concentration for 50 percent mortality) and is
summarised in Table 9-12.

Table 9-12: Toxicity variation of three different cyanide-species


Specie

Formula

LD50 for trout

Free cyanide
CN
Cyanate
CNOThiocyanate
SCNSource: Smith and Mudder, 1991

0.045 mg/L
13 - 45 mg/L
140 - 250 mg/L

Impact on the environment

Cyanides are generally not persistent when released to water or soil, and are not likely to
accumulate in aquatic organisms. They rapidly evaporate and are broken down by microbes.
They do not bind to soils and may leach to ground water.

Degradation processes of cyanide

Free cyanide is not a persistent ion in nature because it will eventually complex or dissociate
to non-toxic forms. One can however not rely on natural degradation because estimates of
time and migration distances cannot always be accurate. Quantitative estimates of the
potential for free cyanide attenuation must be determined on a detailed, site-specific basis.
Free cyanide can be attenuated by five mechanisms, as summarised in Box 9-14.

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Box 9-14: Mechanisms for the attenuation of Cyanide


MECHANISMS FOR THE ATTENUATION OF CYANIDE

Volatilisation

Volatilisation will occur if the soil acts to buffer the high pH process solutions to below
about 8. It is potentially important in free cyanide removal due to the equilibrium between
the cyanide ion (CN-) and undissociated hydrocyanic acid (HCN) which is highly volatile.
Below pH of 8 the reaction is forced in the direction of HCN formation. The limiting factor
to this process will be the rate at which air migrates through the soil pores to remove the
vaporized HCN gas.

Oxidation

Oxidation of cyanide reduces its toxicity by the formation of cyanate. Cyanate is proven to
be 2 to 7 times less toxic than cyanide (Craig, 1989). Cyanate can hydrolyse to carbon
dioxide and ammonia.

Biodegradation

Biodegradation is a process where biological organisms modify chemicals into basic


oxidation products such as carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. The reactions are
catalyzed by enzymes excreted by bacteria. Biodegradation rates depend on amount of
oxygen, nutrients and bacteria available in the soil.
-

Aerobic conditions

Cyanide is catalytically oxidized to cyanate under oxidizing conditions by enzymes


excreted by bacteria (Hutchison and Ellison, 1992). The cyanate is then catalytically
hydrolysed to carbon dioxide and water.
HCN + O2 -Enzymes HCNO
HCNO + H2O-Enzymes CO2 + NH3
Ammonia is then oxidised to nitrate by the chemolithotropic bacteria, nitrifying
organisms such as Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter:
NH4+ + 2O2 NO3- + H2O + 2H+
-

Anaerobic conditions

Biological decomposition of cyanides is very slow under anaerobic conditions. There


are reports that cyanide is reduced to nitrogen and carbon dioxide at the bottom of
stagnant ponds. However, the bacteria are not tolerant to high levels of cyanide and will
only work below a concentration of about 2 mg/L (Fuller, 1984).

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MECHANISMS FOR THE ATTENUATION OF CYANIDE


The iron cyanide complex is very stable in the soil system and mechanisms applicable to
free and weakly complexed cyanide, such as volatilization or hydrolysis, will not apply.
However, it can be adsorbed on soil minerals to form insoluble salts such as ferric ferro
cyanide or zinc ferro cyanides and precipitate out.

Legal limits of concentration

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has set a maximum
contaminant level (MCL) of cyanide in drinking water of 0.2 milligrams cyanide per litre of
water (0.2 mg/L or ppm).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Conference of
Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) have set a permissible exposure limit of 5
milligrams of cyanide per cubic meter of air (5 mg/m3) in the workplace during an 8-hour
workday, 40-hour workweek.

The World Bank guideline for cyanide in discharged water is 1 mg/l and 50 mg/l of WAD
cyanide in tailings ponds. The SANS guideline for the maximum allowable concentration of
recoverable cyanide in water is 300 g/l. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestrys
guideline for water for domestic use (DWAF, 1996) contains no guideline for cyanide.

Health effects

The U.S. EPA has found cyanide to potentially cause the following health effects when people
are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: rapid breathing,
tremors and other neurological effects. Exposure to high levels of cyanide harms the brain
and heart, and may cause coma and death.
In the long-term cyanide has the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime
exposure at levels above the MCL: weight loss, thyroid effects, nerve damage. Exposure to
lower levels may result in breathing difficulties, heart pains, vomiting, blood changes,
headaches, and enlargement of the thyroid gland.
9.26.6. Toxicity of underlying soils
A problem occurring beneath slimes dams, which is often not recognised or reported on, is
the toxicity of the underlying soils. The underlying soils can become contaminated during the
process of water percolating through the slimes dam. The water often has an extremely low
pH value, and then heavy metals are taken up into solution and transported to the underlying
soils. These heavy metals include selenium, arsenic, cobalt and many more, which are toxic
to humans even in small quantities. In many cases the problem is only uncovered once a
slimes dam has been removed by reprocessing or rehabilitation. The high concentrations of
heavy metals in the footprint necessitate a proper investigation into the suitability of the
footprint area for future development.

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The possibility of removing the soil or covering the area by inert soils does exist.
9.26.7. Spontaneous combustion
This particular problem is typically associated with colliery residues and dumps. South African
coal generally has a high sulphur and pyrite content. On exposure to air and oxidation by
water, these elements react with the oxygen and the reaction temperature can rise sufficiently
high to cause spontaneous combustion of the coal in the dump or underground workings. This
results in significant air pollution. The gas and dust particles released in this way can then
lead to what is commonly known as acid rain. A further problem associated with burning
dumps is that of instability of the dump and also the safety of persons that need to enter the
dumps. Underground coal workings, which are not sealed off, can begin to burn in this way
and as the supports that were left burn away, there is the danger of collapse of the workings
and the overlying ground. This causes a physical hazard on surface.
9.26.8. Radioactivity
The idea that all matter is composed of some sort of fundamental particles dates back to the
ancient Greeks, who believed that all matter was composed of tiny indivisible particles called
atoms. Research during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries showed that atoms were not
indivisible, but consisted of a positively charged nucleus, surrounded by a negatively charged
electron cloud. During this time, radioactivity was also discovered, and it was identified that
radioactivity was the result of the decay of an unstable atomic nucleus.
The nucleus of an atom is made up largely of protons and neutrons, with the number of
protons giving the atomic number, usually referred to as Z. The atomic number determines
the chemical properties of the element, for example all atoms with one proton in the nucleus
are hydrogen atoms, and will behave the same way chemically. The number of neutrons
determines the mass of the nucleus essentially the mass of the atom as well as the
nuclear stability. Isotopes of an element are forms of the element with the same atomic
number (number of protons), but different mass numbers (number of protons + number of
neutrons). The isotopes of an element have the same chemical properties, but may have
widely differing nuclear properties. It is normal to express the isotope of an element using the
following symbology:

M
Z
Where,

For example,

M = mass number
Z = atomic number
X = chemical symbol for the element in question.
238
92

U , denotes the isotope uranium-238, an atom of uranium with 92 protons

and 146 neutrons, giving a mass number of 92+146=238. Since all uranium atoms have 92
protons, it is customary to simply write 238U.

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The function of the neutrons in the nucleus is to hold the nucleus together. The number of
neutrons will determine the stability of a nucleus. Unstable nuclei decay by the emission of
alpha ( ) or beta ( ) radiation.

Alpha radiation

Alpha decay involves the release of an alpha particle two protons and two neutrons, which
is the same as a helium nucleus (4He2+) from the nucleus. This decreases the atomic
number by 2 and the mass number by 4. An example of an alpha decay is the decay of
uranium-238 to thorium-234 (

238
92

U 23490Th + ). The emitted alpha particle also has

significant kinetic energy.

Beta radiation

Beta decay involves the release of an electron or positron (positively charged anti-particle to
the electron), from the nucleus. The mass number remains the same in these transitions,
while the atomic number changes by one for example, the decay of potassium-40 to stable
calcium-40 by emission ( 19 K 18 Ar + ). Beta decays often leave the resultant nucleus
-

40

40

in an excited state. The excess energy is released in one or more gamma ( ) rays. These
are photons with extremely high energy. (Other radiation transported as photons include light,
ultraviolet and x-rays, in order of increasing energy. Gamma rays have higher energy than
any of these.) Gamma rays have clearly defined energies, depending on the isotope which is
emitting them, and may be used to identify and quantify the isotope which is emitting them.
The likelihood of decay of a radioactive nucleus is a property of the specific nucleus, leading
to a characteristic decay rate for any radioactive substance. Half-life is therefore the time
lapse during which a radioactive mass loses one half of its radioactivity.
This means that during one half-life, one half of the radioactivity in a mass will decay. During
the next half life, one half of the remaining radioactivity will decay, leaving one quarter of the
initial radioactivity. The decay is therefore exponential, with many half-lives needed before all
the radioactivity in a radioactive body has decayed. Half-lives of naturally occurring
substances vary from less than a second to billions of years depending on the substance.

Measurement

The details of the measurement of radioactivity are beyond the scope of this document.
Instruments are available to measure alpha, beta and gamma radiation, or some combination
of these. In order to provide meaningful data, the instruments need to be operated by properly
qualified personnel and must be properly calibrated. Richards (1976) gives a good description
of the procedures and instrumentation for ground surveying, while airborne surveying is well
described in the IAEA Technical Report No. 323 (IAEA, 1991).
Alpha and beta radiation have extremely short ranges, so instrumentation is largely geared
towards the measurement of surface activity. Gamma rays, on the other hand, are detectable
up to several hundred metres from their source, allowing the rapid scanning of large areas on
foot, from vehicles or from low-flying aircraft.

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Units and doses

Radioactivity is commonly expressed in three types of units. The standard way of expressing
radioactivity is in a specific activity as decays per unit mass for solid materials and decays per
unit volume for liquids and gases. The SI unit for the activity is the Becquerel (Bq), which is
defined as one decay per second. The legally defined limit above which activities are subject
to regulation by the National Nuclear Regulator is set at 0.2 Bq/g. Radiation may also be
expressed in terms of exposure rate. This is commonly used for gamma radiation. Finally, the
concentration of the element in question, uranium, thorium or potassium, may be expressed
in concentration units such as parts per million, micrograms per litre etc. It is also customary
in geology to express the concentration as the concentration of the oxide of the element
(U3O8, ThO2 or K2O).
Dose refers to the amount of radiation absorbed by a human body, and is expressed in units
of Sieverts (Sv). Environmental doses are typically expressed in microsieverts (Sv) or
millisieverts (mSv). Dose units are related to the probability of developing cancer from an
absorbed dose, with the lifetime risk of developing a fatal cancer calculated as 5*10-2 per
Sievert. The global average annual dose due to background radiation is approximately
2.4 mSv and the National Nuclear Regulator prescribes a maximum exposure for the public at
1 mSv for all industrial sources. Often a limit is prescribed at 0.25 mSv for a specific source.
The Sievert is a derived unit, based on a dose model and a dose calculation. For regulatory
purposes, the dose model, calculation method and measured quantities should also be
quoted.

Radioactivity in the environment

The earths crust contains a number of radioactive substances. Environmentally, uranium and
thorium and their decay products and potassium-40 are the only significant ones. Potassium40 decays to argon-40 and calcium-40, emitting gamma rays in the process. Since the
potassium content of the human body is maintained at a constant level, and potassium-40 is a
component of all potassium, these decays are not seen as having a significant negative
health impact. In the natural environment, only uranium and thorium and their decay series
have a significant impact. Table 9-13 shows the potassium, uranium and thorium
concentrations (as oxides) for typical natural rocks. By contrast, gold ores in the
Witwatersrand may contain up to several hundred ppm of uranium.
Table 9-13: Redioelement concentrations of some common rock types
U3O8
ThO2
Rock Type
K2O (%)
(ppm)
(ppm)
Continental crustal average
2.5
2.5
13.0
Acid rocks (granites, granodiorites, etc.)
3.3
3.5
18.0
Intermediate rocks (diorites, andesites, etc.)
2.3
1.8
7.0
Basic rocks (basalts, gabbros, norites, etc.)
0.8
0.5
3.0
Ultrabasic rocks (peridotites, pyroxenites, komatiites, etc.)
0.03
0.003
0.005
(Source: Kogan et al., 1972)

In mining environments, uranium and thorium and their decay products may be present at
elevated levels. In the Witwatersrand, uranium occurs as an accessory mineral in the gold
ores. In gold-mining areas, uranium and uranium decay series pollution may be problematic.

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It is important to remember that uranium and its decay products are all metals, and that their
environmental behaviour is governed by their chemical properties.
A number of artificial radionuclides have also been created as by-products of the nuclear
industry and for industrial applications. Some of these are found in the environment worldwide
as a result of fallout from nuclear weapons tests and nuclear accidents, while some industrial
isotopes may be released to the environment through the irresponsible handling and disposal
of radioactive sources. This type of pollution is beyond the scope of this manual. It should be
borne in mind, however, that radioactive sources may be used in mineral exploration. Any
application for permission for exploration or prospecting should include a statement regarding
the use of radioactive sources, as well as documentation regarding the use and storage of
these sources. These sources are regulated by the Department of Health.

Decay series

In many cases, the product of radioactive decay is stable (non-radioactive), for example the
decay of potassium-40 to calcium-40. In some cases, however, the decay products
themselves are radioactive. In such cases, the decay products then decay, with their own
half-lives through series referred to as decay series, with a number of intermediate decay
products, before finally decaying to a stable end product. Both uranium and thorium decay
through series of radioactive isotopes before finally producing stable isotopes of lead. The
decay series of 235U, 238U and 232Th are shown below in Figure 9-11 and Figure 9-12.

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Figure 9-11: Decay series of 238U

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Figure 9-12: Decay series of 232Th


Witwatersrand gold ores contain significant (in some cases economic) concentrations of
uranium. In the undisturbed ores, all of the decay products are present in a condition known
as secular equilibrium, where the activities of all of the radionuclides are equal. Note that the
concentrations differ, as much less material with a short half-life is needed to produce the
same activity as material with a longer half-life. Since the radiological impact of radionuclides
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is due to their activity, rather than concentration, the activity is significant. (It should be
remembered that uranium is chemically toxic, so the concentration of uranium is also of
environmental significance.) In the mining and milling processes and when mine residues are
exposed to the elements, the chemical differences between the different isotopes in the decay
series cause significant disequilibrium, with some isotopes being concentrated in different
environmental media.
A particular concern is the emanation of radon (Rn). Radon is a chemically inert radioactive
gas. It is heavier than air, and therefore tends to concentrate in low-lying areas or indoors,
where buildings are built on radium-rich soils, or built from radium-rich material. Radon-222, a
decay product of uranium-238 is of particular environmental significance as it has a long
enough half-life (~4 days) to migrate from the material where it is produced into the
atmosphere. The health risks due to radon lie in the decay of radon itself in the lungs, and
more significantly in the inhalation of radon progeny on aerosols, and the deposition of these
radioactive particles in the lungs. These may then irradiate the lungs, potentially causing lung
cancer.

Disposal and storage of radioactive waste

Radioactive waste and materials that are potential radioactive waste are continuously
generated during the execution of regulated activities. Radioactive waste may also exist due
to previous activities and / or historic processing of radioactive materials. During the
generation of radioactive waste the emphasis shall be on the control of waste generation and
minimisation at source. Unavoidable radioactive waste must be classified to enable category
specific waste management. The options for management disposal of each waste category
must be evaluated in a systematic way as a multi attribute analysis. The legal requirements
for the disposal of radioactive wastes are summarised in Box 9-15.
Box 9-15: Legal requirements for the disposal of radioactive waste
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
The disposal and storage of radioactive waste is regulated by Nuclaer Energy Act, 1993
(Act No. 131 of 1993) under regulation 46. The regulation states that:
(1)

(2)
(3)

Except where authorised by a ministerial authority issued under the Hazardous


Substances Act, 1973 (Act No. 15 of 1973), no person may, without the written
permission of the Minister, discard radioactive waste in any manner or cause it to
be so discarded;
Except with the written permission of the Minister, no person may store any
irradiated nuclear fuel or cause it to be stored;
A permission in terms of subsection (1) or (2) may be granted subject to any
conditions that the Minister, in concurrence with the Minister of Environmental
Affairs and Tourism and the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, deem fit to
impose. The conditions so imposed will be additional to any conditions contained in
a nuclear authorisation as defined in section 1 of the National Nuclear Regulator
Act, 1999.

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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ASSOCIATED
WITH MINING OPERATIONS AND MINERAL
EXTRACTION PROCESSES

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Appendix 9: Environmental Impacts

Cover page Acid mine drainage affecting surface water quality (Source: CWAC, 2008)

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Appendix 9.1

Appendix 9.1
Standard environmental management programme for crushing operations at
waste rock dumps
1. INTRODUCTION
Guidelines for the compilation of environmental management programme reports for
prospecting and mining projects have been compiled to assist applicants for, and
holders of prospecting permits and mining authorizations to draw up environmental
management programmes (EMPs) in accordance with an established approached,
which is acceptable to all the regulating authorities concerned and to secure the
approval thereof, as required in terms of section 39 of the Minerals Act, 1991, (Act
50 of 1991).
This guideline document has been prepared specifically for the purpose of
establishing a dedicated Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP)
for crushing operations at waste rock dumps.
The crushing of rock at waste rock dumps has been identified as a mining activity
which requires a different approach than the established environmental management
programme report (EMPR) procedures which make use of the Aide-Mmoire for the
preparation of EMPs for prospecting and mining to guide proponents in developing an
EMP. The rational behind the need for a different approach is due to the nature of the
activity and the magnitude of the impacts. The approach is based on the provision of
specific and detailed management requirements in the SEMP which aims at
prevention or pro-active minimisation of the risks. Thus a common standard in
environmental management which acknowledges activity-specific circumstances, is
ensured.
A consultative process was followed to ensure involvement of the various roleplayers during the development of this SEMP.
NOTE: This dedicated SEMP for crushing operations at waste rock dumps should not
be viewed as a guideline which is isolated from other accepted guidelines for the
compilation of EMPs for the mining industry. It is indeed based on the same
objectives and principles as, inter alia the Aide-Mmoire, and forms part of a set of
guidelines for the preparation, compilation and implementation of EMPs for the
mining industry.
2. SCOPE OF USE OF THE DOCUMENT
This document may be used for the purposes of section 38(1) of the Minerals Act,
1991 (Act 50 of 1991) for crushing operations at waste rock dumps.
This document may not be used in the following instances unless specifically
agreed thereto by the Director: Mineral Development:
If a river diversion is envisaged.
Mining in a sensitive environment.

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In such cases an EMP compiled on the basis of the Aide-Mmoire, Abridged AideMmoire or other dedicated documents, as determined by the Director: Mineral
Development, shall be used.
This Standard EMP consists of two parts:
Part A: General information, project description, description of the environment,
environmental impact assessment and exemptions/amendments.
Part B: Environmental Management Programme.
3. HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT
Part A of this Standard EMP is to be fully completed in block letters (print) by
the holder of a prospecting permit or mining authorization (hereafter referred to as
the holder) by using a black pen and submitted to the Director: Mineral
Development, Minerals and Energy. The holder must answer Part A in full and failure
to spend time to complete this part of the programme will delay the processing and
approval of the standard EMP.
Part B of the Standard EMP contains guidelines and operating procedures which will
be binding on the holder after approval has been obtained. It is essential that this
portion be carefully studied and understood.
At the time of application, prior to approval of the Standard EMP and if in the opinion
of the holder the nature of the site or any other circumstances dictate deviation from
the guidelines in Part B, an amendment or amendments must be applied for under
Part A (A.9) of the Standard EMP. These requested amendments must be fully
motivated. After approval of the Standard EMP, no amendments may be made or
implemented prior to obtaining the written approval from the Director: Mineral
Development, Minerals and Energy.
During the mining operations, the holder must ensure that the provisions of Part A
and B and any conditions imposed by the Director: Mineral Development at the time
the EMP is approved, is strictly adhered to at all times. Failure to comply with the
provisions of Part A or B of this Standard EMP may result in suspension or
cancellation of the authorization in terms of section 14 of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act
50 of 1991).
4. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
The following documentation must be appended to Part A:
(a) A locality map making use of a 1 in 50 000 South African Topocadastral Sheet
which clearly identifies the locality of the mining area.
(b) A layout plan inclusive of all the required information.
(c) Other agreements / legal requirements, i.e. permits for the abstraction of water.

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5. GLOSSARY OF TERMS
For the purpose of this SEMP:
"High flood zone" means all areas within the 1:50 year retention flood line.
"Magnitude of impact" means the combination of the intensity, duration and
extent of an impact occurring.
"Mining area" means the area comprising the subject of any prospecting permit or
mining authorization, including(a) any adjacent surface of land;
(b) any non-adjacent surface of land, if it is connected to such area by means of any
road, railway line, power line, pipe line, cable way or conveyer belt; and
(c) any surface of land on which such road, railway line, power line, pipe line,
cableway or conveyer belt is located,
under the control of the holder of such permit or authorization and which he is
entitled to use in Connection with the operations performed or to be performed
under such permit or authorization.
"Registered / licensed disposal facility" means a facility as determined by the
Director: Mineral Development after consultation with the Department of Water
Affairs and Forestry, for the disposal of waste.
"Sensitive environments" are the following:
1. Limited development areas (section 23 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989
(Act 73 of 1989).
2. Protected natural environments and national heritage sites.
3. National, provincial, municipal and private nature reserves.
4. Conservation areas and sites of conservation significance.
5. National monuments and gardens of remembrance.
6. Archaeological and palaeontological sites.
7. Graves and burial sites
8. Lake areas, offshore islands and the admiralty reserve.
9. Estuaries, lagoons, wetlands and lakes.

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10. Streams and river channels, and their banks.


11. Dunes and beaches.
12. Caves and sites of geological significance.
13. Battle and burial sites.
14. Habitat of Red Data Book species.
15. Areas or sites of outstanding natural beauty.
16. Areas or sites of special scientific interest.
17. Areas or sites of special social, cultural or historical interest.
"Subsoil" means those layers of soil and weathered rock immediately beneath the
topsoil that overlay the hard rock formation.
"Topsoil" means the layer of soil covering the earth and which provides a suitable
environment for the germination of seed, allows the penetration of water, is a source
of micro-organisms, plant nutrients and in some cases seed, and of a depth of 0,5
metre or any other depth as may be determined by the Director: Mineral
Development for each mining area.
PART A:
A.1 GENERAL INFORMATION
A.1.1 NAME AND ADDRESS OF COMPANY, PERSON AND HOLDER OF MINING
AUTHORIZATION
Name and address of mining company / person:

Tel Number:

Name and address of holder of mining authorization:

Tel Number:

ID Number / Company Registration Number:


Street / Physical Address:

Fax number:

Postal Address:

Number of authorization:
Date of issue:
Date of expiry:

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A.1.2 MINERAL FOR WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO MINE

A.1.3 NAME OF HOLDER(S) OF THE MINERAL RIGHTS IN RESPECT OF


THE DUMP(S) CONCERNED
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________

A.1.4 NAME AND ADDRESS OF CONTACT PERSON


Name:

Tel number(s):

Address:

Fax number:

Code:
A.1.5 NAME AND ADDRESS OF SURFACE OWNER(S)
Name:

Tel number(s):

Address:

Fax number:

Code:
A.1.6 REGISTERED NAME(S) OF LAND (FARM AND DIVISION) ON
WHICH YOU
PROPOSE TO MINE OR ON WHICH THE DUMPS ARE SITUATED
Registered name(s):

Extent of mining area (ha)

TOTAL:

ha
Magisterial District:
Name of the nearest town:
Distance to the nearest town :

A.2 REGIONAL SETTING AND LAYOUT


A.2.1 LOCALITY MAP 1:50 000 SOUTH AFRICA SHEET
A locality map showing the location of the mining site in relation to farm
boundaries and nearby towns is required. National or provincial roads which are to
be used to gain access to the mining site are to be clearly marked on the locality

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plan. A copy of a 1:50 000 topocadastral map may be used for this purpose. If
only a portion of the sheet is used, the name and reference number of the map
must clearly be printed at the top and also entered into the space provided below.
From the sheet, the longitude and latitude of the approximate centre of the mining
area must be established and entered into the space provided below. The locality
map must be appended to Part A on application for a mining authorization.
Please provide the following information:
Name of 1:50 000 sheet:

Sheet Number:

Longitude of approximate centre of mining Degrees:


site:

Min.:

Latitude of approximate centre of mining Degrees:


site:

Min.:

A.2.2 LAYOUT PLAN OF MINING AREA


A layout plan drawn to a reasonable, practical scale (e.g. 1:1000), indicating the
main infrastructural features of the operation, must be appended to Part A of the
programme. The plan must be neatly drawn and must show contours and
dimensions.
Indicate with a Y (for Yes) or NA (for Nor Applicable) if the following is
included on the layout plan which is attached.
North point and scale

Stockpiles, dumps, dams,


handling
and
processing
areas

Mining area

Office, camp site and other


infrastructure

Full description of property,


adjacent property and position
of boundaries.

Power lines, roads and other


infrastructure

Sequence of mining

Adjacent housing and other


dwellings

Access roads to site

Topography
of
immediate vicinity
mining area

Beacons

Rivers, streams or other


water bodies in the area

Placement of topsoil

Placement of overburden

of

the
the

A.3 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT


A.3.1 BASIC MINING/PROCESSING METHOD
Particulars are to be provided regarding the method of mining to be
employed
as
well
as
the
extent
of
such
operation.
Estimated Rate of Production
Indicate below the estimated production rates and reserves which will be
mined:

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Monthly: m3

Yearly: m3

Total reserves:
A.3.2 TRANSPORT METHOD
Particulars are to be provided regarding the transport of recovered and
finished material. Refer to the method of transport:
1. To the dump
2. To the crusher
3. To the customer
A.3.3 EXTENT OF PROPOSED MINING AND PROCESSING AREAS
Indicate the extent of the mining area (in m2 or ha):
m2

ha

ha

Area of coarse discard, if applicable m

ha

Area of tailings disposal e.g. slimes m


dams, if applicable:

ha

Extent of proposed mining area


Product handling/processing areas

A.3.4 USE OF WATER, POWER SOURCES AND LABOUR


WATER:

Source(s)
supply

of Abstraction
method

Estimated
volume/rate

Process
Potable
Sanitation
Storage facilities

No.:

POWER
Indicate source of supply

Size: 1/m
SOURCE

LABOUR
FORCE
Indicate labour strength at maximum
production
3.5 MINE INFRASTRUCTURE
Mark with an X, the infrastructure that will be provided and indicate, in the
space provided, the number and size of each:
Site offices:

No.

Size:

m2

Camp Sites:

No.

Size:

m2

French drains:

No.

Size:

Vehicle
yards:

No.

Size:

Chemical toilets:

No.

Size:

Secured storage area:

No.

Size:

Removable
containers:

No.

Size:

No.

Size:

maintenance

refuse

Tailing/Settling

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dam/dump:
Used oil receptacle drums:

No.

Volume:

m3

Fire extinguishers:

No.

Volume:

m3

Service/Mine roads:

No.

Length

km

Storm water drains:

No.

Length

km

Length

River crossing:

Width

A.3.6 OPERATIONAL HOURS


State below the intended operating hours:
Mining operations:
Monday to Friday: between hours
Saturday: between hours
Hauling operations, if applicable:
Monday to Friday: between hours
Saturday: between hours
A.4 INFRASTRUCTURE
A.4.1 EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE
Are there any servitudes, power lines, railway lines, dams, pipelines,
canals or other infrastructure on or within 500m of the mining area? If so,
describe:

A.4.2 DWELLINGS
What is the distance from the mining area to the nearest dwelling(s)?
Distance:
A.4.3 ACCESS ROAD(S)
What is the length of access road from the mining site to the public road?
Length in meters/kilometres:
Is the access road wholly or partly used on a permanent basis by others?
Yes:

No:

If yes, state by whom:


Will any materials be used for the construction of the access road?
Yes:

No:

If yes, state the materials to be used for construction of the access road:
Has an agreement with the surface owner(s) been reached with regard to
the use of road(s)?
Yes:

No:

A.5 DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT


Give a brief description of the following environmental aspects and also indicate the

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magnitude of the possible impact, where required:


A.5.1 GENERAL GEOLOGY
A.5.2 DESCRIPTION OF TOPOGRAPHY (MINING AREA AND IMMEDIATE
SURROUNDINGS)
A.5.3 SOILS
A.5.4 DRAINAGE (SURFACE WATER)
A.5.5 GROUNDWATER
Depth of water table in summer:

In winter:

Location of existing boreholes:


Location of known aquifers:
Water quality:
A.5.6 VEGETATION (GRASSLAND, BUSHVELD, CULTIVATED LAND, ETC.)
A.5.7 ANIMAL LIFE (FAUNA)
A.5.8 AIR QUALITY
Status of existing air quality with special reference to existing pollution
sources and prevailing wind directions.
A.5.8.1 STATUS
A.5.8.2 INDICATE PREVAILING WINTER AND SUMMER WIND DIRECTIONS
A.5.9 NOISE
State the status of existing noise levels and with specific reference to
current sources of noise pollution.

A.6 LAND USE


A.6.1 DESCRIBE THE PRESENT LAND USE IN THE VICINITY OF THE DUMP
A.6.2 DESCRIBE THE INTENDED LAND USE AFTER MINING IF DIFFERENT
FROM ABOVE
Note: The future land use must be determined in consultation with the land
owner and the relevant authorities.

A.7 AFFECTED PARTIES


Fill in below, the names of particulars of persons, organisations or other

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instances which will be affected by the crushing operations and who have
been consulted:
No.

Name of person

How are they affected (e.g. neighbour


affected by noise or dust) . Also indicate
existing complaints.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
A.8 FINANCIAL PROVISION
MOTIVATE THE VIABILITY OF THIS PROJECT.
Method of provision of financial guarantee for rehabilitation:
Bank guarantee:

Cash:

Trust fund:

Estimated cost of rehabilitation.

Total amount available for rehabilitation.

Is proof of available capital for rehabilitation attached?

Yes/No

Is proof of trust fund attached (if applicable)?

Yes/No

Describe detail of guarantee:

Note:
Financial provision:
Regulation 5.16.1 promulgated in terms of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991)
provides as follows:
"The holder of a prospecting permit or mining authorization shall demonstrate in his
environmental management programme that he has the financial means and has
made sufficient and acceptable pecuniary provision to the satisfaction of the
Director: Mineral Development to carry out such programme."
A.9 ALTERNATIVES/AMENDMENTS
A.9.1 APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATIVES OR AMENDMENTS
PROVISIONS/GUIDELINES CONTAINED IN PART B

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NOTE: The restrictions, operating procedures and guidelines contained in Part B will
be binding on the applicant after this Standard EMP has been approved. Any
deviation from the requirements of Part B will be deemed to be a contravention of
the Minerals Act, 1991. Should site specific conditions or the planned mining
operation be such that it will be necessary to deviate from the guidelines contained
in Part B, the applicant must apply for amendment of or exemption from such
guidelines in the space provided below. In support of the requested amendment or
exemption the applicant must attach separate motivation detailing the full
circumstances surrounding the requested amendments, additional environmental
impacts which may occur, additional rehabilitation measures which will be required
and any other information that will be necessary to approve the requested
amendment/s. Failure to attach suitable detailed motivation will delay the processing
of this application.
A.9.2 The applicant/holder may apply for alternatives or amendments to
Part B. These must be need to be approved by the Director: Mineral
Development.
Applicable
Particulars
of Motivation attached
to
section in Part B alternatives/amendments
provisions/guidelines in Part B that Yes/No
are required

I,.......................................................................... in my capacity of Director :


Mineral Development ..............................Region of the Department of Minerals and
Energy,
hereby
approve
the
above
amendments
/
exemptions
requested
by
..................................................................
DIRECTOR : MINERAL DEVELOPMENT
..............................REGION

DATE:.................................

STANDARD ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FOR CRUSHING


OPERATIONS AT WASTE ROCK DUMPS
PART B
STANDARD ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
PART B:
This part (Part B) of the Standard EMP contains guidelines, operating procedures
and rehabilitation/pollution control requirements which will be binding on the mining
operator after approval of the Standard EMP. It is essential that this part be carefully

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studied, understood, implemented and adhered to at all times. Failure to comply with
the provisions of Part B may result in suspension or cancellation of the mining
authorization in terms of section 14 of the Minerals Act, 1991.
B.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
B.1.1 MAPPING AND SETTING OUT
B.1.1.1 LOCALITY MAP
A map similar to the one required in Part A2.1, illustrating the locality of the
operation, must be available at the mining site for scrutiny when required.
B.1.1.2 LAYOUT PLAN
One copy of the layout plan referred to in A 2.2 must be appended to Part A of the
programme on application and a second copy of the plan must be available at the
mining site for scrutiny when required.
The plan must be updated on a regular basis with regard to the actual progress of
the establishment of surface infrastructure, mining operations and rehabilitation (a
copy of the updated plan shall be forwarded to the Director : Mineral Development
on a regular basis).
B.1.1.3 DEMARCATING THE MINING AREA
The mining area must be clearly demarcated along its boundaries.
Permanent beacons as indicated on the layout plan or as prescribed by the Director :
Mineral Development must be erected and maintained in their correct position
throughout the life of the mine.
The mining and resultant operations shall only take place within this demarcated
area.
B.2 INFRASTRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS AND OPERATING PROCEDURES
B.2.1 ACCESS ROADS ON THE MINING AREA
B.2.1.1 Establishing the access road on the mining area
The access road to a crusher site in the mining area is to be established in
consultation with the landowner/tenant.
The applicant/holder shall, as far as practicable, make use of existing tracks or
roads.
Should the access road or a portion thereof have to be newly constructed, the
following must be adhered to:

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The route shall be selected so that no trees, or a minimum number of trees, are
felled and fence lines shall be followed as far as possible.
Water courses and steep gradients shall be avoided as far as is practicable.
Adequate drainage and erosion protection in the form of cut-off berms or trenches
shall be provided where necessary.
In cases where a road needs to cross a water course, the crossing must be designed
to the satisfaction of the Director: Mineral Development and in consultation with the
landowner/tenant.
The erection of gates in fence lines and the open or closed status of gates in new and
existing positions shall be clarified with the land owner/tenant and maintained
throughout the operational period.
Reasonable speeds must be observed to avoid accidents, excessive noise, dust and
injury to livestock.
Note:
Design, construction and location of access to provincial roads must be in accordance
with the requirements of, and to the standards laid down by the Provincial or
controlling authority.
B.2.1.2 Maintenance
Newly constructed access roads on the mining site, shall be maintained adequately in
order to minimise dust, erosion or undue surface damage.
B.2.1.3 Rehabilitation
Whenever a mining authorization is suspended, cancelled or abandoned or if it lapses
and the holder does not wish to renew the mining authorization, any access road or
portion thereof, constructed or upgraded by the holder and which will no longer be
required by the landowner/tenant, shall be rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the
Director: Mineral Development.
Roads shall be ripped or ploughed and if necessary appropriately fertilised (based on
a soil analysis) to ensure the regrowth of vegetation. Imported road construction
materials which may hamper regrowth of vegetation must be removed and disposed
of in an approved manner, prior to rehabilitation.
The site shall be seeded with a local, adapted, indigenous vegetation seedmix.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral Development may require that the soil be
analysed and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the crushing operation,
be corrected and the area be seeded with a seedmix to his specification.

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Any gate or fence made or erected by the applicant/holder, which is not required by
the landowner, shall be removed.
B.2.2 OFFICE/CAMP SITES
B.2.2.1 Establishing the office/camp site
Office and camp sites shall be sited and fenced (where necessary) in consultation
with the landowner/tenant.
No camp or office site shall be located closer than 100 metres from a stream, spring,
dam or pan.
The area required for the camp and office site shall be the minimum required and
which will involve the least disturbance to vegetation..
The office/camp site will be established outside the flood plain, above the flood level
mark within the boundaries of the mining area.
Vegetation shall not be unnecessarily disturbed and trees or shrubs shall, as far as is
practicable, not be felled or damaged.
No trees or shrubs will be felled or damaged for the purpose of obtaining firewood,
unless agreed to by the landowner/tenant.
Fires will only be allowed in facilities or equipment specially constructed for this
purpose. If required by applicable legislation, a fire break shall be cleared around the
perimeter of the camp and office sites.
Lighting and noise disturbance or any other form of disturbance that may have an
effect on the landowner/tenant/persons lawfully living in the vicinity shall be kept to
a minimum.
B.2.2.2 Toilet facilities, waste water and refuse disposal
Chemical toilet facilities (preferred) or other approved toilet facilities such as a septic
drain shall be used and sited on the camp site in such a way that they do not cause
water or other pollution.
The use of existing facilities must be done in consultation with the landowner/tenant.
In cases where facilities are linked to existing sewerage structures, all necessary
regulatory requirements concerning construction and maintenance should be
adhered to.
All effluent water from the camp washing facility shall be disposed of in a properly
constructed french drain, situated as far as possible, but not less than 200 metres,
from a stream, river, pan, dam or borehole.

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Only domestic type wash water shall be allowed to enter this drain and any effluents
containing oil, grease or other industrial substances must be collected in a suitable
receptacle and removed from the site, either for resale or for appropriate disposal at
a recognised facility.
Spills should be cleaned up immediately to the satisfaction of the Director: Mineral
Development by removing the spillage together with the polluted soil and by
disposing at a recognised facility.
Non-biodegradable refuse such as glass bottles, plastic bags, metal scrap, etc., shall
be stored in a container at a collecting point and collected on a regular basis and
disposed of at a recognised disposal facility. Specific precautions shall be taken to
prevent refuse from being dumped on or in the vicinity of the camp site.
Biodegradable refuse generated from the office/camp site, crusher site, vehicle yard,
storage area or any other area shall either be handled as indicated above or be
buried in a pit excavated for that purpose and by covering it with layers of soil,
incorporating a final 0,5 meter thick layer of topsoil (where practicable).
Provision should be made for future subsidence.
B.2.2.3 Rehabilitation of the office/camp site
On completion of operations, all buildings, structures or objects on the camp/office
site shall be dealt with in accordance with section 40 of the Minerals Act, 1991, which
states:
Section 40 :
Whenever a prospecting permit or mining authorization which is held is suspended,
cancelled or terminated or lapses, and the prospecting for/or exploitation of any
mineral which was authorized under such permit or authorization finally ceases, the
person who was the holder of such permit or authorization immediately prior to such
suspension, cancellation, termination or lapsing, as the case may be, shall demolish
all buildings, structures or any other thing which was erected or constructed in
Connection with prospecting or mining operations on the surface of the land
concerned and shall remove all debris as well as any other object which the Director:
Mineral Development concerned may require and, as far as is practicable, restore
any such surface to its natural state to the satisfaction of and within a period
determined by such Director: Mineral Development : Provided that such demolition
or removal shall not be applicable in respect of buildings structures or objects(a) which shall, in terms of any other law, not be demolished or removed;
(b) as may determined by such Director: Mineral Development , or in respect of
which he has granted exemption subject to such conditions as may determined by
him; or
(c) which the owner of the land wishes to retain and which has been agreed upon
accordingly in writing with such former holder of such permit or authorization.

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Where office/camp sites have been devoided of vegetation/grass or where soils have
been compacted due to traffic, the surface shall be scarified or ripped.
French drains shall be compacted and covered with a final layer of topsoil to a height
of 10cm above the surrounding ground surface.
A laboratory soil analysis shall be done in order to determine if it is necessary to
apply a specific fertiliser to allow vegetation to establish rapidly. The site shall be
seeded with a local, adapted, indigenous seedmix.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral Development may require that the soil be
analysed and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the crushing operation,
be corrected and the area be seeded with a vegetation seedmix to his specification.
Photographs of the camp and office sites, before and during the crushing operation
and after rehabilitation, shall be taken at selected fixed points and kept on record for
the Director: Mineral Development's information.
B.2.3 VEHICLE MAINTENANCE YARD AND SECURED STORAGE AREAS
B.2.3.1 Establishing the vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage
areas
The vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage area will be established outside
the flood plain, above the 1 in 50 year flood level mark within the boundaries of the
mining area.
The area chosen for these purposes shall be the minimum reasonably required and
which will involve the least disturbance of vegetation.
Prior to development of the approved area, topsoil to a depth of 50 cm shall be
removed and stored in a bund wall, in such a way and at such a place that it will not
cause damming up of water or washaways, or be eroded, on the terrain. The height
of this bund wall shall not exceed 2 metres.
The storage areas/buildings shall be securely fenced and all hazardous substances
and stocks such as diesel, oils, detergents etc. shall be stored therein. Drip pans, a
thin concrete slab or with a PVC lining with a view to prevent soil and water
pollution, shall be installed in such storage areas/buildings.
B.2.3.2 The maintenance of vehicles and equipment
The maintenance of vehicles and equipment used for any purpose during the
crushing operation will only take place within the maintenance yard area.
Equipment used in the crushing operation must be adequately maintained, so that
during operation they do not spill oil, diesel, grease or hydraulic fluid.
Machinery or equipment used in the mining area must not pose a pollution hazard in

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respect of the above substances. The Director: Mineral Development shall order that
such equipment be repaired or withdrawn from use if in he considers the equipment
or machinery to be polluting and irreparable.
B.2.3.3 Waste disposal
Suitable covered receptacles shall be available at all times and conveniently placed.
All used oils, grease or hydraulic fluids shall be placed therein and these receptacles
will be removed from the site on a regular basis for disposal at a registered or
licensed disposal facility.
B.2.3.4 Rehabilitation of the vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage
areas
On completion of the crushing operation, the above areas shall be cleared of any
remaining contaminated soil.
All buildings, structures or objects on the vehicle maintenance yard and secured
storage areas shall be dealt with in accordance with section 40 of the Minerals Act,
1991 (Refer to par. 2.2.3).
The surface shall then be ripped or ploughed to a depth of at least 300 mm and the
topsoil, previously stored adjacent the site, spreaded evenly to its original depth over
the whole area. The area shall then be fertilised if necessary (based on a soil
analysis).
The site shall be seeded with a vegetation seedmix adapted to reflect the local
indigenous flora.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral Development may require that the soil be
re-analysed and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the crusher
operations, be corrected and the area be re-seeded with a seedmix to his
specification.
B.2.4 CRUSHER SITE
B.2.4.1 Establishing the crusher site
The crusher site, including the stockpile areas, shall be sited on a practical basis
after consultation with the landowner/tenant.
Noise abatement and aesthetic acceptability of the site shall be taken into
consideration.
No crusher site shall be located closer than 100 metres from a stream, spring, dam
or pan.

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The crusher site will be established outside of the flood plain, above the 1 in 50 year
flood level mark and within the boundaries of the mining area. The area chosen shall
be the minimum reasonable required and which will involve the least disturbance to
vegetation.
Where necessary, the site shall be fenced and the crushing operations shall only take
place within the approved demarcated mining area.
Prior to the development of the approved area, the topsoil to a depth of 500 mm
shall be removed and stored in a bund wall, in such a way and at such a place that it
will not cause damming of water, or be eroded. The height of this bund wall shall not
exceed 2 metres.
In the case of excavations, the top- and subsoil shall be removed and stored
separately in such a way and at such a place that it will not cause damming of water,
or be eroded. The bund wall will not exceed a height of 2 metres.
In areas of steep gradients, appropriate erosion control measures must be taken.
Vegetation shall not be unnecessarily disturbed and trees or shrubs shall , as far is
practicable, not be damaged or felled.
Oil and fuel spills shall be contained by either drip pans or in a shallow excavation
with a thin concrete and/or a PVC lining or an appropriately designed oil and grease
trap, before stationary oil or fuel using equipment is erected.
In the case of a need for water supply pipelines to be constructed, installation shall
be done in consultation with the landowner/tenant and in such a manner that natural
vegetation is not unduly disturbed. Pipelines shall at all times be kept in good repair
to prevent the loss of water.
No channelisation or impediment to water flow shall be allowed to take place in a
river, stream or flood plain.
B.2.4.2 Waste disposal
B.2.4.2.1 Oil, grease, hydraulic fluids, diesel
Suitable covered receptacles shall be provided, be available at all times and be
conveniently placed.
All used oil, grease or hydraulic fluids shall be dumped therein.
The content of receptacles will be removed from the site on a regular basis for
disposal at a recognised land disposal facility.
Oil, grease, hydraulic fluid and diesel spills which occur in these areas, must be
cleaned up immediately by removing all contaminated soil and disposing thereof in
the waste disposal receptacle.

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B.2.4.2.2 Refuse disposal


As described in section 2.2.2
B.2.4.3 Tailings dam(s)
B.2.4.3.1 Establishing tailings dam(s)
Note:
1. These guidelines will be applicable until appropriate regulations regarding tailings
dams and mine residue deposits have been promulgated.
2. Although crushing operations do not produce extensive volumes of tailings, certain
minimum requirements must be met.
3. In the case of the use of existing tailings dams, the owner of the tailings
dam(s) will be responsible for every action conducted on the tailings dam or as
otherwise agreed to in writing with the holder of the mining authorization for the
waste rock dumps.
A tailings dam shall be established for three basic purposes:
To serve as a method of depositing finely grained mine residue.
To allow drainage of tailings when pumped from the crusher plant.
As clarification dams in order to serve as a facility to settle fines (suspended solids)
emanating from the crusher plant (washing screen).
The following requirements shall be adhered to prior to the tailings being deposited:
Environmental Impact Study and residue characterisation:
No tailings disposal design should be embarked on without an environmental
impact study having been done.
The impacts incurred on each environmental component must be identified,
quantified and qualified in terms of probability and significance both before and after
mitigation.
Alternative sites must be considered as well as the proposed end uses of the
rehabilitated deposit (dam).
The residue must be characterised to determine the physical and chemical
properties.
The potential seepage and leachates must be characterised in terms of quantity and
quality.

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The potential for long term deterioration in water quality shall be considered in the
assessment of the impact.
In instances where the seepage quality is such that it will pose a significant threat to
groundwater, a full impact assessment shall be undertaken in order to ascertain the
nature and scope of impact management measures which will be required.
Environmental objectives
Acceptable environmental objectives (targets, norms and standards) to be achieved,
shall be established for all potentially significant impacts.
These objectives must be achieved within the zone of potential influence of the
residue deposit.
Surface and groundwater quality objectives shall be established in consultation with
the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (all facilities shall, however, be
designed with an objective of zero discharge to the surface water environment)
Planning and design
This is a highly specialised activity and must be performed by suitably qualified
personnel and engineers, especially in the case of medium to high hazard tailings
dams.
The achievement of the environmental objectives shall be ensured by the design.
Risk of failure shall be minimised by the design.
All components of the water management system shall be designed to retain runoff
from a 24 hour duration storm event with a 100 year recurrence interval plus
freeboard. The capacity to retain the event shall be over and above the normal
operating facility.
The minimum freeboard which is required to accommodate water on top of the
tailings dam, shall be 0,5 metres over and above the normal water deposition with
the tailings and the 1:100 year 24 hour rainfall event.
Site selection
The most appropriate site for the development of a residue disposal facility must be
determined on the basis of :
Economic considerations.
Environmental considerations.
Hazard to safety, health, property and infrastructure.

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Resource utilisation.
The tailings dam and the surrounding barrier and control water dams, shall not be
located within 200 metres of the edge of a river channel or within a flood plain and
will be sighted in such a manner so as to cause the least disturbance to vegetation
as well as visual appearance.
NOTE : The position of the dams, their size, depth and distance from the edge of the
river channel shall be indicated on the layout plan.
Hazard classification
Each tailings dam must be classified for safety purposes, which includes the stability,
according to hazard criteria to indicate the potential harm as a consequence of
failure.
From such a classification each deposit will be classified as either a high, medium or
low hazard.
B 2.4.3.2 Operating tailings dams
Construction of dams
After the position of the dam(s), its size and the design have been approved, the
area is to be stripped of the topsoil to a depth of 0,5 metres.
This soil shall be stored in the form of a bund wall, not higher than 2 metres.
The predeposition works must be completed before actual deposition starts.
The size of tailings / slimes dam shall depend on that required by the crusher facility
for dumping and to cater for the expected tailings yield, provided that the freeboard
is maintained at all times.
The tailings pipeline shall be laid in consultation with the landowner / tenant and in
such a manner that the surface and natural vegetation are not unduly disturbed.
Operating plan
In the case of medium and high hazard classified dams, an operating plan /
operational manual shall be produced from the design by a professional engineer for
the residue deposit which shall include:
Process circuit operational requirements.
Water management, including water balance plan.
Method and procedure of operation.

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Monitoring and auditing requirements.


Emergency response and contingency plans.
Decommissioning requirements.
The persons responsible for the operation of the tailings dam, need to have an
understanding of the tailings dam design, as safety and stability of the dam depend
on it being operated in accordance with the assumptions made during its design.
Durability and maintenance
The durability of all components of a residue deposit shall be such that each
component remains fit for its intended use for the design life of the residue deposit.
All structures
specifications.

and

delivery

systems

shall

be

maintained

according

to

the

Erosion damage to the dam walls due to rain or spills will be repaired and filled in on
a regular basis.
The tailings distribution pipeline will be frequently maintained in order to prevent
spillage.
Slope stability
Slope stability assessment shall be undertaken for each of the following situations:
Overall stability.
Local instability.
Internal erosion / piping.
Surface erosion.
Deformation.
Water management
Rainwater from tailings dams and the appurtenant barrier dams as well as water
used in any process at a mine or works, shall be recycled wherever possible.
A system of storm water drains shall be provided to divert runoff from the peak
precipitation event of 1 : 100 year recurrence interval around the residue deposit.
Storm water shall not be stored on the tailings dam.
Water emanating from the slimes dam must be used again in the washing screen

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plant.
B 2.4.3.3 Rehabilitation of tailings dam
Decommissioning shall be done in accordance with the operational manual.
The health and safety of human lives and the ecological environment must be
safeguarded from continuing, residual and latent impacts and risks. For this purpose,
a method of access control must be implemented if the deposit is not completely
removed or rehabilitated to a self-sustaining and safe land capability.
Adverse existing and residual impacts must be addressed satisfactorily.
An effective method of preventing the dispersal of air-borne dust must be applied if
not completely rehabilitated.
The integrity of property and infrastructure on and around the residue deposit must
be safeguarded and the final land use and capability should be achieved in a
sustainable manner.
The risk of structural failure be minimises and migration of the residue must be
prevented.
If possible, the hazard must be eliminated completely.
B.2.4.4 Dust control
All dust created from the crushing and screening of rock must be controlled by either
a dust collecting unit, spraying of water or a other environmentally friendly dust
allaying agent. The release of dust into the atmosphere must be limited as far as
practicable.
All roads must be sprayed with water or an environmentally friendly dust allaying
agent at regular intervals to ensure that dust is adequately suppressed.
The holder of the mining authorization must comply with the following regulations
promulgated in terms of the Minerals Act, 1991:
Regulation 10.2.1
Where rock, ore, coal or other mineral compound is reduced in size, screened,
moved, handled or otherwise subjected to any process which may produce dust (a) the liberation of dust into the atmosphere shall be effectively controlled by the
use of water or other dust allaying agent or by a dust extraction system, and
(b) every building in which any of these processes takes place shall be adequately
ventilated and the floor and other surfaces as well as the machinery, shall be
regularly cleaned so as to prevent the accumulation of dust.

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Regulation 10.2.2:
Any bag, box, carton, drum or other similar container for transporting crushed or
screened rock, ore, coal or other mineral or mineral compound shall be of such
material and so closed that, as far as practicable, no harmful amount of dust can
escape therefrom during handling or transport.
B.2.4.5 Noise, shock, vibration and lighting
The objective shall be to reduce any level of noise, shock and lighting that may have
an effect on persons or animals, both inside the mining area and that which may
migrate outside the mining area, to an acceptable minimum level.
Lighting and noise disturbance, or any other form of disturbance that may have an
effect on the landowner/tenant/persons lawfully living in the vicinity, shall be kept to
a minimum.
Special terrain specific measures may be needed. Such measures shall be described
in Part A and a copy thereof attach to Part B.
Noise levels must comply with Regulation R154 promulgated on 10 January 1992 in
terms of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Government Notice 13717) which
is based on the ambient residual noise level with a 7dBA buffer.
NOTE: These regulations are in the process of adaptation and will be superseded by
new regulations.
If not done during a previous impact assessment, the noise levels that the project
generates will be assessed against existing noise levels and zones of existing and
potential impact will be established.
Noise levels will be recorded on a regular basis at identified receptor sites which will
include the residences of immediate neighbours and the borders of the mining area.
A noise reduction plan must be drafted for all significant noise impacts which must
include both the control at source, migration control (screening) and other
management strategies for each zone of impact. Such a noise reduction plan will
form part of the EMP of the mine and shall as a minimum contain the requirements
contained herein.
The best method of controlling noise is at the source and the following operating
procedures and mitigatory measures shall be implemented:
Mechanical equipment:
All mechanical equipment will be in good working order and vehicles will adhere to
the relevant noise requirements of the Road Traffic Act.
All vehicles in operation will be equipped with a silencer on their exhaust system.

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Where necessary appropriate lubricants will be applied to ensure that surfaces which
interact during mechanical movement do not generate undesirable noise levels.
Safety measures which generate noise such as reverse gear alarms on large vehicles
will be appropriately calibrated/adjusted.
Screening/Migration control:
If possible, screens, walls or berms will be constructed at the mining and crushing
operations to screen or reflect any noise originating from the operation.
Appropriate measures will specifically be installed and or employed at the crushing
operations/plant to act as screen and to reflect/reduce the noise.
Appropriate non-metallic washers/isolation will be used with any joining apparatus to
join screens such as corrugated iron to other structures and to each other. Such
screens must be maintained in a fixed position.
Blasting (if any):
Blasting operations will be so designed and executed to ensure that minimum shock
and noise are generated. This may be done by employing appropriate drilling
patterns, explosives, shot blasting and delay techniques.
The time at which blasting will take place will be determined in consultation with the
Director : Mineral Development after consultation with affected parties in the vicinity
of the mining area.
The holder of the mining authorisation must also comply with the following
regulations promulgated in terms of the Minerals Act, 1991:
Regulation 4.17.1:
When the equivalent noise exposure , as defined in the South African Bureau of
Standards Code of Practice for the Measurement and Assessment of Occupational
Noise for Hearing Conservation Purposes, SABS 083 as amended, in any place at or
in any mine or works where persons may travel or work, exceeds 85 dB(A), the
Manager shall take the necessary steps to reduce the noise below this level.
General:
No person shall damage or render ineffective any of the measures above unless
authorised thereto.
B.2.4.6 Rehabilitation of crusher site
On completion of the crushing operation, the site shall be rehabilitated in
consultation with the surface owner and to the satisfaction of the Director: Mineral
Development.

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All buildings, structures, or other objects shall be dealt with in accordance with
section 40 of the Minerals Act, 1991 (As spelled out in section 2.2.3.)
French drains shall be compacted and covered with a final layer of topsoil to a height
of 10cm above the surrounding ground surface.
Unless otherwise required by the Director : Mineral Development, water boreholes
shall be protected, covered and made safe by means of a concrete cap. No foreign
matter such as rubble or waste material shall be introduced into the hole.
Where sites have been devoided of vegetation/grass or where soils have been
compacted or where crusts are formed, the surface shall be ripped or ploughed. The
topsoil, previously stored in a bund wall, shall be spread evenly to its original depth
over the area and if necessary, appropriately fertilised (based on a soil analysis) to
allow vegetation to grow rapidly.
The site shall be seeded with a vegetation seedmix adapted to reflect the local
indigenous flora..
If a reasonable assessment indicates that establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral Development may require that the soil be
re-analysed and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the crusher
operations, be corrected and the area be re-seeded with a seedmix to his
specification.
Appropriate erosion control measures (e.g. contour banks) must be installed where
required.
All foreign matter shall be removed from the site.
Remaining aggregate and waste rock shall be returned to the original rock dump
which must be left in a condition that pollution is prevented and cannot develop.
Appropriate pollution control measures shall be taken as described in the Water Act,
1956 (Act 54 of 1956), Government Notice No. R287.
Excavations shall be backfilled with subsoil, compacted and levelled with previously
stored topsoil. No foreign matter such as cement or other rubble shall be introduced
into such backfilling.
Photographs of the crusher site, before and during operation and after rehabilitation,
shall be taken at selected fixed points and kept on record for the Director: Mineral
Development's information.
B.2.5 FINAL REHABILITATION OF THE CRUSHER SITE
On completion of the crushing operation, the various surfaces, including the access
road or portion thereof, office/camp site, vehicle maintenance yard and storage
areas and the crusher site, shall be finally rehabilitated as described in this
document.

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All infrastructure, equipment, plant, temporary housing and other items used during
the operational period will be removed from the site.
Waste material of all description inclusive of receptacles, scrap, rubble and tyres will
be removed entirely from the mining area and disposed of at a recognised landfill
facility. It will not be permitted to be buried or burned on the site.
Final rehabilitation shall be completed within a period as specified to by the Director:
Mineral Development.
B.3 MONITORING AND REPORTING
B.3.1 INSPECTIONS AND MONITORING
Regular monitoring of all the environmental management measures shall be done by
the holder of the mining authorization in order to ensure that the provisions of this
programme are adhered to.
It is also the duty of the holder of the prospecting permit or mining authorization to
ensure that ongoing and regular reporting of the progress of implementation of this
programme is done.
Various points of compliance must be identified with regard to the various impacts
that the operations will have on the environment.
Inspections and monitoring shall be done on both the implementation of the
programme and the impact on plant and animal life .
Visual inspections on erosion and physical pollution will be done on a regular basis.
B.3.2 COMPLIANCE REPORTING / SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION
Lay-out plans will be updated on a regular basis and updated copies will be
submitted on a yearly basis to the Director: Mineral Development.
Reports confirming compliance to various points identified in the environmental
management programme must be submitted to the Director: Mineral Development
on a regular basis as decided by the said Director.
Any emergency or unforeseen impact will be reported as soon as possible.
It is therefore essential that an assessment of environmental impacts that were not
properly addressed or were unknown when the programme was compiled, be done
and added as a corrective action.
B.4 NOTES ON LEGAL PROVISION
The holder of a mining authorization shall remain liable for complying with the
relevant provisions of the Minerals Act, 1991, until the Director: Mineral

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Development concerned issues a certificate in terms of section 12 of the Minerals


Act, 1991 to the effect that the said provisions have been complied with.
Note:
The holder of a mining authorization must also take cognisance of the provisions of
other Acts dealing with matters relating to the conservation of the environment and
which include, inter alia, the following:
Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act No 29 of 1996)
The Environment Conservation Act ,1989 (Act 73 of 1989).
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act 43 of 1983).
The Water Act, 1956. (Act 54 of 1956). Government notice R287.
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act 45 of 1965)
Nuclear Energy Act, 1993 (Act 131 of 1993)
UNDERTAKING
I ....................................................................
......................................................................
the undersigned and duly authorised thereto by
.......................................................................
..........................................................................Company/Closed
Corporation/Municipality (delete whichever is not applicable) have studied and
understand the contents of Part A (application) and Part B (Standard Environmental
Management Programme for Crushing Operations at Waste Rock Dumps) and duly
undertake to adhere to the conditions as set out therein with the exception of the
exemption and amendments agreed to by the Director : Mineral Development as
issued on....................................
Signed
at
........................
............................19...........

on

this

......................day

................................... .........................
Signature of applicant Designation
APPROVAL
Approved in terms of section 39 of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991).

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Signed
at.........................................on
.........................19........

this

....................day

of

DIRECTOR : MINERAL DEVELOPMENT


NOTE:
An original copy of this document (consisting of Parts A & B) will be filed with the
Director: Mineral Development and a copy will be held at the mine that must be
available during inspections of the mining area.

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Appendix 9.2

Appendix 9.2
Standard environmental management programme for the mining of sand from a river,
stream, dam or pan
1. INTRODUCTION
Guidelines for the preparation of environmental management
programme reports for prospecting and mining projects have been
compiled to assist applicants for, and holders of prospecting permits
and mining authorizations to draw up environmental management
programmes (EMPs) in accordance with an established approach,
which is acceptable to all the regulating authorities concerned and to
secure the approval thereof, as required in terms of section 39 of the
Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991).
This guideline document has been prepared specifically for the
purpose of establishing a dedicated Standard Environmental
Management Programme (SEMP) for the mining of sand from a river,
stream, dam or pan.
The mining of sand from a river, stream, dam or pan has been
identified as a mining activity which requires a different approach than
the establishes environmental management programme report (EMPR)
procedure which make use of the Aide-Mmoire for the preparation of
EMPs for prospecting and mining to guide proponents in developing an
EMP. The rationale behind the need for a different approach is due to
the nature of the activity and the magnitude of the impacts. The
approach is based on the provision of specific and detailed
management requirements in the SEMP which aims at the prevention
or pro-active minimisation of the risks. Thus a common standard in
environmental management which acknowledges activity-specific
circumstances, is ensured.
A consultative process was followed to ensure involvement of the
various role-players during the development of this SEMP.
NOTE : This dedicated SEMP for the mining of sand from rivers,
streams, dams or pans should not be viewed as a guideline which is
isolated from other accepted guidelines for the preparation of EMPs for
the mining industry. It is indeed based on the same objectives and
principals as, inter alia, the Aide-Mmoire, and forms part of a set of
guidelines for the preparation, compilation and implementation of
EMPs for the mining industry.
2. SCOPE OF USE THE DOCUMENT
This document is applicable for the purposes of section 38(1) of the
Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991) for the mining of sand from or
within a river, stream, dam or pan or as defined in terms of regulation

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5.11 (d) of the Minerals Act, 1991.


This document is not applicable:
When mining sand from a river or stream within the
tidal influence of the sea.
Mining of sand in sensitive environments.
Any other area as determined by the Director : Mineral
Development.
In such cases an EMP compiled in accordance with the Aide-Memoire, Abridged AideMmoire or other dedicated documents, as determined by the Director : Mineral
Development, shall be used.
This Standard EMP for the mining of sand from a river, stream, dam or pan consists
of two parts:
PART A - General information, project description, description of the
environment,
environmental
impact
assessment
and
exemptions/amendments.
PART B - Environmental Management Programme.
3. HOW TO USE THIS DOCUMENT
Part A of this Standard EMP is to be fully completed in block
letters (print) by the holder of a prospecting permit or mining
authorization (hereafter referred as the holder) by using black ink
and submitted to the Director: Mineral Development, Minerals and
Energy. The holder must answer part A in full and failure to spend
time to complete this part of at the programme will delay the
processing and approval of the standard EMP.
PART B of the Standard EMP contains guidelines and operating
procedures which will be binding on the holder after approval has been
obtained. It is essential that this portion be carefully studied and
understood.
At the time of application, prior to approval of the Standard EMP and if
in the opinion of the applicant the nature of the site or any other
circumstance dictate deviation from the guidelines of Part B, an
amendment or amendments must be applied for under Part A (A6) of
the Standard EMP. These requested amendments must be fully
motivated. After approval of the Standard EMP, no amendments may
be made or implemented prior to obtaining the written approval from
the Director : Mineral Development, Minerals and Energy.
During the mining of sand from a river, stream, dam or pan, the
applicant must ensure that the provisions of Part A and B and any
conditions imposed by the Director: Mineral Development at the time

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Appendix 9.2

the Standard EMP is approved, is strictly adhered to at all times.


Failure to comply with the provisions of Part A or B of this Standard
EMP may result in suspension or cancellation of the mining
authorization in terms of section 14 of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50
of 1991).
4. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
The following documentation must be appended to Part A:
A locality map making use of a 1 in 50 000 South African
Topocadastral Sheet which clearly identifies the locality of the mining
area.
A layout plan inclusive of all the required information.
Other agreements/legal requirements, i.e. permits for the abstraction
of water.
5. GLOSSARY OF TERMS
For the purpose of this SEMP:
Bank - (i) in the case of a stream or river, means the ground
bordering upon and within the high flood zone of the stream or river
or 100 metres from either side of the channel referred to in stream or
river above, whichever area is the wider, and (ii) in the case of a
dam, means the ground bordering upon the high-water mark of the
dam and all ground within 100 metres of such high-watermark in an
outward direction.
Stream or river means a natural stream of water which flows in a
defined channel, whether or not such a channel is dry during any
period of a year and whether or not its conformation has been
changed by artificial means.
Top soil means that layer of soil covering the earth and which
provides a suitable environment for the germination of seeds, allows
the penetration of water, i.e. a source of micro-organisms plant
nutritions and in some cases seed, and of a depth of 0,5 metres or
any other depth as may be determined by the Director: Mineral
Development for each mining area.
"Recognised / licensed disposal facility" means a facility as
determined by the Director : Mineral Development after consultation
with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, for the disposal of
waste.
Sensitive environments are the following:

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1. Limited development areas. (Section 23 of the Environment


Conservation Act, 1989 (Act 73 of 1989).
2. Protected natural environments and national heritage sites.
3. National, Provincial, municipal and private nature reserves.
4. Conservation areas and sites of conservation significance.
5. National monuments and gardens of remembrance.
6. Archaeological and palaeontological sites.
7. Graves and burial sites.
8. Lake areas, offshore islands and the admiralty reserve.
9. MOSS.
10. Estuaries, lagoons. wetlands and lakes.
11. Riverbanks.
12. Dunes and beaches.
13. Battle and burial sites
14. Caves and sites of geological significance
15. Habitat of Red Data Book species.
16. Areas or sites of outstanding natural beauty.
17. Areas or sites of special scientific interest.
18. Areas or sites of special social, cultural or historical interest.
PART A
STANDARD ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME FOR THE MINING
OF SAND FROM A RIVER, STREAM, DAM OR PAN
GENERAL INFORMATION, PROJECT DESCRIPTION, DESCRIPTION OF THE
ENVIRONMENT,
ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACT
ASSESSMENT,
EXEMPTIONS/AMENDMENTS
A.1 GENERAL INFORMATION
A.1.1
NAME
HOLDER OF

AND

ADDRESS

OF

MINING AUTHORIZATION

TELEPHONE, CELL &


FACSIMILE NUMBERS

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COMPANY:

TEL. NO:

ADDRESS:

FAX NO:
COMPANY REGISTRATION NO.
Reg. No. :

Area Code:
A.1.2
NAME
CONTACT

Date of Reg. :
AND

ADDRESS

OF

TELEPHONE &

PERSON AT MINE

FACSIMILE NUMBERS

NAME:

TEL NO:

ADDRESS:

FAX.NO:

Area Code:
A.1.3
NAME
MINERAL

AND

ADDRESS

OF

TELEPHONE &

RIGHT HOLDER

FACSIMILE NUMBERS

NAME:

TEL. NO.:

ADDRESS:

FAX. NO.:

Area Code:
A.1.4
NAME
SURFACE

AND

ADDRESS

OF

TELEPHONE &

OWNER/S IF NOT THE SAME AS IN


1.3

FACSIMILE NUMBERS

NAME:

TEL. NO:

ADDRESS:

FAX. NO:
Certificate No:
Cession No:

Area Code:

Date:

A.1.5 DESCRIPTION OF PROPERTY IN


TITLE
DEED

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Municipal Area(s):

Description:

District:
Province:
TITLE DEED NUMBER
Deed No.:
EXTENT OF PROPERTY
Extent = ha
A.2 REGIONAL SETTING AND LAYOUT
Indicate with a Y (for Yes) or NA (for Not Applicable) if the following is
indicated on the
A.2.1 LOCALITY MAP - 1 IN 50 000 SOUTH AFRICA SHEET
A locality map showing the location of the mining area in relation to farm
boundaries and nearby towns is required. National or provincial roads which are
being used to gain access to the mining area are to be clearly marked on the
locality map. A copy of a 1 : 50 000 topocadastral map may be used for this
purpose. If only a portion of the sheet is used, the name and reference number
of the map must clearly be printed at the top and also entered into the space
provided below. From the sheet, the longitude and latitude of the approximate
centre of the mining area must be established and entered into the space
provided. The locality map must be appended to Part A.
Name of 1 in 50 000 sheet:

Sheet No:

L Longitude of approximate centre of mining Deg. Min.


site =
Latitude of approximate centre of mining site Deg. Min.
=
A.2.2 LAYOUT PLAN OF MINING AREA
A layout plan drawn to a reasonable, practical scale (e.g. 1 : 1000), indicating
the main infrastructural features of the operation, must be appended to Part A
of the programme. The plan must be neatly drawn and must show contours and
dimensions.
Indicate with a Y (for Yes) or NA (for Not Applicable) if the following is
indicated
on
the
layout plan which is attached:
A North Point
Access
to
national/provincial

Stockpiles,
dumps,
handling areas
site

from

dams

and

Name of national/ provincial road


and number

roads and their respective Nos.

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Layout plan drawn to a scale of 1


in 1000

Office,
camp
infrastructure

site

and

other

Full description of property and


adjacent

Power lines,
infrastructure

roads

and

other

property land use and zoning.


The name of the river and direction
of flow

Sand extraction area in river

Estimated high flood level (1 in 50


years)

Adjacent housing,
other developments

Access roads to site and into the


river

Layout plan fully dimensioned

Topography of the immediate


vicinity of the mining area

Position and land use of adjacent


properties

Beacons

Position of toilets

dwellings

or

A.2.3 DIRECTION AND DISTANCE TO THE CLOSEST TOWNS (INDICATE


ON
LOCALITY MAP)
Distance = km

Direction:

Town:

Distance = km

Direction:

Town:

Distance = km

Direction:

Town:

A.2.4 PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE ABOVE PROPERTY IS PRESENTLY USED


Describe present land use and zoning:
Describe the proposed land-use(s) after mining if different from above:
A.3. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
A.3.1 BASIC MINING METHOD
Mark with an X below the basic mining method/s which will be employed to win
sand from the river, stream, dam or pan
Dragline

Mechanical
loading

Pumping
of sand

Specify back
up system,
size
of
vehicles and
amount
of
machines

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Other

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.2

If other method, please specify:


Provide detail pertaining to back-up equipment, if any:
A.3.2 MINING PERIOD
For what period has the mining authorization been granted (This information
can be obtained from the mining authorization). months/years
A.3.3 EXTENT OF MINING AREA
Indicate the extent of the mining area and the number of reference beacons
which will be used to demarcate the area
Extent of the mining area

m2 or ha

Product handling areas

m2 or ha

Extraction area in river

m2 or ha

Width of river

metres

Length of river in mining area

metres

Depth of sand

metres

Height of river bank

metres

Type of beacon? Describe :


Number of beacons:
A.3.4 ESTIMATED RATE OF PRODUCTION
Indicate below the estimated production rates and reserves which will be mined
during the validity of the permit
Monthly = m

Yearly = m

Average daily = m

Total reserves available at this time: m


Type of vehicles to be used:
Estimated tonnage:
How many trucks per day?
A.3.5 PROCESSING OF SAND
Mark with an X below the type of sand which is to mined
Concrete

Plaster sand

Other

Mark with an X below the type of sand processing which will be undertaken on
the site

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Washing of
Sand

Appendix 9.2

Screening of
Sand

Blending of
sand

Indicate if other type/s or none:


A.3.6 USE OF WATER, POWER SOURCES AND LABOUR
WATER:

Source(s)
supply

of Abstraction
method

Estimated
volume/rate

Process
Potable
Sanitation
POWER SOURCE
Indicate source of supply:
LABOUR FORCE
Number of people employed
Where does labour force come from?
How will labour force benefit from operation?
A.3.7 MINE INFRASTRUCTURE
Mark with an X the infrastructure that will be provided & indicate in the space
provided the size and number of each
Campsite/ site office Size =

( m2)
2

No

Chemical Toilets

Vehicle Maintenance Size =


yard

(m )

No

River pumps
pipelines

Secured
area

(m2)

No

Removable
containers

storage Size =

No
and No

refuse No

Stockpile area

Size =

(m2)

No

Used oil receptacle No


drums

Tailings dump

Size =

(m2)

No

Fire extinguishers

No

No

Beacons
demarcating
mining area

No

Settling ponds

Accesses
(Private Road)

Size =

road Length =

(m )

(m)

No

Berms

Are all the items marked above indicated on the Yes


layout plan?

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the
No
No

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A.3.8 ACCESS ROAD


What is the length of the access road from the Length = m or km *
mining site to the public road
* Delete that which is not applicable
Is the access road wholly or partially used on a permanent Yes
basis by others?

No

If YES state by whom:


Who is responsible
Department)

for

maintaining

the

road?

(e.g.

Provincial

Will any foreign materials be used for construction of the YES


access road?

Roads

NO

If YES, state what MATERIAL :


ORIGIN :
TYPE :
Where will it be obtained from :
A.3.9 OPERATIONAL HOURS
State below the hours between which operations will be conducted:
For sand winning from the Monday
Friday
river,
Stream, dam or pan

Saturday

For hauling of sand

Monday
Friday

Saturday

between

and

between

and

between

and

between

and

A.3.10 MINING METHOD


Systematically describe in your own words the mining method to be used in
relation to the following :
How will the sand be removed from the river, stream, dam or pan? (also
describe the type and number of machines):
How will sand be stockpiled and for what length of time?
(a) Outside the river (floodplain and/or bank of river)
Period:
(b) In the river (channel of river), if applicable:
Period:
How will sand be processed?

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How will sand be loaded?


How will sand be transported from the site and how frequently?
A.3.11 REHABILITATION PROGRAMME (Refer also to Part B)
With reference to the infrastructure and facilities referred to in section A.3.7 on
page 13 together
with the riverbed and other areas used for the purpose of mining sand, indicate
which of these
elements or areas will be rehabilitated simultaneously and which elements after
cessation of the mining operation and describe how this will be achieved.
Simultaneously
After cessation
A.4 DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND INITIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
A.4.1 EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE
Are there any servitudes power lines, railway lines, dams, pipelines, canals,
national or provincial roads or other infrastructure on or within 100m of the
mining area?
YES

NO

If Yes - indicate detail on layout plan


What is the distance to bridges within 2 Distance m or km *
km upstream or downstream from the
mining area?
* Delete that which is not applicable
Are there any weirs, pump installations or other Yes
extraction worked within 2 km on the site

No

If YES describe in full and state the distance from the site:
What is the distance from the mining Distance= m or km *
site
to
the
nearest
buildings/dwellings/development/s?
* Delete that which is not applicable
A.4.2 PREVIOUS MINING
Has there been previous mining activity in the mining Yes
area or over a portion of the mining area ?

No

If YES, how long ago?


Are there any other mining operations within 1 km of Yes
the proposed mining operation?

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No

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

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If YES - specify type and name and indicate on layout plan


A.4.3 RIVERINE ENVIRONMENT ( INDICATE ON LOCALITY MAP)
Name of river or stream:
PRIMARY CATCHMENT AREA:
Does the mining area contain any of the following
vegetation?
YES

NO

Riverbed vegetation
Reeds (Wetland vegetation)
Riverbank vegetation
Trees
Riverine bush
Grass
If yes, specify and describe how the proposed activity will affect it:
Does the mining area contain any :
YES

NO

Fish
Other water animals
Birds
Reptiles
Other animals
If yes, specify and describe how the proposed activity will affect it:
Indicate the existence of boreholes within 1 km radius of the mining area on the
layout plan and describe the impact, if applicable.
Is the river flowing in a definable channel?

YES

NO

If NO, indicate the most likely position of the river channel on the layout plan
(this position will be confirmed later.
If YES, describe how the proposed activity will affect the river channel:
Is the river dry at any time of the year?

YES

NO

Are there any tributaries entering the river within YES


500 m on either side of the mining area? If YES,
indicate on layout plan.

NO

A.4.4 NATURAL AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT OTHER THAN THE RIVERINE


ENVIRONMENT
A 4.4.1 Name of dam or pan:
A 4.4.2 Primary catchment area:

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A 4.4.3 Give a brief description of the following environmental aspects and


indicate the possible
impact , where required:
GEOLOGY:
TOPOGRAPHY
SOILS:
NATURAL VEGETATION / PLANT LIFE:
ANIMAL LIFE
SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL INTEREST
VISUAL ASPECTS : (Can site be seen from any road, railway or lookout point)?
Specify.
NOISE :
A.4.5 AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS OR COMMUNITIES
Fill in below the names and available particulars of persons or other instances
which will be affected by mining or the hauling of sand.
No

Name of person/institution

How
are
they
affected
(e.g.
neighbour affected by noise or dust)
Also indicate existing complaints.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10
A.5 FINANCIAL PROVISION
Indicate the requested information in the space below
Expected capital investment for
the mining of sand

Capital available for the mining of


sand

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Estimated working costs for the


mining of sand

R p.m. or p.y. *

* Delete that which is not applicable


Estimated
income
mining of sand

from

the

R p.m. or p.y. *

* Delete that which is not applicable


Estimated
total
rehabilitation
Total
capital
rehabilitation

cost

of

available

for

Is proof of pecuniary provision for rehabilitation in terms of


regulation 15.16.1 attached?

Yes

Quantify:
A.6 ALTERNATIVES/AMENDMENTS
APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATIVES OR AMENDMENTS
PROVISIONS/GUIDELINES CONTAINED IN PART B

TO

THE

NOTE: If in the opinion of the applicant/holder the nature of the site or any
other circumstance dictate deviation from the provisions, guidelines contained
in Part B he must apply in writing to the Director : Mineral Development,
describing the suggested alternatives/amendments in the space provided below.
In support of the suggested alternatives/amendments, the applicant/holder
must attach a separate motivation to this document. In it the applicant/holder
must
detail
the
full
circumstances
surrounding
the
requested
alternatives/amendments, describe additional environmental impacts which will
or may occur and indicate additional rehabilitation measures which will be
required and provide any other information which may be required by the
Director : Mineral Development.
After approval, no amendments may be made to this EMP without prior written
approval of the Director : Mineral Development.
The Director: Mineral Development, after consultation with
departments
the
applicant/holder,
may
also
insert
alternatives/amendments in Part B using the space provided below.
Applicable

Particulars of alternatives/amendments to

section in Part guidelines in Part B that are required.


B

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the other
additional

Motivation attached

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.2

A.7 INSTRUCTIONS / SPECIAL CONDITIONS / MONITORING (FOR OFFICIAL


USE ONLY)
A7.1 INSTRUCTIONS / SPECIAL CONDITIONS
DATE

INSTRUCTION / SPECIAL
MONITORING /AUDITING

CONDITION

/ SIGNATURE

I,........................ in my capacity of Director : Mineral Development,


....................................Region of the Department of Minerals and Energy,
hereby approve the above amendments / exemptions requested by
....................................
DIRECTOR : MINERAL DEVELOPMENT
........................................REGION
DATE:...........................................
STANDARD ENVIRONMENTAL
MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
THE MINING OF SAND FROM A RIVER,
STREAM, DAM OR PAN
PART B
STANDARD ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
PART B
STANDARD EMP FOR THE MINING OF SAND FROM A RIVER, STREAM,
DAM OR PAN
This part (Part B) of the Standard EMP contains guidelines, operating
procedures and rehabilitation / pollution control requirements which will be
binding on the mining operator after approval of the Standard EMP. It is
essential that this part be carefully studied, understood, implemented and
adhered to at all times. Failure to comply with the provisions of Part B may
result in suspension or cancellation of the mining authorization in terms of
section 14 of the Minerals Act, 1991.
B.1 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
B.1.1 MAPPING AND SETTING OUT
B.1.1.1 LOCALITY MAP
A map similar to the one required in Part A, (A.2.1)
illustrating the locality of the operation, must be
available at the mining site for scrutiny when
required.
B1.1.2 LAYOUT PLAN

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One copy of the layout plan referred to in A.2.2 must be


appended to Part A of the programme and a second copy of the
plan must be available at the mining site for scrutiny when
required.
The plan must be updated on a regular basis with regard to the
actual progress of the establishment of surface infrastructure,
mining operations and rehabilitation.
A copy of the updated plan shall be forwarded to the Director :
Mineral Development on a regular basis.
B.1.1.3 DEMARCATING THE MINING AREA
The mining area must be clearly demarcated along its boundaries.
Permanent beacons as indicated on the layout plan or as
described by the Director : Mineral Development must be erected
and maintained in their correct position throughout the life of the
mine.
The mining and resultant operations shall only take place within
this demarcated area.
B.1.2 RESPONSIBILITY
It is the responsibility of the holder to assure that the manager of
the mine and the employees are capable of complying with all the
statutory requirements which must be met in order to mine,
which includes the completion and implementation of this EMP.
B.2 INFRASTRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS AND OPERATING PROCEDURES
B2.1 ACCESS TO THE SITE, DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
2.1.1 Establishing the access road to the site
The access road to the mining area and the campsite/site office
are to be established in consultation with the surface
owner/tenant and existing tracks or roads shall be used as far as
possible.
Should a portion of the access road be newly constructed, the
following must be adhered to:
The route shall be so selected that vegetation is not
unnecessary disturbed
The position of existing fence lines shall as far as
possible be followed.

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Water courses and steep gradients shall be avoided


as far as possible.
Adequate drainage and erosion protection in the
form of contour humps or cut-off shall be provided
where necessary (With guidance from the
Department of transport).
Material on site used in the construction or upgrading of the
access road must be listed in part A.3.8
The erection of gates in fence lines and the open or closed status
of gates in new and existing positions shall be clarified in
consultation with the surface owner/tenant and maintained
throughout the mining period.
No other routes will be used by haul trucks or personnel for the
purpose of gaining access to the site.
Reasonable speeds must be observed to
excessive noise, dust and injury to livestock.

avoid

accidents,

2.1.2 Provincial or controlling authority


The Provincial Transport Department may designate or authorise
an access to be a provincial road, and shall specify in any such
authorization any condition relating to the access and at any time
impose new conditions, amend or cancel such authorization.
2.1.3 Maintenance of access road on the mining area
If trucks hauling sand or other traffic which is associated with this
mining operation are the only user of access roads, then
maintenance of the access road will be the sole responsibility of
the holder of the mining authorization.
Regular maintenance of the access road shall be to the
satisfaction of the Director: Mineral Development and the road
shall have an acceptable surface, be free from erosion damage
and have effective drainage, preventing the impounding/ponding
of water.
2.1.4 Dust control on the access road
Where sand is transported, the liberation of dust into the
atmosphere shall be controlled by spraying water or other nontoxic dust allaying agents, by limiting the speed of haul trucks or
by other suitable approved means.
2.1.5 Rehabilitation of the access road

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Appendix 9.2

Whenever a mining authorization is suspended, cancelled or


abandoned or if it lapses and the holder does not wish to renew
the permit, any access road or portion thereof, constructed or
upgraded by the applicant for their purpose and which will no
longer be required by the surface owner/tenant shall be
rehabilitated to the satisfaction on the Director: Mineral
Development in consultation with other departments.
Roads shall be ripped or ploughed and if necessary appropriately
prepared to ensure the regrowth of vegetation.
Materials which may hamper regrowth of vegetation must be
removed prior to rehabilitation and disposed of in an approved
manner.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of
vegetation is unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral
Development may require that the soil be re-analysed and any
deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining operation,
be corrected and the area be re-seeded with a seedmix with
guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the local
authority, if applicable.
Any gate or fence made or erected by the applicant/holder, which
is not required by the surface owner, shall be removed.
B2.2 CAMPSITE / OFFICE SITES
2.2.1 Establishing the campsite / office sites
Camp and office sites shall be sited and fenced (where necessary)
in consultation with the surface owner / tenant and personnel will
be restricted to these fenced area.
No camp or office site shall be located closer than 100 metres
from a stream, spring, dam or pan.
The area required for the camp and office site must be kept to a
minimum.
Vegetation shall not be unnecessarily disturbed and trees or
shrubs shall as far as is practical not be felled/damaged.
No hunting or harassment of animals shall be allowed.
Any impact such as noise, dust, bright lights, etc. which may
cause a disturbance or nuisance to the surface owner/tenant or
any person lawfully living in the vicinity, shall be kept to a limit.
Accommodation for personnel must include both kitchen and

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Appendix 9.2

sanitary facilities.
Fires will only be allowed in facilities specially constructed for this
purpose.
If required by applicable legislation, a fire break shall be cleared
around the perimeter of the camp and office sites.
2.2.2 Toilet facilities, waste water and refuse disposal
Chemical toilet facilities(preferred) or other approved toilet
facilities such as a septic drain, shall be used and sited on the
camp site in such a way that they do not cause water or other
pollution.
Existing facilities may be used in consultation with the surface
owner/tenant.
In cases where facilities are linked to existing sewerage
structures, all necessary regulatory requirements concerning
construction and maintenance shall be adhered to.
All effluent water from the camp washing facility shall be disposed
of in a properly constructed french drain, situated as far as
possible, but not less than 100 metres, from a stream, river pan,
dam or borehole.
Only domestic type water shall be allowed to enter this drain and
any effluents containing oil, grease or other industrial substances
shall be collected in a suitable receptacle and removed from the
site, either for resale or for appropriate disposal at a recognised
facility.
Spills should be cleaned up immediately by removing the spills
together with the polluted soil and disposing thereof at a
recognised facility to the satisfaction of the Director: Mineral
Development.
Non-biodegradable refuse (such as glass bottles, plastic bags
metal, scrap, etc.) shall be stored in a container at a collecting
point and collected on a regular basis and disposed of at a
recognised disposal facility. Precautions shall be taken to
prevent any refuse from spreading on and from the camp site.
Biodegradable refuse generated from the camp site, vehicle
yard, storage area or any other area shall either be handled as
above or be buried in a pit excavated for that purpose and by
covering it with layers of soil, incorporating a final 0,5 metre thick
layer of topsoil (if practical) or as specified by the local authority,
if applicable.

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Appendix 9.2

Burning of refuse shall not be allowed.


2.2.3 Rehabilitation on the campsite/office sites
On completion of mining, all buildings, structures or objects on
the camp/office sites, shall be dealt with in accordance with
section 40 of the Minerals Act, 1991.
On completion of mining, the campsite/office site will be
rehabilitated through the removal of all facilities, waste and any
other feature constructed or established during use of the
campsite.
All areas, devoid of vegetation/grass or where soils have been
compacted due to traffic, shall be scarified or ripped and, if
necessary appropriately ensure the regrowth of vegetation.
French drains shall be compacted and covered with a final layer of
topsoil to a height of 10 cm above the surrounding ground
surface.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of
vegetation is unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral
Development may require that the soil be re-analysed and any
deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining operation
be corrected and the area be re-seeded with a seedmix with
guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the local
authority, if applicable.
Photographs of the camp and office sites shall be taken at
selected points before and during mining operations and after
rehabilitation and kept on record for the Director: Mineral
Developments information.
B 2.3 VEHICLE MAINTENANCE YARD AND SECURED STORAGE AREAS
2.3.1 Establishing the vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage areas
The vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage area will be
established outside of the flood plain, above the high flood level
mark within the boundaries of the mining area.
The area chosen for these purposes shall be the minimum
reasonably required for the purpose and which will involve the
least disturbance to the vegetation.
Prior to development of the approved area, the top seed bearing
layer of soil to a depth of 500 mm shall be removed and stored in
a bund wall on the high ground side of the area.

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The height of this bund wall shall not exceed 1,5 metres.
The storage areas / buildings shall be securely fenced and all
hazardous substances and stocks such as diesel, oils, detergents
etc. shall be stored therein.
Drip pans, a thin concrete slab or with a PVC lining shall be
installed in such storage areas/ buildings.
2.3.2 The maintenance of vehicles and equipment
The maintenance of vehicles and equipment used for any purpose
during the mining operation will only take place within the
maintenance yard area.
Equipment used in the mining process, particularly in the bed of
the river, must be adequately maintained, such that during
operation they do not spill oil, diesel, fuel or hydraulic fluid.
If in the opinion on the Director: Mineral Development, machinery
or equipment used in the mining area are in a state of disrepair
and pose a pollution hazard in respect of the above substances,
he shall order that such equipment immediately be repaired or
withdrawn from use if he considers the equipment or machinery
to be polluting and irreparable.
2.3.3 Waste disposal
Suitable covered receptacles shall be provided and conveniently
placed.
All used oils, grease or hydraulic fluid shall be placed therein and
these receptacles will be removed from the site on a regular basis
for disposal at a recognised or licensed disposal facility.
Oils, grease and hydraulic fluid spills which occur in these areas
will be cleaned up immediately be removing all contaminated soil
and disposing of this in the waste disposal receptacle referred to
in section 2.2.2 above.
2.3.4 Rehabilitation of the vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage areas
On completion of mining, the above areas shall be cleared of any
remaining contaminated soil and shall be handled with as
described in section 2.2.2 above.
The surface shall be ripped or ploughed to a depth of at least 300
mm and the topsoil previously stored adjacent to the site returned
to its original depth over the whole area.

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The area shall then be fertilised if necessary.


If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of
vegetation is unacceptably slow, the Director: Mineral
Development may require that the soil be re-analysed and any
deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining operation,
be corrected and the area be re-seeded with a seedmix with
guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the local
authority, if applicable.
All buildings, structures or objects shall be dealt with in
accordance with section 40 of the Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of
1991)
2.4 STOCKPILE AND SAND PROCESSING AREAS
2.4.1 Establishing stockpile and sand processing areas
Stockpile and sand processing areas for the mined
sand products shall not be established within 20
metres of the edge of the river channel.
The areas chosen for this purpose shall be the
minimum reasonably required and that which will
involve the least disturbance to vegetation.
Prior to development of the approved area, the top
seed bearing layer of the soil shall be removed to a
depth of 500 mm and stored in a bund wall on the
high ground side of the area.
The height of this stockpile wall shall not exceed
1,5 metres. (Stockpile must be protected and not
compacted).
The location and dimensions of the area are to be
indicated on the layout plan and once established,
all stockpiling and further processing of sand will be
confined to these areas and no stockpiling or
processing will be permitted in areas not correctly
prepared.
2.4.2 Stockpiling material and further handling
The river bed may serve as a stockpile area for sand products or
for products awaiting further treatment, provided such stockpiles
are at least 10 metres away from water flowing within the river
bed.
The stockpiles in the river bed shall further be limited to no more
than 24 hours average production, and placed in such manner

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Appendix 9.2

that the least impedance of flow will be experienced should the


level of the river rise. If the mining of sand is temporarily
suspended for any reason, the stockpiles within the bed of the
river must be flattened until operations are resumed.
Any waste material generated from the mining of sand in the river
bed will be dealt with as described in section 2.3.3 above.

2.4.3 Rehabilitation of stockpile and processing areas


On completion of mining, the surface of the stockpile and
processing areas outside the riverbed shall be scarified to a depth
of at least 500 mm, graded even and the topsoil previously stored
adjacent the site in a bund wall returned to its original depth over
the area.
The area shall be appropriately prepared if necessary, to ensure
the regrowth of vegetation.
If the area is very large and if reasonable assessment indicates
that the establishment of vegetation will be to slow, then the
Director may instruct that the area be re-seeded with a seedmix
with guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the local
authority, if applicable.

2.5 SETTLING DAMS


2.5.1 Establishing settling ponds
Settling ponds shall be established for two basic purposes, viz.:
Settling ponds: As primary facility to allow drainage
of sand when pumped from the bed of the river.
Clarification ponds: To serve as a facility to settle
fines (suspended to standard as determined by the
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) which
will allow the effluent to be returned to the river.
Monitoring and quality testing of this water will be
required on a regular basis as determined by the
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
Construction of one pond will only be allowed if in the opinion of
the Director: Mineral Development or his representative, in
consultation with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry,
the overflow from this pond has been clarified and that the level
of suspended matter is within the local catchment standard

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allowing the water to be returned to the river. (In considering the


above two basic uses, it is very seldom that the construction of
only one pond will suffice. In virtually all cases one pond is
required for processing or drainage and the second to clarify).
The settling ponds shall not be located within the flood plain and
will be sited in such a manner so as to cause the least disturbance
to vegetation.
The position of the ponds, their size, depth and distance from the
edge of the river channel shall be indicate on the layout plan.
After the position of the ponds and their size have been approved,
the area is to be stripped of top seed bearing layer of soil to a
depth of 500 mm. This soil thus removed shall be stored on the
high ground boundary of the area in the form of a bund wall.

2.5.2 Construction of ponds


Construction of the pond walls shall be from material excavated
from within the area of the pond.
The walls of the pond shall be constructed level and be given an
overflow consisting of sized pipes installed a minimum of 500 mm
down from the top of the wall (i.e. 500 mm freeboard) and of
length to discharge fully into the next pond.
In the case of the final clarification pond, the overflow pipes will
be of such length that they discharge not less than 1,5 metres
into the river.
Sizing of the overflow pipes will be based on twice the capacity of
the main pump supplying the pond.
Under no circumstances will the overflow from one pond to
another, or from the final clarification pond to the river be allowed
to flow across the ground or in excavated earth trenches.
The size of processing pond shall depend on that required by the
mine for processing and to cater for the expected yield, provided
that the freeboard of 500 mm is maintained at all times.
The final clarification pond shall be sized such that water
discharged conforms to the general water standards in terms of
the Water Act.
Erosion damage to the pond walls from rain or spills will be
repaired and filled in on a regular basis.

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2.5.3 Screen tailings


Tailings from screens used at the settling ponds shall be collected
and may be used as road fill.
2.5.4 Rehabilitation of settling ponds
Settling ponds will be rehabilitated after first spreading tailings
from the tailings dump evenly over the floor of the ponds, should
this be the method chosen to rehabilitate tailings.
The tailings will then be covered through spreading the previously
excavated material from the ponds wall evenly over the area.
The topsoil previously stored adjacent the site shall then be
returned to its original depth over the area.
The area shall be appropriately prepared if necessary, to ensure
the regrowth of.
If the area is very large and if reasonable assessment indicates
that the establishment of vegetation will be too slow, the
Director: Mineral Development may instruct that the area be
seeded with a seedmix with guidance from the Department of
Agriculture or the local authority, if applicable.
2.6 THE MINING AREA
2.6.1 Limitation on the mining of sand
The mining of sand shall only take place within the approved
demarcated mining area.
The mining of the banks of the river will not be permitted unless
exemption is requested under A6 of Part A.
Mining will not be conducted closer than 1,5 times the height of
the bank from the edge of the river channel and in such a manner
that the stability of the bank of the river is not effected.
Adequate precaution shall also be taken that the effected section
of the bank of the river is adequately protected from scour or
erosion.
If riverine vegetation is present in the form of reeds or wetland
vegetation, the presence of these areas must be entered in Part
A.4.3 of the programme and indicated on the layout plan.
On

assessment

of

the

application

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the

Director:

Mineral

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.2

Development may limit the mining of sand in these vegetated


areas or other portions of these areas as a special condition of the
mining authorization.
In the case of areas which exclude mining through a special
condition, no mining shall take place in these areas and mining
shall not be conducted within 100m of these areas.
The holder of the mining authorization will also be required to
permanently demarcate these areas as part of the boundary of
the area from which sand may be mined as described section
1.1.3 above.
2.6.2 Canalisation/redirection of the river
The canalisation/redirection of the flow of the river over different
parts of the river bed shall be made in such a manner that the
following is adhered to at all times.
That the flow of the river is not impeded in anyway
and that damming upstream does not occur.
That the redirection of the flow does not result in
scour or erosion of the river.
That well points or extraction pumps in use by other
riparian users are not interfered with or that
canalisation does not impede the extraction of
water from these points.
2.6.3 Access to the river bed, dams, or pans
Access to the river bed or for the purpose of launching pump
rafts, shall be through the use of only one access at a time.
The location of the access to the river channel across the river
bank shall be at a point of the river bank where the least
excavation and damage to vegetation will occur, and shall not be
wider than that which is reasonably required.
The position of the river access together with all planned future
access points must be indicated on the layout plan.
When constructing the access across the bank of the river, the top
seed bearing layer of soil will be removed to a depth of 400 mm
and stored in a soil dump not less than 20 m away from the
channel of the river.
When rehabilitating the access point, the original profile of the
river bank will be re-established through backfilling the access

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point with the original material excavated or other suitable


material.
The top seed bearing layer of soil shall then be returned over the
whole area to its original depth and if necessary prepared and the
vegetation allowed to grow.
If reasonable assessment indicates that the establishment of
vegetation will be too slow, the Director: Mineral Development
may instruct that the areas be prepared and seeded with a
seedmix with guidance from the Department of Agriculture or the
local authority, if applicable.
Damage may occur from an occurrence where high flood waters
scour and erode access points in the process of rehabilitation over
the riverbank or an access point presently in use. In these events,
repair of such damage shall be the sole responsibility of the
holder of the mining authorization. Repairs to the river bank
should ensure the reinstatement to its original profile immediately
after such event has occurred and the river has subsided to a
point where repairs can be undertaken.
Final acceptance of the rehabilitated river access points will only
be awarded after the vegetation has re-established to a point
where the Director: Mineral Development is satisfied that the river
bank is stable and able to withstand high river flow conditions.
2.6.4 Rehabilitation programme for mining area
Rehabilitation of the mining area shall as far as is practically
possible be concurrent with the mining process.
A full description of the mining process and the rehabilitation
thereof must be given in the space provided under A.3.11 of part
A of this Standard EMP.
2.6.5 Rehabilitation of the sand mining area within the bed of the river dam
The goal or rehabilitation with respect to the area from which the
sand has been extracted, is to leave the area level and even,
containing no foreign debris or other materials.
All scrap, and other foreign materials shall be removed from the
bed of the river and disposed of as per other refuse (see section
2.2.2 above), whether these accrue from the mining operation or
are washed on to the site from upstream.
Removal of these materials shall be on a continuous basis and not
only at the start of rehabilitation.
Tailings in the form of boulders, rocks or oversized gravel

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screened out during the mining of sand will be spread over as


wide a portion of the mined river bed as possible or, if buried,
shall be covered by a minimum of 500 mm of sand, if at all
practically possible.
Where reeds or other riverine vegetation has been removed from
areas for the mining of sand, these shall be systematically reestablished in the approximate areas they occurred before mining.
An effective control programme for the eradication of invader
species and other alien plants, may be required as directed by the
Director: Mineral Development
2.6.6 Noise, shock and lighting
The objective shall be to reduce any level of noise, shock and
lighting that may have an effect on persons or animals, both
inside the mining area and that which may migrate outside the
mining area, to an acceptable minimum level.
Lighting and noise disturbance, or any other form of disturbance
that may have an effect on the landowner/tenant/persons lawfully
living in the vicinity, shall be kept to a minimum.
Special terrain specific measures may be needed. Such measures
shall be described in Part A and a copy thereof attach to Part B.
Noise levels must comply with Regulation R154 promulgated on
10 January 1998 in terms of the Environment Conservation Act
1989 (Government Notice 13177) which is based on the ambient
residual noise level with a 7 dBA buffer. (These regulations are in
the process of adaptation and will be superseded by new
regulations).
If not done during a previous impact assessment, the noise levels
that the project generates will be assessed against existing noise
levels and zones of existing and potential impact will be
established.
Noise levels will be recorded on a regular basis at identified
receptor sites which will include the residences of immediate
neighbours and the borders of the mining area.
A noise reduction plan must be drafted for all significant noise
impacts which must include both the control at source, migration
control (screening) and other management strategies for each
zone of impact. Such a noise reduction plan will form part of the
EMP of the mine and shall as a minimum contain the requirements
contained herein.
The best method of controlling noise is at the source and the

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Appendix 9.2

following operating procedures and mitigatory measures shall be


implemented.
Mechanical equipment:
All mechanical equipment will be in good working order and
vehicles will adhere to the relevant noise requirements of the
Road Traffic Act.
All vehicles in operation will be equipped with a silencer on their
exhaust system.
Where necessary appropriate lubricants will be applied to ensure
that surfaces which interact during mechanical movement do not
generate undesirable noise levels.
Safety measures which generate noise such as reverse gear
alarms on large vehicles will be appropriately calibrated/adjusted.
Screening/Migration control:
If possible, screens, walls or berms will be constructed at the
mining operations to screen or reflect any noise originating from
the operation.
Appropriate measures will specifically be installed and or
employed at the operations to act as screen and to reflect/reduce
the noise.
Appropriate non-metallic washers/isolation will be used with any
joining apparatus to join screens such as corrugated iron to other
structures and to each other.
Such screens must be maintained in a fixed position.
The holder of the mining authorisation must also comply with the following
regulations promulgated in terms of the Minerals Act, 1991:
Regulation 4.17.1:
When the equivalent noise exposure, as defined in the South African Bureau of
Standards Code of Practice for the Measurement and Assessment of
Occupational Noise for Hearing Conservation Purposes, SABS 083 as amended,
in any place at or in any mine or works where persons may travel or work,
exceeds 85 dB(A), the Manager shall take the necessary to reduce the noise
below this level.
General
No person shall damage or render ineffective any of the measures
above unless authorised thereto.
2.7 FINAL REHABILITATION

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2.7.1 Final rehabilitation


On the completion of mining, the various surfaces in use by the
mine (including the access road or portion thereof) shall be finally
rehabilitated as described in this document.
All infrastructure, equipment, plant, temporary housing and other
items used during the mining period will be removed from the
site.
Waste material of all description inclusive of receptacles, scrap,
rubble and tyres shall be removed entirely from the mining site
and it will not be permitted to bury or burn any foreign material
on the site.
Final rehabilitation of the surface and entire mining area shall be
done immediately after cessation of operations or as directed by
the Director: Mineral Development and should be completed
within six months or as determined by the Director: Mineral
Development.
3. MONITORING AND REPORTING
Regular monitoring of and reporting on all the environmental
management measures shall be done every 6 months or as
determined by the Director: Mineral Development by the holder of
the mining authorization, in order to ensure that the
provisions/guidelines contained in this Standard EMP and other
relevant legislation are being adhered to.
4. STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS
The holder of a mining authorization shall remain liable for
complying with the relevant provisions of the Minerals Act, 1991,
until the Director: Mineral Development concerned issues a
certificate in terms of section 12 of the Minerals Act, 1991 to the
effect that the said provisions have been complied with.
Note:
The holder of a mining authorization must also take
cognisance of the provisions of other Acts dealing
with matters relating to the conservation and
protection of the environment and which include,
inter alia, the following:
* The Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Act 73 of 1989)
* The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 1983 (Act 43 of 1983)
* The Water Act, 1956 (Act 54 of 1956). Government notice R287
* Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act 45 of 1965)

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Appendix 9.2

* Nuclear Energy Act, 1993 (Act 131 of 1993)


UNDERTAKING
I, ............................................the undersigned and duly authorised thereto
by
........................................................Company/Closed
Corporation/Municipality (delete whichever is not applicable) have studied the
contents of Part A (application) and Part B (Environmental Management
Programme for the mining of sand from a river/stream/dam/pan (delete
whichever is not applicable) and duly undertake to adhere to the conditions as
set out therein with the exception of the exemptions/amendments agreed to by
the
Director
:
Mineral
Development
as
issued
on
..........................................................
Signed
at...........................................on
of................19.. .

this....................day

Signature of applicant Designation


APPROVAL
Approved in terms of section 39 of the Minerals Act (Act 50 of 1991).
Signed
at
...........................................on
..................................19..........
.......................................................
DIRECTOR : MINERAL DEVELOPMENT
.....................................REGION
DATE: ...........................................

9-147

this.................day

of

Page left blank for printing

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.3

Appendix 9.3
Standard environmental management programme for prospecting and mine permits

A.1

INTRODUCTION

This document aims to provide a simplified national standard for applicants for prospecting rights
and mining permits to comply with the relevant legislation and environmental regulations as apply
to their respective applications in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act,
2002 (Act 28 of 2002)(MPRDA).
Applicants in this sector of the mining industry typically disturb smaller surface areas of land,
whether drilling boreholes, small trenches, or mining on a small area, less than 1,5 hectares of
land, under a mining permit as contemplated in Section 27 of the Mineral and Petroleum
Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002)
A.2

SCOPE

This document is intended for use by applicants for mining permits and prospecting rights.
Typically, operations in this sector of the mining industry:

A.3

Use little or no chemicals to extract mineral from ore,


Work on portions of land of 1,5 hectares in size or smaller,
Disturb the topography of an area somewhat but have no significant impact on the geology
PURPOSE

This document aims to :

Provide a national standard for the submission of Environmental Management Plans for
the types of applications mentioned above.
Ensure compliance with Regulation 52 of the MPRDA.
Assist applicants by providing the information that the Department of Minerals and Energy
(DME) requires in a simple language and in a structured, prescribed format, as
contemplated in Regulation 52 (2) of the (MPRDA).
Assist regional offices of the DME to obtain enough information about a proposed
prospecting/ reconnaissance or mining permit operation to assess the possible
environmental impacts from that operation and to determine corrective action even before
such right is granted and the operation commences.

This document aims both to provide the DME regional offices with enough information about
applicants for mining permits and applicants with guidance on environmental management matters
pertaining to the mitigation of environmental impacts arising from their operations. Given this dual
focus and the generic nature of the document, it might not be sufficient for all types of operations
under various circumstances.
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Appendix 9.3

The document may therefore be altered or added to as the particular circumstances of the
application in question may require.
A.4

USE OF THE DOCUMENT:

This document is designed for use by non-professionals and newcomers to the environmental
management industry and it incorporates a very simple Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The EIA is contained in Section C of this document and was designed specifically with the target
sectors of the mining industry (described in A.2 above) in mind.
The aim is ultimately to (a) gather information from applicants themselves; (b) to assess the impact
of the operation based on that information and then (c) to guide the applicant to mitigate
environmental impacts to limit damage to the environment.
Section B of the document gathers demographic information about the applicant. Section C gathers
the information that will be used in the Environmental Impact Assessment. The applicant must
complete the relevant sections of this document, but the regional office of the DME will do the
scoring of these for the impact assessment rating in Section D.
Section F (the Environmental Management Plan) of the document is prescriptive and gives
guidance to the miner or prospector on how to limit the damage of the operation on the
environment. This part may be added to by the regional manager, who has the prerogative to
decide whether this Environmental Management Plan will adequately address the environmental
impacts expected from the operation or whether additional requirements for proper environmental
management need to be set. Where these additional requirements are set, they will appear in
Section G of this document. The Environmental Management Plan (Section F) of the document is
legally binding once approved and, in the undertaking contained in Section H, the applicant
effectively agrees to implement all the measures outlined in this Environmental Management Plan.
A.5

LEGISLATION/ REGULATIONS

The relevant sections of Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act and its supporting
Regulations are summarised below for the information of applicants. The onus is on the applicant
to familiarise him/herself with the provisions of the full version of the Mineral and Petroleum
Resources Development Act and its Regulations.
Section
of Act

Legislated Activity/ Instruction/ Responsibility or failure to Penalty in terms of


comply
Section 99

5(4)

No person may prospect, mine, or undertake reconnaissance


operations or any other activity without an approved EMP, right,
permit or permission or without notifying land owner
Holder of a Prospecting right must: lodge right with Mining Titles
Office within 30 days; commence with prospecting within 120 days,
comply with terms and conditions of prospecting right, continuously

19

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R 100 000 or two years


imprisonment or both
R 100 000 or two years
imprisonment or both

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

20(2)
Section
of Act
26(3)
28

29
38(1)(c)
42(1)
42(2)
44

92
94
95
All
sections
All
sections
A.6

Appendix 9.3

and actively conduct prospecting operations; comply with


requirements of approved EMP, pay prospecting fees and royalties
Holder of prospecting right must obtain Ministers permission to
remove any mineral or bulk samples
Legislated Activity/ Instruction/ Responsibility or failure to
comply
A person who intends to beneficiate any mineral mined in SA
outside the borders of SA may only do so after notifying the
Minister in writing and after consultation with the Minister.
Holder of a mining right or permit must keep records of operations
and financial records AND must submit to the DG: monthly returns,
annual financial report and a report detailing compliance with social
& labour plan and charter
Minister may direct owner of land or holder/applicant of permit/right
to submit data or information
Holder of permission/permit/right MUST manage environmental
impacts according to EMP and as ongoing part of the operations
Residue stockpiles must be managed in prescribed manner on a
site demarcated in the EMP
No person may temporarily or permanently deposit residue on any
other site than that demarcated and indicated in the EMP
When any permit/right/permission lapses, the holder may not
remove or demolish buildings, which may not be demolished in
terms of any other law, which has been identified by the Minister or
which is to be retained by agreement with the landowner.
Authorised persons may enter mining sites and require holder of
permit to produce documents/ reports/ or any material deemed
necessary for inspection
No person may obstruct or hinder an authorised person in the
performance of their duties or powers under the Act.
Holder of a permit/right may not subject employees to occupational
detriment on account of employee disclosing evidence or
information to authorised person (official)
Inaccurate, incorrect or misleading information

R 100 000 or two years


imprisonment or both
Penalty in terms of
Section 99
R 500 000 for each day of
contravention
R 100 000 or two years
imprisonment or both
R 10 000
R 500 000 or ten years
imprisonment or both.
A fine or imprisonment of
up to six months or both
A fine or imprisonment of
up to six months or both
Penalty that may be
imposed by Magistrates
Court for similar offence
Penalty as may
imposed for perjury

be

Penalty as may
imposed for perjury
Penalty as may
imposed for perjury

be

A fine or imprisonment of
up to six months or both
Failure to comply with any directive, notice, suspension, order, A fine or imprisonment of
instruction, or condition issued
up to six months or both

OTHER RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Compliance with the provisions of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002
(Act 28 of 2002) and its Regulations does not necessarily guarantee that the applicant is in
compliance with other Regulations and legislation. Other legislation that may be immediately
applicable includes, but are not limited to:

be

National Monuments Act, 1969 (Act 28 of 1969).


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A.7

Appendix 9.3

National Parks Act, 1976 (Act 57 of 1976)


Environmental Conservation Act, 1989 (Act 73 of 1989)
National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998)
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act 45 of 1965)
The National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998)
Mine Safety and Health Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996)
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act 43 of 1983).
WORD DEFINITIONS

In this document, unless otherwise indicated, the following words will have the meanings as
indicated here:
Act (The Act)
Borehole
CARA
EIA
EMP
Fauna
Flora
Fence
House
NDA
NWA
Pit
Porrel
Topsoil

Trench
Vegetation
DWAF
MPRDA
EMPlan

Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002)


A hole drilled for the purposes of prospecting i.e. extracting a sample of soil or rock chips
by pneumatic, reverse air circulation percussion drilling, or any other type of probe
entering the surface of the soil.
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act
An Environmental Impact Assessment as contemplated in Section 38(1) (b)of the Act
an Environmental Management Plan as contemplated in Section 39 of the Act
All living biological creatures, usually capable of motion, including insects and
predominantly of protein-based consistency.
All living plants, grasses, shrubs, trees, etc., usually incapable of easy natural motion and
capable of photosynthesis.
A physical barrier in the form of posts and barbed wire and/or Silex or any other
concrete construction, (palisade- type fencing included), constructed with the purpose of
keeping humans and animals within or out of defined boundaries.
any residential dwelling of any type, style or description that is used as a residence by any
human being
National Department of Agriculture
National Water Act, Act 36 of 1998
Any open excavation
The term used for the sludge created at alluvial diamond diggings where the alluvial
gravels are washed and the diamonds separated in a water-and-sand medium.
The layer of soil covering the earth which(a)
provides a suitable environment for the germination of seed;
(b)
allows the penetration of water;
(c)
is a source of micro-organisms, plant nutrients and in some cases seed; and
(d)
is not of a depth of more than 0,5 metres or such depth as the Minister may
prescribe for a specific prospecting or exploration area or mining area.
A type of excavation usually made by digging in a line towards a mechanical excavator
and not pivoting the boom a large, U-shaped hole in the ground, with vertical sides and
about 6 8 metres in length. Also a prospecting trench.
Any and all forms of plants, see also Fauna
The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry both national office and their various
regional offices, which are divided across the country on the basis of water catchment
areas.
the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002)
An Environmental Management Plan as contemplated in Regulation 52 of the Mineral and
Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002) this document.
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B.

Appendix 9.3

BIOGRAPHIC DETAILS OF THE APPLICANT:

B 1.1 Full name (and surname) of person or company applying


for permit or right
B 1.2 ID number of person or company/ CC registration
number
B 1.3 Postal address

B 1.4 Physical/ residential address

B 1.5 Applicants telephone number


B 1.6 Applicants cellular phone number
B 1.7 Alternative contacts name
B 1.8 Alternative contacts telephone/cell phone numbers

B 2.1 Full name of the property on which mining/ prospecting


operations will be conducted
B 2.2 Name of the subdivision
B 2.3 Approximate center of mining/prospecting area:
Latitude
Longitude
B 2.4 Magisterial district
B 2.5 Name of the registered owner of the property
B 2.6 His/her Telephone number

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min

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Appendix 9.3

B 2.7 His/ her Postal address

B 2.8 Current uses of surrounding areas

B 2.9 Are there any other, existing land uses that impact on the environment in the proposed
mining/ prospecting area?

B 2.10 What is the name of the nearest town?

C.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT:

The information provided in this section will enable officials to determine how serious the impact of
the prospecting/mining operation will be.
DESCRIBE THE ENVIRONMENT THAT WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE PROPOSED
PROSPECTING/MINING OPERATIONS UNDER THE FOLLOWING HEADINGS:
C.1

DESCRIPTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT LIKELY TO BE AFFECTED BY PROPOSED


PROSPECTING/MINING OPERATIONS: (REGULATION 52(2)(a))
ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENT/ IMPACTOR

VALUE

TICK

OFFICE
USE

C 1.1 What does the landscape surrounding the proposed operation look like? (Open veldt/ valley/
flowing landscape/ steep slopes)

C 1.2 Describe the type of soil found on the surface of the


site
VALUE

C 1.3 How deep is the topsoil?

0 300mm
300 600mm
600mm +

C 1.4 What plants, trees and grasses grow naturally in the area around the site?

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TICK

OFFICE
USE

8
4
2

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.3

plants,etc

C 1.5 What animals naturally occur in the area?

VALUE

C 1.6 Are there any protected areas (game parks/nature


reserves, monuments, etc) close to the proposed
operation?

TICK

OFFICE
USE

Yes

No

C 1.7 What mineral are you going to prospect or mine for?


C 1.8 Describe the type of equipment that will be used:

C.2

HOW WILL THE PROPOSED OPERATION IMPACT ON THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT?


(REGULATION 52(2)(b))
ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENT/ IMPACTOR

C 2.1 What will the ultimate depth of the proposed


prospecting/mining operations be?

VALUE

TICK

OFFICE
USE

0 5m

6 10m
10 25m
25m +

4
8
10

C 2.2 How large will the total area of all excavations be?
C 2.3 How large will each excavation be before it is filled
up?

C 2.4 How many prospecting boreholes or trenches will


there be?
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ha
<10 X 10m

<20 X 20m
>20 X 20m

4
8

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Appendix 9.3

VALUE

C 2.5 Will employees prepare food on the site and collect


firewood?
C 2.6 Will water be extracted from a river, stream, dam or
pan for use by the proposed operation?

TICK

OFFICE
USE

Yes

No

Yes

No

C 2.7 If so, what is the name of this water body?


C 2.8 If water will not be extracted from an open surface
source, where will it be obtained?
VALUE

C 2.9 How much water per day will the mineral processing
operation require?

C 2.10 How far is the proposed operation from open water


(dam, river, pan, lake)?

TICK

1000 10 000 Liters

20 000 40 000 L
40 000 60 000 L
60 000 100 000L
More

3
5
8
10

0 15m

16 30m
31 60m
More than 60 metres

6
4
2

C 2.11 What is the estimate depth of the water table/


borehole?

metres

C 2.12 How much water per day will the proposed


operation utilize for employees?
C 2.13 What toilet facilities will be made available to
workers?

C 2.14 Would it be necessary to construct roads to access


the proposed operations?

Liters
None

Pit latrine (longdrop)


Chemical toilet

4
2

Yes

No

VALUE
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OFFICE
USE

TICK

OFFICE

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.3

USE

C 2.15 How long will these access road(s) be (from a


public road to the proposed operations)

0 0,5 km

0,6 1,5 km
1,6 3 km

2
4

Yes

No

Yes

No

C 2.16 Will trees be uprooted to construct these access


road(s)?
C 2.17 Will any foreign material, like crushed stone,
limestone, or any material other than the naturally
occurring topsoil be placed on the road surface?
C.3 TIME FACTOR
C 3.1 For what time period will prospecting/mining
operations be conducted on this particular site?

0 6 months

6 12 months
12 18 months
18 24 months
>24 months

C.4

4
6
8
10

HOW WILL THE PROPOSED OPERATION IMPACT ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC


ENVIRONMENT? (REGULATION 52(2)(b))
ELEMENT/ IMPACTOR

VALUE

C 4.1 How many people will be employed?

C 4.2 How many men?

C 4.3 How many women?

C 4.4 Where will employees be obtained?


employed from local communities?)

TICK

(Own or Own

C 4.5 How many hours per day will employees work?

Local

Sunrise Sunset
Less
More

4
2
8

VALUE

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USE

TICK

OFFICE
USE

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.3

C 4.6 Will operations be conducted within 1 kilometer from


a residential area

Yes

No

C 4.7 How far will the proposed operation be from the 0 50 metres
nearest fence/windmill/house/dam/built structure?
51 100 metres
150 or more metres

8
4
2

C.5 HOW WILL THE PROPOSED OPERATION IMPACT ON THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF
THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT? REGULATION 52(2)(b)
ELEMENT/ IMPACTOR

VALUE

C 5.1 Are there any graveyards or old houses or sites of


historic significance within 1 kilometer of the area?

Yes

TICK

OFFICE
USE

No
C.6

8
0

SPECIFIC REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS

C.6.1 Air quality Management and Control (Regulation 64)


Describe how the operation will impact on the quality of the air, taking into account predominant wind
direction and other affected parties in the downwind zone:

C.6.2 Fire Prevention (Regulation 65)


Applicants for permits, rights or permissions involving coal or bituminous rock must:
Indicate on a plan where the coal or rock discard dump will be located
(If applied for a permit to mine or prospect for coal or bituminous rock, indicate the
exact location of the discard dump on the plan and write EMPlan C6.2 next to it)
C.6.3 Noise control (Regulation 66)
Indicate how much noise the operation will generate, and how it will impact on the surrounding
environment, who might be influenced by noise from your operation.

C.6.4 Blasting, vibration and shock (Regulation 67)


Please indicate whether any blasting operations will be conducted.
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Blasting:

Yes/ No

Appendix 9.3

How often?

C.6.5 Disposal of waste material (Regulation 69)


Indicate on your plan where waste will be dumped in relation to the beneficiation works/ washing
pans Also indicate below how domestic waste material will be managed.

C.6.6
6.6.1

Soil pollution and erosion control (Regulation 70)


Indicate how topsoil will be handled on the area.

6.6.2 Describe how spills of oil, grease, diesel, acid or hydraulic fluid will be dealt with.
6.6.3 Briefly describe the storage facilities available for the above fluids:

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Example: I will mitigate the impact of my blasting operations on the Interested Parties
by limiting blasting operations to school hours, when no one in the affected area is at
home.

Example: Section C 6.4 Blasting. I have identified that the people living on the neighbouring
property are sensitive to loud noises as they have children that must study during the
afternoons

C.6.7 If significant impacts on any element of the environment C.6.8 How will the negative impacts on the environment be
mentioned in Section C 1 to C 6.6 above have been identified, mitigated or managed (as described in C 6.11 to the left?
summarise all of them here: (Regulation 52(2)(c))
(Regulation 57(2)(c))

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Appendix 9.3

Financial provision: (Regulation 54)

The amount that is necessary for the rehabilitation of damage caused by the operation, both
sudden closure during the normal operation of the project and at final, planned closure will be
estimated by the regional office of the DME, based on the information supplied in this document.
This amount will reflect how much will it cost the Department to rehabilitate the area disturbed in
case of liquidation or abscondence.
Enter the amount of financial provision required here: R
What method will be used to furnish DME with this financial provision?
Cash deposit
Bank guarantee
Trust Fund
Other: (specify) (Note: other methods must be approved by the Minister)
The standard formats for each of these types of guarantees are available from your regional office
of the DME.
C.8.1 Monitoring and performance assessment.
Regulation 55 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002)
clearly describes the process and procedure as well as requirements for monitoring and auditing of
the performance of this plan to adequately address environmental impacts from the operation. The
following information must be provided:
C.8.2

Please describe how the adequacy of this programme will be assessed and how any
inadequacies will be addressed. (Regulations 55(1) and 52(2)(e))

Example: I will, on a bi-monthly basis, check every aspect of my operation against the prescriptions given in Section F
of this document and, if I find that certain aspects are not addressed or impacts on the environment are not mitigated
properly, I will rectify the identified inadequacies immediately.

C.9
Closure and Environmental objectives: (Regulation 52(2)(f))
Clearly state the intended end use for the area prospected/mined after closing of operations
C.9.1 Describe, in brief terms, what the environment will look like after a closure
certificate has been obtained.
Note: The proposed end-state of your area must be consulted with interested and affected parties
in terms of Regulation 52(2)(g). Details of the acceptability of the end-state must appear in the
section below.
C 10 CLOSURE

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Regulations 56 to 62 outline the entire process of mine closure, and these are copied in Section F
of this document, both as a guide to applicants on the process to be followed for mine closure, and
also to address the legal responsibility of the applicant with regard to the proper closure of his
operation. In terms of Section 37 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002
(Act 28 of 2002), the holder of a permit is liable for any and all environmental damage or
degradation emanating from his/her operation, until a closure certificate is issued in terms of
Section 43 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002).
C.11

Public Participation: (Regulation 52(2)(g))

In terms of the above regulation consultation with interested and affected person or persons must
take place prior to the approval of the environmental management plan. This regulation is quoted
below for ease of reference.
"a record of the public participation undertaken and the results thereof"
C 11.1 Any comments lodged by an interested and affected person or persons in terms of section
10(1)(b) of the Act, must be in writing and addressed to the relevant Regional Manager.
C 11.2 Any objections lodged by an interested and affected person or persons against the
application for a right or permit in terms of the Act, must set out clearly and concisely the
facts upon which it is based and must be addressed to the relevant Regional Manager in
writing.
C 11.3 The Regional Manager must make known by way of publication in a local newspaper or at
the office of the Regional Manager, that an application for a right or permit in terms of the
Act has been received.
In the table below, please list the names of people or organisations likely to be influenced by the
proposed operations (these might include neighbours, other water users, etc.) Kindly indicate how
these people were consulted (eg. By letter or by phone) and provide proof of that consultation.
What were the main concerns/ objections raised by the interested and affected parties to the
proposed operation?
Name of Interested/
affected party

Contact details:
Address &
telephone number

How did
consultation take
place?

3
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What were his/her


main concern about
the operation?

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SCORING OF EIA FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Instructions for officials:


In this table, complete the totals of each section indicated below and do the calculation.
Remember to first add all the values of sections C 1,2,4 and 5 and then to multiply it by the
time factor in Section C 3
Note that the value for the time factor element of the impact rating appears in Section C3. This is
the total amount of time that the operation is expected to impact on the environment and all other
factors are MULTIPLIED by this value. Compare the score (Impact rating) with the table below to
help you make a decision on the total impact of the operation and also on the sufficiency of this
programme to address all expected impacts from the operation on the environment.
D 1.1 CALCULATION TABLE
Section
Section
Section
Section
C5
C1
C2
C4
=
+
+
+
Total
Total
Total
Total
+

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Subtotal

X
X

Time Factor
Section C 3

=
=

Score
(Impact
rating)

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D 1.2 IMPACT RATING SCALE


SCORE
ATTAINED

IMPACT
RATING

REMARKS

46 300

Low
Medium

No additional objectives needed this programme is sufficient


Some specific additional objectives to address focal areas of
concern may be set.
Major revision of Environmental Management Plan for
adequacy and full revision of objectives.

301 - 800
801 - 1160

High

Additional Objectives:
Based on the information provided by the applicant and the regional offices assessment thereof,
combined with the interpretation of the scoring and impact rating attained for the particular
operation above, the Regional Manager of the regional office of the DME may now determine
additional objectives /requirements for the mine owner/manager to comply with. These measures
will be specific and will address specific issues of concern that are not adequately covered in the
standard version of this document. These requirements are not listed here, but are specified under
Section G of this document, so as to form part of the legally binding part of this Environmental
Management Plan.

UNDERTAKING:

I, , the applicant for a permit/ right


hereby declare that the above information is true, complete and correct. I undertake to implement
the measures as described in Sections F and G hereof. I understand that this undertaking is legally
binding and that failure to give effect hereto will render me liable for prosecution in terms of Section
98 (b) and 99 (1)(g) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of
2002). I am also aware that the Regional Manager may, at any time but after consultation with me,
make such changes to this plan as he/she may deem necessary.

Signed on this .day of .. 200..at ...(Place)

Signature of applicant

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Appendix 9.3

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN:


INTRODUCTION
This Environmental Management Plan contains guidelines, operating procedures and
rehabilitation/pollution control requirements which will be binding on the holder of the mining
permit/ prospecting permission/ reconnaissance permission after approval of the
Environmental Management Plan. It is essential that this portion be carefully studied,
understood, implemented and adhered to at all times.

F1

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

F 1.1

MAPPING AND SETTING OUT

F 1.1.1 LAYOUT PLAN

A copy of the layout plan as provided for in Regulation 2.2 must be available at the
prospecting/mining site for scrutiny when required.
The plan must be updated on a regular basis with regard to the actual progress of
the establishment of surface infrastructure, mining operations and rehabilitation (a
copy of the updated plan shall be forwarded to the Regional Manager on a regular
basis).
A final layout plan must be submitted at closure of the mine or when operations
have ceased.

NOTE: Regulation 2.2 of the regulations promulgated in terms of the Act requires:
"An application contemplated in sub-regulation (1) must be accompanied by a plan that must
contain
(a)
the co-ordinates of the land or area applied for;
(b)
the north point;
(c)
the scale to which the plan has been drawn;
(d)
the name, number and location of the land or area covered by the application;
and
(e)
in relation to farm boundaries and surveyed points(i)
the size and shape of the proposed area;
(ii)
the boundaries of the land or area comprising the subject of the
application concerned;
(iii)
the layout of the proposed reconnaissance, prospecting, exploration,
mining or production operations;
(iv)
surface structures and servitudes;
(v)
the topography of the land or area; "

F 1.1.2 DEMARCATING THE MINING/ PROSPECTING AREA

The mining/ prospecting area must be clearly demarcated by means of beacons at its
corners, and along its boundaries if there is no visibility between the corner beacons.
Permanent beacons as indicated on the layout plan or as prescribed by the Regional
Manager must be firmly erected and maintained in their correct position throughout the
life of the operation.

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Mining/ prospecting and resultant operations shall only take place within this
demarcated area.

F 1.1.3 DEMARCATING THE RIVER CHANNEL AND RIVERINE ENVIRONMENT


The following is applicable if operations are conducted within the riverine environment
(See F 3.2):

F 1.2

RESTRICTIONS ON MINING/ PROSPECTING

F 1.3

Beacons as indicated on the layout plan or as prescribed by the Regional Manager


must be erected and maintained in their correct position throughout the life of the
operation.
These beacons must be of a permanent nature during the operations and must not
be easily removable, especially those in a river channel. The beacons must, however,
be removed at the end of the operations.
The mining of and prospecting for any mineral shall only take place within this
demarcated mining area.
If riverine vegetation is present in the form of reeds or wetland vegetation, the
presence of these areas must be entered in Part C 1.45 of the EMPlan and indicated
on the layout plan.
The holder of the mining permit/ prospecting right will also be required to permanently
demarcate the areas as specified in F 1.1.2.

On assessment of the application, the Regional Manager may prohibit the conducting
of mining or prospecting operations in vegetated areas or over portions of these
areas
In the case of areas that are excluded from mining or prospecting, no operations shall
be conducted within 5 m of these areas.

RESPONSIBILITY

The environment affected by the mining/ prospecting operations shall be


rehabilitated by the holder, as far as is practicable, to its natural state or to a
predetermined and agreed to standard or land use which conforms with the
concept of sustainable development. The affected environment shall be
maintained in a stable condition that will not be detrimental to the safety and health
of humans and animals and that will not pollute the environment or lead to the
degradation thereof.
It is the responsibility of the holder of the mining permit/ prospecting right to ensure
that the manager on the site and the employees are capable of complying with all
the statutory requirements which must be met in order to mine, which includes the
implementation of this EMP.
If operations are to be conducted in an area that has already been disturbed, the
holder must reach specific agreement with the Regional Manager concerning the
responsibilities imposed upon himself/herself pertaining to the rehabilitation of the
area and the pollution control measures to be implemented.
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F2

INFRASTRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS

F 2.1

TOPSOIL

F 2.2

Topsoil shall be removed from all areas where physical disturbance of the surface
will occur.
All available topsoil shall be removed after consultation with the Regional Manager
prior to the commencement of any operations.
The topsoil removed, shall be stored in a bund wall on the high ground side of the
mining/prospecting area outside the 1:50 flood level within the boundaries of the
mining area/ prospecting.
Topsoil shall be kept separate from overburden and shall not be used for building
or maintenance of access roads.
The topsoil stored in the bund wall shall be adequately protected from being blown
away or being eroded.

ACCESS TO THE SITE

F 2.2.1 Establishing access roads on the site

The access road to the mining/prospecting area and the camp-site/site office must
be established in consultation with the landowner/tenant and existing roads shall
be used as far as practicable.
Should a portion of the access road be newly constructed the following must be
adhered to:

The route shall be selected that a minimum number of bushes or trees are
felled and existing fence lines shall be followed as far as possible.
Water courses and steep gradients shall be avoided as far as is
practicable.
Adequate drainage and erosion protection in the form of cut-off berms or
trenches shall be provided where necessary.

If imported material is used in the construction or upgrading of the access road this
must be listed in C 2.17
The erection of gates in fence lines and the open or closed status of gates in new
and existing positions shall be clarified in consultation with the landowner/tenant
and maintained throughout the operational period.
No other routes will be used by vehicles or personnel for the purpose of gaining
access to the site.

NOTE: The design, construction and location of access to provincial roads must be
in accordance with the requirements laid down by the Provincial or controlling
authority.

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F 2.2.2 Maintenance of access roads

In the case of dual or multiple use of access roads by other users, arrangements
for multiple responsibility must be made with the other users. If not, the
maintenance of access roads will be the responsibility of the holder of the mining
permit/ prospecting right.
Newly constructed access roads shall be adequately maintained so as to minimise
dust, erosion or undue surface damage.

F 2.2.3 Dust control on the access and haul roads

The liberation of dust into the surrounding environment shall be effectively


controlled by the use of, inter alia, water spraying and/or other dust-allaying
agents. The speed of haul trucks and other vehicles must be strictly controlled to
avoid dangerous conditions, excessive dust or excessive deterioration of the road
being used.

F 2.2.4 Rehabilitation of access roads

F 2.3

Whenever a mining permit/ prospecting right is suspended, cancelled or


abandoned or if it lapses and the holder does not wish to renew the permit or right,
any access road or portions thereof, constructed by the holder and which will no
longer be required by the landowner/tenant, shall be removed and/or rehabilitated
to the satisfaction of the Regional Manager.
Any gate or fence erected by the holder which is not required by the
landowner/tenant, shall be removed and the situation restored to the pre mining/
prospecting situation.
Roads shall be ripped or ploughed, and if necessary, appropriately fertilised
(based on a soil analysis) to ensure the regrowth of vegetation. Imported road
construction materials which may hamper regrowth of vegetation must be removed
and disposed of in an approved manner prior to rehabilitation.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that the soil be analysed
and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining/prospecting
operation, be corrected and the area be seeded with a seed mix to the Regional
Managers specification.

OFFICE/CAMP SITES

F 2.3.1 Establishing office / camp sites

Office and camp sites shall be established, as far as is practicable, outside the
flood plain, above the 1 in 50 flood level mark within the boundaries of the mining/
prospecting area.
The area chosen for these purposes shall be the minimum reasonably required
and which will involve the least disturbance to vegetation. Topsoil shall be
handled as described in F 2.1 above
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No camp or office site shall be located closer than 100 metres from a stream, river,
spring, dam or pan.
No trees or shrubs will be felled or damaged for the purpose of obtaining firewood,
unless agreed to by the landowner/tenant.
Fires will only be allowed in facilities or equipment specially constructed for this
purpose. If required by applicable legislation, a fire-break shall be cleared around
the perimeter of the camp and office sites.
Lighting and noise disturbance or any other form of disturbance that may have an
effect on the landowner/tenant/persons lawfully living in the vicinity shall be kept to
a minimum.

F 2.3.2 Toilet facilities, waste water and refuse disposal

As a minimum requirement, the holder of a mining permit/ prospecting right shall,


at least, provide pit latrines for employees and proper hygiene measures shall be
established.
Chemical toilet facilities or other approved toilet facilities such as a septic drain
shall preferably be used and sited on the camp site in such a way that they do not
cause water or other pollution.
The use of existing facilities must take place in consultation with the
landowner/tenant.
In cases where facilities are linked to existing sewerage structures, all necessary
regulatory requirements concerning construction and maintenance should be
adhered to.
All effluent water from the camp washing facility shall be disposed of in a properly
constructed French drain, situated as far as possible, but not less than 200
metres, from any stream, river, pan, dam or borehole.
Only domestic type wash water shall be allowed to enter this drain and any
effluents containing oil, grease or other industrial substances must be collected in
a suitable receptacle and removed from the site, either for resale or for appropriate
disposal at a recognised facility.
Spills should be cleaned up immediately to the satisfaction of the Regional
Manager by removing the spillage together with the polluted soil and by disposing
of them at a recognised facility.
Non-biodegradable refuse such as glass bottles, plastic bags, metal scrap, etc.,
shall be stored in a container at a collecting point and collected on a regular basis
and disposed of at a recognised disposal facility. Specific precautions shall be
taken to prevent refuse from being dumped on or in the vicinity of the camp site.
Biodegradable refuse generated from the office/camp site, processing areas
vehicle yard, storage area or any other area shall either be handled as indicated
above or be buried in a pit excavated for that purpose and covered with layers of
soil, incorporating a final 0,5 metre thick layer of topsoil (where practicable).
Provision should be made for future subsidence of the covering.

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F 2.3.3 Rehabilitation of the office/camp site

On completion of operations, all buildings, structures or objects on the camp/office


site shall be dealt with in accordance with section 44 of the Mineral and Petroleum
Resources Development Act, 2002 (Act 28 of 2002), which states:
(1)

When a prospecting right, mining right, retention permit or mining permit


lapses, is cancelled or is abandoned or when any prospecting or mining
operation comes to an end, the holder of any such right or permit may not
demolish or remove any building, structure, object (a)
(b)

which may not be demolished in terms of any other law;


which has been identified in writing by the Minister for purposes of this
section; or
(c) which is to be retained in terms of an agreement between the holder
and the owner or occupier of the land, which agreement has been
approved by the Minister in writing.
(2)
The provision of subsection (1) does not apply to bona fide mining
equipment which may be removed

F 2.4

Where office/camp sites have been rendered devoid of vegetation/grass or where


soils have been compacted owing to traffic, the surface shall be scarified or ripped.
Areas containing French drains shall be compacted and covered with a final layer
of topsoil to a height of 10cm above the surrounding ground surface.
The site shall be seeded with a vegetation seed mix adapted to reflect the local
indigenous flora.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that the soil be analysed
and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining/prospecting
operation be corrected and the area be seeded with a vegetation seed mix to his
or her specification.
Photographs of the camp and office sites, before and during the mining/
prospecting operation and after rehabilitation, shall be taken at selected fixed
points and kept on record for the information of the Regional Manager.

VEHICLE MAINTENANCE YARD AND SECURED STORAGE AREAS

F 2.4.1 Establishing the vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage areas

The vehicle maintenance yard and secured storage area will be established as far
as is practicable, outside the flood plain, above the 1 in 50 flood level mark within
the boundaries of the mining/prospecting area.
The area chosen for these purposes shall be the minimum reasonably required
and involve the least disturbance to tree and plant life. Topsoil shall be handled
as described in F 2.1 above.

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The storage area shall be securely fenced and all hazardous substances and
stocks such as diesel, oils, detergents, etc., shall be stored therein. Drip pans, a
thin concrete slab or a facility with PVC lining, shall be installed in such storage
areas with a view to prevent soil and water pollution.
The location of both the vehicle maintenance yard and the storage areas are to be
indicated on the layout plan.
No vehicle may be extensively repaired in any place other than in the maintenance
yard.

F 2.4.2 Maintenance of vehicles and equipment

The maintenance of vehicles and equipment used for any purpose during the
mining/prospecting operation will take place only in the maintenance yard area.
Equipment used in the mining/prospecting process must be adequately maintained
so that during operations it does not spill oil, diesel, fuel, or hydraulic fluid.
Machinery or equipment used on the mining/prospecting area must not constitute
a pollution hazard in respect of the above substances. The Regional Manager
shall order such equipment to be repaired or withdrawn from use if he or she
considers the equipment or machinery to be polluting and irreparable.

F 2.4.3 Waste disposal

Suitable covered receptacles shall be available at all times and conveniently


placed for the disposal of waste.
All used oils, grease or hydraulic fluids shall be placed therein and these
receptacles will be removed from the site on a regular basis for disposal at a
registered or licensed disposal facility.
All spills should be cleaned up immediately to the satisfaction of the Regional
Manager by removing the spillage together with the polluted soil and by disposing
of them at a recognised facility.

F 2.4.4 Rehabilitation of vehicle maintenance yard and secured storages areas

On completion of mining/prospecting operations, the above areas shall be cleared


of any contaminated soil, which must be dumped as referred to in section F 2.4.3
above.
All buildings, structures or objects on the vehicle maintenance yard and secured
storage areas shall be dealt with in accordance with section 44 of the Mineral and
Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002.
The surface shall then be ripped or ploughed to a depth of at least 300mm and the
topsoil previously stored adjacent the site, shall be spread evenly to its original
depth over the whole area. The area shall then be fertilised if necessary (based
on a soil analysis).
The site shall be seeded with a vegetation seed mix adapted to reflect the local
indigenous flora.

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If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is


unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that the soil be analysed
and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining/prospecting
operation be corrected and the area be seeded with a seed mix to his or her
specification.

F3

OPERATING PROCEDURES IN THE MINING AREA

F 3.1

Limitations on mining/prospecting

F 3.2

The mining of or prospecting for precious stones shall take place only within the
approved demarcated mining or prospecting area.
Mining/ prospecting may be limited to the areas indicated by the Regional
Manager on assessment of the application.
The holder of the mining permit/ prospecting right shall ensure that operations take
place only in the demarcated areas as described in section F 1.1.2 above.
Operations will not be conducted closer than one and a half times the height of the
bank from the edge of the river channel and in such manner that the stability of the
bank of the river is effected.
Precautions shall also be taken to ensure that the bank of the river is adequately
protected from scouring or erosion. Damage to the bank of the river caused by the
operations, shall be rehabilitated to a condition acceptable to the Regional
Manager at the expense of the holder.
Restrictions on the disturbance of riverine vegetation in the form of reeds or
wetland vegetation must be adhered to. The presence of these areas must be
entered in Part of the programme and indicated on the layout plan.

Mining/ prospecting operations within the riverine environment


NOTE: The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry may impose additional
conditions which must be attached to this EMP. In this regard, please see the Best
Practice Guideline for small scale mining developed by DWAF (BPG 2.1)
(available from http://www.dwaf.gov.za)

The mining of or prospecting for precious stones in the river or the banks of the
river will be undertaken only after the Regional Manager has consulted with the
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
The canalisation of a river will not be undertaken unless the necessary permission
has been obtained from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Over and
above the conditions imposed by the said Department, which conditions shall form
part of this EMPlan, the following will also apply:

The canalisation of the flow of the river over different parts of the river bed
shall be constructed in such a manner that the following are adhered to at
all times:

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The flow of the river may not be impeded in any way and
damming upstream may not occur.
The canalisation of the flow may not result in scouring or erosion
of the river-bank.
Well points or extraction pumps in use by other riparian users
may not be interfered with and canalisation may not impede the
extraction of water at these points.

Access to the riverbed for the purpose of conducting excavations in the river-bed,
shall be through the use of only one access at a time. The location of the access
to the river channel across the river-bank shall be at a point of the river-bank
where the least excavation and damage to vegetation will occur and shall not be
wider than is reasonably required. The position of the river access together with
all planned future access points, must be indicated on the layout plan.

F 3.2.1 Rehabilitation of access to river-bed

When rehabilitating the access point, the original profile of the river-bank will be reestablished by backfilling the access point with the original material excavated or
other suitable material.
The topsoil shall then be returned over the whole area to its original depth and if
necessary fertilised and the vegetation allowed to grow.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that the soil be analysed
and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining/prospecting
operation be corrected and the area be seeded with a seed mix to his or her
specification.
In the event of damage from an occurrence where high flood waters scour and
erode access points in the process of rehabilitation over the river-bank or an
access point currently in use, repair of such damage shall be the sole
responsibility of the holder of the mining permit or prospecting right.
Repair to the river-bank to reinstate its original profile to the satisfaction of the
Regional Manager must take place immediately after such event has occurred and
the river has subsided to a point where repairs can be undertaken.
Final acceptance of rehabilitated river access points will be awarded only after the
vegetation has re-established to a point where the Regional Manager is satisfied
that the river-bank is stable and that the measures installed are of durable nature
and able to withstand high river-flow conditions.

F 3.2.2 Rehabilitation of mining/prospecting area in the bed of the river

The goal of rehabilitation with respect to the area where mining/prospecting has
taken place in the river-bed is to leave the area level and even, and in a natural
state containing no foreign debris or other materials and to ensure the hydrological
integrity of the river by not attenuating or diverting any of the natural flow.
All scrap and other foreign materials will be removed from the bed of the river and
disposed of as in the case of other refuse (see section F 2.3.2 above), whether
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these accrue directly from the mining/prospecting operation or are washed on to


the site from upstream.
Removal of these materials shall be done on a continuous basis and not only at
the start of rehabilitation.
Where reeds or other riverine vegetation have been removed from areas, these
shall be re-established systematically in the approximate areas where they
occurred before mining/prospecting.
An effective control programme for the eradication of invader species and other
exotic plants, shall be instituted on a regular basis over the entire
mining/prospecting area under the control of the holder of the mining permit/
prospecting right, both during mining/prospecting and at the stage of final
rehabilitation.

2. THE WATER USE LICENCE


The National Water Act, (Act 36 of 1998), is based on the principles of sustainability, efficiency and
equity, meaning that the protection of water resources must be balanced with their development
and use.
In addition to being issued with a prospecting right or mining permit a small-scale miner may also
need to get a water use licence for the proposed water uses that will take place, except in certain
cases.
NOTE: The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) developed specific Best Practice
Guideline for small scale mining that relates to stormwater management, erosion and sediment
control and waste management. Copies of these guidelines can be obtained from the regional
office of DME or DWAF.
Applications for a water use licence must be made in good time, such that approval can be granted
before a water use activity can begin. The appropriate licence forms for each kind of expected
water use should be completed together with supporting documentation. The main supporting
document required is a technical report. To make the technical report easier, you can refer to
sections in this EMPlan, as most of what the technical report requires has already been done in
the EMPlan. If you refer to the EMPlan it must be attached to the technical report.
F 3.3

EXCAVATIONS

F 3.3.1 Establishing the excavation areas

Whenever any excavation is undertaken for the purpose of locating and/or


extracting ore bodies of all types of minerals, including precious stonebearing gravels, the following operating procedures shall be adhered to:

Topsoil shall, in all cases (except when excavations are made in


the river-bed), be handled as described in F 2.1 above.
Excavations shall take place only within the approved demarcated
mining/prospecting area.
Overburden rocks and coarse material shall be placed
concurrently in the excavations or stored adjacent to the

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Appendix 9.3

excavation, if practicable, to be used as backfill material once the


ore or gravel has been excavated.
Trenches shall be backfilled immediately if no ore or precious
stone-bearing gravel can be located.

F 3.3.2 Rehabilitation of excavation areas


The following operating procedures shall be adhered to:

F 3.4

The excavated area must serve as a final depositing area for the
placement of tailings during processing.
Rocks and coarse material removed from the excavation must be dumped
into the excavation simultaneously with the tailings.
Waste, as described in paragraph F 2.3.2 above, will not be permitted to
be deposited in the excavations.
Once excavations have been refilled with overburden, rocks and coarse
natural materials and profiled with acceptable contours and erosion
control measures, the topsoil previously stored, shall be returned to its
original depth over the area.
The area shall be fertilised if necessary to allow vegetation to establish
rapidly. The site shall be seeded with a local or adapted indigenous seed
mix in order to propagate the locally or regionally occurring flora.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of
vegetation is unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that
the soil be analysed and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from
the mining/ prospecting operation, be corrected and the area be seeded
with a vegetation seed mix to his or her specification.

PROCESSING AREAS AND WASTE PILES (DUMPS)

F 3.4.1 Establishing processing areas and waste piles

Processing areas and waste piles shall not be established within 100 metres of the
edge of any river channel or other water bodies.
Processing areas should be established, as far as practicable, near the edge of
excavations to allow the waste, gravel and coarse material to be processed
therein.
The areas chosen for this purpose shall be the minimum reasonably required and
involve the least disturbance to vegetation.
Prior to development of these areas, the topsoil shall be removed and stored as
described in paragraph F 2.1 above.
The location and dimensions of the areas are to be indicated on the layout plan
and once established, the processing of ore containing precious stones shall be
confined to these areas and no stockpiling or processing will be permitted on
areas not correctly prepared.
Tailings from the extraction process must be so treated and/or deposited that it will
in no way prevent or delay the rehabilitation process.
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Appendix 9.3

F 3.4.2 Rehabilitation of processing areas

F 3.5

Coarse natural material used for the construction of ramps must be removed and
dumped into the excavations.
On completion of mining/prospecting operations, the surface of the processing
areas especially if compacted due to hauling and dumping operations, shall be
scarified to a depth of at least 300mm and graded to an even surface condition
and the previously stored topsoil will be returned to its original depth over the area.
Prior to replacing the topsoil the material that was removed from the processing
area will be replaced in the same order as it originally occurred.
The area shall then be fertilised if necessary to allow vegetation to establish
rapidly. The site shall be seeded with a local, adapted indigenous seed mix.
If a reasonable assessment indicates that the re-establishment of vegetation is
unacceptably slow, the Regional Manager may require that the soil be analysed
and any deleterious effects on the soil arising from the mining/prospecting
operation be corrected and the area be seeded with a seed mix to his or her
specification.

TAILINGS DAM(S) (SLIMES DAM)


The permission of the Regional Manager must be obtained should a tailings dam be
constructed for the purpose of handling the tailings of the mining/prospecting operations.
The construction, care and maintenance of tailings dams have been regulated and the
relevant regulation is copied herwith , both for your information and as a guideline to the
commisioning, management, operation, closing and aftercare of a tailings deposition
facility.

Regulation 73 promulgated under the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act,
2002 (Act 28 of 2002) requires the following:
Management of residue stockpiles and deposits
56.

(1)

The assessment of impacts relating to the management of residue stockpiles and deposits,
where appropriate, must form part of the environmental impact assessment report and
environmental management programme or the environmental management plan.

(2)

Residue characterisation
(a)
Mine residue must be characterised to identify any potentially significant health and
safety hazard and environmental impact that may be associated with the residue when
stockpiled or deposited at the site(s) under consideration.
(b)

Residue stockpiles and deposits must be characterised in terms of its


(i)
physical characteristics, which may include (aa) the size distribution of the principal constituents;
(bb) the permeability of the compacted material;
(cc) void ratios of the compacted material;
(dd) the consolidation or settling characteristics of the material under its own
weight and that of any overburden;
(ee) the strength of compacted material;
(ff)
the specific gravity of the solid constituents; and

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(gg)

(3)

Appendix 9.3

the water content of the material at the time of deposition, after compaction,
and at other phases in the life of the deposit.

(ii)

chemical characteristics, which may include (aa) the toxicity;


(bb) the propensity to oxidize and /or decompose;
(cc) the propensity to undergo spontaneous combustion;
(dd) the pH and chemical composition of the water separated from the solids;
(ee) stability and reactivity and the rate thereof; and
(ff)
neutralising potential.

(iii)

mineral content, which include the specific gravity of the residue particles and its
impact on particle segregation and consolidation;

Classification of residue stockpiles and deposits


(a)
All residue stockpiles and deposits must be classified into one or a combination of the
following categories
(i)
the safety classification to differentiate between residue stockpiles and deposits of
high, medium and low hazard on the basis of their potential to cause harm to life or
property; and
(ii) the environmental classification to differentiate between residue stockpiles and
deposits with (aa) a potentially significant impact on the environment due to its spatial extent,
duration and intensity of potential impacts; or
(bb) no potentially significant impact on the environment.
(b)

All mine residue stockpiles and deposits must be classified by a suitably qualified
person(s).

(c)

The classification of residue stockpiles and deposits shall determine the


(i)
level of investigation and assessment required;
(ii) requirements for design, construction, operation, decommissioning, closure and
post closure maintenance; and
(iii) qualifications and expertise required of persons undertaking the investigations,
assessments, design, construction thereof.

(d)

The safety classification of residue stockpiles and deposits shall be based on the
following criteria

Number
of
residents in zone
of influence
0
1 10
> 10

Number of workers
in zone of influence
< 10
11 100
> 100

Value of third party


propert in zone of
influence
0 R2 m
R 2 m R20 m
> R20 m

Depth
to
underground mine
workings
> 200m
50 m 200 m
< 50 m

Classiication
Low hazard
Medium hazard
High hazard

(e)

A risk analysis must be carried out and documented on all high hazard residue stockpiles
and deposits.

(f)

The environmental classification of residue stockpiles and deposits must be undertaken


on the basis of
(i)
the characteritics of the residue;
(ii)
the location and dimensions of the deposit (height, surface area);
(iii)
the importance and vulnerability of the environmental components that are at
risk; and
(iv)
the spatial extent, duration and intensity of potential impacts.
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(4)

Appendix 9.3

(g)

An assessment of the environmental impacts shall be done on all environmental


components which are significantly affected.

(h)

The assessment of impacts and analyses of risks shall form part of the environmental
assessment and management programme.

Site selection and investigation:


(a)

The process of investigation and selection of a site must entail (i) the identification of a sufficient number of possible candidate sites to ensure
adequate consideration of alternative sites;
(ii) qualitative evaluation and ranking of all alternative sites;
(iii) qualitative investigation of the top ranking sites to review the ranking done in (ii);
(iv) a feasibility study to be carried out on the highest ranking site(s), involving (aa) a prelimenary safety classification;
(bb) an environmental classification;
(cc) geotechnical investigations; and
(dd) groundwater investigations.

(b)

The geotechnical investigations may include(i) the characterization of the soil profile over the entire area to be covered by the
residue facility and associated infrastructure to define the spatial extent and depth
of the different soil horizons;
(ii) the characterization of the relevant engineering properties of foundations soils and
the assessment of strength and drainage characteristics.

(c)

The groundwater investigations may include(i) the potential rate of seepage from the residue facility;
(ii) the quality of such seepage;
(iii) the geohydrological properties of the strata within the zone that could potentially be
affected by the quality of seepage;
(iv) the vulnerability and existing potential use of the groundwater resource within the
zone that could potentially be affected by the residue facility.

(d)

From these investigations, a preferred site must be identified.

(e)

Further investigation on the preferred site, shall include


(i) land use;
(ii) topography and surface drainage;
(iii) infrastructure and man-made features;
(iv) climate;
(v) flora and fauna;
(vi) soils;
(vii) ground water morphology, flow, quality and usage; and
(viii) surface water.

(f)

The investigations, laboratory test work, interpretation of data and recommendations for
the identification and selection of the most appropriate and suitable site for the disposal
of all residue that have the potential to generate leachate that could have a significant
impact on the environment and groundwater must be carried out by a suitably qualified
person.

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(5)

Appendix 9.3

Design of residue stockpile and deposit


(a)

The design of the residue stockpile and deposit shall be undertaken by a suitably
qualified person.

(b)

An assessment of the typical soil profile on the site is required for residue stockpiles and
deposits which (i)
have a low hazard potential; and
(ii)
have no significant impact on the environment.

(c)

The design of the residue stockpile and deposit must take into account all phases of the
life cycle of the stockpile and deposit, from construction through to closure and must
include
(i)
the characteristics of the mine residue;
(ii) the characteristics of the site and the receiving environment;
(iii) the general layout of the stockpile or deposit, whether it is a natural valley, ring
dyke, impoundment or a combination thereof and its 3-dimensional geometry at
appropriate intervals throughout the planned incremental growth of the stockpile or
deposit;
(iv) the type of deposition method used; and
(v) the rate of rise of the stockpile or deposit.

(d)

Other design considerations, as appropriate to the particular type of stockpile and


deposit must be incrporated
(i)
the control of storm water on and around the residue stockpile or deposit by
making provision for the maximum precipitation to be expected over a period of 24
hours with a frequency of once in a 100 years, in accordance with the regulations
made under section 8 of the National Water Act, 1998;
(ii) the provision, throughout the system, of a freeboard of at least 0.5 m above the
expected maximum water level, in accordance with regulations made under the
National Water Act, 1998, to prevent overtopping;
(iii) keeping the pool away from the walls; where there are valid technical reasons for
deviating from this, adequate motivation must be provided and the design must be
reviewed by a qualified person as required in terms of sections 9(6) or 9(7) of the
Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996;
(iv) the control of decanting of excess water under normal and storm conditions;
(aa)
the retension of polluted water in terms of polluted water in terms of GN
R991(9), where measures may be required to prevent water from the
residue deposit from leaving the residue management system unless it
meets prescribed requirements;
(bb)
the design of the penstock, outfall pipe, under-drainage system and
return water dams;
(cc)
the height of the phreatic surface, slope angles and method of
construction of the outer walls and their effects on shear stability;
(dd)
the erosion of slopes by wind and water, and its control by (ee)
vegetation, berms or carchment paddocks; and
(ee)
the potential for pollution.

(e)

A design report and operating manual shall be drawn up for all residue stockpiles and
deposits which
(i)
have a medium to high hazard; and
(ii) have a potentially significant impact on the environment.

(f)

Relevant information must be included in the draft environmental management


programme or environmental management plan.

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(6)

Construction and operation of residue deposits:


(a)

(b)

(7)

(8)

Appendix 9.3

The holder of any right or permit in terms of the Act, must ensure that(i)
the residue deposits, including any surrounding catchment paddocks, is
constructed and operated in accordance with the approved environmental
management programme or environmental management plan;
(ii) the design of the residue deposit is followed implicitly throughout the construction
thereof, and that any deviations from the design be approved by the Regional
Manager and the environmental manage programme and environmental
management plan be amended accordingly;
(iii) as part of the monitoring system, measurements of all residues transported to the
site and of all surplus water removed from the site are recorded;
(iv) the provision for appropriate security measures be implemented to limit
unauthorised access to the site and inrusion into the residue deposit;
(v) specific action be taken in respect of any sign of pollution;
(vi) adequate measures be implemented to control dust pollution and erosion of the
slopes; and
(vii) details of rehabilitation of the residue deposit be provided in the draft
environmental management programme or environmental management plan.
A system of routine maintenance and repair in respect of the residue deposit must be
imlemented to ensure the ongoing control of pollution, the integrity of rehabilitation and
health and safety maters at the site.

Monitoring of residue stockpiles and deposits:


(a)

A monitoring system for residue stockpiles and deposits with respect to potentially
significant impacts as identified in the environmental assessment must be included in the
environmental management programme or environmental management plan.

(b)

In the design of a monitoring system for a residue stockpile or deposit, consideration


must be given to
(i)
baseline and background conditions with regard to air, surface and groundwater
quality ;
(ii)
the air, surface and groundwater quality objectives;
(iii)
residue characteristics;
(iv) the degree and nature of residue containment;
(v)
the receiving environment and secifically the climatic, local geological,
hydrogeological and geochemical conditions;
(vi) potential migration pathways;
(vii) potential impacts of leachate;
(viii) the location of monitoring points and the prescribed monitoring protocols; and
(ix) the reporting frequency and procedures.

Decommissioning, closure and after care:


(a)

The decommissioning, closure and post closure management of residue deposits must
be addressed in the closure plan, which must contain the following (i)
the environmental classification, including assumptions on which the classification
were based;
(ii)
the closure objectives, final land use or capability;
(iii)
conceptual descrption and details for closure and post closure management;
(iv) cost estimates and financial provision for closure and post-closure management;
and
(v)
residual impacts, monitoring and requirements to obtain mine closure in terms of
the Act.

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F 3.6

Appendix 9.3

FINAL REHABILITATION

All infrastructure, equipment, plant, temporary housing and other items used
during the mining period will be removed from the site (section 44 of the MPRDA)
Waste material of any description, including receptacles, scrap, rubble and tyres,
will be removed entirely from the mining area and disposed of at a recognised
landfill facility. It will not be permitted to be buried or burned on the site.
Final rehabilitation shall be completed within a period specified by the Regional
Manager.

F4

MONITORING AND REPORTING

F 4.1

Inspections and monitoring

Regular monitoring of all the environmental management measures and components


shall be carried out by the holder of the prospecting right, mining permit or
reconnaissance permission in order to ensure that the provisions of this programme
are adhered to.
Ongoing and regular reporting of the progress of implementation of this programme
will be done.
Various points of compliance will be identified with regard to the various impacts that
the operations will have on the environment.
Inspections and monitoring shall be carried out on both the implementation of the
programme and the impact on plant and animal life.
Visual inspections on erosion and physical pollution shall be carried out on a regular
basis.

Regulation 55 promulgated in terms of the MPRDA requires the following:


Monitoring and performance assessments of environmental management programme or plan
(1)

As part of the general terms and conditions for a prospecting right, mining right or mining
permit and in order to ensure compliance with the approved environmental management
programme or plan and to assess the continued appropriateness and adequacy of the
environmental management programme or plan, the holder of such right must(a)
conduct monitoring on a continuous basis;
(b)
conduct performance assessments of the environmental management
programme or plan as required; and
(c)
compile and submit a performance assessment report to the Minister to
demonstrate adherence to sub-regulation (b).

(2)

The frequency of performance assessment reporting shall be(a)


in accordance with the period specified in the approved environmental
management programme or plan , or, if not so specified;
(b)
as agreed to in writing by the Minister; or
(c)
biennially (every two years).

(3)

The performance assessment report, shall be in the format provided in guidelines that will
from time to time be published by the Department and shall as a minimum contain(a)
information regarding the period that applies to the performance assessment;
(b)
the scope of the assessment;

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(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)

Appendix 9.3

the procedure used for the assessment;


the interpreted information gained from monitoring the approved environmental
management programme or plan;
the evaluation criteria used during the assessment;
the results of the assessment; and
recommendations on how and when deficiencies that are identified and/or
aspects of non-compliance will be rectified.

(4)

The holder of a prospecting right, mining right or mining permit may appoint an
independent qualified person(s) to conduct the performance assessment and compile the
performance assessment report provided that no such appointment shall relieve the
holder of the responsibilities in terms of these regulations.

(5)

Subject to section 30(2) of the Act, the performance assessment report submitted by the
holder shall be made available by the Minister to any person on request.

(6)

If upon consideration by the Minister, the performance assessment executed by the holder
is not satisfactory or the report submitted by the holder is found to be unacceptable, the
holder must(a)
repeat the whole or relevant parts of the performance assessment and revise
and resubmit the report; and/or
(b)
submit relevant supporting information; and/or
(c)
appoint an independent competent person(s) to conduct the whole or part of the
performance assessment and to compile the report.

(7)

If a reasonable assessment indicates that the performance assessment cannot be


executed satisfactorily by the holder or a competent person(s) appointed by the holder,
the Minister may appoint an independent performance assessment person(s) to conduct
such performance accessment. Such appointment and execution shall be for the cost of
the holder.

(8)

When the holder of a prospecting right, mining right or mining permit intends closing such
operation, a final performance assessment shall be conducted and a report submitted to
the Minister to ensure that (a)
the requirements of the relevant legislation have been complied with;
(b)
the closure objectives as described in the environmental management
programme or plan have been met; and
(c)
all residual environmental impacts resulting from the holders operations have
been identified and the risks of latent impacts which may occur have been
identified, quantified and arrangements for the management thereof have been
assessed.

(9) The final performance assessment report shall either precede or accompany the application
for a closure certificate in terms of the Act.

F 4.2

Compliance reporting / submission of information

Layout plans will be updated on a regular basis and updated copies will be submitted
on a biennial basis to the Regional Manager
Reports confirming compliance with various points identified in the environmental
management programme will be submitted to the Regional Manager on a regular
basis and as decided by the said manager .
Any emergency or unforeseen impact will be reported as soon as possible.
An assessment of environmental impacts that were not properly addressed or were
unknown when the programme was compiled shall be carried out and added as a
corrective action.

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Appendix 9.3

F 5 CLOSURE
When the holder of a prospecting right, mining permit or reconnaissance permission intends
closing down his/her operations, an environmental risk report shall accompany the application for
closure. The requirements of such a risk report is contained in Regulation 60 of the Regulations
promulgated in terms of the Act and is quoted below :
F 5.1

ENVIRONMENTAL RISK REPORT


"An application for a closure certificate must be accompanied by an environmental risk report
which must include(a)
the undertaking of a screening level environmental risk assessment where(i) all possible environmental risks are identified, including those which appear to be
insignificant;
(ii) the process is based on the input from existing data;
(iii) the issues that are considered are qualitatively ranked as
(aa) a potential significant risk; and/or
(bb) a uncertain risk; and/or
(cc) an insignificant risk.
(b)
the undertaking of a second level risk assessment on issues classified as potential
significant risks where(i) appropriate sampling, data collection and monitoring be carried out;
(ii) more realistic assumptions and actual measurements be made; and
(iii) a more quantitative risk assessment is undertaken, again classifying issues as posing
a potential significant risk or insignificant risk.
(c)
assessing whether issues classified as posing potential significant risks are acceptable
without further mitigation;
(d)
issues classified as uncertain risks be re-evaluated and re-classified as either posing
potential significant risks or insignificant risks;
(e)
documenting the status of insignificant risks and agree with interested and affected
persons;
(f)
identifying alternative risk prevention or management strategies for potential significant
risks which have been identified, quantified and qualified in the second level risk
assessment;
(g)
agreeing on management measures to be implemented for the potential significant risks
which must include(i) a description of the management measures to be applied;
(ii) a predicted long-term result of the applied management measures;
(iii)the residual and latent impact after successful implementation of the
management measures;
(iv) time frames and schedule for the implementation of the management
measures;
(v) responsibilities for implementation and long-term maintenance of the
management measures;
(vi) financial provision for long-term maintenance; and
(vii) monitoring programmes to be implemented."

F 5.2

CLOSURE OBJECTIVES

Closure objectives form part of this EMPlan and must(a)


(b)
(c)

identify the key objectives for mine closure to guide the project design,
development and management of environmental objectives;
provide broad future land use objective(s) for the site; and
provide proposed closure cost
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F 5.3

Appendix 9.3

CONTENTS OF CLOSURE PLAN

A closure plan forms part of the EMP and must include the following:
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)
(i)
(j)
(k)
F 5.4

a description of the closure objectives and how these relate to the prospecting or
mine operation and its environmental and social setting;
a plan contemplated in Regulation 2(2), coordinated according to generally
accepted standards, showing the land or area under closure;
a summary of the regulatory requirements and conditions for closure negotiated
and documented in the environmental management programme or plan;
a summary of the results of the environmental risk report and details of identified
residual and latent impacts;
a summary of the results of progressive rehabilitation undertaken;
a description of the methods to decommission each prospecting or mining
component and the mitigation or management strategy proposed to avoid,
minimize and manage residual or latent impacts;
details of any long-term management and maintenance expected;
details of financial provision for monitoring, maintenance and post closure
management, if required;
a plan or sketch at an appropriate scale describing the final land use proposal and
arrangements for the site;
a record of interested and affected persons consulted; and
technical appendices, if any.

TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTAL LIABILITIES TO A COMPETENT PERSON

Should the holder of a prospecting right, mining permit or reconnaissance permission wish to
transfer any environmental liabilities and responsibilities to another person or persons, the
following will pertain:
(1)
(2)

(3)

(4)

An application to transfer environmental liabilities to a competent person in terms


of section 48) of the Act, must be completed on Form O as set out in Annexure 1
to the Regulations and be lodged to the Minister for consideration.
The holder of a prospecting right, mining right or mining permit may transfer
liabilities and responsibilities as identified in the environmental management plan
and the required closure plan to a competent person as contemplated in
Regulation 58.
When considering the transfer of environmental liabilities and responsibilities in
terms of section 48) of the Act, the Minister must consult with any State
department which administers any law relating to matters affecting the
environment.
No transfer of environmental liabilities and responsibilities to a competent person
may be made unless the Chief Inspector of Mines and the Department of Water
Affairs and Forestry have confirmed in writing that the person to whom the
liabilities and responsibilities is transferred to, have the necessary qualifications
pertaining to health and safety and management of potential pollution of water
resources.
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F 5.5

NOTES ON LEGAL PROVISIONS

NOTE:

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Appendix 9.3

The holder of a prospecting right, mining permit or reconnaissance permission


must also take cognisance of the provisions of other legislation dealing with
matters relating to conservation, and which include, inter alia, the following:
National Monuments Act, 1969 (Act 28 of 1969).
National Parks Act, 1976 (Act 57 of 1976)
Environmental Conservation Act, 1989 (Act 73 of 1989)
National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998)
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act 45 of 1965)
The National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998)
Mine Safety and Health Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996)
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act 43 of 1983).

G. SPECIFIC ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS DETERMINED BY THE REGIONAL MANAGER.


Officials in regional offices may use the following matrix to determine the necessity for
additional objectives to be included in this Section of the document:
POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF MINING
Activity
Landform

Disturbance
Soil Flora Fauna

Heritage

Land

Pollution
Water Air

Visual
Noise

Mining
Access
Topsoil removal
Overburden removal
Mineral Extraction
Tailings disposal
Water Abstraction
Pipeline route
Transport
Accomodation
Waste Disposal
Electricity
Hydrocarbon storage
Workforce

Please indicate VL, L, M, H, and VH for Very Low, Low, Medium, high and Very High in each column to
determine the main area and severity of impact.

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Appendix 9.3

G. This section outlines the specific additional requirements that may be set for the operation by the
Regional Manager. Additional requirements will only have been set if the Regional Manager is of the
opinion that there are specific impacts on the environment which will not be adequately mitigated by
the provisions set within the standard version of the Environmental Management Plan. These
requirements form part of the Environmental Management Plan and all elements and instructions
contained herein must be complied with by the applicant.

H. UNDERTAKING
I,...........................................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................,
the
undersigned and duly authorised thereto by..............................................................................
....................................................................................................................................................
Company/Close Corporation/Municipality (Delete that which is not applicable) have studied and
understand the contents of this document in its entirety and hereby duly undertake to adhere to the
conditions as set out therein including the amendment(s) agreed to by the Regional Manager in
Section G and approved on
Signed at ........................... this..............................................day of...................20......

.......................................
Signature of applicant
Agency declaration:

.......................................
Designation
This document was completed by ..on behalf
of.
J. APPROVAL

Approved in terms of Section 39(4) of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act,
2002 (Act 29 of 2002)
Signed at.this.........................................day of..............20......

.........................................
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Appendix 9.3

REGIONAL MANAGER
REGION:

This document has been compiled by the Directorate: Mine Environmental Management of the
Department of Minerals and Energy at their Head Office in Pretoria. Any comments, suggestions or
inputs will be sincerely appreciated. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this
document or its application, please forward your contribution to:
The Director: Mine Environmental Management
Private Bag X 59
PRETORIA
0001

9-188

Tel : 012 317 9288


Fax: 012 320 6786
E-mail: dorothy@mepta.pwv.gov.za

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.4

Appendix 9.4
Standard environmental management programme for provincial administrations and the
South African roads board with regard to gravel, sand, soil and clay quarries for road
building purposes : Section 39 of the minerals act, 1991 (Act 50 OF 1991)
1. SOIL
Topsoil means that layer of soil covering the earth and which provides
a suitable environment for the germination of seed, allows the
penetration of water, is a source of micro-organisms, plant nutrients
and in some cases seed, and of a depth of 0,5 metre or any other
depth as may be determined by the regional Director for each mining
area. It must be stored separately at a suitable place so that it can be
placed on the exposed subsoil as soon as the mining of the excavation
or the relevant section of it has been completed and its slopes have
been finished off to the acceptable gradient.
The topsoil will be stored in such a way and at such a place that it will
not cause damming up of water or washaways, or wash away itself.
Piles will not exceed a height of 2 metres, and if left stored for longer
than 6 months, will be upgraded before replacement. Piles may also
be protected against erosion and weeds by means of hydro-seeding.
The overburden, i.e., that layer of soil immediately beneath the
topsoil, will be removed and stored separately from the topsoil.
2. LAND USE
The excavation will not be left in a way to deteriorate into an illegal
dumping-site. A permit must be obtained from the Department of
Water Affairs and Forestry, should the excavation be utilized for the
dumping of solid waste.
3. LAND CAPABILITY
The surface of the mining area that will be disturbed by mining
activities will be restored/rehabilitated in such a way that, as far as it
is practically feasible, it will regain its original production potential.
4. NATURAL VEGETATION/PLANT LIFE
Grass and vegetation of the immediate environment, or adapted
grass/vegetation will be re-established. In woody areas indigenous
trees will be re-established so that the area blends with the landscape.
Advice in this regard can be obtained from the Directorate: Nature and
Environment Conservation of the Provincial Administration concerned,
and re-establishment will be carried out in consultation with the
surface owner.

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5. ANIMAL LIFE/VEGETATION
All animal life, vegetation, firewood, etc., will remain the property of
the surface owner/lessee and will not be disturbed, upset or used
excessively.
The Directorate: Nature and Environment Conservation will be
approached for advice if endangered species whose habitat is
underground and endangered plant species encountered in the mining
area, will be affected.
6. SURFACE WATER
WATER SUPPLY AND STABILITY
(i) Before a quarry is opened or before old
workings are expanded or redeveloped, it
will be established how the area drains
and how the drainage will be changed by
the excavation or the expansion or redevelopment thereof.
(ii) Rehabilitation of the quarry will be
planned and completed in such a way that
run-off water will not cause erosion. The
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
will be consulted with regard to river-bank
stability and precautionary measures
concerning erosion, should quarries be
developed within 100 metres of rivers.
(iii) Where a depression in the ground in
which water can gather has formed,
attention will be given to the outflow of
water to prevent concentration of run-off
and thus prevent erosion.
(iv) Quarries must not be constructed for
the usage thereof as dams. The
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
must be notified in cases where the
surface owner request the embankment
of storm-water in the quarry.
(v) The applicable provisions of the Water
Act, 1956 (Act 54 of 1956), will at all
times be observed.
WATER QUALITY

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(i) To prevent soil pollution, precautionary


measures must be taken in the handling
of grease and oil-polluted fluid.
(ii) Visual inspections will be done on a
regular basis with regard to the following:
Stability of water control
structures
Erosion and siltation
Clarity of water canalized to
rivers by means of stormwater
precautionary
measures
(iii) If any doubt should occur concerning
water pollution, the problem will be
addressed in consultation with the
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
The applicable provisions of the Water
Act, 1956, will be observed.
7. GROUND WATER
The applicable provisions of the Water Act, 1956, will be observed.
Quarries will be located in such a way that fountains and other ground
water are not affected. Care will be taken that ground water will not
be affected significantly by quarries.
8. AIR QUALITY
Air pollution will be limited according to the provisions of the
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965 (Act 45 of 1965), and the
Minerals Act, 1991 (Act 50 of 1991).
9. SENSITIVE AREAS AND LANDSCAPES
Identified sensitive areas and sensitive landscapes protected by means
of statutory requirements will be controlled and particulars thereof will
be provided in writing to the regional director. The approval of the
regional director must be obtained before the commencement of any
mining operations on such landscapes and area.
10. VISUAL ASPECTS
The exposure of soil through the removal of vegetation before

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commencement of excavation will be limited to that which is essential.


In order to lessen the visual impact of quarries to the minimum from
scenic points, tourism routes and existing residential areas, project
sites must as far as practical, be located away from them.
After closure, roads will be obliterated by breaking the surface crust
and erecting earth embankments to prevent erosion, and adapted
vegetation will be re-established, unless the landowner requests that
the roads be retained for his personal use.
The remains of site huts and other temporary buildings that had been
erected at the quarries will be demolished and removed.
Care will be taken that all rehabilitated land will merge with the
immediate environment, and any negative visual impacts will be
rectified to the satisfaction of the regional director.
11. INTERESTED AND AFFECTED PARTIES
In order to minimize the impact, interested and affected parties such
as Telkom, Eskom, Spoornet, etc., whose existing rights are affected
through the placing of the quarries, must be consulted beforehand.
As regards affected parties such as landowners, the following will
apply:
(i) Access roads
In consultation with the landowner/lessee or the relevant authority,
access roads will within reason and with the object of minimizing
disturbances of the environment be selected and established, and will
be fenced off if the landowner/lessee so wishes. Access roads will be
maintained in a satisfactory condition and in such a way that air
pollution and erosion are limited. Field personnel will not be allowed to
move on any other road so as to limit unnecessary disturbance of the
surface, natural vegetation, game, birds, plants or livestock.
Additional access roads not required by the landowner, will be
rehabilitated to prevent soil erosion.
Reasonable speeds will be maintained at all times in order to prevent
accidents, excessive noise and dust and to prevent injuries to
livestock.
Gates that may be found open or closed will be left in the same state
as they were found, subject to the requirements of the
landowner/lessee.

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Under no circumstances will fences be cut or disturbed without an


agreement with the landowner/lessee.
(ii) Camp site
Accommodation for field personnel will have sufficient kitchen and
sanitary facilities. Toilets will be provided and will be situated in such a
way as not to pollute water.
Natural vegetation will not be disturbed unnecessarily.
Making of fires will only be allowed in properly structured facilities.
Biodegradable (decomposable) waste will be burnt in an excavation
constructed for this purpose, and non-biodegradable (nondecomposable) waste such as glass bottles, plastic bags and waste
material will be stored at properly fenced collection points and will be
removed periodically. These dumping sites will be located in
consultation with the landowner concerned and in accordance with the
applicable legislation, and precautions will be taken to ensure that
loose debris does not spread.
All waste material will be disposed of in such a way that the pollution
of natural water sources and the formation of unpleasant bacterial
odours are avoided.
Camp sites will be kept in a neat and tidy condition at all times.
12. MAINTENANCE OF REHABILITATED GROUND
The gradient of the slopes of the excavations and the waste dumps, if
any, will be planned in such a way that the run-off water will not
cause washaways after rehabilitation of the mining area. Sufficient
contour walls, weirs and waterways will be constructed and vegetation
established to prevent soil erosion.
13. GENERAL
Prospecting holes and trenches will be located within reason in
consultation with the owner/lessee of the land concerned.
The dimensions of such holes and trenches will be kept to the
minimum for still obtaining the desired results with a realistic attempt.
The topsoil and subsoil of all excavations will be stored separately as
described in paragraph 2 above.
All unsafe excavations will be fenced off while they are open, and
danger notices will be fixed to the fencing at prominent places to

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prevent unintentional entry.


Adapted vegetation which blends with the surrounding landscape will
as far as it is practically feasible, be re-established on such site.
14. DISPOSAL OF INFRASTRUCTURE
The demolishing or disposal of structures and buildings, removal of
foundations and the rehabilitation of the surface at closure, will be
done in accordance with Section 40 of the Minerals Act, 1991.
REFERENCE ...............
ROAD AUTHORITY: ...............
NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT OR CESSATION OF MINING OPERATIONS:
SECTION 54(1) OF THE MINERALS ACT, 1991 (ACT 50 OF 1991)
1. DATE OF COMMENCEMENT/CESSATION OF OPERATIONS: ......
Complete only question 2 and 3 and confirm compliance with
paragraph 6 if operations are ceased temporarily/permanently.
2. PARTICULARS OF QUARRY MANAGER:
2.1 Component: ................
2.2 Address: ................
2.3 Tel. No.: .................
2.4 Name and quarry manager: .................
3. LOCATION OF QUARRY:
3.1 Magisterial District: ...............
3.2 Name of farm and No.: ..................
3.3 Name of landowner: ..................
3.4 Road number: ..................
3.5 Number of river catchment area: ..................
3.6 Location and infrastructure such as roads, railways,
buildings, power lines, etc., are indicated on the
attached locality and structure plan.
4. EXTENT OF OPERATIONS

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4.1 Quarry number: ..........


4.2 Quarry type: ..........
4.3 New quarry? Yes/No* If no, complete questions 4.11 to 4.17
4.4 Estimated surface area of new quarry: ...
4.5 Estimated average depth of quarry: ....
*Delete where applicable
4.6 Average geological horizons of the test holes:
(a) 0,0m to 0,3m: .........
(b) 0,3m to 3,0m: .........
(c) m to m: ..........
(d) m to m: .........
4.7 Mining method: Blasting operations/Dig with implements.*
4.8 Estimated rate of mining:
4.9 Estimated duration of quarry:
4.10 The placing of topsoil and overburden are shown on the structure
plan.
Complete the following 7 questions in case of an existing quarry:
4.11 Surface area of existing quarry: ...
4.12 Depth of existing quarry: .................
4.13 Estimated surface area of quarry after mining: .................
4.14 Estimated new depth of quarry after mining: .
4.15 Estimated rate of mining: ..........
4.16 Estimated duration of quarry: ........
4.17 Mining method: Blasting operation. Dig with implements.*

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4.18 This information as well as the contemplated camping site, are


indicated on the structure plan.
5. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ANALYSIS
5.1 Land use: (e.g. cultivated land, grazing, etc.)
5.2 Existing
.................

vegetation:

(e.g.

woodland,

grass-veldt,

etc.)

5.3 Topography: (e.g. slopes, valleys, etc.) ..................


5.4 Proposed land use after rehabilitation: ...............
5.5 Is the quarry visible from a road/roads: Yes/No*
5.6 Are there any structures within 100 m? Yes/No*
If YES show on structure plan/locality plan and give
reasons on a separate paper why mining cannot take
place further away from structures. Refer to safety
aspects as well.
5.7 Groundwater: Visible? Yes/No* If Yes, Depth .......
metres
Boreholes/fountains nearby? Yes/No* If Yes, show on
plans mentioned in 3.6 and 4.18.
*Delete where applicable
6. REHABILITATION
Rehabilitation of
accordance with -

the

excavation

will

be/have

been*

done

in

6.1 Approved standard environment management programme of the


Department of Minerals and Energy;
6.2 "Handleiding vir die hervestiging van plantegroei in padreserwes"
from the Department of Transport;
6.3 Standard specifications for road and bridge work of the Committee
of State Road Authorities.
Delete where applicable.

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ROAD AUTHORITY DATE ROAD DISTRICT


REPRESENTATIVE NAME AND NO.

INITIALS AND SURNAME


(IN BLOCK LETTERS)

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Appendix 9.5

Appendix 9.5
Minimum information standards for environmental descriptions of mining
development; published, public-domain and internet-based resources
The change from the Minerals Act, 1991 to the Minerals and Petroleum Resources
Development Act, 2002 has heralded in a new approach to environmental evaluation, control
and rehabilitation of mineral prospecting and development.
The acceptance of the Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) principles embodied in
the National Environmental Management Act, 108 of 1998 (NEMA) brings the mining
legislation closer to the ambit of environmental planning legislation used to control activities
that have a negative impact on the environment. Specific obligations are placed on the
Department of Minerals and Energy (Schedule 2, section 11(2)) to ensure harmonisation of
environmental policies, plans and programmes. As custodian of the countries mineral and
petroleum resources the Minister of DME must ensure sustainable development of these
resources within the framework of national environmental policy including NEMA and the
National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998).
The development of the draft regulations of the covering mineral- and environmental
regulation (Government Notice No. 1520, 6 December 2002) shows a strong integration of
integrated environmental management principles in the requirements of documents to be
submitted as part of the application process.
Whereas the regulations of the Minerals Act, 1991 contained limited framework details
prescribing the format and processes associated with the environmental requirements of the
Act, a separate document, the Aide Memoire provided the format and outlined the required
information. There were subsequent reviews of the Aide Memoire and attempts to introduce
changes or requirements for additional information as required to meet the integrated
environmental management oriented standards set by other legislation (Environment
Conservation Act, 1989, as amended) or revised regulations of the Minerals Act, 1991.
Perhaps the most obvious changes in the new Minerals and Petroleum Resources
Development Act, 2002, and draft regulations, is the more robust definitions of different
activities that must be addressed through separate application processes. The detailed
requirements for each process are outlined in the regulations and the comprehensive
application documents (Forms) that include much of the detail or alternatives relating to the
specific process. There is no guideline document available as an aide to meeting the
requirements of the Act and regulations and it is possible to utilise the regulations to provide
the necessary content framework.
The reviewers from government departments perform a critical function in the permitting and
environmental planning process in that their input is required in the context of the Regional
Mining Development and Environmental Committees that must be established for each
region. In order to contribute to the informed decision making process it is necessary to
include persons with a wide range of knowledge and experience. DACE would be included
on a Gauteng committee by virtue of its status as an organ of State. These committees have
30 days to consider any application.
In order to make a value judgement that could lead to identification of specific impacts or
activities that must be controlled during mining, the reviewer must provide an evaluation of the
proposed operation relative to best practice principles. Unless the mining company or
consultants acting on behalf of the organisation have provided adequate and appropriate
levels of detail concerning the environmental description, it will be difficult for a reviewer to
assess the probable impacts associated with specific aspects of any mining development.
The text below outlines a list of essential environmental aspects, based broadly on the
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framework of the Aide Memoire document, but augmented with additional requirements
defined by other legislation or the draft regulations of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources
Development Act, 2002.
The basic information listed is usually published by government or parastatal organisations, is
published and freely available or at low cost, and represents the essential baseline data
required in order to provide a broad description of the pre-mining environment. Any
application that does not reference this data could be deemed inadequate unless there is
more detailed information provided on the basis of site specific investigations by registered
specialists. A list of Internet web sites where basic information can be obtained relatively
quickly is provided so that this information can be relayed to mining proponents or their
consultants should the information provided not meet minimum requirements.
GEOLOGY
The host rock containing precious or industrial minerals is a critical aspect of any mining
related development. Apart from controlling the distribution and grade of mineral deposits,
the rock structure, texture and mineralogy can impact the terrain morphology, drainage
development and type of channels, groundwater flow and chemistry and the nature of solid,
fluid or gaseous emanations that can affect the environment.
Published geological maps of the Gauteng area can be obtained from;
Council for Geoscience, Private Bag X112, Pretoria, 0001; Tel: 012-8411018
A List of Publications of the Geological Society of South Africa is now available on CD-ROM.
The price is ZAR 50.00 + VAT and can be ordered by contacting Roger Price by e-mail, or by
telephone at +27 12 841-1071. Updates are free of charge, provided you return the original
CD-ROM.
A list of maps, explanation booklets and research publications can be accessed at the
following web address:
http://www.geoscience.org.za/publications/index.htm
The Gauteng area is covered by four 1:250 000 geological series maps; namely
Geological Survey, 1981. 2526 Rustenburg
Geological Survey, 1991. 2528 Pretoria
Geological Survey, 1986. 2626 Wes-Rand
Geological Survey, 1986. 2628 East Rand
There is a 1:250 000 series metallogenic map for the Pretoria sheet.
Geological Survey, 1991. 2528 Pretoria
A mineralogical map of the Gauteng area shows the geological units, mineral commodities
and mineralised provinces or fields;

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Council for Geoscience. 2001.


Samindaba; 1:250 000.

Appendix 9.5

Mineral map of Gauteng, mineral data extracted from

Simplified digital geological maps can be derived from the Enpat database;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtgeol.jpg

CLIMATE
General climatic data is necessary to provide information regarding the temperature range
and monthly distribution, long-term rainfall and evaporation statistics, flood event frequency
and wind records as these can affect the design parameters for capacity and necessary
freeboard in slimes dams, pollution control dams and drainage canals.

SOUTH AFRICAN WEATHER SERVICE


Forum Building (5th Floor), 159 Struben Street, Pretoria
Private Bag X097, Pretoria 0001
Telephone: 082 233 8686 Fax: +27 12 309 3989 E-mail: pubenq@weathersa.co.za
Publication sales lists
http://www.weathersa.co.za/publications/publications_for_sale.html
http://www.weathersa.co.za/publications/publ_inlig_2000.html
Long term data sets for recording stations around the country are published in;
Weather Bureau, 1995. Air temperature and Precipitation data, Climate of South Africa, WB
42, Climate Statistics
Climate statistics can be obtained from the South African Weather Bureau website where
there is long-term data for some large urban areas.
http://www.weathersa.co.za/climat/Climstats/MainStats.html
Additional climatic data is obtainable on the Agis GIS website;
http://www.agis.agric.za/agisweb/$WEB_HOME?MIval=mapping_frames.html&tag=box_aoi&t
ipe=normal&project_no=0&product_id=climate
Various map layers, including climate data can be accessed at;
http://www.agis.agric.za/agisweb/?MIval=mapping_frames2.html&project_no=4699&what=nik
s&tag=box_layers2&cart=view_cart&tipe=normal
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtrain.jpg
The magnitude of storm events with return periodicities of 1:20, 1:50 and 1:100 years is
presented in;
Adamson, P.T. (1981). Southern African storm rainfall. Technical Report 102. Dept. of
Environmental Affairs.
Generalised rainfall data for catchments can be derived from;

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Midgley, D.C., Pitman, W.V. and Middleton, B.J. 1994. Surface water resources of South
Africa 1990. Volume II, Drainage region C, Book of Maps. WRC Report No. 298/2.2/94, Water
Research Commission.
Midgley, D.C., Pitman, W.V. and Middleton, B.J. (1994). Surface water resources of South
Africa 1990; Volume II Appendices, Drainage Region C. WRC Report No. 298/2.1/94 Water
Research Commission.

TOPOGRAPHY
An accurate description of the mining area is necessary to determine likely slope stability
characteristics and stormwater runoff flow directions. Accurate definition of slope gradients
and relief is necessary to assess visibility of the operation. The most common source of
topographic detail including spot heights, contours and terrain detail is the published 1:50 000
topocadastral map series, the 1:10 000 orthophoto maps. Most of the contour and landfrom
map data is now available in digital form from the following site;
Generalised terrain data can be accessed at the following web site;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtmorp.jpg
The Department of Land Affairs, Surveys and mapping produces paper and digital map,
orthophoto, aerial photographs products;
http://land.pwv.gov.za/land_planning_info/surveys_mapping.htm
Surveys and mapping homepage;
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/
Products for sale;
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/prodindx.htm#Maps and Charts
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/prodindx.htm#Aerial Photos
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/prodindx.htm#Geodetic Products
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/prodindx.htm#Digital Products
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/mapdgtl.htm#Digital elevation model
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/mapdgtl.htm#Digital maps
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/mapdgtl.htm#Digital topographical information
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/mapdgtl.htm#Digital orthophoto images
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/MAPPRICE.HTM
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/surveys/MAPPING/mapaero.htm#aero-PWV
The new regulations covering the Minerals and Petroleum resources Development Act, 2002
require all maps to be compiled using the WGS 84 or Hartbeesthoek 94 co-ordinate system;
http://w3sli.wcape.gov.za/SURVEYS/MAPPING/wgs84.htm

SOIL
Detail of soil cover in a mining area is critical for planning stockpiling of topsoil and
subsoil/weathered overburden ahead of mining. The basic data required is the typical soil
association characterised by changes in the bedrock, slope gradient, drainage, texture,
thickness and soil chemistry of soil profiles across the terrain. Soil classification systems can
provide useful data regarding the susceptibility to erosion of different soil types, the soil
fertility or nutrient status and drainage regime.
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The Agricultural Research Council and its Institutes produce publications on soils;
Various Maps can be ordered from:
ARC-ISCW Publications
Attention: Tinkie du Toit
Private Bag X79
PRETORIA
South Africa
0001
Tel: +27 (0) 12 310-2538
E-mail: tinkie@iscw.agric.za

Soils are classified according to the Binomial System and more recently adopted Taxonomic
System that are closely related. These publications can be purchased on CD from;
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/cds/soilclass.htm
MacVicar, C.N., De Villiers, J.M., Loxton, R.F., Verster, E., Lambrechts, J.J.N., Merryweather,
F.R., Le Roux, J., Van Rooyen, T.H. AND Von M. Harmse, H.J. 1977. Soil Classification: A
binomial system for South Africa. The Soil and Irrigation Research Institute, Department of
Agricultural Technical Services, 150 pp.
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/books/soildc.htm
Soil Classification Working Group. 1991. Soil Classification: A taxonomic system for South
Africa. Memoirs on the Agricultural Natural Resources of South Africa No. 15, Soil and
Irrigation Research Institute, Department of Agricultural Development, Pretoria, 257 pp.
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/books/soiltax.htm
The Binomial System forms the basis for soil mapping units or landtypes depicted on the
1:250 000 Landtype map series that shows the changes in soil types down typical terrain
profiles and provides information on soil thickness, texture etc.
The Soil and Irrigation Research Institute has published 1:250 000 landtype series maps for
the following sheets covering Gauteng;
2526 Rustenburg
2528 Pretoria
2626 Wes-Rand
2628 East Rand

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These maps can be purchased from;


http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/books/landtype8.htm
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/books/landtype4.htm
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/iscw/main/books/landtype5.htm
General soil maps can be downloaded from the following web sites;
http://www.agis.agric.za/agisweb/IDfd6a7c3c6510f2/$WEB_HOME?MIval=soils_n.html
http://www.csir.co.za/plsql/ptl0002/PTL0002_PGE100_LOOSE_CONTENT?LOOSE_PAGE_
NO=7014459
http://www.dacel.gpg.gov.za/directorates/agri/index.html
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Geomatics/MapServices/WRC/Default.htm (WR90 data)
A recent assessment of the erodibility and soil delivery potential of soil types and sediment
yield from catchments is;
Rooseboom, A., Verster, E., Zietsman, H.L. and Lotriet, H.H. (1992). The development of the
new sediment yield map of southern Africa. WRC Report No. 297/2/92, Water Research
Commission.
Maps showing sediment yield and erodibility can be downloaded from;
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Geomatics/MapServices/WRC/map.asp?mapserv=wrc_sed

PRE-MINING LAND CAPABILITY AND LAND USE


The National Land Cover (NLC) 2000 project provides generalised maps showing land use;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtlcov.jpg
http://www.csir.co.za/plsql/ptl0002/PTL0002_PGE100_LOOSE_CONTENT?LOOSE_PAGE_
NO=7014459

ANIMAL LIFE
Establishing whether a development will impact rare or threatened populations, by destroying
habitat, restricting movement between populations, reducing breeding success or create a
cumulative impact relative to other developments or over time are the key questions to be
answered by the environmental description. Some sources of data that can assist in deciding
if there is a potential problem are;
Branch, W.R (ed). 1988. South African Red Data Book: Reptiles & Amphibians,
South African National Scientific Programmes Report No. 151, 241pp.
Brooke, R.K. 1984. South African Red Data Book: Birds, South African national
Scientific Programmes Report No. 97, 213pp.
Smithers, R.H.N. 1986. South African Red Data Book: Mammals, South African
National Scientific Programmes Report No. 125, 216pp.

NATURAL VEGETATION/PLANT LIFE


A standard reference concerning vegetation types and distribution and consisting of species
lists of typical vegetation communities is;

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Appendix 9.5

Acocks, J.P.H. (1988). Veld types of South Africa. Mem. Bot. Surv. SA., 57, 146pp.
A more recent classification and map of the vegetation of South Africa is by;
Low, A. B. and Rebelo, A.G. (Eds.).1996. Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria.
Maps showing the distribution of vegetation types and other environmental characteristics as
compiled on the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism website under the
Environmental Potential Atlas (Enpat), located at;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/intro.htm
A generalised vegetation map can be downloaded from;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/sote/NSOER/Data/vegrsa/vegstart.htm
A list of vegetation-related publications can be found on the National Botanical Institute site
at;
http://www.nbi.ac.za/products/publications/saveg&flora.htm
The importance of identifying alien and invasive weeds and shrubs must form part of a mining
environmental assessment;
http://www.agis.agric.za/agisweb/ID03886bde350ee9/?MIval=/wip_n.html
Recent publications concerning alien plant control and rehabilitation of cleared areas are;
Campbell, P.L. 2000. Rehabilitation recommendations after alien plant control. Plant
protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12, Agricultural Research Council, Hilton. 124pp.
http://www.arc.agric.za/v-arcroot/institutes/ppri/main/publications/books/rehabilitation.htm
Versveld, D.B., Le Maitre, D.C. and Chapman, R.A. 1998. Alien invading plants and water
resources in South Africa: a preliminary assessment. WRC Report No. TT 99/98, Water
Research Commission.

SURFACE WATER
One of the most widespread and far-reaching impacts of mining is on the surface water
environment, impacting both quantity and quality of runoff or impoundments. The river
systems of South Africa are classified into Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Quaternary
catchments that can be downloaded from;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtpcat.jpg
http://www-dwaf.pwv.gov.za/Geomatics/Systems/Metadata/webDetail.asp?id=38
The surface water and Quaternary catchments of Gauteng are shown at;
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/gt/gtqrun.jpg
The data from the most comprehensive study of the surface water resources of South Africa,
named the AWR90" programme can be accessed at;
Midgley, D.C., Pitman, W.V. and Middleton, B.J. 1994. Surface water resources of South
Africa 1990. Volume II, Drainage region C, Book of Maps. WRC Report No. 298/2.2/94, Water
Research Commission.
Midgley, D.C., Pitman, W.V. and Middleton, B.J. (1994). Surface water resources of South
Africa 1990; Volume II Appendices, Drainage Region C. WRC Report No. 298/2.1/94 Water
Research Commission.
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Geomatics/MapServices/WRC/Default.htm
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Geomatics/MapServices/Default.asp?mapserv=wma

9-205

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.5

General hydrological data can be accessed at;


http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Hydrology/dataman.htm
River flows, dam levels etc are stored on the following website;
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Hydrology/isapi/realtime/realtime.dll/lastreadings
Water quality issues are addressed by the web site of the Institute for Water Quality Studies;
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/IWQS/report.htm
There are regulations governing activities that abstract surface water or impact the flow in
watercourses and cause stream flow reduction. An outline of the policy and requirements is
listed at;
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/sfra/
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/sfra/glossary.htm#SFRA
Water licensing forms
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Projects/WARMS/Forms/index.html
Regional reps
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Projects/WARMS/Distribution_list_reg_reps.doc

GROUNDWATER
Deep mining can have direct impacts on aquifer rocks or permit links between isolated
aquifers. Siting of mining areas should take into account the aquifer status of the bedrock
and the location of highly transmissive zones such as faults and dykes that can convey
contaminated groundwater beyond the mine.
Maps and publications can be purchased from;
Ms M. van Wyk
Department Water Affairs and Forestry
Directorate: Geohydrology
Emanzini Building R310
173 Schoeman Street, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: 012-3367849; Fax: 012-3286397

WB3@dwaf.gov.za

A source of generalised groundwater data is the following report and maps;


Vegter, J.R. 1995. An explanation of a set of National Groundwater Maps. Water Resource
Commission.
Water Research Commission (1995). Groundwater resources of the Republic of South Africa.
Maps 1 and 2, First edition.
A new map series by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry is the 1:500 000
hydrogeological series that provides more specific data than the report/map above;
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (1998) Johannesburg 2526, 1:500 000
Hydrolgeological map series.
Requests for data from the National Groundwater database can be addressed to;
georequests@dwaf.gov.za
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Geohydrology/ngdbman1.htm
A list of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry publications is accessible at;
http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Documents/

9-206

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.5

AIR QUALITY/DUST
Comprehensive manual on dust in mining by Environment Australia
http://www.ea.gov.au/industry/sustainable/mining/booklets/dust/index.html

NOISE
SANS 10083 / SABS 083:1996; The measurement and assessment of occupational noise for
hearing conservation purposes
http://www.stansa.co.za/standardsearch2.asp?s_id=4462&s_document_id=083&keywords=&t
ype=AND&status=ST

SENSITIVE LANDSCAPES
other data
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/prov/other.htm
Environmental indicators
http://www.environment.gov.za/soer/indicator/resources.htm#phase2

REGIONAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE


Details of population statistics based on regular Census and research projects are published
by Statistics SA
http://www.statssa.gov.za/default3.asp
Chamber of Mines, Women in Mining
http://www.bullion.org.za/Level3/What%27sNew/women.htm
Chamber of Mines HIV/Aids fact sheet
http://www.bullion.org.za/Level3/AIDS/facts.pdf
Chamber of Mines Environmental Management in Mining
http://www.bullion.org.za/Level2/MinEnviron.htm

INTERESTED AND AFFECTED PARTIES


A range of interest groups and data sources concerning the environment can be accessed on
the Environmental Potential Atlas (ENPAT);
http://www.environment.gov.za/Enviro-Info/env/resource.htm
Chamber of Mines, Public participation guidelines for stakeholders in the mining industry
http://www.bullion.org.za/Level2/MinEnviron.htm
International Association for Public Participation
http://www.iap2.org
International Association for Impact Assessment
http://www.iaia.org.za

MINING ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND GUIDELINES


The website of the Department of Minerals and Energy hosts much useful information
concerning the mining policy and regulatory environment. Under the menu for Mineral

9-207

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.5

Development, mine rehabilitation there are many documents outlining the policy, legislation
and regulations concerning mining;
http://www.dme.gov.za/home.asp?menu=main
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/rehab_mines.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/enviro_policies.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/emp.htm
Under the Minerals Act, 1991, the Aide Memoire guideline document was used as the basis
for providing the environmental assessment data require to obtain mining authorisation.
Some specific mining operations were deemed specialised and could be addressed through a
simplified AStandard Environmental Management Programme@ or SEMP. These operations
include a prospecting EMP document, mining sand from a river, pan or dam, crushing waste
rock dumps, road material borrow pit.
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/aide_memoire.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/guideline_documents.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/standard_enviro.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/prospect.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/sandwin.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/borrow.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/rock.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/contact_list.htm
The recently published Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 can be
downloaded from;
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/pdf/New_Act.pdf
The recently published draft regulations of the above Act are at;
http://www.dme.gov.za/publications/pdf/legislation/Mineral_and_Petroleum_Resources_Devel
opment_Act_(regulation).pdf
The issue of Broad Based Socio-economic Empowerment Charter in the mining industry is
addressed by the following;
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/mining_charter.htm
http://www.dme.gov.za/minerals/pdf/scorecard.p

9-208

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.1

Appendix 9.6.1
Impact and mitigation table; sand winning from river, stream, dam or pan
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND CONSIDERATION, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT, MITIGATION MEASURES AND APPLICABLE LEGISLATION
Impacts and mitigation shown relative to the Construction (C), Operational (O), Decommissioning (D) and Post-mining (P) phases.
Copyright 8 Council for Geosciences, 2003
Environmental description and planning should utilise the Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP) for the mining of sand from a river, stream or pan
or meet the content requirements stipulated in the regulations for the Scoping Report, Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), Social and Labour Plan (SLP), Environmental
Management Programme (EMP), Monitoring and Performance Assessment, Mine Decommissioning and Closure Plan, Environmental Risk Report (ERR) the relevant application forms
and requirements defined by the regulations of the Mineral and Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002
ELEMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT

CONCEPT OR THEORETICAL
BACKGROUND CONSIDERATIONS

IMPACT DESCRIPTION

CROSSREFERENCE

ACTIONS PROPOSED IN MITIGATION OF


IMPACTS
(Relevant to Part 6 of EMPR)

Geology

Sandwinning or mining of unconsolidated


alluvium from an active river channel, pan
or dam.
Necessary to distinguish
relatively mobile deposits from flood
deposits on floodplain, older alluvial
terrace deposits and alluvium exposed by
the river bank.
Impacts relate to both the rock type
underlying the deposit and the location of
the operation within an environment that
represents an active geomorphological/geological process.

(C) Excavation of access ramp through old alluvium forming


stable river bank or unstabilized sandbars or sidebar deposits
forming temporary river bank during low flow.

Topography

(C) Site ramp where least excavation is


required. Limit width of ramp and align
downstream. Reinforce and protect cut banks
with pole revetments or gabions backed by
geofabric liner.

Alluvial
sands
from
different
environments have characteristics suiting
various construction activities. Coarse
channel sands are used for concrete
aggregate, fine floodplain sands are used
as mortar- or general building sand whilst
some can serve as plaster sand.
Altered landuse patterns such as urban
developments or damming of the channel
upstream can reduce sand sources and
prevent replenishment of sand in the
channel affecting future channel
environments.

(C) Alignment of access ramp can divert floodwaters causing


erosion of river bank or channel incision across floodplain.
(C) Preparation of temporary product stockpile area,
screening area, temporary dump for screened discard
material, settling pond, clarification pond.
(O) Excavation of sand by pumping from pool alters depth,
river bed roughness and can modify >thalweg= or route of
maximum water flow.
(O) Excavation of emergent sand bars can divert low flow
channel and cause potential river bank erosion.
(O) Excavation of deep trench in river bed can result in a
sand trap that starves river reaches downstream of sand
supply, affecting downstream operations or altering the
ecological balance.
(O) Stockpiles on river bank within high level flood zone can
be eroded and redeposited downstream burying inaccessible
river reaches or infrastructure such as bridges which can
increase the extent of flood damage.
(D) Abandoned access ramps can divert high level flows or
cause erosive eddy currents.
(D) Damaged banks or riparian zone vegetation can result in
undercutting or erosion and collapse of river banks causing
channel migration.
(D) Un-rehabilitated or inadequately closed access ramps
encourage illegal small scale operations or access to the
channel for other potentially harmful activities such as
dumping.
(P) Altered channel bed roughness can cause changes in
water flow and potential increases in bed erosion downstream
or from river banks.

9-209

Surface Water

(C) Restrict intrusion into channel and keep


alignment downstream and close to the bank.
(C) Remove topsoil and stockpile in low heaps
or screening berm

(O) Do not excavate from areas close to river


bank.
(C, O, D, P) Unstable in-channel sand bars
will reform after the next flood. No mitigation
necessary.
(O) Creation of a sediment trap at downstream
limit of operations can reduce the amount of
suspended sediment transported downslope.
(O) Sand winning excluded from zone within
100m of infrastructure

(D) Backfill cut ramps with local material and


remove platforms
(D) Reduce impact on banks by maintaining
distance of 2.5 times bank height from bank
(D) Backfill ramps or remove platforms and
restrict access on haul roads.

(P) Post-closure effects due to bed lowering,


reduced replenishment downstream are
difficult to predict but seldom outweigh the site
specific impacts

LEGISLATION

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Topography

Soils

Appendix 9.6.1

Legislation prescribes no mining from


river banks without adequate
interpretation of the geomorphological
processes associated with different
types of channels, river banks or
dam/pan banks. Channels can be
divided into low-flow, temporary banks
and channels, >bank-full= flow
channels, floodplains and valley sides.
These banks can coincide in some river
reaches. Knowledge of river channel
morphology is necessary to identify
situations where temporary banks can
be mined from low flow channels.

(C) Excavation of access ramp or construction of platform


for dragline or excavator can cause flow deflection or
erosive eddy currents.

(D, P) Rough bed surface or irregular rocky bedform can


alter flow characteristics and increase bed and bank scour
downstream.
(D, P) Abandoned excavator/dragline platform can cause
erosion or divert high flood flow.

(D) Smooth river bed form and use screened


discard to infill depressions to create a low
surface roughness
(D, P) Backfill access ramps, remove
excavator platforms to create smooth bank
morphology and ensure protection by
compatible river bank or riparian vegetation
with deep root system.

Unstabilised in-channel sands are not


soils, stabilised older alluvium exposed
in river banks and adjacent floodplains
represent variable periods of soil
formation and hence different textural,
horizon differentiation and soil structural
and drainage characteristics. Most
floodplain soils are fertile agricultural
resources. Sandy flood sand deposits
are low potential agricultural soils and
their removal can exhume higher
potential soils buried below.

(C) Disturbance or burial of soils by access or haul roads,


temporary stockpile areas, screening and product
stockpiles areas, settling/clarification dams.
(C) Excavation or burial of river bank alluvial soil profiles by
access ramps or excavator platforms.

(C) Remove and stockpile topsoil

Surface water

(O) Excavation of sand close to bank can cause slumping


or permit undercutting.
(O) Removal of sand can cause channel migration,
increase flow rates or bed gradient resulting in channel
scour downstream or directed against river bank.

(O) Potential mining of flood sand deposits or immature soil


forms with specific textural characteristics developed in
young floodplain alluvium.

(O) Do not remove sand within distance of


2.5 times height of adjacent river bank.

(C) Limit width of ramp excavation and


stockpile the original material for use in
backfilling.
Land
capability /
Land use

(D) Inadequate topsoil restoration or creation of un-natural


surface form.
(D) Compaction in vehicle loading or stockpile areas can
alter rain infiltration and cause ponding.

Floodplains are fertile agricultural


resources and river channels have
recreational and conservation value

(C, O, D, P) Disturbance or reduction of agriculture on


floodplain along access track or haul road.

Land use

(C, O) Disturbance of in-channel sands or bank erosion


can result in deposition of fine sediment downstream or
increase turbidity in areas of the channel where water
abstraction for irrigation or pumping of water for purification
occurs.
(D, P) Altered channel form or diverted flow path can
impact pumping installations downstream.
(D, P) Inadequately rehabilitated areas on river bank can
reduce agricultural potential through soil compaction or
altered drainage.
Land Use

Use of the river and floodplain are


dictated by the flow characteristics and
depth of the river channel, land use
zonation of adjacent areas, designated

(C, O, D, P) Keep access roads narrow and


reduce the size of temporary stockpile
areas.
(C, O) Create sediment trap or sump at
downstream end of mining area and do not
mine close to river bank.

(D, P) Only create deep channels though


excavation in central part of channel to
reduce channel migration close to river
banks.
(D, P) Scarify compacted areas and restore
topsoil

(C, O, D) Disturbance of agriculture or recreational


potential due to vehicle traffic.

Land
capability

(D, P) Impact on productivity or long-term utilisation of

Animal life

9-210

(O, D) Removal of thin recent flood sands or


young alluvial terrace cover can expose
more productive alluvial soils below.
(D) Scarify access roads and stockpile areas
to a depth of 500mm and restore topsoil
cover
(P) Integrate disturbed area to most
appropriate landuse. Riparian zone should
be rehabilitated to indigenous vegetation
within 25m of the river

(P) Compaction or altered drainage can inhibit future


agricultural production.
Land
Capability

(C) Align access ramp in downstream


direction and protect fill with rip rap of local
boulders or blocks or rock-filled >mattress=
basket.

(C, O) Agriculture should not occur within


riparian zone. Upgrade existing roads
across agricultural land rather than create
new roads.

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Vegetation

conservation areas or habitats


favouring protected or rare species

environment due to altered river bank or channel form or


inadequate rehabilitation.

Vegetation

Riparian zones have been severely


impacted by removal of indigenous
species or invasion by alien species,
particularly in areas around
infrastructure developments eg bridges,
weirs.

(C, O, D, P) Destruction of Red Data Species

Animal life

Changes in channel form, flow


characteristics, channel migration can
lead to sediment scour or deposition
that favours colonisation by species that
can constrict flows.

Animal life

Appendix 9.6.1

Disturbance to aquatic ecosystem and


adjacent habitats. Impacts include
reduced feeding, resting, shelter and
nesting areas. Alteration of sand bed
ecosystem can be long-term in areas of
diminished sand supply.

Sand winning from a channel occurs in


an environment characterised by
seasonal flux in flows. Channel
morphology is either defined by
permanent valley sides or channel
banks incised into floodplain alluvium.
The channel substrate is controlled by
width, depth, gradient and channel
roughness.
Localised surface water interrelationships between floodplain and
channel are related to the drainage
density, extent of development and
stormwater drainage systems, condition
of the natural vegetation and soil cover

(C, O, D, P) Vegetation survey required if on


Red Data Farm or close to Red Data Farm.

(C, O, D) Disturbance of riparian zone in temporary sand


stockpile area and access ramp.
(C, O, D) Limit development area and isolate
workings through placement of low berms
(O) Do not remove sand within 2.5 times the
river bank height from the river bank and
riparian vegetation.
(O) On straight river reaches ensure
preservation of >welded side bars= that can
be colonised by riparian vegetation.
(O, D, P) Clear invasive alien vegetation and
re-establish indigenous riparian zone trees
during ongoing rehabilitation. Site specific
consideration must be given to removing
alien species such as Salix that have a root
structure which can stabilise river banks and
reduce erosion and scour by floodwaters.
Identify and establish suitable indigenous
species before removing alien species with
positive characteristics.

(O, D, P) Alteration of channel width and depth, removal of


in-channel sand bars or islands, channel migration through
deflection or diversion can erode river bank and riparian
communities.
(O, D, P) Sediment scour or deposition can result in
changes in vegetation communities that can constrict flow.

(C, O, D) Disturbance of remnant terrestrial wild mammal,


avian, amphibian and insect fauna through physical habitat
destruction, noise, traffic and movement of people.

Vegetation

(C, O, D) Previous agricultural activity,


human presence and utilisation and
devastating floods have impacted riparian
habitat and already displaced wild animals
along many river reaches.
(O) Control vermin and reduce poaching
through staff education and law enforcement
(O) Cumulative effects only become critical if
there are no other suitable habitats in the
adjacent areas.
(P) Rehabilitation must restore predevelopment indigenous species not only
rehabilitate to the pre-mining state. Decide
on suitable species on the basis of well
preserved areas, not necessarily current
species.

(C) Altered flow along the river bank due to access ramp or
platform construction causing turbulent flow or current
eddies.

Geology

(C) Reduce the effect of ramps or platforms


by aligning them downstream and keeping
them narrow.

(C, O, D) Potential contamination of river channel, banks


and floodplain from chemical or fuel spillages
(C, O, D) erosion of stockpiles by rising floodwaters
(C, O, D) Increased turbidity and suspended fine sediment
concentration due to disturbance of fine sediment, erosion
of river banks or return of water from settling/clarification
ponds.

Vegetation

(O) Potential increase in feral animals and impact on


indigenous fauna eg cats, rats.
(O) Illegal hunting or disturbance of nesting sites.
(O) Operation during breeding season can precipitate longterm cumulative effect on populations.
(P) Potential permanent change in habitats due to
inadequate monitoring and maintenance of rehabilitated
areas.

Surface water

( D, P) Follow guidelines that require


minimum distance between excavation and
river bank.

(O) Mining of point bars on the inner bend of meandering


rivers enhances channel volume and capacity to
accommodate low flood events.

9-211

Topography

Animal life

(C, O, D) Limit vehicle servicing in riparian


zone to emergency repairs and have a drip
tray and drum on site. Large accidental
spillages require
(C, O, D) No stockpiles closer than 20m
from edge of river.
(C, O, D) Create deeper water at
downstream end of mining area to act as a
temporary sediment trap.
(O) Sediment is replenished by high level
floods and main flow channel is not

Red Data Plant Policy for EIA (24 Aug


2001)
Development Guidelines for Ridges (April
2001)

The Conservation of Agricultural Resources


Act (Act No 43 of 1983), sections 15 and 16

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

in the sub-catchment, rainfall infiltration


on the floodplain and baseflow.
The impact of surface water on inchannel sandwinning is related to the
nature of the sandbodies in the channel
which is governed by discharge from
the catchment causing seasonal
changes in river flow regime. Channel
morphology has an impact on the
location, stability, movement and
sustainability of sand deposits.

Ground water

Appendix 9.6.1

(O) Mining of emergent sand bars in a braided stream


utilises sand bodies which have a different form and
distribution during high level flows. These sands occur in
rivers where there is dynamic bedform migration and
replenishment during floods.

impacted
(O) Mine over a wide area down to saturated
zone which permits river flow to re-establish
equilibrium more quickly.

(O, D, P) Redirected flow path in channel due to change in


bedforms or excavation of preferred flowpath resulting in
damage to banks during high discharge events.

(O, D, P) Restrict deep excavations and


major alterations of channel bedform.
Excavate from pits within sand bars rather
than widening channels by excavating from
margins of sand bars. Removal of sandbars
can restrict the sediment supply to bars
downstream causing erosion.

(D) Increased surface roughness can have an impact on


rising river flow in some river reaches.

The movement, distribution and


replenishment of sand bodies in
meandering-, straight-, sinuous-, and
braided river reaches will impact the
extent and periodicity of mining and
sediment .

(P) Altered river bank alignment can influence downstream


bank stability by causing undercutting or erosion.

Influence of groundwater can be related


to areas where rivers contribute to
recharge of aquifers such as alluvium
infill, wide floodplains, porous
sandstone or dolomite or cross highly
transmissive strata such as faults or
dykes. Groundwater flow to the river is
mainly as baseflow that sustains winter
low flow levels.

(C, O, D) Disturbance of groundwater flow path and


baseflow.

(D) Do not excavate down to gravel bed or


bedrock but leave a layer of sand
(P) Restore access ramp to pre-mining
morphology.
Geology

(C, O, D, P) Surficial impacts of land


preparations limit vadose and phreatic zone
impacts. No groundwater in river sands
other than saturated sand below river level.
(C, O, D) Keep a drip tray and container on
site to remove contaminated sand and
dispose of at a recognised facility.
(C, O, D) Provide chemical toilets or a septic
tank and covered french drain or soakaway
to process human waste and grey water,
sited 100m or more from any watercourse.
O) Do not excavate below saturated zone
over a wide area close to the river bank

(C, O, D) Impact of chemical spillages on floodplain


aquifer.
(C, O, D) Potential contamination of groundwater by septic
systems
(O) Lowering of dry river bed can increase groundwater low
and drain floodplain aquifer or impact riparian vegetation

Air Quality

Valley bottom position of sand winning


operations is generally a secluded
environment but can lead to wind
funnelling.

(C, O, D) Dust generated during transport, screening and


sand winning.
(P) Dust generation from un-rehabilitated areas

Soils

(C, O, D) Dust suppression along access by


reducing speed and spraying route. River
sand has low clay content which can be
suppressed at the screens.
(P) Correct choice of grass cover and
riparian trees for rehabilitation will ensure
year round cover and limit dust.
(C,O,D) Ensure that sand is covered by
tarpaulins during transport.

Noise

Noise generated by large plant and


machines during excavation, loading,
power screening and transport. Open
location precludes effective screening
and valley sides can project noise to
surrounding areas.

(C, O, D) Noise generated by mining, loading and


transport.

Topography

(C, O, D) Prepare a noise reduction plan to


cover all significant impacts at source and
outlining screening measures such as
berms. Sand excavation and transport in
trucks is generally intermittent and limited to
daylight hours when ambient noise levels
are highest. Noise levels must not be more
than 7dB(A) above ambient residual noise
levels and a hearing conservation
programme must be implemented where
noise exceeds 85dB(A).

Archaeological
/ Cultural

Apart from historic bridges, river


crossing points or drifts there may be
cultural sites on river banks

(C, O, D) Disturbance of archaeological sites, cultural


heritage sites or graves
(O) Excavation of sand can change river flow dynamics
and result in scour around bridge supports or deposition of

Sensitive
landscapes

(C, O, D) Conduct cultural heritage resource


assessment through existing databases and
a site specific search in areas of know
occurrences.

9-212

I&APs

Environment Conservation Act 1989


(Regulation R154, Government Notice
13177)
Minerals Act 1991
Regulation 4.17.1
SABS 083

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.1

sand that diverts the current against buttresses.

(O) No excavation within 100m of a river


bank.

River banks, floodplains, wetlands, river


channels and associated habitats are
considered sensitive environments and
afforded protection under a variety of
legislation.

(C, O, D, P) Damage to riparian vegetation, river bank and


channel with possible downstream effects

Visual
Aspects

Low landscape position relative to


surrounding valley sides has wide
visual envelope and can create visual
impact over long distances. Some river
reaches have scenic beauty or are
close to areas with tourist appeal.

(C, O, D) Visual intrusion impact of mining activity on


nearby roads, homesteads, settlements, tourist sites

Topography

(C, O, D) Visibility must be limited by parking


large machines and debris excavated from
the sand on the floodplain and away from
the river bank when not in use.

Socioeconomic
structure

Alluvial sand is an essential part of the


socio-economic environment due to its
use in concrete block products and
aggregate in construction concrete,
mortar and plaster, pipeline bedding.
Gauteng has few course alluvial sand
sources for a material with high
demand. A relatively small, low impact
sand winning operation can influence
many service industries potentially
employing hundreds of people.

(C, O, D) Increased employment and training opportunities


with improved standard of living for local community

I&APs

(C, O, D) Small scale operations with


intermittent operation are a critical link in the
construction material supply chain that
influences employment in the service sector.

Site specific criteria will determine the


impact on I&APs and the need for
public participation at all stages of the
project.

(C, O, D) Communities concerned with limiting negative


environmental impacts
(O) Downstream water users impacted by flow diversion
and increased suspended sediment concentrations.

Socioeconomic

(C, O, D) Authorities and I&APs have


support of legislation and regulations to
ensure compliance with, and enforce
implementation of the EMP to ensure
successful rehabilitation.

Sensitive
landscapes

Interested and
affected parties

Vegetation
Animal life
I&APs

(O) Considerable multiplier effect through downstream


service industries such as construction, plant hire,
mechanical repair and suppliers

(C, O, D, P) Sensitive riparian vegetation


must be restored through control of alien
vegetation and replanting of indigenous
trees and suitable grasses in remnant
riparian zone.

Regular monitoring and reporting every 6


months
Submission of
information

Legislated requirements and


commitment by proponent in the EMPR
or the Scoping Report, Environmental
Impact Assessment Report (EIAR),
Social and Labour Plan (SLP),
Environmental Management
Programme (EMP), Monitoring and
Performance Assessment, Mine
Decommissioning and Closure Plan,
Environmental Risk Report (ERR) to
provide monitoring of a variety of
outputs, discharges and effluents

(O, D, P) Discharges which must meet standards laid down


in regulations; e.g. water chemistry,

I&APs

!
!

noise, EMPR audit, review of financial provision for


rehabilitation

Annually review financial provision


for rehabilitation
Ongoing monitoring of EMPR,
performance assessments and
report every two years or as directed
by Director: Mineral Development

National Water Act, 1998

Minerals Act 1991


section 12; mine closure certificate
National Water Act, 1998 (Act 36 of 1998)
Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 1965
(Act 45 of 1965)
Environment Conservation Act 1989
The Conservation of Agricultural Resources
Act (Act No 43 of 1983)
Minerals Act, 1991; reg. 5.16.1
Regulation 5.18.1 to 5.18.5

Notice No. 704, Regulations on use of water for


mining and related activities (Govt. Gazette, No. 408)

9-213

Report emergency incident


regarding water resource asap and
report corrective measures within 14
days.
notify of new mine or new activity,
submit a copy of the EMP or
cessation or resumption of
operations within 14 days
Minister may request technical
investigation or inspection and
report
implement compliance monitoring
network and submit monitoring
information

regulation 2(c), 2(d)


regulation 1
regulation 2(a)
regulation 2(b)
regulation 12 (1) and (2)

reg. 12(5)

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.1

Mineral and Petroleum Resources


Development Act, 2002
!

EXPLANATION OF TABLE - ASSESSMENT CRITERIA.


a) Element - the element or issue being impacted on.
b) Extent
site:- the whole or a portion of the mining site.
region:- the area including the mine, the surrounding neighbours and or towns.
c) Duration
short term:- dissipation of impact through active or natural mitigation in a time span shorter than 5 years or life of the mine.
medium term:- impact will last for 5-10 years, whereafter it can be entirely negated.
long term:- the impact will last for the entire operational life of the mine, but will be mitigated thereafter.
permanent:- impact will be non-transitory.
d) Intensity
low:- natural processes or functions are not affected
medium:- affected environment is altered but function and process continue in a modified manner
high:- function or process of the affected environment is disturbed to the extent where it temporarily or permanently ceases.
e) Significance of unmitigated impacts
low:- eg site specific, low intensity
medium:- e.g site specific, high intensity
high:- e.g. regional, high intensi

9-214

compile and submit a performance


assessment report on frequency
defined in EMP, Minister or
biennially
application for closure and
submission of an environmental risk
report
monitoring of residue stockpiles and
deposits

regulation 41 (1) and (2), monitoring and


performance assessments
regulation 42, 43 46(1), mine closure and
environmental risk report
regulation 58 (7)(a) and (b); monitoring of
residue stockpiles and deposits

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.2

Appendix 9.6.2
Impact and mitigation table; alluvial diamond mining
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND CONSIDERATION, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT, MITIGATION MEASURES AND APPLICABLE LEGISLATION
Impacts and mitigation shown relative to the Construction (C), Operational (O), Decommissioning (D) and Post-mining (P) phases.
Environmental description and planning should utilise the Standard Environmental Management Programme (SEMP) for the mining of sand from a river, stream or pan
or meet the content requirements stipulated in the regulations for the Scoping Report, Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), Social and Labour Plan (SLP), Environmental Management Programme (EMP),
Monitoring and Performance Assessment, Mine Decommissioning and Closure Plan, Environmental Risk Report (ERR), the relevant application forms and requirements defined by the regulations of the Mineral and
Petroleum Resource Development Act, 2002
ELEMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT

CONCEPT OR THEORETICAL
BACKGROUND CONSIDERATIONS

IMPACT DESCRIPTION

CROSSREFERENCE

ACTIONS PROPOSED IN MITIGATION OF


IMPACTS

LEGISLATION

Geology

Diamond mining or mining of unconsolidated alluvium from or near an active


river channel, pan or dam. Necessary to
distinguish relatively mobile deposits from
flood deposits on floodplain, older alluvial
terrace deposits and alluvium exposed by
the river bank.

(C, O) Excavation of access ramp through old alluvium


terraces could be unstable

Topography

(C, O) Site ramp where least excavation is


required. Limit width of ramp. Reinforce and
protect cut banks with pole revetments or
gabions backed by geofabric liner.

National Water Act, 1998


Notice 704
Regulation 10
Regulation 10(1)(a)(iii)

Impacts relate to the underlying rock type


and the location of the operation within
an environment that represents an active
geomorphological/geological process.

Alluvial diamonds occur in palaeo-river


channels, often far away from current
river systems. In many cases in South
Africa, these palaeo-rivers occur over
dolomite where the karst topography of
the bedrock provided pockets and traps
for diamonds.

Surface Water

(C, O, D)) Preparation of temporary product stockpile area,


screening area, temporary dump for screened discard
material, settling pond, clarification pond.

(C, O, D) Remove topsoil and stockpile in low


heaps or screening berm.

(C, O, D, P) Excavation of soils developed in transported


sands and creation of a pit with steep highwalls.

(C, O, D, P) Excavation down to bedrock,


inadequate topsoil stockpiles and creation of
side slopes steeper than 25o must be avoided.
(C, O, D, P) Do not create vertical slopes and
rehabilitate sidewalls and pit floor behind
progress of mining face

(C, O, D, P) Unconsolidated nature of sands and gravels and


low clay contents of suitable sands for construction material
forms naturally unstable slope conditions along bounding
highwalls that persist until after closure.

9-215

(C,O,D) Creation of sediment traps at


downstream limit of operation can reduce the
suspended load transfer.

Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act,


1983; regulations, R.1048
Regulation 3(1) (b) restricts cultivation of
land on slopes steeper than 12% if underlain
by certain soil types. This could be applied
to slope sand mining for the same reasons.

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Topography

Excessive scarification of land and


alteration of topography takes place
during alluvial diamond mining.
Old previously worked dumps are often
still viewed as stockpiles for smaller and
poorer quality diamonds and are often
sold several times and reworked by
different operators.

Appendix 9.6.2

(C, O, D, P) Excessive disturbance of landform can lead to


change in habitat and future land-use.
(C, O, D, P) Flood events may divert current river systems
to enter and flood old depressions created by diamond
mining.

Surface water

(C) Situation of deposit in landscape can influence the


impacts related to wind, run-off and visibility.

(C, O, D, P) Prevent breaches in river banks


which could allow flood water to enter old
diggings. Create berm where necessary.

National Water Act, 1998


Notice 704
Regulation 10(1)(a)(ii)

(C) Difficult to shield opencast diamond


gravel from adjacent residential or
agricultural developments. Plant screening
hedges of non-invasive trees or create berm
using topsoil.
(C, O, D, P) Create run-off diversion contour
berm or terraces upslope to separate clean
water and dirty water systems. Pump
rainwater and groundwater that collects in
the pit and store for use as process water or
in dust suppression.

(C, O, D, P) Opencast pit creates area of lowered


topography that collects stormwater run-off, intersects
groundwater seepage and can decant onto lower slopes.
(O, D, P) Steep highwalls or side slopes are potentially
unstable and slumping or gully erosion caused by run-off
water flowing into the pit can lead to migration of erosion
features and impact areas away from the opencast pit rim.

(O, D, P) Do not mine from slopes steeper


than 12%. Reduce height of highwalls and
mine benches of less than 2m high to
ensure stability. Grade slopes to less than
25o contour drains on the slope above to
divert run-off.
Soils

Land
Capability

Unstabilised in-channel sands and


gravel are not soils, stabilised older
alluvium exposed in river banks and
adjacent floodplains represent variable
periods of soil formation and hence
different textural, horizon differentiation
and soil structural and drainage
characteristics. Most floodplain soils
are fertile agricultural resources. Sandy
flood sand deposits are low-potential
agricultural soils and their removal can
exhume higher potential soils buried
below.

(C) Disturbance or burial of soils by access or haul roads,


temporary stockpile areas, screening and product
stockpiles areas, settling/clarification dams.
(C) Excavation or burial of river bank alluvial soil profiles by
access ramps or excavator platforms.

In general floodplains are fertile


agricultural resources and river
channels have recreational and
conservation value. However
diamondiferous gravel deposits cannot
generally be used for agriculture.

(C, O, D, P) Disturbance or reduction of agriculture on


floodplain along access track or haul road.

Land
capability /
Land use

(D) Inadequate topsoil restoration or creation of un-natural


surface form.
(D) Compaction in vehicle loading or stockpile areas can
alter rain infiltration and cause ponding.

(D, P) Altered channel form or diverted flow path can


impact pumping installations downstream.
(D, P) Inadequately rehabilitated areas on river bank can
reduce agricultural potential through soil compaction or
altered drainage.
(P) Inadequately rehabilitated land will have low agricultural
potential due to removal of soil. Hummocky ground with
high gravel and boulder content could make the area
unsuitable for grazing.
(O, D, P) Waste disposal sites negatively impact

9-216

(C) Limit width of ramp excavation and


stockpile the original material for use in
backfilling.
(D) Scarify access roads and stockpile areas
to a depth of 500 mm and restore topsoil
cover.
(P) Integrate disturbed area to most
appropriate land use. Riparian zone should
be rehabilitated to indigenous vegetation
within 25 m of the river.

(P) Compaction or altered drainage can inhibit future


agricultural production.

(C, O) Disturbance of in-channel sands or bank erosion


can result in deposition of fine sediment downstream or
increase turbidity in areas of the channel where water
abstraction for irrigation or pumping of water for purification
occurs.

(C) Remove and stockpile topsoil

Land use

(C, O, D, P) Keep access roads narrow and


reduce the size of temporary stockpile
areas.
(C, O) Create sediment trap or sump at
downstream end of mining area and do not
mine close to river bank.
(D, P) Only create deep channels through
excavation in central part of channel to
reduce channel migration close to river
banks.
(D, P) Scarify compacted areas and restore
topsoil.
(P) Recreate pre-mining surface or level
area to enhance future land capability.

Mineral and Petroleum Resources


Development Act, 2002
Regulation 56

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.2

development in surrounding areas.


Land Use

Vegetation

Use of the river and floodplain are


dictated by the flow characteristics and
depth of the river channel, land use
zonation of adjacent areas, designated
conservation areas or habitats
favouring protected or rare species

(C, O, D) Disturbance of agriculture or recreational


potential due to vehicle traffic.

Land
capability

(D, P) Impact on productivity or long-term utilisation of


environment due to altered river bank or channel form or
inadequate rehabilitation.

Animal life

Riparian zones have been severely


impacted by removal of indigenous
species or invasion by alien species,
particular in areas around infrastructure
developments e.g. bridges, weirs.

(C, O, D, P) Destruction of Red Data Species.

Animal life

Vegetation

(C, O, D) Disturbance of riparian zone in temporary gravel


stockpile area and access ramp.

(C, O) Agriculture should not occur within


riparian zone or within 10 m of the edge of
the flood zone. Upgrade existing roads
across agricultural land rather than create
new roads.
( D, P) Follow guidelines that require
minimum distance between excavation and
river bank.

Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act,


1983; regulations R.1048
Regulation 7(3b)

(C, O, D, P) Vegetation survey required if on


Red Data Farm or close to Red Data Farm.

Red Data Plant Policy for EIA (24 Aug 2001)


Development Guidelines for Ridges (April
2001)

(C, O, D) Limit development area and isolate


workings through placement of low berms.

(O, D, P) Alteration of channel width and depth, removal of


in-channel sand bars or islands, channel migration through
deflection or diversion can erode river bank and riparian
communities.

The Conservation of Agricultural Resources


Act (Act No. 43 of 1983), sections 15 and 16

(O) Do not remove sand or gravel within 2.5


times the river bank height from the river
bank and riparian vegetation.

(O, D, P) Sediment scour or deposition can result in


changes in vegetation communities that can constrict flow.

(O) On straight river reaches ensure


preservation of welded side bars that can
be colonised by riparian vegetation.
(O, D, P) Clear invasive alien vegetation and
re-establish indigenous riparian zone trees
during ongoing rehabilitation. Site-specific
consideration must be given to removing
alien species such as Salix that have root
structure which can stabilise river banks and
reduce erosion and scour by floodwaters.
Identify and establish suitable indigenous
species before removing alien species with
positive characteristics.

Animal Life

Disturbance to aquatic ecosystem and


adjacent habitats. Impacts include
reduced feeding, resting, shelter and
nesting areas. Alteration of river bed
ecosystem can be long term in areas of
diminished sand supply.

(C, O, D) Disturbance of remnant terrestrial wild mammal,


avian, amphibian and insect fauna through physical habitat
destruction, noise, traffic and movement of people.

Vegetation

(O) Potential increase in feral animals and impact on


indigenous fauna, e.g. cats, rats.
(O) Illegal hunting or disturbance of nesting sites.
(O) Operation during breeding season can precipitate longterm cumulative effect on populations.

(C, O, D) Previous agricultural activity,


human presence and utilisation, and
devastating floods have impacted riparian
habitat and already-displaced wild animals
along many river reaches.

Red Data Plant Policy for EIA (24 Aug 2001)

(O) Control vermin and reduce poaching


through staff education and law
enforcement.

(P) Potential permanent change in habitats due to


inadequate monitoring and maintenance of rehabilitated
areas.

(O) Cumulative effects only become critical if


there are no other suitable habitats in the
adjacent areas.
(P) Rehabilitation must restore predevelopment indigenous species, not only
rehabilitate to the pre-mining state. Decide
on suitable species on the basis of wellpreserved areas, not necessarily current
species.

Surface Water

Diamond mining from an active river


channel occurs in an environment
characterised by seasonal flux in flows.
Channel morphology is either defined
by permanent valley sides or channel
banks incised into floodplain alluvium.

(C, O, D, P) Permanent impact on catchment by capturing


surface run-off or diverting drainage. Cumulative loss of
wetlands that are a threatened resource.

Geology
Topography
Vegetation

9-217

(C, O, D, P) Initiate catchment management


to control and reduce erosive run-off
containing suspended sediment. Create and
maintain clean water drainage systems to
isolate contaminated areas and separate
clean and dirty water systems so that neither

National Water Act, 1998


Notice 704
Regulation 10
Regulation 10(2)(c)
Mineral and Petroleum Resources

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.2

The channel substrate is controlled by


width, depth, and gradient and channel
roughness.

(C) Altered flow along the river bank due to access ramp or
platform construction causing turbulent flow or current
eddies.

Localised surface water interrelationships between floodplain and


channel are related to the drainage
density, extent of development and
stormwater drainage systems, condition
of the natural vegetation and soil cover
in the subcatchment, rainfall infiltration
on the floodplain and base flow.

(C, O, D) Potential contamination of river channel, banks


and floodplain from chemical or fuel spillages, or sewage.

Surface run-off is severely restricted in


areas of alluvial diamond mining.
Operations range from one-man
operations to large scale intensively
mechanised mining.

Animal life

can interact more than once in 50 years.

Development Act, 2002; Regulation 57


Regulation 10(2)(b)

(C) Reduce the effect of ramps or platforms


by aligning them downstream and keeping
them narrow.
(C, O, D) Limit vehicle servicing in riparian
zone to emergency repairs and have a drip
tray and drum on site. Do not site sanitary
conveniences on the river floodplain.

(C, O, D) Erosion of stockpiles by rising floodwaters.


(C, O, D) Increased turbidity and suspended fine-sediment
concentration due to disturbance of fine sediment, erosion
of river banks or return of water from settling/clarification
ponds. Also as a result of wet-screening processes.

(C, O, D) Limit stockpiles on bank to two


days production. All other stockpiles outside
1:50 years flood line or more than 100 m
from watercourse.

(D) Increased surface roughness can have an impact on


rising river flow in some river reaches. This will also impact
infiltration of surface water.

(C, O, D) Create deeper water at


downstream end of mining area to act as a
temporary sediment trap.

(P) Altered river bank alignment can influence downstream


bank stability by causing undercutting or erosion.

(O, D, P) Restrict deep excavations and


major alterations of channel bedform.
Excavate from pits within sand bars rather
than widening channels by excavating from
margins of sand bars. Removal of sandbars
can restrict the sediment supply to bars
downstream causing erosion.
(D) Restore land surface to pre-mining
morphology.
(P) Restore access ramp to pre-mining
morphology.
Ground Water

Influence on groundwater can be


related to areas where rivers contribute
to recharge of aquifers such as alluvium
infill, wide floodplains, porous
sandstone or dolomite; or cross highly
transmissive strata such as faults or
dykes. Groundwater flow into the river
is mainly as base flow that sustains
winter low-flow levels.

(C, O, D) Disturbance of groundwater flow path and base


flow.

Geology

(C, O, D) Impact of chemical or fuel spillages on floodplain


aquifer.

(C, O, D, P) Surficial impacts of land


preparations limit vadose and phreatic zone
impacts. No groundwater in river sands
other than saturated sand below river level.

NWA, 1998; Regulation 10(2)(c)


Regulation 4(d)

(C, O, D) Keep a drip tray and container on


site to remove contaminated sand and
dispose of at a recognised facility.

(C, O, D) Potential contamination of groundwater by septic


systems.
(O) Lowering of dry river bed can increase groundwater low
and drain floodplain aquifer or impact riparian vegetation.

(C, O, D) Provide chemical toilets or a septic


tank and covered french drain or soakaway
to process human waste and grey water,
sited 100 m or more from any watercourse.
O) Do not excavate below saturated zone
over a wide area close to the river bank

Air Quality

Noise

Dust is generated by excavation,


loading, transport, screening and
stockpiling. Different sizes of dust
represent specific health risks or
nuisance threats. Dust can retard
vegetation growth and reduce the
palatability of vegetation. In urban
areas dust represents a health hazard,
lowers quality of life through impacts to
houses, washing etc.

(C, O, D) Dust generated during transport and screening is


a health risk.

Noise generated by large plant and


machines during excavation, loading,

(C, O, D) Noise generated by mining, loading and


transport.

Soils

(P) Dust generation from un-rehabilitated areas.

9-218

(C, O, D) Dust suppression along access by


reducing speed and spraying route.
(P) Correct choice of grass cover and
riparian trees for rehabilitation will ensure
year-round cover and limit dust.

Topography

(C, O, D) Prepare a noise reduction plan to


cover all significant impacts at source and

Environment Conservation Act 1989


(Regulation R154, Government Notice

GDACE Mining and Environmental Impact Guide

Appendix 9.6.2

power screening and transport. Open


location precludes effective screening
and valley sides can project noise to
surrounding areas.

outlining screening measures such as


berms. Sand excavation and transport in
trucks is generally intermittent and limited to
daylight hours when ambient noise levels
are highest. Noise levels must not be more
than 7dB (A) above ambient residual noise
levels and a hearing conservation
programme must be implemented where
noise exceeds 85dB (A).
(C, O, D) Disturbance of archaeological sites, cultural
heritage sites or graves.

Sensitive
landscapes

(O) Excavation of sand can change river flow dynamics


and result in scour around bridge supports or deposition of
sand that diverts the current against buttresses.

I&APs

River banks, floodplains, wetlands, river


channels and associated habitats are
considered sensitive environments and
afforded protection under a variety of
legislation.

(C, O, D, P) Damage to riparian vegetation, river bank and


channel with possible downstream effects.

Vegetation

Visual
Aspects

Low landscape position relative to


surrounding valley sides has wide
visual envelope and can create visual
impact over long distances. Some river
reaches have scenic beauty or are
close to areas with tourist appeal.

(C, O, D) Visual intrusion impact of mining activity on


nearby roads, homesteads, settlements, tourist sites.

Topography