The Legacy And Prospects Of The Gauteng City-Region’s Mining Landscapes
Free (open access)
1363 - 1374
K. L. Bobbins
Mine Residue Areas (MRAs) describe general mine waste associated mainly with gold-mining. In a recent study compiled by the Gauteng Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (GDARD), 374 Mine Residue Areas were identified in the Gauteng City-Region (GCR) of South Africa (SA). Of these, only 25km2 of the total 321km2 covered by MRAs can be rehabilitated at a low cost. Insufficient mine closure plans have created a mining landscape legacy that is scattered across the GCR, serving as a constant reminder of how concepts of sustainability were not part of past mining responsibilities and still appear to slip through the cracks of SA’s environmental and mining legislation. MRAs affect air and water quality, present geo-technical safety concerns for communities and create physical barriers to the movement of people, presenting challenges for spatial redevelopment and integration programmes. It is predicted that these challenges will only be exacerbated as a result of climate change, which predicts increased variability in weather extremes. This paper provides an overview government mining policy around MRAs and the environment and evaluates how these policies align with strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change to create a more sustainable region. This paper identifies potential risks of exposing MRAs to changing climatic variables, informing the management of MRAs within the GCR. These findings will assist with clarifying appropriate mitigation and adaption strategies to ensure infrastructure and communities, infrastructure and the environment are not further affected. Keywords: mine residue areas, mining, Gauteng City-Region, sustainability, climate change, settlement vulnerability.
Keywords: mine residue areas, mining, Gauteng City-Region, sustainability, climate change, settlement vulnerability.