Public lies, private looting and the forced closure of Grootvlei Gold Mine, South Africa
McKay, Tracey J.M.
MetadataShow full item record
Mine closure and acid mine drainage (AMD) are major interrelated challenges facing South Africa’s Witwatersrand gold mines. As a result of mining, the East, West and Central Rand compartments of the Witwatersrand Basin are interconnected, making AMD a regional problem. Consequently, the South African National Department of Mineral Resources recommends regional mine closure strategies. Unfortunately, the mismanagement of Grootvlei Gold Mine and its AMD problem resulted in premature and unplanned closure of the mine; massive job losses; pollution of a river and its Ramsar wetland site, as well as a significant setback for regional mine closure. Although directors were held civilly liable for damages to the mine, to date no one has been held liable for the water pollution, creating an impression that environmental laws can be flouted with impunity.