RECOLLECTION In recollection A proposition was brought forward by


In recollection: A proposition was brought forward by Mr. Marius Keet, Regional Director
(Gauteng) of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) to appoint me as Convener
of the Public Involvement and Participation (PIP) component for the remediation of the
Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area (WCA) and Mr. Philip Jacobs, the Chairperson of the
Mining Interest Group (MIG) has given notice of his intention to request funding from the MIG
for the PIP process at the first meeting of the MIG during January, 2009. The interests and
concerns of civil society, the mining industry and the DWAF are now on the same side; and I
have little doubt that they will conjointly achieve environmental, economic and societal success
in the proposed remediation of the WCA, but only if the intentions of the mining industry and the
DWAF are genuine and sustained1. A new approach is required to counteract the negative and
exploitative impacts of gold mining on a social and biophysical level.

This document constitutes Part II of the document entitled, Public Involvement and
Participation Component of the Remediation of the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area.
These documents have been written, not for the purpose of thrusting my inferior personal
opinions upon the readers, but for the purpose of passing in review, some of the challenges and
solutions proposed by experts. Furthermore, by my industry, I hope to vindicate my appointment
as convener of the PIP process.

With the strongest temptations to focus on the human right abuses caused by the prioritizing of
mineral extraction over humanitarian imperatives2, the historic drafting of people into cheap
labour for the mines3, and environmental injustice strategies4 that were imposed upon the people,

 “Several challenges for the industry and regulators remain. Turning sustainable development rhetoric into
tangible, sustainable outcomes for mine land remains an issue of contention. In part this can be attributed to the
history of mining and the negative impacts it has had on the natural and social environment. Future mining
activities, rightly or wrongly, will be judged against the legacies of the past and current poor performers.” – “A
Sustainability criteria and Indicators Framework for Legacy Mine Land” by R.C. Worrall et al.
  Helen Suzman‟s proposition that the country's windfall from the rising price of gold be used to improve health
care, housing, transportation and education for blacks was historically not adhered to. It has been found that “…
companies, when they move on, … leave great holes in the earth and polluted rivers [and] disrupted or unenriched
communities” (quoted in Anglo America 2002b:3).
  The Chamber of Mines acknowledged in 1944: “The maintenance of the system under which the mines are able to
obtain unskilled labour at a rate less than ordinarily paid in industry depends upon this, for otherwise the
subsidiary means of subsistence would disappear and the labourer would tend to become a permanent resident upon
the Witwatersrand, with increased requirements.” (Quoted in Wolpe 1972: 434)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in its final report:

“The blueprint for „grand apartheid‟ was provided by the mines and was not an Afrikaner state innovation.”

I shall, however, not say anything about these issues except that which the subject absolutely

I attach hereto an incomplete list of affected members of local mining communities with whom I
have directly or indirectly consulted. I have in my possession a data base of approximately 5 000
persons residing within the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area. This data resulted from
following a broad based consultative process. From the appended list, the concerns of the
affected communities can be clearly inferred as well as their proposals for remediation objectives
and future land use. The sponsorships of Harmony Gold and Mintails, for which I am grateful,
have made it possible for me to conduct workshops amongst affected mining communities within
the Randfontein area, to distribute questionnaires and to gather detailed information on their
concerns and expectations. Copies of the completed questionnaires are available on request.
The proposed remediation objectives of the WCA and closure objectives 5 are, it is my respectful
opinion, to a large degree analogous.

It is noted, not without surprise, that the EMPRs6 of the operating mines contain very little
information on the concerns and expectations of members of the local mining communities. To

The TRC found that mining companies “benefited from the provision of a relatively cheap migratory labour force,
which was brought into being by land expropriation, forced removals, apartheid pass laws and influx controls”.
(Truth and Reconciliation Commission 2003:140)
    The groundWork reports have identified three ways in which environmental injustice is imposed on people:

          By polluting them, degrading their environments and coercing labour to work for less than it costs to live.
           This is called externalization because corporations get a free ride by off-loading costs onto communities,
           workers, the public purse and the environment.

          By dispossessing them and by privatizing common or public goods. This is called enclosure because it
           eliminates or subordinates non-capitalist systems of production, so ensuring that all escape routes are
           closed and people cannot survive without capitalism.

          By excluding them from the political and economic decisions that lead to their being polluted or
  MPRD Regulation 61 requires closure objectives to be established at the outset of the project in order to guide
project design, development and management of environmental impacts, to provide broad future land use objectives
and to enable closure costs to be estimated. (Regulations R527 of GG26275 23 April 2004)

The requirement of MPRD Regulation 62 entails that interested and affected parties must be involved in the
agreements regarding future land use of affected areas and thus in the decisions regarding the establishment of
objectives for such future land use, as well as in discussing the alternatives for engineering interventions, where
decisions regarding such options will affected the future land use.
  I am in possession of the EMPRs of GoldFields, AngloGold Ashanti, Blyvooruitzicht Gold Mining Company and
Harmony Gold which were issued under the provisions of the Minerals Act of 1991. I was supplied with copies of
the EMPRs during 2008 and since I was not informed that these EMPRS have been supplanted by aligned EMPs, in
exemplify: AngloGold Ashanti Limited included the lists of owners of properties adjacent to
their mineral rights base and surface owners other than land owned by the Mine (I here
interpose. The following question still begs an answer: What is the current ownership
status is of the owners, identified as members of the Brink, Celliers, Hoffman and
Oberholzer families in the Appendix “C” of AngloGold Ashanti’s EMPR of the Western
Deep Levels Limited or Elandsrand Gold Mining Co. Limited?) however, under subsection
2.17 of the EMPR, entitled “Interested and Affected Parties” there is, curiously, no entry.

accordance with the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act, No 28 of 2002 (MPRDA), I rest
confident that my information is accurate.

The current status of the Environmental Management Programmes is reason for concern.

BASIN           COMPANY         MINE             RIGHT            EMP STATUS
West Rand       Harmony         Old              Old      order   Amended EMP submitted   - in process of
                                Randfontein      right            being approved
                                Lindum Reefs     Old      order   Amended EMP submitted – in process of
                                                 right            being approved
                                Doornkop         Old      order   Amended EMP submitted
                Goldfieds       South Deep       Right      not   Amended EMP not submitted
Far     West    Anglogold       Mponeng          Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
Rand            Ashanti         Gold Mine        right
                                Savuka Gold      Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
                                Mine             right
                                Tautona          Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
                                Gold Mine        right
                Gold Fields     Kloof            Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
                                Driefontein      Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
                                Libanon          Old     order    Amended EMP not submitted
                DRD             Blyvoor          Old      order   Amended EMP submitted

Local communities, particularly the historically disadvantaged and vulnerable members of local
communities7, have been excluded from the public participation processes and can justly
complain that they have been shut out from decisions regarding future land use of affected areas.
If this is an exaggerated statement of fact, I shall, on production of evidence to the contrary,
publicly offer the mining companies my apology.

It should not be omitted that the public, particularly affected communities, have at the time
of writing, not been furnished with the findings and recommendations of the Report of the
Team of Experts pertaining to the proposed remediation of the Wonderfonteinspruit
Catchement Area, notwithstanding the laudable aspirational statement in the letter from
DWAF, dated the 21st of December, 2007, namely: “The approach will therefore be to get
community involvement as soon as possible.”

The first paragraph of Part Two of this document is devoted to an explanation of the relevancy
between mine closure and the proposed remediation of the Wonderfonteindspruit Catchment.
The extracts, it is my modest opinion, from the Chamber of Mines‟ Guidelines for the
Rehabilitation of Mined Land and the Proceedings of the Third International Seminar on Mine
Closure, 14 – 17 October, 2008 are in the highest degree valuable, not merely on account of the
information which they contain respecting mine closure but on account also of their rare merit to
guide the proposed remediation of the WCA. Knowing that many of the extracts were not
written merely for the Mine Closure Seminar, but contain general educational information, I
expect to find that the Regulators and the mining industry will give attention to their findings and
recommendations with reference to the proposed remediation of the WCA.

It should not be passed over that the Mine Closure Seminar was sponsored by AngloGold
Ashanti Limited (AGA) hence the Programme may have been influenced to some extent by
AGA‟s corporate profile, which is stated as follows on its website:

AngloGold Ashanti is committed to continuously improving the performance of current assets through cost
management and increased labor productivity, as well as by seeking out value-adding growth opportunities through
exploration and a disciplined acquisition strategy. The company is focused on generating competitive financial
returns and on rewarding shareholders with semi-annual dividends after providing for future growth.

In conclusion, I apologise if the style of this document is not clear or precise and if the
typographical execution is not faultless.

  “The participation of all interested and affected parties in environmental governance must be promoted, and all
people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving
equitable and effective participation and participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged persons must be ensured” -
National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998.

       Public Involvement and Participation
       Component of the Remediation of the
         Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                    PART TWO
Relevancy between issues pertaining to mine closure and the proposed remediation of the
Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area ……………………………………………………………7

Identifiable stakeholders …………………………………………………………………………7

Objectives of rehabilitation ……………………………………………………………………...10

Principal or typical problems to solve in the remediation of the WCA………………………….16

Key learnings regarding community engagement from case studies………………………..…..18

Management tools to support the remediation process - Research Institutions……………….....19

Financial considerations regarding the remediation of the WCA - Considerations when
determining the liabilities ……………………………………………………………………….19

Relevancy between Issues pertaining to Mine Closure and the Proposed Remediation of the

Relevance is essentially a matter of reason and common sense. As Schreiner, J.A in R. v.
Matthews 1960 (1) S.A. 752 (A.D.), at p. 758 said, it is “based upon a blend of logic and
experience lying outside the law”.

Since mine closure consists of inter alia the decommissioning and the rehabilitation phases,
issues pertaining to the rehabilitation phase of mine closure* are sufficiently relevant to be
admissible in a consideration of issues and challenges pertaining to the proposed remediation of
the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area.

The relevance of what is usually called “similar fact evidence‟ depends upon the argument that
the same conditions can be expected to produce the same results. Failures or successes in case
studies of the rehabilitation during mine closure will also hold true with reference to the
proposed remediation of the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area.

*The main vision of mine closure is to prevent or minimize adverse long term socio-economic and environmental
impacts, to identify and manage latent and residual environmental impacts and to create a self-sustaining natural
eco-system or alternative land use based on an agreed set of objectives and to ensure physical and chemical stability
of rehabilitated land. Communities may strongly influence closure and consultation with affected communities is of
critical importance.

Identifiable Stakeholders

The authors of the paper, entitled “Suitability Analysis for Post-Closure Land Management
Options Using a Multi-Stakeholder Decision Support Tool “ found:

        The decision making process leading to potentially contentious [remediation] options
         being adopted necessitates a collaborative procedure, where all concerned stakeholders
         participate in arriving at the final decision. This process needs to take into account
         different and sometimes conflicting attributes of the damaged ecosystem.

        It is assumed that there are four basic management options for dealing with damaged
         ecosystems, namely:

             o The restoration to the original condition;

             o The rehabilitation of some of the desirable characteristics of the original

             o Development of alternative ecosystems that may be quite unlike the original, and

           o Spontaneous or natural restoration, where no remedial measures are applied, if
             evidence suggests that unaided natural processes will produce acceptable results
             without human intervention.

      Selection of one of these options requires a collaborative procedure where all
       stakeholders, including the [mining companies], regulatory agencies and community
       representatives, as well as potential opponents, participate in decision making.

      The International Council on Mining and Metals (ESMAP and ICMM, 2005) has
       provided a guideline for stakeholder identification, consisting of three steps:

           o Step 1: Brainstorm existing stakeholders. The existing relationships should be
             listed and a preliminary checklist should be made. Table 1 can be used as a guide.

           o Step 2: Network to expand the list. The stakeholders already identified should be
             asked to suggest other groups with an interest in the [remediation of the WCA].

           o Step 3: Check that all the possible stakeholders have been included.

      It is necessary to think about a reasonable number of stakeholders, the number of
       stakeholders involved should be kept relatively small to remain focused and effective.
       Therefore a balance has to be made between the inclusiveness and effectiveness of the
       chosen stakeholders which will include both active (those who have a continuous,
       demanding daily influence) and the passive ones (those who do not have daily
       involvement with the [remediation project]).

Table 1

Ten groups of identifiable stakeholders in the [remediation project]

Stakeholder groups                                  Stakeholder Sub-Groups

Communities                                         The local communities near the mining sites
                                                    The regional community

Specially impacted                                  Nearest neighbours

                                                    Indigenous peoples

Government officials                                Local officials

                                                    State officials


Regulators                                           Local agencies

                                                     State agencies

Environmental NGOs*                                  Local Groups

                                                     National Groups

Other advocacy groups                                Human rights groups

                                                     Social justice groups

Other civic organizations                            Educational organizations

                                                     Charitable organizations

Internal                                             Board of directors


Specially concerned people/groups                    With interest in the sites

                                                     With interests in the mining companies

*The Federation for a Sustainable Environment has been mandated by inter alia the Benchmark
Institute, Water Caucus, Coalition Against Nuclear Energy, WESSA, groundWork, Earthlife,
Jubilee South, WISE, Ex Mine Workers‟ Union, national conservancies, etc. to address matters
of mutual concern and interest within the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area.

The authors of the paper, entitled “Faro Mine Complex Remediation Project – Issues and
Options for Closure” found that:

      A multi-attribute analysis was necessary to use with stakeholder representatives to assess
       closure (to read, in the context of this document, “remediation”) options against

      Closure (to read, in the context of this document, “remediation) objectives should be:

             o To protect human health and safety;

             o Protect and, to the extent practicable restore the environment including land, air,
               water, fish and wildlife.

             o Return the mine sites to an acceptable state of use that reflects pre-mining land
               use where practicable.

             o Maximize local socio-economic benefits.

             o Management long term site risk in a cost effective manner.

        The process should be designed to be open and transparent and the sharing of information
         is necessary to support community understanding and involvement. This can be
         accomplished through a variety of forums including workshops, information sessions,
         meetings, open houses, working groups, site tours, home visits and published materials.
         Community coordinators can play an integral role in disseminating information in
         communities and in gathering and interpreting community input.

Objectives of rehabilitation8

        It is recommended that the following objectives should be over-arching in the objectives
         for the remediation of the WCA:

             o Maximize public health and safety.

             o Maximize restoration, protection and enhancement of the environment.

             o Minimize restrictions on land-use.
  Rutherford, Jerie and March (2000) provides useful terminologies that distinguish between different endpoints for
the state or land use to be achieved:

        Restoration is the term used to describe the improvement of a contaminated land area or degraded river
         ecosystem to its original or natural state or use, where all aspects have been returned to the pre-disturbance
         level of structure and functioning.

        Remediation is used to describe the improvement of contaminated land areas or degraded river ecosystems
         to a situation where new sequential land use or river ecosystem has been established.

        Rehabilitation describes the intervening actions (including engineering interventions) which aim to
         improve the land area or river with the intention of either reinstating the original ecosystem processes or
         structures (restore), or facilitating the use of the contaminated land area or river ecosystem to an agreed
         upon new system (remediate).

        Stabilisation means the halt, or a least reduction in the rate of degradation, through a specific rehabilitation

Rehabilitation, in terms of the Chamber of Mines‟ Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Mined Land is defined as
follows: “Rehabilitation, from the mining industry perspective, means putting the land impacted by the mining
activity back to a sustainable usable condition. It recognises that the restoration of what was previously there is
simply impossible with current best practice. This definition (and implied intention) includes the concepts of
minimization of loss of land use capability and of net benefit to society. Section 38(1) of the MPRDA refers to
having the mine area restored to its natural or predetermined state but this is tempered by the qualification that
rehabilitation must be practicable and also provides for a Public Participation Process to define „end use‟.”

       o Minimize restrictions on local land-use.

       o Maximize local socio-economic benefits.

    (Reference: “Faro Mine Complex Remediation Project –Issues and Options for Closure”
    – M. Nahir et al.)

   Simply adopting the standards of the government of the day as an acceptable standard for
    remediation is generally not good corporate policy, as government policies normally
    follow, rather than lead, community expectations. In addition, experience demonstrates
    that legislation will change over time. The direction of those legislative changes will be
    in response to community perceptions of industry performance. (Reference: “Closure
    Objectives, Guidelines and Actual Outcomes” by H. Jones.)

   There is a need to raise awareness amongst the local communities of the objectives of the
    remediation of the Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment. Consensus on rehabilitation
    objectives has to be reached through a broad based engagement process.

   In terms of the Chamber of Mines‟ Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Mined Land the
    objectives ought to be:

        What the affected community wants, the affected community gets – that is,
         the key focus is on providing the end product requested by the affected
         communities, rather than focusing on the previous status quo.

        Restoration of previous land use capability – the original though process in the
         South African context, because mining often occurs on land with high agricultural

        No net loss of biodiversity – the focal point in the ICMM/IUCN dialogue
         sponsored guidelines for mining and biodiversity, and of many mining corporate

   Of relevancy are the findings of the academic paper, entitled “Closure Planning and
    Estimating Within the Southern Africa Division of a Global Gold Miner” and “Land-Use
    After Mine Closure – Risk Assessment of Gold and Uranium Mine Residue Deposits on
    the Eastern Witwatersrand, South Africa” by M.W. Sutton et al. The authors found that
    the objectives and specific goals for mine closure and for future land use at AngloGold
    Ashanti in South Africa were no longer adequate due to the continuously-improving state
    of scientific knowledge and more stringent regulatory requirements. For example, the
    earlier objectives were based on the assumption that contaminated land such as
    metallurgical plant footprints and other areas affected by overflows and spillages of
    tailings and process water, would be returned to grazing land after cleaning. However,
         cleaning of soil and groundwater may not always be technically achievable within the
         assumed time frames. The following findings of the authors have relevancy to the
         remediation of the WCA9.

          Farming and Agriculture

                     The uptake of some metals and naturally-occurring radioactive materials in
                      pasture grasses and fodder trees could result in livestock farming being
                      unsuitable land use. In addition, grazing as an end land use may be sub-
                      economic on highly disturbed grasslands or rehabilitated or contaminated land
                      also poses a risk to the rehabilitation process itself and can therefore impair
                      the recovery of ecosystem services.

                     The bioaccumulation of elements in the vicinity of Mine Residue Deposits (a
                      generic term used for waste rock dumps, sand dumps and/or slimes dams) has
                      been demonstrated for roots of a pasture grass, tree foliage and seeds, native
                      plant herbal remedies and some common wild plants and edible crops.

                     Elevated tissue metal concentrations have been detected in the organs of
                      wildfowl from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

  Of similar fact evidence is the findings of the Report, entitled “Establish Guidelines and Procedures to Assess and
Ameliorate the Impact of Gold Mining Operations on the Surface Water Environment – Case Study Mine 2:
Carletonville Mine by Pulles Howard & De Lange Inc. prepared for the Anglo American Corporation. Dated
October 1993. The following aspects were studied: Waste Deposit Seepage; Microbiological, Sediments and
Vegetation; Macro-Invertebrates; and Surface Water Impact. The author found concentrations of copper, nickel,
manganese, cadmium and lead in aquatic vegetation and furthermore found that all sediment-metal concentrations,
except the concentration of copper at one sample point, exceeded the maximum permissible content of heavy metals
in the soil, in South Africa. This is ascribed to effluent discharge and mining activities. In the study of the two
slimes dams and two rock dumps and their associated seepage and ground water aspects it was found that “some
persistent concentrations of specifically lead, occurred in the water affected by seepage, leaving the mine property.
Lead, zinc and manganese concentrations remained high in spite of high pH values of the water…Sulphate is again
the major contributor to salinity…Significant concentrations of nitrates enter the natural water from slimes dams.”
Metal analysis of the fish indicates pollution of the system with the highest concentrations observed for iron. It was
concluded: “The macroinvertebrates are therefore probably exposed to high metal concentrations, due to a polluted
system…Zinc…was also present in very high concentrations.” “Accumulation of manganese, nickel and lead
occurred in the gills, while copper, zinc and iron accumulated in the liver of the fish…This eventually will affect the
survival of fish species.” With reference to surface water it was found: “The impact which the mine has on the
surface water environment on Mine section A is significant…it can be assumed that the quantity and quality of water
being discharged from the adjacent mine, and perhaps from the other mines downstream, is adding a considerable
load to the system.”

         Dwelling and agriculture, in particular irrigated agriculture, were identified as
          vulnerable end land uses for Mine Residue Deposits (MRD) footprints or
          areas within the zone of influence of MRDs.

         The pasture grassing of slimes dams for dust prevention is not considered a
          long term rehabilitation measure. Significant financial provision for long-
          term maintenance would be necessary if pasture grassing of steep side-slopes
          and slimes dam tops remained the selected method.

 Residential Land Uses

         Residential land uses, within the aqueous and aerial zone of influence from
          gold and uranium Tailings Storage Facilities (TSF) on the Witwatersrand
          basin, are at higher risk than other land uses, such as industrial or
          commercial and a fully quantitative assessment of risk to human health
          has not yet been conducted.

         The health impact of mine residue dust is of concern. The effect of silica
          quartz nanoparticles in the lungs is not properly understood and to what extent
          gold tailings dust contributes to human metal ingestion and absorption has not
          been investigated in South Africa.

         In the risk assessment, judgment and value form part of the process and the
          characterization of risk must allow for stakeholder views.

         Both informal and formal settlements emerged as higher vulnerability (with
          reference to human exposure pathways) in the presence of Mine Residue
          Deposits (MRD). The impacts of extremes of acidity, salinity and metal
          exposure on flora and fauna are well established, and underpin environmental
          standards and regulations in many countries.

         Under South African law, „the precautionary principle‟ is embedded in the
          National Environmental Management Act (No 107 of 1998) and therefore
          demonstration of human harm and causality is not necessarily required in
          order to justify changing land-use in the vicinity of MRDs. It is requirement
          enough that reasonable concern exists as to the safety of a land-use, and until
          that concern has been alleviated through quantitative risk assessments a risk-
          averse approach must be exercised.

         From the literature it became apparent that there are potential risks
          (particularly Acid Rock Drainage related) associated with all gold and
          uranium MRDs and footprints.
         Most importantly, the study enabled identification of vulnerable land-uses
          affected via the aqueous pathway, which may require intervention through re-
          zoning, public education, remediation or other protective measures.

         Rehabilitation of tailings dams and waste rock dumps should provide for
          seepage control or long term ecological rehabilitation not merely aesthetic and
          stability aspects. The generation of Acid Rock Drainage and mobilization of
          metal ions from gold and uranium tailings on the Witwatersrand basin is well

 Residual and latent impacts

         When determining land-uses and setting closure objectives in metal mining
          regions, residual and latent impacts need to be considered, and the potential
          for these impacts beyond the immediate site. Through so doing, future harm
          and liabilities can be avoided. Towards this the restriction of certain land-uses
          on MRDs, footprints and polluted areas is recommended, and the
          implementation of buffer zones, pending quantitative environmental risks

         Contaminated water decanting from closed underground mines;

         Contamination of soils overlying shallow seepage through capillary rise, or
          irrigation of crops with mine water;

         The potential for remobilization of sulphur, metals and NORMS from wetland
          sink areas due to seasonal influences and wetland degradation;

         Loss of biodiversity or ecosystem services as a result of disturbance or

         Accumulation of some metals and NORMs by fauna and flora;

         Impacts of land disturbance, ARD and metals on fauna and flora;

         Impacts of land disturbance on ecosystem services and the viability of some

         Remobilization of metal-bound cyanides through reprocessing of old TSFs;

         Structural damage to structures and human injury, by mining-exacerbated
          instabilities including seismicity and sinkhole formation.

 Future Land Use
               Restoration of „transformed‟ grassland on gold mine properties on the
               Witwatersrand to their original, biodiverse status is not considered achievable.
               Land degradation can compromise the economic viability of future uses that rely
               on the provision of ecosystem services such as biodiversity, fertile soil and clean
               water, and therefore safe land uses that would contribute to rehabilitation had to
               be identified. These included the use of native trees for carbon sequestration, soil
               rehabilitation and seepage control purposes.

       The authors of the paper “Faro Mine Complex Remediation Project – Issues and Options
        for Closure” recommended that:

           o Options for closure (in the context of this paper “closure” should read
             “remediation”) can be gathered from government, communities, other
             stakeholders and the public.

           o Leading experts of scientific and engineering disciplines can be commissioned to
             review the options and to assess whether or not the proposed remediation options
             provided a full and reasonable span of possible remediation alternatives for
             consideration in the selection process, and that the individual alternatives were
             described in a manner that was complete, rigorous, and appropriate for comparing
             options in a subsequent selection process.

           o The outcomes of this initial review, coupled with results from both additional
             technical studies and community/stakeholder feedback allowed further refinement
             of initial example alternatives into a final short list of six remediation options.

           o The short listed options were thereafter reviewed for technical feasibility and

           o The experts confirmed that the remaining remediation options are all technically
             feasible and equally capable of achieving the same level of water quality in the
             downstream receiving environment. This provided important feedback to all
             parties as they began their internal consideration of the remaining options.

   It is recommended that the remediation of the WCA should include the beautifying of the
    mine buildings and spaces around them with the objective to integrate the remediation of the
    WCA into post-closure land use. General mitigation measures for the visual impact of
    mining activities historically focused on minimizing the visual intrusion by the erection of
    physical barriers, such as trees and berms to screen structures from receptors and onlookers.
    Instead of addressing the root of the problem, namely the physical appearance of the
    buildings, mining companies have taken the path of least resistance. The challenge is to

     rethink ways of marrying mine buildings with nature, tradition and the demands of e.g.
     tourism based end land use.

    In the remediation objectives for the WCA cognizance must be taken of the well established
     fact that living, or working in ugly environments has significant negative psychological
     influences on humans. These can range from behavioral to health impacts such as slow
     recovery from illness, and manifest on a broader scale in lack of environmental pride and
     ownership and poor land care principles. (Reference: Mine Infrastructure Planning and
     Design for Closure – Integrating Sustainable Post-Closure Land-Use from the Outset into
     Designing Mine Infrastructure” by B. Rademeyer and T. Le Roux.)

    The progressive remediation of abandoned mining sites within the WCA, prioritized by
     means of a screening-level risk evaluation for the environmental, health and safety impact
     potential, should be included in the remediation objectives for the WCA

Principal or typical problems to solve in the remediation of the WCA

        The focus on the remediation of mine sites, specifically in the case under consideration,
         the remediation of the WCA, has increased during the last decade. Experience and
         research have not progressed at the same rate resulting in some issues remaining in a
         “Catch 22” situation. (Reference: “Planning for Closure – Example from Faboliden
         Mine in Sweden” by A.G. Bjelkevik.)

        The key aspects to be considered in the remediation of the WCA are mainly associated
         with environmental matters. Risks, such as radioactivity, soil degradation and
         contamination, drinking and agricultural water contamination (surface and underground);
         and generation of hazardous waste, are very real. However, these environmental
         concerns can have an indirect impact on other key aspects, for example health and
         safety relating to people‟s health and wildlife as a result of radioactivity, and soil and
         water contamination.      In addition stakeholders may take legal action, seeking
         compensation for damage caused10.

        There is no single comprehensive regulatory body with the legal status and with a
         specific brief to regulate and address all the aforesaid aspects and matters.

  I find it relevant to here refer to the article in Noseweek, dated January 2009, entitled “The spy who came in from
the gold” whereby it was stated: “If a connection were found between gold mining and illness among the local
populace, mining houses might be liable for massive damages. Damages that could be large enough to sink the

        From a regulator‟s perspective, prescriptive legislation11 is much easier to use in practice,
         because it minimizes the degrees of freedom the regulator has to consider. This allows
         relatively technically inexperienced persons to be employed as regulators. Enabling
         legislation, on the other hand requires the regulators to have a level of technical
         competency at least as high as that of the industry experts and consultants. Such
         legislation provides the best outcomes for the community when it is administered by
         competent, suitably funded regulators.

        One problem with mining legislation is the temptation for countries with poorly
         developed mining industries to use the legislation from other countries that have well
         developed mining industries and proficient regulatory systems. In the broad sense this is
         good, but in detail it can result in very poor legislation, partly because new legislation is
         drafted to fit within an existing legislative system. (Reference: “Closure Objectives,
         Guidelines and Actual Outcomes” by H. Jones.)

        The more demanding regulations to address these historic and current impacts (see e.g.
         the conditions of the modified DWAF directive for the pumping and treatment of the
         West Rand Void mine water) with anticipated greater restrictions on emissions of
         gaseous and particulate matter, may compromise the continuity of some of the mining
         operations, either in part or whole. Furthermore, the cumulative effect of these
         discharges can affect the health of the local mining communities which will lead to legal
         action against the companies and the state with resultant negative publicity to their image
         and heritage. (Reference: “Comprehensive Planning for Closure of Mining Activities at
         Early Stages and its Impacts on the Business Plan and Mine Development Operations”
         by I.P. Flores et al.)

        The remediation of the WCA must involve strict control of water discharges and acid
         mine drainage treatment. Since the generation of wastewater and AMD will continue for
         long periods after the remediation of the WCA (and after mine closure) low-cost and
         relatively maintenance free solutions are required. Cost-effective passive treatment
         solutions that minimize investments, costs and supervision are recommended.

   Prescriptive legislation e.g. dictates how the waste dump can be built, it either meets the prescription and is
therefore acceptable, or it does not while enabling legislation usually defines the completion criteria that must be
attained, without constraining the means by which those criteria can be met. Enabling legislation allows for
progressive development and adaptive management of uncertainties and changes.

It is regrettable that many of the waste dump landforms, particularly the flat-topped step-pyramid shaped waste
dumps and tailings disposal facilities have been developed by operators, who followed the “prescriptions” of less
suitable, often too specific guidelines. Similarly the people who prepare and publish guidelines often do not
appreciate how those documents will be used at the mine sites.

      Environmental monitoring of superficial and underground water, soils and air, which
       should include chemical sample analysis in laboratories, physical and chemical analysis
       in situ, analysis through biomarkers, and ecological studies with bio-indicator species
       must be ongoing. Additionally, specific contingency plans should be designed to
       react as fast and as accurately as possible in cases of unexpected events which may
       cause environmental impacts. (Reference: “Integrated Solutions for Mine Site Closure
       and Management – Environmental Risk Assessment, Monitoring and Remediation” by
       J.R. Candia.)

      Because of long term groundwater risks, the WCA will certainly require long term
       supervision, including security, inspections, maintenance and environmental monitoring.
       A stable source of long term funding and governance will be required.

Key learnings regarding community engagement from case studies

The case study of the accelerated closure of the De Beers Consolidated Mines‟ Oak Mine in
Limpopo Province, particularly the integration of environmental and social issues, provides
practical guidelines for the remediation of the WCA. (Reference: “Planning for Mine Closure at
De Beers Consolidated Mines – An Integrated Approach” by M. Mban)

      It is much easier to build relationships with communities well before the remediation of
       the WCA. However, because of the urgency of the matter, community engagement has to
       happen in parallel with the development of the remediation plans of the WCA.

      Even with an accelerated process, intensive engagement is possible and processes should
       include consultation with local farmers, tribal authorities in the area, the unions, etc.

      From case studies it can be inferred that most of the issues that will be raised regarding
       the remediation of the WCA will focus not so much on the remediation plan itself, as on
       how communities can benefit from the remediation of the WCA.

      Despite going beyond legal compliance in the level of engagement with stakeholders,
       potential risks exist if, at the sign-off of the remediation plans, stakeholders are not
       satisfied that their concerns have been adequately addressed.

      As remediation options are still being investigated, finding sustainable and possibly,
       novel ideas for remediation can be simple if internal and external stakeholders are
       allowed to be part of the remediation process.

      It is advocated that there should be a move away from mere cursory consultation
       processes to ownership of post remediation goals.

      There is a clear message that remediation is a complicated and expensive process,
       particularly when tackled in haste.

Management Tools to support the remediation process

Research Institutions

      The remediation process of the WCA is highly likely to require on-going site
       management and reporting to stakeholders and regulators, for decades after remediation.

      Institutional longevity is a unique characteristic of large public tertiary institutions in
       relation to the long periods for which the sites are likely to be under maintenance and

      Public tertiary institutions have the ability to provide regulators with transparent and
       objective long-term science based studies of the site, and of the variables required to be

      The interpretive management of both historic and current monitoring and research data,
       and the identification and resolution of outstanding knowledge gaps that may persist post-
       remediation are among the key features that partnerships between mining companies and
       research institutions will be able to deliver.

      It is essential to ensure the maintenance of corporate memory by retaining essential site

      Partnerships between tertiary institutions and corporations holding the mine sites provide
       one mechanism to achieve long-term stewardship (continuity) of site information
       essential to meet regulatory requirements and support research to fill gaps in knowledge
       of site-specific natural systems and rehabilitation performance. I here specifically
       recommend partnerships between the North West University (Vaal River Campus and
       Potchefstroom Campus) and the gold mining companies operational within the
       Wonderfonteinspruit Catchment Area.

      Innovative solutions for the remediation of the WCA can be developed in cooperation
       with national and international institutions and universities. (Reference: “Integrated
       Solutions for Mine Site Closure and Management – Environmental Risk Assessment,
       Monitoring and Remediation” by J.R. Candia et al.)

Financial considerations regarding the remediation of the WCA

Considerations when determining the liabilities

   If closure (rehabilitation) is regarded as an activity which is not planned early in the life
    cycle of a mine, it can result in short-term analysis of closure, with often the bare
    minimum provisioned for, or allocated to, solely meeting permit requirements and not on
    planning closure (rehabilitation) as an integral part of the project‟s lifecycle embedded
    within the overall management of the business.

   Closure (rehabilitation) should be regarded as a continual process that starts at the
    beginning of the mine planning‟s life. Consequently, as long as mining companies
    understand that the resources, efforts and costs associated with early planning are directly
    linked to ultimate cost savings, it will be possible to achieve successful closure
    (rehabilitation) with fewer surprises to shareholders.

   By tracking key issues at each stage of the project lifecycle, understanding improves and
    information about the magnitude of potential issues and associated costs is obtained. It
    then becomes possible to weigh up the risk and magnitude of closure options, and
    consequently produce more accurate cost estimates with a decrease in the financial
    impacts on the overall business. It reduces uncertainty regarding the dimension and
    economic impacts that could exist when the operations come to an end. (Reference:
    “Comprehensive Planning for Closure of Mining Activities at Early Stages and its
    Impacts on the Business Plan and Mine Development Operations” by I.P. Flores, K.W.
    Smit, A. Getahun, I.P. Perez)

   The environmental liabilities calculated in previous years were underestimated, in some
    cases very substantially. (Reference: “Planning for Mine Closure at De Beers
    Consolidated Mines – An Integrated Approach” by M. Mban)

   Rehabilitation backlogs accumulate when there is no concurrent rehabilitation. The
    practice of deferring rehabilitation costs to the end of life of mine rather than
    implementing concurrent rehabilitation contributes to rehabilitation backlogs. (Ibid)

   Whilst local communities may benefit from mining operations in the form of employment
    and income much of the wealth generated by mining operations is distributed
    internationally to share markets and investors. In a sense, the wealth from mining is
    distributed globally, but the impacts are generally restricted to a local or regional level.
    This is in direct conflict with the notions of social and moral equity and justice. It is
    particularly the case when mining has ceased, its benefits have stopped, but a legacy

   The legacy of past mining practices, their negative environmental, social economic and
    political impacts, is significant. Little has been done to address legacy mine land.
    Current planning regimes barely address legacy mine land. Unfortunately, the South

       African Government has also failed to address this problem adequately. The frequently
       contested nature of responsibility for legacy mine land adds complexity and inertia to
       effective management of these areas.

      Even though the former holder of a mining authorization is no longer liable for
       environmental damage in terms of the MPRDA, once a closure certificate has been issued
       in terms of Section 43(1), the provisions of other legislation, such as the National
       Environmental Management Act (No 107 of 1998) and the National Water Act (No 36 of
       1998), would still prevail in the event of undisclosed or future environmental damage.
       Most importantly, if funds are insufficient, the mining company and its directors remain
       liable. Hence mining companies and directors should keep abreast of international trends
       in mine closure in order to proactively minimize their exposure.

      It is assumed that when a mining company goes bankrupt, its assets cannot be sold in
       many cases and the obligation to rehabilitate the effects of mining activity have to be met
       by the state. Thus, the cost of liquidation of the mine works is carried over to the state,
       i.e. taxpayers.

      It is assumed that the state may use reserve funds to finance other activities, thus making
       the means unavailable for the reclamation work when required.

      The long-term blocking of financial means can be reduced (maintaining the rehabilitation
       standards) by way of progressive rehabilitation of the areas affected by mining.

      In terms of the accounting requirements for liability estimates the International
       Accounting Standards Board, 2007 specifies: “Future events that may affect the amount
       required to settle an obligation shall be reflected in the amount of a provision where
       there is sufficient objective evidence that they will occur.” The reprocessing of a TSF and
       the profits it generates may thus be used to reduce the calculated liabilities.

(References: “Closure Planning and Estimating Within the Southern Africa Division of a
Global Gold Miner” by M.W. Sutton et al; The Financing of Mine Land Rehabilitation in the
Czech Republic” by J. Dvoracek et al)


“A Sustainability Criteria and Indicators Framework for Legacy Mine Land” by R.C. Worrall et

Chamber of Mines‟ Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Mine Land

“Closure Objectives, Guidelines and Actual Outcomes” by H. Jones;

“Closure Planning and Estimating Within the Southern Africa Division of a Global Gold Miner”
by M.W. Sutton, H. Pretorius, J.H. Nel, F. Julyan and H.G. Rex;

“Comprehensive Planning for Closure of Mining Activities at Early Stages and its Impacts on the
Business Plan and Mine Development Operations” by I.P. Flores, K.W. Smit, A. Getahun, I.P.

“Faro Mine Complex Remediation Project – Issues and Options for Closure” by M. Nahir, S.
Mead and D. Hockley;

“Integrated Solutions for Mine Site Closure and Management – Environmental Risk Assessment,
Monitoring and Remediation” by J.R. Candia and A. Oblasser;

 “Mine Closure to Relinquishment – The Development of Partnerships and Management Tools to
Support the Process” by G. McIlveen, D.R. Mulligan, T. Baumgartl, M. Edraki, A. Pudmenzky,
and L. Rossato ;

“Mine Infrastructure Planning and Design for Closure – Integrating Sustainable Post-Closure
Land-Use from the Outset into the Design of Mine Infrastructure” by B. Rademeyer and T. Le

“Planning for Mine Closure at De Beers Consolidated Mines – An Integrated Approach” by M.

“Suitability Analysis for Post-Closure Land Management Options Using a Multi-Stakeholder
Decision Support Tool “by H. Soltanmohammadi, M. Osanloo and A. Sami;


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