South African mining companies to pay for recycling of acid mine water
The Department of Water and Sanitation for South Africa has announced that mining companies across the continent will pay an estimated R12billion in recycling acid mine water, as part of a wider water drainage project.
The costs will go towards removing sulphates from the water disposed from local mines, cleaning Johannesburg’s water supply for commercial use.
Speaking at a launch for a long-term solution to acid mine drainage (AMD) at the AMD Central Basin, Germiston, Johannesburg, the Minster of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane believes the project will ‘substantially’ meet the needs of SA’s economic hub.
“The long term solution [of AMD] will turn the acid mine drainage problem into a long term sustainably solution by producing safe water,” she said.
"If we had not intervened, the flow of acid mine drainage into the larger environment, including the natural river systems, would have caused widespread environmental pollution."
The announcement represents the end of Phase one, a five-year investment of R225million to control the flow of acid water from abandoned mines in Guateng. Phase two, will see the acid mine drainage turned into fully treated, drinkable, water.
End-users of the water, including businesses and residents, will pay around R3.6billion of the costs, 33 percent, with the mining companies representing the other 67 percent of all costs.
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