Mines agree to govt plan on acid drainage

[miningmx.com] — Government’s proposed public-private partnership for environmental conservation has in principle been accepted by the mining sector to address acid mine drainage, the department of water and environmental affairs said on Thursday.

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica met various MECs under her portfolio to sign the agreement in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

The agreement aimed at protecting environmental assets and natural resources identified major threats to water quality as, among others, mine drainage, municipal sewerage, effluent and climate change.

The agreement document states that both government and mine owners will contribute to the capital infrastructure requirements for both processing and pumping of mine waste.

The partnership will involve the identification of a state agency that will oversee the pumping and treating of acid mine drainage.

This comes amidst debate about concerns that central Johannesburg was under threat of being flooded by mine toxins.

The end use of the mine drainage is yet to be determined.

Sonjica said she and the MECs have agreed to address four critical problems to achieve the said outcome agreement goals.

These included the decline of water resources and quality, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, better management of the environment and the protection of biodiversity and eco-system services.