'Abandoned mines without closure certificates create room for unlawful mining'

Illegal mining in abandoned gold mines poses environmental and health hazards.

Read: Illegal miners tunnelling near Joburg fuel pipes could cause explosion

Federation for Sustainable Environment chief executive officer Mariette Liefferink speaks to Bongani Bingwa about the risk illegal mining causes to the environment.

Many of the mining companies that are now in care and maintenance or those who have abandoned operations, or gone into liquidation, open the field for unlawful mining.

Mariette Liefferink, CEO - Federation for Sustainable Environment

Liefferink adds that there are many reasons for unregulated artisanal mining. One of the reasons is because the Department of Mineral Resources has not issued a single closure certificate for any mine within the Witwatersrand goldfields, she explains.

If a closer certificate is issued, then we would assume that the environmental impact would have been addressed. The water would have been made fit for use. Because no closure certificates have been issued, it opens the way for unlawful mining.

Mariette Liefferink, CEO - Federation for Sustainable Environment

She says in recent few months, the Mintails group has gone into liquidation and in its wake has left many problems.

Clusters of open pits, unrehabilitated footprints with residual radioactivity, partially reclaimed tailings dams and an unfunded environmental liability of R460m.

Mariette Liefferink, CEO - Federation for Sustainable Environment

Communities and local municipalities are bearing the impact of the liquidation and it has created an opportunity for unlawful miners to strip the gold treatment plants, Liefferink notes.

Not only is that being looted at the moment, but there are also armed gangs at the plant. They have also destroyed the electrical cable that feeds into the asset mine drainage treatment plan within the West Rand.

Mariette Liefferink, CEO - Federation for Sustainable Environment

Liefferink says often with mine tailing, storage facilities are unfenced and have no warning signs.

Because our mining operation activities are located close to densely populated communities, we find that children not only swim in the run-off from these storage facilities, but they also use these mine dumps for sand boarding.

Mariette Liefferink, CEO - Federation for Sustainable Environment

Listen below to the full interview:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Gwede Mantashe calls for mutual respect from mining unions and bosses

Gwede Mantashe calls for mutual respect from mining unions and bosses

Minister of Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe says those who don't reciprocate with the same respect will be left behind.

Seven bodies of illegal miners dumped in open veld after being shot

Seven bodies of illegal miners dumped in open veld after being shot

Saps's Lungelo Dlamini says they were alerted to the decomposing bodies containing bullet wounds near a mineshaft in Benoni.

Illegal mining costing city millions warns Joburg mayor

Illegal mining costing city millions warns Joburg mayor

Herman Mashaba says the CoJ has reported R12.5 million worth of damages because of damage to the road infrastructure system.

[LISTEN] Emotional caller reacts to deaths of illegal child miners

[LISTEN] Emotional caller reacts to deaths of illegal child miners

Illegal mining poses major risks but is a source of income for many and the question of regulations is unresolved.

'Formal sector has an interest in keeping this mining activity illegal'

'Formal sector has an interest in keeping this mining activity illegal'

At least 6000 people involved in illegal mining are currently believed to be operating in Gauteng.

Calling people illegal miners is unconstitutional - Oxfam SA

Calling people illegal miners is unconstitutional - Oxfam SA

Oxfam South Africa says government must decriminalise informal mining.

Popular articles
How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

South Africans are increasingly buying cars they can’t afford using balloon payments, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

'Government is going to hike personal income tax. There’s no doubt'

'Government is going to hike personal income tax. There’s no doubt'

SA’s personal income tax burden is among the world’s 10 heaviest. It’s about to get even worse, warns economist Mike Schüssler.

Hubby embarrassed after thinking staff wrote b**** on wife's take-away sarmie

Hubby embarrassed after thinking staff wrote b**** on wife's take-away sarmie

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Ndlovu Youth Choir bows out graciously, as US singer Kodi Lee crowned AGT winner

Ndlovu Youth Choir bows out graciously, as US singer Kodi Lee crowned AGT winner

The SA choir that has won the hearts of Mzansi is excited about what lies ahead and says 'this is only the beginning'.

Mixed reaction to Constitutional Court's ruling over spanking of children

Mixed reaction to Constitutional Court's ruling over spanking of children

Freedom of Religion SA legal advisor says the ruling will destroy families in the country.

EFF: Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm are working with Gordhan and Hanekom

EFF: Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm are working with Gordhan and Hanekom

Economic Freedom Fighters Mbuyiseni Ndlozi explains why it banned the Daily Maverick and amaBhungane from attending its events.

Burger King rebrands as Bacon King (but drops 'ham' from the word 'hamburger')

Burger King rebrands as Bacon King (but drops 'ham' from the word 'hamburger')

"They seem to have succumbed to consumer pressure," says branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.

[WATCH] Reporter saying dead man 'was unavailable for comment,' goes viral

[WATCH] Reporter saying dead man 'was unavailable for comment,' goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.