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Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining

Environmental Impacts of Gold Mining 
South Africa

MPUMALANGA has the second highest number of visiting international tourists in South Africa. It is the home of the Kruger National Park, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon.
Mining licenses have recently been granted in this World Heritage Site. Environmentalists are fearful for the integrity of these sensitive ecosystems. The mining company has declared that they have met all legal obligations and that their activities are crucial to the socio-economic development of South Africa.

Mining contributes to 19% of South Africa’s GDB. The positive contribution of the mining industry is that it provides economic growth and creates employment.

The mining industry in South Africa has many negative social consequences such as single sex hostels, a migrant labour force, participated in forced removals of humans from mineral rich areas, a poor safety record, poor human rights history and disproportionate distribution of wealth.

Direct impacts from the mining industry in South Africa include over 6000 derelict and ownerless mines. It will cost the country more than R30 billion and thirty years to rehabilitate. There is extensive acid-mine drainage, other forms of water pollution, the destruction of habitats, related biodiversity, air and noise pollution, the degradation of landscapes and soil profiles.

Transvaal Gold Mining Estates (Pty) LTD owned (75%) by a listed Australian company called Stonewall Resources and by a conglomeration of trusts (25%) plans to start mining activity in at least 40 closed mines in Mpumalanga.

TGME bought the mining and prospecting licenses for R25 million. They will reopen historic mines to unearth the remaining gold this type of mining requires less capital than building a new mine.
TGME mining company has assured interested parties that there will be little if any impact on the environment. “They will reuse the water in the extraction process and the clear water which runs from the mine flows back onto the Sabine River”

Stone believes that they will bring major economic upliftment to the region and that the will “strive to empower the community as much as the investors”

There are many reasons that you might want to oppose mining in this sensitive area but the most import reason which is relevant to every single person living and visiting this area is that the reopening of these mines will affect the quality of all the water in the area.

The side effects of this type of mining will be acid mine drainage and high levels of arsenic which will be leaked into the water.
Environmentalists led by AWARD have asked interested (and affected) individuals and organisations to register their names with regards to the mining rights applications namely Sabi Project 10161 and Pilgrims Rest project 10167.
Please email : Ingrid Snyman 
Ferdi Pieterse 
Diana Verster
Your email should read:
Dear Ingrid, Ferdi, Diana
Please register (your name or your organisation’s name) as an interested party with regard to the mining rights applications namely Sabi project 10161 and Pilgrims Rest project 10167.
Please send confirmation that you have received this email and that I/ we are registered on the database.
PLEASE register TODAY and AWARD will send detailed instructions.
USAID - US Agency for International Development
South African Wildlife College
Green Matters
Africa Geographic
SA-People - for South Africans in South Africa and expats
Megan Carr
VP Social Media 
For more information:


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