AMD remains an unclear issue

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 27 Sep 2011

Despite releasing a report that examined Acid Mine Drainage and its effects and pledging R225m for its treatment the Inter Ministerial Committee has no clear plan yet for tackling the problem, beyond accepting that AMD is an issue.

There is no indication that the mining industry is thinking about taking responsibility

This view was presented by Dr Anthony Turton, Vice President of the International Water Resource Association (IWRA), while addressing delegates at the second annual Mine Water Management Conference in Johannesburg.

He went on to explain that even if government did formulate a proper plan it would be very difficult to implement as the mining industry was not cooperating with government to solve the problem.

A game of chess was used by Turton as a comparison for the situation saying that the game was between the mining industry as a collective entity and government as a collective entity and that unfortunately the industry would stay ahead of government.

“I think we are approaching that position where checkmate is about to happen and I think that the mining industry is going to checkmate government because at the end of the day it’s going to come down to the nationalisation of the liabilities and until such time as the mining industry says they are going to pick up those liabilities … government is going to pick them up and thus taxpayers are going to pick up the associated costs.”

He stressed that, unfortunately, he had seen no indication at all that the mining industry was vaguely thinking about taking responsibility for the liabilities and therefore it was a logical inevitable outcome that government was going to have to take steps in this regard.

Turton also discussed the new technology partners, which were emerging to help fight the problem with government, including Aveng, Siemens Sembcorp, MiWaTek and Trailblazer and said that these partnerships would be a useful way to combat the problem and should be thoroughly explored.

By: Michael Bratt
Source: Business Live

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