Acid mine drainage threat could persist for several hundred years

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 16 June 2010

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, gave the keynote address at the Official launch of Optimum Coal’s Water treatment plant at Optimum Colliery in Mpumalanga last week (9 June 2010)

The Mpumalanga Province is blessed with a diverse natural resources’ endowment encompassing minerals, agriculture, forestry, scenic vistas and nature reserves. These resources have provided the critical foundation upon which the growth and development of the economy has evolved, largely through various upstream, downstream and sidestream linkages.

The Olifants River System is one of the major rivers in South Africa impacted upon by Acid Mine Drainage as a result of the extensive coal mine operations

Mining in South Africa is a finite and dwindling asset, yet it is contributing significantly to the economic growth and development of the country. Mpumalanga Province is home to the richest coal fields in South Africa and coal is by far the single largest product in volume and values, and by the same token its single largest export.

Mpumalanga accounts for around 80% of South African coal production and exports account for approximately 30% of that production. Coal mining, apart from the export benefits, also supports the power generation of the province, where about 70% of South Africa’s electricity is currently being generated.

Read the full address here

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